I built this guitar in 2014 in Hannover, Germany,
in a 2-weeks-guitar-building-course by luthier Thomas Stratmann.
For several reasons (divorce!) I wasn`t perfectly prepared when I went there:
The simplistic and yet radical body shape was not yet properly designed - not yet simple enough - and I hadn`t told Thomas that I wanted a checkerboard binding. So he didn`t have any in stock.
Scroll down on this page here
and you`ll find some of the many photoshop re-design sketches I did AFTER the guitar had been built (and was played a lot!).
It was a great guitar already then but it didn`t look right yet.
So in 2017 I brought the guitar back to Hannover
and asked Thomas Stratmann to modify it:
see-thru red top colour
the two horns and cutaways should match.
Of course Thomas executed all I wanted in the most immaculate way.
Since the body had large radiussed contours, Thomas had to carve off some wood
all around the whole body outline. 1-1,5 mm. This way the body became a bit smaller and the contours sharper, which was necessary in order to apply the checkerboard binding.
Great, great job Thomas and Felix!
I built this guitar in
Thomas Stratmann`s workshop in Hannover
in summer 2014. (Yes, "STRATMANN" is the guy`s real name. Not uncommen in Germany.)
Building the guitar of your dreams with the help of Thomas and his assistants Paul and Felix is most likely the very best thing you can do with your spare time and money. It is worth every single minute and every cent and I can garantee you that the result of this two-weeks-workshop will exceed your expectations by far.
The quality of your instrument will be top notch, AAAAAAA-Custom Shop-grade.
Thomas` skills as a luthier and as a teacher are beyond criticism and anything you might feel insecure about will be done by Thomas himself in the most meticulous and professional way.
The man has been building guitars for over 30 years now and ...
...well, just go and check his website or see how I built my first Stratmann guitar in 2007.
It has been my main squeeze ever since and I like the way it plays and sounds. As far as the look is concerned I`m not 100% convinced, though. I guess I should have taken more time when I was drawing the outline. So while I keep playing this versatile guitar almost every day I`m about to re-design the bass side shoulder...
Look at this Whammybar-knob by "Mastery Bridge"!
Not only does it look cool like hell it also works extremely well!
In case you`ve never heard of "Mastery Bridge" click here and learn how Jazzmaster- and Jaguar-Vibrato issues can be solved!
In 2014 I played a gig with 22 songs on my Fender Jazzmaster that has a Mastery bridge instead of the crappy Fender original bridge. I used the whammy quite a lot but the guitar never went out of tune...
The wiring ...
... I made up especially for this guitar
works with two pickups that I built myself with Paul`s help.
The neck humbucker consists of two low output Strat-style singlecoil pickups with 6 individual Alnico 5 magnets each (like a Seymour Duncan Stag Mag-model). The bridge pickup is a low output PAF-style humbucker (8,1K) but splittable as well.
The 5-way-lever postitions are:
1. Neck humbucker
2. Inner coils of both humbuckers in series
3. both humbuckers in parallel
4. outer coils of both humbuckers in series
5. bridge humbucker
Since all pickup combinations are serial there is no volume drop when you go from the neck- or bridge-humbucker to the in-between #2 and 4 positions which sound quite "out-of-phase-ish" and "Strat-y".
Due to the fact that the pickups have very low output (the neck coils have only 3,6K each) the guitar sounds bright and clear and thus almost like a single coil instrument although all sounds are perfectly hum-cancelling.
In case you want a copy of this wiring contact me.
... re-designing the whole thing...
Soon after having built this guitar in 2014
I knew that I had to optimize the body shape.
I made approximatly 50 different variations on this "bass-side-shoulder-issue" and showed the ones above to 30 people and asked them which one they liked best.
I got about 20 different answers
....not very helpful really!
But the longer I worked on this issue
the clearer I knew for myself what I wanted:
A simple solution is very often better than a more complex one.
#11 is very simple since the cutaways and the horns are identical. Just where they are sited is not identical, not symmetrical ... due to ergonomic reasons.
This "imperfect symmetry" creates an interesting balance between simplicity and beauty on the one hand and tension on the other hand.
If the whole body shape were totally symetrical it might just look boring. So therefore some "tension" is called for to make it look more dynamic.
This little design-theory works also with the Strat, the Precision Bass, the SG, Brian May`s Red Special and many more good looking doublecut instruments.