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Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by MA Pete, Feb 23, 2016.
Pete This will be a killer duo in the oven did you choose ebony for the fretboards?
Nope, not Ebony boards. I haven't really bonded with the tone of Ebony-boarded guitars in the past, so I am pretty narrow in what I would spec in a Private Stock, so sort of Rosewood only for me. The one on the bottom is Brazilian Rosewood, and the one on the top is Indian Rosewood. Both are VERY dark in color, I like dark boards. They will likely look like Ebony boards on the guitars, but have that tone of Rosewood that I love.
No offense intended to those who have and love Ebony-boarded guitars, I will be the first one to admit that my tastes are VERY narrow!
Rosewood fretboards are one of the ingredients in a classic, time-tested recipe for great tone: mahogany neck and back, rosewood fretboard, maple cap.
It's cool to depart from the formula from time to time, and some spectacular departures are certainly out there, but nothing's wrong with having a comfort zone, and knowing what floats your boat in terms of tone.
That said, I am still actually open to trying an Artist or WL 594 with an Ebony Board, if I see one where the top and finish "call out to me".
But for those two very special (and expensive) personalized Private Stocks, I have to go with that "tried and true" formula.
That's certainly the choice I'd make with my hard-earned dough!
Okay guys! Just getting around to a more complete report on the Private Stock Vault visit, and the 2 McCarty 594's put in the oven.
Had a great day at the factory! It was very different for me, this is a new phase of my journey with the 594, so everything seems very different. I was very focused and had more patience and took more time than on previous trips. I did two, one for my 50th Birthday next year (hard to believe, as I still feel like a kid), and also one for my 25th Wedding Anniversary next year, to replace the 20th Anniversary Guitar I did in 2012, which I sold this year after declaring it had the incorrect scale length. (Which sloanthebone appreciated!)
The Short Scale Doublecut is really "my model", has been since 2009, and these are intended to be really special guitars and lifetime keepers (I really mean it this time! - having personalized inlays on heel caps!!), so I better do it them exactly as should be for my dream guitars. With the 594 (for me), the Doublecut IS the Singlecut. No Singlecut required. 594 with SC thickness? Will no doubt be amazing, especially with the body and neck I picked, which were picked first and foremost for tone, the way they ring when you tap them.
I did for a moment consider doing one in a McCarty Singlecut with the 594 scale, especially after learning I could now do that with a Santana Headstock with no CNC upcharge, since someone else had spec'ed one and paid for that work to be done, which was not the case when I was there March 1st. But as I thought about it, I decided I would rather do a McCarty 594 with the Singlecut thickness. That is my Singlecut...
I am doing the second as a 594 with Standard 594 thickness, and everything else standard about a 594, with a Korina Neck. I had a DC 245 Ted from the 3rd Willcutt's Ted run with a Korina Neck, and the tone was awesome, to die for. So trying that again here.
I have learned to be very conservative on the wood selections in Private Stock, as in not doing fancy woods for the heck of it, and end up getting a PS I don't love the tone from. So the SC is Mahogany Body, Mahogany Neck (there was some very sick very highly figured neck blanks there!), Brazilian Board, and the 594 is Mahogany Body, Korina Neck and IRW Board (I did not want the "USA Only" restriction on that 594). That said, my theory is that the Core and WL 594's are so awesome, that if you are going to do a Private Stock, at least do a few things unique to make it special, which I think I accomplished. My 594 I put in the oven in March is Semi-Hollow with no F-Hole. So all 3 are pretty much straight down the middle 594's with one thing each unique about them - Semi-Hollow, SC thickness, and Korina neck.
I am doing binding, but not Maple Binding. There is another plastic binding alternative that Paul Miles suggested that has a texture to it, and it is more so a yellowish tone versus the stock Ivoroid binding. I am doing that on both, with Cream Pickup Rings versus Ivory. I think that will look more "vintage" and unique versus the Maple binding. (Also doing it on all 3 sides of the board.)
