There is a guitar that has always been with me, from the very begnning, in a continuoulsy unfinished form: A Hohner L75 that is basically a bolt-on Les Paul copy - but what a good one. It competes the '70s lawsuit copies and in many things it tops them. I've had some, traded all, they did not match this axe. Considering the wood, the body is something like mahogany (even a luthier friend could not identify but he said it is absolutely similar to mahogany) with maple cap, the neck is maple with rosewood fingerboard.
Tonally it is a LP to the heart, maybe a little brighter and it doesn't have THAT infinite sustain (it can sing anyway with a little different response). As for compensation, it has one of the best and most precise necks I've ever touched on any guitar (any range) and it feels solid like an AK47 machine gun. It stays in tune no matters what.
That was a superimportant feature, indeed... At the beginning I payed in an uncompromising underground rock band that was known at the local scene of its intensive live shows that did not help much in preserving the flawless appearance of this geetar. In a way I always took care of it but never babied this axe and it showed, after a decade it became a deadly worn one. Mixture of smoke and sweat in clubs ate through the hardware and bumping around increased cracks'n'roll. Until the last onstage day it stayed in tune, even when tuners became but some harmless old jokes.
Electronically it always functioned as a pickup testbed, it docked dosens or more. It became some kind of prototype of my EVH copy that evolved into my main present axe, the Warmoth LPS.
As years passed, all of its electronical components were salvaged. Here is the "most recent" (2006) public photo of it while in action, last time onstage:
That point, some pots and neck p-up are missing, only the volume pot is active for an Invader at the bridge that I traded soon after this gig. Then I removed pickup rings and most of wires. For years this guitar ate dust (literally) with empty cavities and missing electronics. I've always planned restoring it but as years passed I had less and less sources and materials to do so. At the middle of 2010 I became partially unemployed.
Then after a rather bad year, in december of 2010 a new heart was given during Bones' generous Holiday Cheers Giveaway: a Custom Custom for the bridge and a Pearly Gates for the neck. Thanks to Bones, Will S-T and Evan, the pack arrived at my place before holiday. This nice act deserve a full-front facelift as it marks that I really should finish this guitar after 20 years of modding/salvaging
I started planning and I decided on some simple racer-style design:
Still being unemployed, I realised that I'll have to wait for the resurrection. Months passed then one of my freinds called me if I wanted to produce their new album. I told him hell yes - and guess what, their new drummer Erik is a sprayworx expert, working on cars, ready to trade recording hours for his painting skills
You can see a somewhat cracked neck p-up cavity that Erik fixed in the next phase. Actually that was not my fault, some factory machine went wild. The surface of the guitar collected some minor cracks during the years that were also fixed.
Even more sanding and fixing some cracks revealed that the guitar had a rhino skin like finishing, heavy black coat on an even heavier lacquer. Erik said it was actually thicker than some newer cars finishing layers, he was quite surprised that I could put those cracks despite this durable surface
RAL3020 that makes your Ferrari shine, last week update:
... to be continued...