3/10/2017

2000s Peavey Rockmaster Modified "Baritone" Electric Guitar




I'm going to be shedding some of my extraneous "recording gear" from my stash and this is one of those units -- a cheap but very cool solution for someone looking to get a "baritone guitar" sound without much fuss or expense. This is a student-level Chinese-made instrument and sports the usual Fender-ish qualities -- a 25 1/2" scale, modern quick C-shaped neck with 1 11/16" nut, and a lightweight (basswood?) body with string-through "hardtail" bridge. The body is an abstracted Strat shape, has no pickguard, and is painted in black with the usual love-bites here and there from its recent days in a beginner's hands.

I was traded this and after I got it, I yanked all of the original electronics (which almost always suck tons of tone), added an Alnico magnet P90-in-humbucker-shell pickup (single coil) to replace the usual "SuperStrat" humbucker, added a full-size volume pot, and wired that directly to the jack. It got a new nut, too, and after some time I modified it further for stringing as a baritone guitar (tuned ADGCEA below standard) using a set of Fender baritone electric strings. That meant removing the spring and cutting the adjuster screw for the lowest string to compensate it properly and also adjusting the nut and redrilling the low-string tuner shaft hole to fit the big 68w string on the bottom.

In the end, it plays rather like a 7-string electric without the high E -- the strings are more slack than a proper baritone (but about the same as an electric 10s set) due to the shorter scale -- but the raunchy P90 in the bridge position means it has just the right tone to give it some edge and a bit of vintage charm. It can rumbly as well as cut.



New bone nut, 68w, 56w, 44w, 30w, 18, 14 strings. The neck is straight and happy with full-height, almost-new jumbo frets. I've got it tuned ADGCEA and the action height is 3/32" AD and 1/16" DGBE. This is of course adjustable to one's liking...




The disguised P90 pickup's adjustable poles really helped to balance to the tone string-to-string.




Sealed tuners, maple neck, rosewood board...




Since I removed a tone control, I had space to put a jack on the front -- so the side jack is simply removed (the plate was damaged, anyway).

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