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custom axe commissioned - the Williams Special
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batsbrew
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:19 pm    Post subject: custom axe commissioned - the Williams Special Reply with quote

just thought i'd share, in case anyone else is thinking about custom builds.


The Williams Special

The Williams Special is a Les Paul-Strat-Mustang-Explorer hybrid, with hollow body cavities, Mustang scale length,
built like a paul with mahagony and maple top, with vintage-dimension strat body, explorer headstock.















(semi-related: my first 'good' guitar was a '75 Fender Mustang.)

This guitar was commissioned in 1986.

It is a Gibson Les paul-Fender strat-Fender mustang-Gibson explorer HYBRID.
-built by Stan Williams, Rome Georgia.

-based on the Fender Mustang scale length at 24.0"....this design is also similar to brian may's red special.

*honduras mahogany body, with air cavities carved in the body below the maple top.
*flame maple top, 3/8" thick.
*vintage-dimension strat body.
*2-piece flame maple neck, with ebony fingerboard.
*no truss rod!
there are (2) rectangular pieces of aircraft aluminum running the length of the fretboard.
*flame maple veneer on headstock; front, sides, and back.
*24" scale length.
*jumbo frets, nickle alloy
*custom inlays: mother of pearl, diamond shape, with a split diamond around the center pickup.
*Kahler 2300 pro tremelo.
*(3) off/on switches
*master volume, master tone, 3rd switch now unwired-
*Pickups: originally equipped with a EMG SA assembly, and the 3rd knob was the presence control.
--now has (2) bill lawrence L-280's, and a duncan Little 59 humbucker in the bridge.
*explorer headstock shape, true to scale.
*long tenon set neck
*13 degree tilt back headstock
*graphtec nut, with locking kahler nut mounted behind it.



*Wood: the Flame maple used on the top and neck, and veneers, was from a large timber
(139 years old as of 2014) salvaged from a barn in Illinois.

The honduras was acquired long before there were conservation laws on that particular wood
(blank dates back to pre-1980).

___________________________________________________________

design criteria:

the les paul connection:
the basics of the les paul (the obvious basics) are:

slab mahogony body;
maple top;
strings on top of body;
2 piece maple neck;
glued in neck, long tenon;
tilt back headstock, no string trees required.


later, in 2008, they started weight relieving the standards, but remember, i built this in 1986.
so, the Gibson nod starts there.

This one has:
Honduras mahagony body -- maple top -- strings on top of body via the Kahler -- 2 piece maple neck
-- a glued in neck with long tenon -- tilt back headstock.

My design tried to improve on my favorite aspects of the 4 different guitars, the mustang, explorer, strat and paul.


for example:

*the volute on the explorer headstock is inherently stronger than the les paul (commonly known over time for breaks at the neck),
plus i liked the headstock shape;

*the weight relief is secondary-- the sound cavities i had routed strictly for that semi-acoustic property,
making the guitar, at stage volume, extremely lively - this followed the basics of the Brian May Red Special,
which was my starting point. his guitar is designed more like a 335 than mine, but i went there as much as i could
without floating the top over a central beam;

*the ebony fretboard brings out more les paul-style tonal characteristics than, say, a rosewood fretboard would have;

*the glue in neck was a must, and unlike the les paul, which has that awkward heel, mine is smoothed out right into the back of the body,
without so much as a line. the tonal effect with the glued in neck, and the long tenon is an obvious connection to the les paul lineage;

*the tilt back headstock was unnecessary with the kahler locking nut, but i added it anyway,
feeling that the downward pressure of the strings still helps to maintain a strong connection to the neck,
vibration wise, and this is very much in les paul territory;

*the strings on top, versus thru the body, is a very important link to the overall sound,
and the use of the kahler is a great way to bridge the gap between a stop tailpiece and a floating trem.

though Kahler did not have it then, they now have a 'hybrid' tailpiece, that can lock as a hard tail, or float as a trem.
best of both. i have one on my '84 Carvin DC200k, and will eventually updgrade this one with one as well.
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theshadowofseattle
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote




http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1199180&highlight=#1199180

http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1090832&highlight=#1090832

http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=43072&highlight=williams+special

http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52999&highlight=williams+special



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gusman2x wrote:
wizard thickness

George wrote:
Yeah, thickness, nut
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jculpjr
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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singlepup
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Omg that pic is amazing. Why the fuck are dad/grandpa's pants down?!
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paul_
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Aug wrote:
which one of you bastards sent me an ebay question asking if you can get teh kurdtz with that 64 mustang? Mad

robertOG wrote:
fran & paul are some of the original gangstas of the JS days when you'd have to say "phuck"
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speedfish
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

singlepickup24 wrote:
Omg that pic is amazing. Why the fuck are dad/grandpa's pants down?!


