I was recently commissioned to build a matching pair of Corralitos guitars, which is exciting enough, but there was a slight twist in the plot. One was to be left handed, while the other was right, making them more of a mirror image than a matching pair.
New Hampshire based musician and professor David Ross can cover vast musical territory from traditional Classical Guitar pieces, to far out Fusion, and he was searching for an electric guitar tailored to his taste. While we were in the design process, his good friend Joshua Green jumped on board, and we decided to make a right handed counterpart, with all of the same features as his left handed guitar.
As David and I discussed the details, I learned that he already had a precise aesthetic in mind, and a particular idea about the tonal range and feel of the guitars. I understood right away what he was going for, and couldn't wait to jump in on the project.
All of the appointments were done in Ebony, with no plastic or ivoroid used on the guitar. We agreed on a fan fret fingerboard, with a bass scale of 25.5 and a treble of 24.9. The change in scale is barely noticeable under your fingers, with a tight, Strat like bass, and clear, smooth highs. I especially like the contrast of the simple appointments against the complexity of the changing scales and offset bridge.
Searching for a dark overall tone, with lots of clarity, we went with one McNelly Autumn humbucker in the neck position. Tim McNelly’s take on the original P.A.F proved to be the perfect match. The addition of an Emerson paper in oil capacitor, and modern style wiring gave a large sweep to the tone knob, with many options between 1 and 10. These are not one trick ponies! I was actually surprised by the versatility that could be coaxed out of a single pick up.
To top it all off, and to stay within our rich ,dark theme, I found a Dark Coffee aniline dye. The guitars both received a custom “Dark Coffee Burst” and Antique Varnish, with aged nickel hardware as a finishing touch.
I am very grateful to have been chosen to execute this inspirational concept. This is a perfect example of what is possible when working with a luthier to create a one (or two) of a kind instrument. This is what custom guitar making is all about!
To hear David’s music, go to www.DavidRossGuitarist.com