1950s/1966 Premier/Fender Scroll/Malibu Partscaster Electric Guitar

Local fella Mr. Scott Perry had been wandering-around guitar shops in the area trying to find someone to put this guitar project together and I was the first person to say, "woah, heck yessss please!" He's a young guy who dropped influencing names like Queens of the Stone Age, Morphine, My Bloody Valentine, Elliot Smith, et al and, ya know what? That would have gotten him in the door. But to also bring a '50s Premier scroll-bass body tucked under your arm? You're in.

So, yes, it's a '60s-sourced mashup for the most part -- a kick-butt birdseye/flamed 1966 Fender Malibu (acoustic, but basically like a '60s Strat) neck mated to a late-'50s, celluloid-wrapped, Premier scroll bass body. Said body seems to be made from ply layers of pine(!) and is really lightweight and despite its folksiness, has a good feel about it. The pickups are a '50s DeArmond single coil at the neck and a '60s Rickenbacker single-coil at the bridge.

New parts include a GE Smith-style half-Tele bridge, the wiring harness, 3-string string tree at the headstock, and Gotoh relic'd Kluson-style tuners. The wiring harness is fantastic, too, as it has a 5-way switch wired for: 1 = neck, 2 = both, 3 = bridge, 4 = bridge with "rolled off" tone, 5 = both in series. I have to say that the series option (with its blazing twang) might be my favorite, but the "normal" tones are all great as well. The bridge almost sounds like a Telecaster pickup -- it's pretty twang-heavy. The knob labeled "tone" at the control plate is simply a volume pot.

The whole thing weighs 5 lbs 12 oz total -- I mean, this is a solidbody, right? I love it. The neck is the classic 25 1/2" scale, 1 5/8" nut, medium-C, 7 1/4" radius, Fender thing. Home base aside from '50s Gibson necks for me...

Mr. Scott chose the pickguard shape and the whole "put-together" was pretty involved but still a fun process. First the neck pocket got shimmed-up to get a nice, tight, neck fit. Then the old pickup cavities were filled and new routes done to get the new pickups fit. The bridge is actually over an old pickup route but that got filled and everything got shielding inside where necessary. Wiring with mismatched pickups is also always a little interesting because it takes some trial and error to get the best sounds out of them.

In the end this is my favorite electric that's been in the shop aside from the (of-course-awesome) high-rollers that have been around lately. I'm a sucker for '60s Fender necks and the off-kilter personality of this one makes me smile.


DTA said…
Wow, this is stunningly beautiful in every way. What a vision. What an awesome manifestation of that vision. Congratulations to you both!