Here is a shocker - no Birds! There is a whole series of "Knots" inlays available that have been designed, since the Celtic Knots are no longer available in Private Stock. All I have seen done so far are the "Chain Knots". I like those, I was going to do one in Chain Knots and one in another one I really liked called "Edge Knots". I think I am just going to do them both in the Edge Knots. This is the first time a PS with "Edge Knots" has been done, so I don't yet have pics. Pretty cool that mine will be the first!
Also no 1-Piece quilts this time around! My 594's call for something more vintage. Did 2-piece Flame Tops on both. That is a change for me considering I have done nothing but 1-piece quilts for everything I have done since like 2013 or 2014. But that is for me what the 594's call for! (My March 1 spec is a 1-piece quilt, so I will still have one at least.)
Traditional vintage finishes for both - have to keep you guys guessing on SOMETHING, right?
And 58/15 LT's for pickups, of course!! Man, those are awesome pickups.
Spent some time with Paul Reed Smith, but he wasn't able to join for dinner. But it was great to be able to spend a few minutes with him. Had a great time with Paul Miles, Eric Cummins, Tina, and a couple of other folks from PRS over the course of the day, and for dinner. Paul M and Tina are really terrific to work with, very helpful, and patient!
Another interesting and different thing these days is the wait. It used to be (several years ago) something like 4 months give or take. Now it is 8 months plus. The PS I spec'ed March 1 is not done yet. (The 594 SH.) So while this was an AWESOME trip, and I am really looking forward to these guitars, I almost have to forget about them and go back to my enjoying my Core and WL 594's, my new PS one, and look forward to the March 1 spec'ed one to come in. I guess the increased wait is a sign that the PRS Private Stock program is going very well for PRS, and I think that is great for them, and for the prospect of this awesome program continuing on well into the future.
I am excited, and more so just humbled and honored to have the opportunity to collect and play these great instruments.
I want to wrap this post up my talking about a really important part of the experience for me in going to the Private Stock Vault to personally spec a Private Stock. The Woods in the vault are Cherrypicked as the finest woods to begin with, for tone and/or figure, or from their source or whatever reason, and then from there you can hand-select each piece from several by selecting for tone. When I select a body or neck, I probably go through 20 or so pieces of wood for each, painstakingly tapping each one and comparing the tone, get it down to the best 3 or 4, and then narrowing to the final selection with input from Eric and Paul Miles. It is a lot of work, but in my opinion a critical part of the equation in optimizing for the finest possible instrument. After 5 years of doing this, I have also learned to not only select based upon the most musical pieces of wood, but also where they resonate best (middle is better than the edges, as a lot of the wood from the blank goes away), and how they resonate and ring, what frequencies and what sounds pleasing to me. It is a very in inexact thing, but it is my number one focus in making the effort to taking a trip to be there in person, first and foremost for the body and neck selection for tone, and a fairly distant second is the Maple top for looks...
I am hoping and expecting they will be awesome. The adventure and journey continues!
P.S. I will post some more pics when I get a chance.
SC Thickness Body, Mahogany Neck and Brazilian Board and Veneer. They had the most highly figured Mahogany Neck blanks I have ever seen, and they were very musical. That piece of Brazilian is super dark and chocolatey, love that!
Top for the SC Thickness one - awesome!!
Mahogany body, Korina Neck and IRW Board and Veneer for the other one:
Top for the Korina Necked one:
I was going for more so vintage looking tops, with cross-grain and some mineral flecks.
They had a great selection of woods there, for tops, necks and boards. Best of any trip I have had there.
Here are the Chain Knots:
The "Edge Knots" have a little more intricate detail. I liked them both, but like the Edge Knots a little better, going to give them a try.
Congratulations Pete on your 2 newest PS guitars!
I cannot wait to see all of your wonderful builds!
Beautiful grain all around and I'm sure we'll feast our eyes on something very unique, gotta ask though:
why the templates are shaped like an acoustic top and not the usual DC shape?
Killer choices there Pete for sure!!! I've actually seem a picture of Edge Knots in the past, I'll have to see if I saved a copy or not. From memory I believe there were at least 2 other knot variations out there in the PS program...
