Headless Guitars

Headless Guitars

Postby paulkogut » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:32 am

I had a weird little gig recently, the logistics of which had me reaching WAY back into my closet for a Cort Steinberger copy. (No graphite, appears to be 1 piece of maple under all that paint) After filing down some sharp frets, I got it somewhat playable, but it's time for some kind of upgrade. How much of an upgrade is the question of the day?

New pups and frets on the Cort could go a long way. Looking at Steinbergers, the new ones don't seem of that great quality (Spirit? Synapse?? MusicYo???) and "Newburg" seems to be the new "Pre-CBS" as a synonym for EXPENSIVE. Get a Moses neck and Warmoth blank and proceed from there? Anyone have experience with headless axes? Thoughts? Feelings? Successes? Setbacks?

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Re: Headless Guitars

Postby TI4-1009 » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:02 pm

http://www.dancingbearakitas.com/images/all-five-small.jpg

#5 Wolf Jr. (tremolo).

DI: After a while, I complete the fifth guitar for him, Wolf Jr. which was one
that he never really used much on stage or anything, it's a guitar that
doesn't have a head because it has an unusual tremolo system on it. It's a
Steinberger Trans Trem, and it uses strings, it has a ball end on each end of
the string. So it didn't have a peg head on it.



SQ: Why was it called Wolf Jr.?

DI: It looked very similar to the Wolf except it doesn't have a peg head, but
it's the same body style and it's made out of similar maple. I just really
couldn't think of what to do at the time, so I just decided that we'll call
it Wolf, Jr. and there's an inlay that I made for it but I never got a chance
to put on it yet, of Wolf, Jr. The Wolf is like, it's like a kid. It's made
out of the same materials and everything, but instead of being like the
19-year old looking Wolf, he was like the nine-year old looking Wolf, so it's
got kind of a goofy look on his face. That's Wolf, Jr. I thought eventually
this could evolve into its own cartoon.



So GD is calling guitar #5 Headless, but Irwin calls it Wolf Jr.
So does GD call #1 Wolf Jr because it was before Wolf and an early
generation of Wolf??

-Jeff Lester
(from AO's site)

http://www.wald-electronics.com/wolfjr.html

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Re: Headless Guitars

Postby barefootdave » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:08 am

I have two Newburghs, and the reason they are worth more is that Gibson changed the recipe for the neck material after moving production away from Newburgh to Tennessee. It saved them lots of money and sounded like shit. If you can't hear/feel the difference in a pre-CBS Fender guitar, then you shouldn't buy one; same with a Newburgh Steinberger. If you are going to take the plunge, make sure the neck is a 5-bolt and the serial number starts with "N".

The two I have are the full body (M) with S-S-H duncans and the triangle body (GP) with S-S-H EMGs. Both are fun to play and sound great, but I use them mainly for travel, which I do a lot of. You can leave them in the car for months in the hot South Florida sun and they won't even go out of tune.

When I am at home, I typically play one of my other guitars: Les Paul, Warmoth Strat, or Robben Ford.
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Re: Headless Guitars

Postby paulkogut » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:12 am

Thanks, Dave. That's exactly what I would want this guitar for, except substitute 'cold Chicago winter' for 'hot Florida sun'.
The Newburgs seem to be the only Steinbergers of quality, but I was a bit shocked to find them going for upwards of $3500 on the eBay. I've been looking around to see if anyone was building something of that quality without the vintage adding to the price tag, but so far no luck (let us never speak of LSR/Ed Roman.....) I'd try to talk you into selling one of yours, but I'm a neck-humbucker guy. The search continues...............
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Re: Headless Guitars

Postby strumminsix » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:20 am

paulkogut wrote:(let us never speak of LSR/Ed Roman.....)

Do you not want to deal with the person or dislike the product?

BTW, have you considered a parts build and do something with this:
http://mosesgraphite.com/productpages/m ... nberger-2/
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Re: Headless Guitars

Postby paulkogut » Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:42 am

Thanks for the tip on the Moses. That's probably the route I'll go. I tried buying a LSR a few years back, the last time I was in a mood to want a better headless guitar than the Cort, and what came in the mail was not playable. The action was maybe good for slide, and when I tried to lower it, the pickups were mounted too high to bring the strings down at all. I eventually got my money back, but it was an ordeal. I still remember some of the phone conversations: "I can't get this guitar playable" "Maybe you don't have any experience with quality guitars and don't know what playable is" "I took it to my local luthier, he can't get it playable without major surgery (re-routing pups, etc)" "I wish you hadn't done that. All the other builders are out to get me, so they badmouth my guitars" Good times.................
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Re: Headless Guitars

Postby strumminsix » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:08 am

Yikes! Thanks for that story!

BTW, I have to be honest, I am not a huge fan of Moses necks based on how mine sounds with 1 guitar. I'm doing a transplant onto another body to see if I can isolate the problem.

But the feel and playability is top notch!
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Re: Headless Guitars

Postby paulkogut » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:23 am

Good to know. I'm not looking for a recording-level instrument, just something functional.The Moses should do the job. I'll sound out my usual suspects and see about getting something put together.

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Re: Headless Guitars

Postby barefootdave » Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:43 am

Actually Paul, I was in Chicago for years and used my two previous Newburghs for travel from Minneapolis to Cleveland to Nashville. I had one of the all graphite models (L) and decided it was too expensive to be leaving in the car, switched to one of the triangle bodies after selling the first one (it was a pre-serial number collectors item)

They both worked like a charm in summer and winter alike. I have seen the triangle versions (GP) go for as little as $1500 on ebay, just keep looking. I am considering selling one of these to finance a Tracy cab and Sarno preamp, and to Jerrify my PRS. You might be able to switch out the neck PU in the GP, I will take off the pickguard and see. I am not as picky with my travel guitars, actually I prefer HBs at the neck myself, but since I have limited options on what will stand up well on the road I am willing to compromise for that purpose.

Health reasons took me off the road for a couple of years and I sold the GP; now I am a traveling man again, and one of my first actions upon hitting the road again was to get these. The pocket on the gig bag holds a "pocket POD" which gives me very usable tones in the hotel, or the occasional open mic when jamming with locals.

PM me with your email and I will send you some photos.
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Re: Headless Guitars

Postby barefootdave » Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:12 am

Yup, just took off the pick guard and it is routed for 3 HB all the way down. You could easily put Super-2's in every position if you wanted to. I would consider that myself, now that I know (but having looked at MYoung's modded PRS, I am thinking I will do that guitar first). My M model doesn't have a pickguard, the pickups are mounted directly to the wood, so it's not an option for that model.

By the way, here is a very similar guitar on ebay:

[ebayitem]
http://www.ebay.com/itm/120775539695?ss ... 1423.l2649
[/ebayitem]

Mine is about the same, but is red and has a 5 way strat style switch and does not include the kitty cat. It also comes with a cool history, we can discuss that offline if you want to discuss buying this one...

If I was going to mod this guitar, I would have a pick guard made for it so I could put it back to stock one day. Newburghs are not going down in value, as you have seen...
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