Saturday, April 28, 2007

Baritone Body

My first project is a new body for my baritone guitar. There's really nothing special about it that will make it a baritone body as the neck, which I got from Warmoth, is designed to fit into a regular 25-1/2" scale length guitar and turn it into a 28-5/8" baritone. Currently, I have attached to a body from a Fender Standard Telecaster, which are very fine guitars that Fender makes in their Mexican factory (on left, next to my Tribute ASAT for scale length comparison):

It is a very fine sounding and playing guitar indeed and very different from a standard guitar detuned to the same pitch. The tone is more woody and the low-end is solid and piano-like, sort of a cross between a tele and a P-bass. I'd prefer slightly higher output pickups but other than that there's really no problem. However, I need a neck for my body and really don't want the guitars stacking up too high around here so this body goes in favor of my new one once it's build. I look forward to you bidding on the eBay auction.

Now, I really like the tele body style and I think it fits the twangy tone of the baritone perfectly but I wanted to do something a little different. I'm calling it a double-cut tele and rather than describe it I did a quick mock-up of the shape w/ GIMP:

I will probably shorten the horns a bit from this but this is what I'm starting w/. Also, I didn't bother to change the pickup routs but two p90s are going into this one and the bridge will be changed to one similar to what's used on a hardtail strat. I haven't quite decided on the control layout but I am doing something unusual in that regard. I'm going to set it up somewhat like a Les Paul w/ two volumes and two tones per pickup but I'm adding another toggle switch and another jack which, when engaged, will tie each pickup to it's own jack. This will allow me to plug the neck pickup into one amp and the bridge pickup into another. Or, I will plug them both into an A/B/Y switcher and then I can switch pickups w/ a footswitch. This is the way I will actually use it most times. I hate having to hit the pickup switch in the middle of the song.

For wood, I decided on mahogany (a word which is nearly impossible to spell correctly; try it):

I leave it on the couch next to me so I have company to watch the White Sox games w/--pleasant enough to be around but yells at the TV very infrequently so I believe it to be a female block of wood. Originally, I had wanted walnut because I really like the way it looks and wanted a brighter, crisper tone but I couldn't find any. After seeing a beautiful natural refinish on a mahogany Les Paul online, I decided I would go w/ that over the alder or swamp ash you normally see teles built of. When I'm done, this should be a much warmer sounding guitar than my current baritone.

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