I delivered the guitar to Ashley on August 3rd. He was in town for a show, so I got to witness him playing it live for the very first time. Talk about a satisfying moment—it was great to see how excited and happy he was to finally get the guitar!
Here’s a couple of photos of him playing it that night. Cheers.
Photos by Justin McIvor
- Body: Chambered birdseye maple
- Body Size: 14″ wide, 2″ deep
- Neck: Birdseye maple
- Fretboard: Rosewood, 12″ radius
- Number of Frets: 20 medium-jumbo
- Scale Length: 25″
- Width at Nut: 1-11/16″
- Pickups: 2 custom Munnerlyn single-coil pickups
- Pickup Switching: 3-position toggle switch
- Controls: Volume, Tone
- Bridge: Compensated aluminum bridge
- Tailpiece: Bigsby® B5 vibrato tailpiece
- Finish: Hand-rubbed varnish
Photography by Justin McIvor
Bigsby® Guitars and Vibratos is a registered trademark of Fred Gretsch Enterprises, Ltd. Munnerlyn Guitars is in no way affiliated with Bigsby® Guitars and Vibratos.
When I had completely finished Ashley’s guitar, it was time to make it official, so the last thing I did was paste this label inside. It turned out to be the finishing touch.
Here are the first working prototypes of my pickup design. I did a lot of research on pickup construction and materials as well as practiced winding many coils before getting to this point and I’m very happy with the results. They are fat sounding, low-output single coils with a wide frequency response.
I modeled the look after vintage Magnatone Mark V pickups, but that’s where the similarities end. The structure and configuration of the bobbins, magnets, coils and baseplates is my own design. (Audio samples coming soon!)
Time to make Ashley’s pickups—and if you’re going to make some guitar pickups, you’ll need to get yourself a pickup winder. I got a copy of Jason Lollar’s pickup winding book, followed his plans and built myself this homemade winder.
At this stage I wanted to show Ashley the guitar so he could get a feel for how it was coming along. Even though the guitar wasn’t finished, I put some strings on it, so he could try it out.
Here’s Ashley checking out the guitar while Big Sandy looks on. I was very relieved to hear him say it felt just like his guitar, only better!