Author Topic: NGD! Blonde and Gold  (Read 586 times)

Timko

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NGD! Blonde and Gold
« on: June 30, 2020, 01:00:50 PM »
I've joked during all quarantine that I managed to not buy a new guitar.  And it's still accurate - technically.  Seuf Guitars is a local custom shop run by the twin brothers Shaun and Marq Pencher.  They've been my go-to techs for nearly 3 years.  And they've done some awesome stuff for me from painting my Jaguar green to refretting a 70's Les Paul Custom.  However, their true passion centers around building vintage style Fender guitars.  And for the longest time I didn't have something I wanted them to build.  That changed early last year when I saw the image of a 1959 Mary Kaye Stratocaster.  The '59 was unique because it had a Rosewood neck with a mint pickguard (instead of the '57s you see with maple and white).  I thought this was the most amazing Strat I had ever seen.  And as an added bonus, it was a hardtail and ridiculously light.  So in early December, I sat in Shaun and Marq's house for a couple hours, discussing neck shape, body material, wiring, and paint, then handed them a stack of cash.  They told me it would take about 3 months to complete, so I'd see it in mid March.  Spoiler alert: The only thing I saw in mid March was my house. A lot.  My body arrived (an amazing 1 piece ash piece) prior to lock down, but my neck had a knot in it and had to be re-made (which didn't get done until late April).  For those familiar with Mary Kayes, you know that all of the hardware is gold.  We looked at a number of options, but we couldn't find a matching set of gold hardware we liked (we couldn't match a gold hardtail color wise), so we decided to order nickel hardware and have it plated locally.  However, the plating couldn't happen until mid May.

All of these delays ended up being a blessing though.  The Shaun got to really nerd out on UV aging and the closet classic relicing, and Marq spent a lot of time prototyping the pickups I wanted.  I wanted to have a Broadcaster style bridge pickup as well as an option for bridge+neck like a tele.  After a lot of experimentation, we ended up with a 9k pickup that's got plenty of twang.

So Saturday, I picked this up.  It's a svelte 6lbs, 7oz.  While I had originally asked for a 3 way switch for neck and bridge with a blend control for the middle pickup on the 2nd tone knob, Marq used a 5 way with a blend control that does a million things.  It's still all single coil sounds, but imagine getting the best from the tele and strat world. 

And that color?  It's tough to beat.  The relicing (a Seuf specialty) is really top notch.  It's a beautiful closet classic job.  Everything was plated (even the truss rod nut), then they wore the gold off on the screws where a player would have had their hands for 50 years.

Pictures by them, and really show off that great wood grain coming through the blonde finish.




They are supposed to update their website at some point soon, but if anyone is interested, you can find them at https://www.fountaincityguitarworks.com/

jimilee

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Re: NGD! Blonde and Gold
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 01:26:03 PM »
Oh yeah man, thatís super cool.


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dan.schumaker

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Re: NGD! Blonde and Gold
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 01:30:45 PM »
Beautiful!

Matmosphere

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Re: NGD! Blonde and Gold
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 01:50:19 PM »
That is a great looking guitar. Strats are just not my thing, but seeing that one makes me think there could be an exception made. It is all very tastefully done, congrats man, no go forth and make the Rock.


cooder

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Re: NGD! Blonde and Gold
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2020, 02:01:14 PM »
Gorgeous! Drop dead that is!
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diablochris6

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Re: NGD! Blonde and Gold
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 02:35:43 PM »
That's a phenomenal look for that wood grain. Those guys do great work. I'm curious on the electronics. Care to elaborate on the settings?
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Timko

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Re: NGD! Blonde and Gold
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2020, 06:32:36 AM »
That's a phenomenal look for that wood grain. Those guys do great work. I'm curious on the electronics. Care to elaborate on the settings?

It's a typical 5 way selector switch.  With the blend knob (the traditional bridge tone control) all the way up, it's just like a typical strat.  However, the blend know when turned down blends in the following in each position:
* Position 1 - Neck (like position 2 of a tele)
* Position 2 - Neck
* Position 3 - Bridge
* Position 4 - Bridge
* Position 5 - Bridge (like position 2 of a tele)

I'm probably going to have them tweak position 5 to blend in the middle pickup instead.  Positions 2 and 4 are essentially the same, but I found a lot of usefulness of blending in position 3 to obtain some more subtle quack in the traditional 2/4 positions on a strat.

The wiring request was due to this article:
https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/21112-three-must-try-guitar-wiring-mods?page=3

That said, the middle pickup sounds GREAT on this guitar, so I want to keep that around.  I told them I'd take it home and try the 5 way switch, but I also think this would be cool by using a 3 way switch:
Position 1: Bridge, Blend in Neck
Position 2: Middle, Blend in Bridge
Position 3, Neck, Blend in Middle
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 06:40:57 AM by Timko »

Timko

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Re: NGD! Blonde and Gold
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2020, 06:33:41 AM »
That is a great looking guitar. Strats are just not my thing, but seeing that one makes me think there could be an exception made. It is all very tastefully done, congrats man, no go forth and make the Rock.

SAME.  When it comes to Fenders, I've always been an offset guy.  When I saw a vintage Mary Kaye though, I knew I finally found a Strat I would play. 

diablochris6

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Re: NGD! Blonde and Gold
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2020, 02:58:56 PM »
It's a typical 5 way selector switch.  With the blend knob (the traditional bridge tone control) all the way up, it's just like a typical strat.  However, the blend know when turned down blends in the following in each position:
* Position 1 - Neck (like position 2 of a tele)
* Position 2 - Neck
* Position 3 - Bridge
* Position 4 - Bridge
* Position 5 - Bridge (like position 2 of a tele)

I'm probably going to have them tweak position 5 to blend in the middle pickup instead.  Positions 2 and 4 are essentially the same, but I found a lot of usefulness of blending in position 3 to obtain some more subtle quack in the traditional 2/4 positions on a strat.

The wiring request was due to this article:
https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/21112-three-must-try-guitar-wiring-mods?page=3

That said, the middle pickup sounds GREAT on this guitar, so I want to keep that around.  I told them I'd take it home and try the 5 way switch, but I also think this would be cool by using a 3 way switch:
Position 1: Bridge, Blend in Neck
Position 2: Middle, Blend in Bridge
Position 3, Neck, Blend in Middle

Gotcha. I built my first Tele using that same article as inspiration for my pickup configuration. I used a 3-way selector, 1 volume, and 1 tone for the standard Tele setup but added an additional pot to always blend in the middle Strat pickup in it. I really dug the sound. I need to get that thing out of it's case!
Build guides of my original designs and modifications here