4/19/2015

2015 Bubba-made Garcia-style Chambered Electric Guitar


Saturday was "setup day" as I only have a few hours, usually, to work on instruments since it's so busy with the jam and then regular shopgoers. This is a friend's guitar which was made for him from an eBay-found (long ago) chambered "hippie sandwich" Alembic/Irwin-style body (think Jerry Garcia) and a scratchbuilt neck made by a man only known as "Bubba."

I have to be honest: it's not my taste at all, but it sure suits my friend's! At any rate, this only needed some final setup and adjustment work: I added a new bone nut (to replace a funky Graphtech one), adjusted some of the frets, and moved on to setup. It has a fast-as-heck feel, the neck is ultra-stable and the truss action is smooth and accurate (I think it's a StewMac 2-way rod?). Can't complain!

Tonally, it's got those clean "super-Strat" pickups but the chambered body gives it a woodier warmth that I associate more with semi-hollow guitars.




The copper hand is only held on by some double-sided tape at the moment, but it was made by friends of the owner's and looks pretty spiffy to me.


Fancy Hipshot tuners are up at the head and the low headstock angle is helped-out by a ton of string trees.


Bound in flamed maple? How 'bout that? The jumbo frets are also perfect for my buddy's style of play.



See the big pearl dots? Originally a Hipshot "Baby Grand" bridge (longer, Gibson LP Jr style) was intended but the neck angle was too shallow for its use. This heavy-duty bridge was subbed-in instead. It's interesting to note the roller saddles and "screw lock" on the treble side to keep the individual units in place nice and tight. The only bits that make me frustrated with it are the tiny height adjusters (requiring a super-tiny hex wrench) and the hex-wrench adjusted intonation screws (I prefer screwdriver-style ones as they're easier to adjust setup quickly).

Note: I didn't notice I'd bumped the high E string out of the slot when I took the pics. Oops!





The neck reminds me of those high-quality cutting boards (purpleheart!) one sees up here all the time in boutiques. I jest, of course, because laminating necks like this is totally the best way to make a neck. One-piece necks sure look great, but lots of good-quality strips glued up is a lot more stable.


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