This guitar represents pure love. It made so many good memories that it’s not that hard to name it my absolute favourite.
Life for this guitar began in 2010 when I got the assignment to make a thesis for my study at Codarts. I decided to look into the current guitar market and find my absolute ultimate guitar. Two pages in I already discovered that such an instrument does simply not exist yet (although a lot of Ibanez RG’s come very close I must admit). One of my coaches jokingly hinted that it would be cool if I could present my custom-build instrument a year later. Being a fan of Brian May and his Red Special story for years I realised this was my shot at creating a seriously decent and usable guitar for the first time! Needless to say I took the challenge. 😉
I expected I would fail quite badly so the idea of destroying a beautiful piece of quilted maple by my lack of skill felt like a mistake, so I went for some cheap and simple options like a readily made and fretted neck and an oak coffee table for the body. I needed 24 frets, two humbuckers with coil split sounds under the same switch and a Floyd Rose tremolo. Most of these features were present on the Ibanez RG420E that I tried at the time so it made sense to me that I’d simply order all the electronics and pickups from that instrument.
I still don’t have ‘proper’ guitarbuilding tools so all was done with a router, a jigsaw, a drill and a few spokeshaves, rasps and files. I took the dimensions of my Ibanez RG’s and altered the shape of the body to taste from those references. All that labour was done in the second half of 2010.
To my surprise everything worked, it all held together and I could play it! Not only that, it sounded and felt great! It’s quite a bizar experience to play your firstbuild for the first time. It didn’t have the enormous wow-factor I expected but you spend endless days and hours touching, tweaking and learning the instrument so naturally some of it’s wow will be eliminated because you know it so well already.
Since then I’ve used this instrument for all sorts of stuff: SNOW, Turn GPS, Equisa, Nuclear Sushi, studio recordings, etc. To this day it’s still my first go-to guitar. It had a few updates as the knife-edges of the original Boston Floyd Rose totally worn out. Now it sports a lovely Gotoh System and nut accented with a D-Tuna.
In a long relationship you eventually get past the butterfly phase and get to a deep state of knowing and respecting each other. From the moment this guitar was born I was in the second phase. Because of the somewhat chunky neck and it’s weight it might not be my most comfortable guitar, yet it is because I know my way around it better than any other guitar I won or have owned since.