The answer sits on the table behind him. Laughing
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sunshiner
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

His grandson/son is allowed not to wear pants and t-shirt. Why he can't? Very Happy
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Someone man up and get a balloon.
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George
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

theshadowofseattle wrote:



http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1199180&highlight=#1199180

http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1090832&highlight=#1090832

http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=43072&highlight=williams+special

http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52999&highlight=williams+special



Op got rocked
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MatthewK
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm always mystified by these "one ring to rule them all" builds. I have a bunch of different guitars because I like the differences between them. If I tried to put the best bits into one, then I wouldn't have any options to choose between. I like good steak, sushi, masaman curry, toast and lemon gelato but I'm not going to mix them together for the ultimate meal.
However to be fair, this guitar combines many of my least favourite features (locking trems, tilt headstocks, set necks, back-routing, furniture timbers etc.) so I am biased against it.
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sunshiner
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But the owner is happy. Don't you see? That's why he has been trying to sell it for such a long period of time. To be true rocknroller you have to be unhappy
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batsbrew
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

one of the things i like most about this experimental build,
is the 'no truss rod' thing.....

my luthier and I took a mustang apart, to check out all the parts separately..
we noticed the standard neck just sounded 'dead'.

as a doornail.
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George
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

batsbrew wrote:
one of the things i like most about this experimental build,
is the 'no truss rod' thing.....

yeah sounds sweet man
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daftsupernova
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

batsbrew wrote:
one of the things i like most about this experimental build,
is the 'no truss rod' thing.....

my luthier and I took a mustang apart, to check out all the parts separately..
we noticed the standard neck just sounded 'dead'.

as a doornail.


dam dude are yuo a poet this is relly #deepshit
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theshadowofseattle wrote:
That's why there's two: one for pee, one for tone.
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Freddy V-C
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, do you even read people's responses? Or do you just sit and wait for a few people to post before typing out whichever inane thought enters your brain next?
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Concretebadger
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm all for building an instrument that works for *you* and being proud of it - there's no accounting for taste.

but seriously? No truss rod? You do know what they're *for*, right? Confused
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batsbrew
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

badger-

built in 1986.


neck is dead straight. still. 2014, and no drift.
a really good design, is all.

nuff'said
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Concretebadger
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

batsbrew wrote:
badger-

built in 1986.


neck is dead straight. still. 2014, and no drift.
a really good design, is all.

nuff'said

I'll take that as a 'no' then.
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Fakir Mustache
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

batsbrew wrote:
one of the things i like most about this experimental build,
is the 'no truss rod' thing.....

I think technically it does have truss rods, the metal bars you wrote. Most Danelectro guitars are like that too, you can't adjust curvature but they have rods in the neck.

Aren't the high frets hard to play? They are pretty small even with a 25.5" scale, with 24" they must be really tiny.
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batsbrew
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fakir Mustache wrote:
batsbrew wrote:
one of the things i like most about this experimental build,
is the 'no truss rod' thing.....

I think technically it does have truss rods, the metal bars you wrote. Most Danelectro guitars are like that too, you can't adjust curvature but they have rods in the neck.

Aren't the high frets hard to play? They are pretty small even with a 25.5" scale, with 24" they must be really tiny.


you're right, technically, i should just say 'non adjustable truss rod'....

i think most folks think of a standard truss rod, either the vintage style, or that heavy dead sounding thing that warmoth makes, the pro double expanding truss rod...
kills all the vibration in the neck, from my experience.


the frets, being jumbo, allow you to really dig in under them for bends and chording...
i don't know if i'd say they feel almost 'scalloped', but i find it incredibly easy to just blow fast licks across the top of it,
or do really grabby crunchy chords as well.


it'd be an interesting experiment to do some skinny tall wire on it, like a 6230, and level it down, and see how it feels...
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Josh
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fakir Mustache wrote:
batsbrew wrote:
one of the things i like most about this experimental build,
is the 'no truss rod' thing.....

I think technically it does have truss rods, the metal bars you wrote. Most Danelectro guitars are like that too, you can't adjust curvature but they have rods in the neck.

Aren't the high frets hard to play? They are pretty small even with a 25.5" scale, with 24" they must be really tiny.

that's how my dano/silvertone is. amazing neck.
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