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custom axe commissioned - the Williams Special

 
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batsbrew
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Joined: 24 Mar 2011
Posts: 360
Location: POWDERVILLE UTAH

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:01 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.
*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 pot 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
(143 years old as of 2018) 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, almost invisible. 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
THE TAMPA BAY HERO


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 62459
Location: Skrampa, FL

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:56 pm    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




As I said in http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1215990&highlight=#1215990
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gusman2x wrote:
wizard thickness

George wrote:
Yeah, thickness, nut
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jcyphe
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 16425

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ROFL

Laughing
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paul_ wrote:
When are homeland security gonna get on this "2-piece King Size Snickers" horseshit that showed up a couple years ago? I've started dropping one of them on the floor of my car every time.
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Concretebadger
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Joined: 14 Apr 2012
Posts: 2111
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theshadowofseattle wrote:

As I said in http://www.shortscale.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1215990&highlight=#1215990

Reading that thread now, I come across as a bit of jerk... run4cover

FWIW, right now I'm glad that it's working for you. If it sounds fine with no truss rod to speak of, I'm happy to stand corrected. Razz
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paul_
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Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 8934

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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

strings on top of body;
2 piece maple neck;


Holy fucking shit no.

I mean the first one is technically correct, but...
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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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daftsupernova
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Joined: 01 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hha holy shit the williams special strikes again
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Doog wrote:
Tone is stored in the balls

theshadowofseattle wrote:
That's why there's two: one for pee, one for tone.
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