Just had the neck custom-made by Carl Sandoval of Sandoval Engineering in Whittier, CA. I have turned an off-the-shelf Epiphone Les Paul Special II into a Rockabilly axe. It has:
Seymour Duncan SPH90 Phat Cat pickups
Bigsby B50 with ZZGuitarWorks mounting plate
Basswood body (stock)
Laminated Maple Neck
Mother-of-Pearl Trapezoid Inlays
Kluson K33 Tuning Machines
CTS 500k Superpot & Audio Taper pot (for vol. & tone respectively)
Jensen PIO .015 Capacitor
"Gibson 50's" wiring scheme
I went with the chosen neck woods to accentuate the high notes of the pickups. It sounds very close to my Gretsch, but with a warmer twang with more sustain. Not as muddy and gritty as the Gretsch. Rest assured I won't be dropping this thing!
I am updating this blog as of 12/30/09. I gutted the old electronics and replaced them with CTS pots and a Jensen PIO cap from RS Guitar Works and wired it in 50's Gibson style. I did this since the tone has always been really muddy ever since I replaced the stock humbuckers with the Phat Cats. There was always a harsh treble cut that made it sound like crap. Now, with the new components and wiring scheme, it sounds almost like Scotty Moore's Gibson ES-295 (almost, as in I'll never get his sound with this guitar but close enough for my ears) when the tone knob is rolled down. Now I can officially say that I'm "done" with the modifications to this guitar. I can't put the thing down! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play "That's All Right Mama"!
This past X-mas ('08), I dropped my Epi LP, as a result of too much tequila, beer and drunk relatives wanting to sing Johnny Cash tunes. It was my fault, since I didn't engage my strap lock all the way. The poor thing fell right onto the headstock and snapped it right at the headstock/neck area. I had to grab the Gretsch and finish up "Folsom Prison Blues" for the family.
After frantically looking on eBay for a cheap replacement to swap necks, I figured, "why not give customizing a shot?". My girlfriend bought me a set of Seymour Duncan Phat Cat SHP90 pickups that I wanted (so I can sound like Scotty Moore! ) for Xmas, and I also planned on adding a Bigsby. So, with the help of UG, I found that Warmoth offers custom guitar necks. What the hell, why not get a custom neck for MY hands?
I know it's an Epiphone starter guitar, but the only difference between that and a Gibson LP is the body wood and the little details. I can get Gibson-esque fretboard inlays to make it look like one. To me, a customized guitar is worth more than an off-the-shelf Gibson that any Joe-sixpack could get. It'll be tailored to my hands. Plus, it was my first guitar that my parents bought me in Xmas of '07, and I learned playing on it. After it's all said and done, the sentimental value alone to me will exceed the cost of a high-end Gibson, since it will be a constant reminder of my parent's support for my interest in music everytime I pick it up, plug it in, strap it on and strum the first warm-up chords for my playing session. That, and the tattoo of a "Mom" heart on my left arm.