I think those are initially drawn on there to generically show which orientation they are recommending.
After those pictures were taken, one of the last steps in the process is to trace the actual outline for the body, to capture the best parts of the flame in the best way possible. Sometimes that means shifting up or down, left or right, or even tilting a bit from that initial outline.
There are Chain Knots, Edge Knots, Trapezoid Knots and Diamond Knots, I believe.
The Trapezoid ones were wild and funky. Cool, but I wasn't ready for them yet.
Here are a couple of examples of Diamond Knots:
As I finalize my orders, I may do one in Edge Knots and one in Diamond Knots.
Guys - apologies for the hijack for the Private Stock trip and 594 specs! Please feel free to interrupt with regularly scheduled programming of Core and Wood Library 594 new acquisitions and thoughts!
Thanks for ALL of the info that you provide Pete. Please don't refrain!!!
Also thank you so much for your discussion regarding knot inlays. I've been thinking that I was interested in some type of knot inlays for my next PS build. I'm strongly leaning towards the chain knots. I had never seen the Diamond knots. Also, do you , or does anyone else have images of the edge knots? I suppose we will see them soon enough!!
I did confirm that the Diamond Knots are still available. Doing one in the Diamond Knots (the Anniversary Guitar - how appropriate!), the other in the Edge Knots.
Anyone know of a dealer selling a solid color 594? I've checked the usual dealers and Reverb.com but no luck.
Okay, so this is a thread for all of us to share things about the 594 model and new ones out there, and I feel bad for hogging a couple of pages with my trip to the Private Stock Vault, to the two 594's spec'ed there. They will be great, but SHEESH, enough already, right?
So tonight I will get us back on track on the mainstream of the 594 model. A few weeks ago, I missed out on the opportunity for a cool Black Gold Wood Library 594, from Brian's Guitars, I was emailing with Brian, I got tied up for work for a few hours, and by the time I circled back, it was gone. Separately, I have been considering trying one with a Rosewood Neck. If so, I would prefer one with an Rosewood Board, over one with and Ebony Board. That rules out the Artist ones for me, and just leaves the very few that are Wood Library ones spec'ed with Rosewood Necks. I hadn't found one that I loved yet, and had sort of given up on that idea.
And after throwing a couple more Private Stocks in the oven, I figured I should chill out and stop with the 594 madness, until those come in.
But then, I saw this on Facebook yesterday...
Holy cow, Brian G, quite a creation!! Love the finish, this one is just killer. Awesome top, the grain on the neck is killer, the grain on the Brazilian Board is amazing, the birds are cool and totally match the vibe of the guitar.
Inbound to me next week.
I am very interested to compare the tone of a Rosewood Necked one to the others. Of course this one has a 5909 in the bridge, which is a "Hot PAF" at about 9.5K, but that compares well to the Lollar High Winds in the Green Metallic, and I can always throw a 5815 LT in the bridge for a direct comparison to the others, which I plan to do.
Funny that I really love the vintage finishes on the 594's, those are my favorites, but so far Brian G has hit me with 2 "totally not vintage" 594's that I haven't been able to resist, first the Green Metallic one, and now this one!! LOL, darn you Brian!!...
Okay, after this one I am done until the Private Stocks come in, I really mean it this time!!
The Diamond inlays are a great idea....Unfortunately (for me), my wife wants a diamond ring for our upcoming anniversary!
I'll believe it when I see it.
Great score, the finish reminds me of a tesla coil. It's electric.
Looking forward to a comparison with the other 594's.
That is one freakin cool looking guitar! Gratz Pete!
Ha! I can relate, that was indeed the deal in 2012 for the 20th Anniversary, I got my guitar and she got a pretty sweet Anniversary Band that we custom designed for her.
She hasn't said yet what she wants for next year!
Thanks guys, for the complements on the inbound Violet Blue Fade! It will be late in the week before it gets here, at best, as I need to get some trades shipped over first...