Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby Utah Joe » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:32 am

Greetings all. Although I've been playing guitar most of my life I realized about 4 years ago that I knew virtually nothing about the intricacies of tone and guitar construction. Being a Dead fan my quest naturally led me to explore the the instruments used by Jerry Garcia. Although I knew of the association between the Grateful Dead and Alembic guitars my ignorance was so great that I didn't realize that most of Jerry's guitars were custom builds. As I learned more I initially wanted to get a Tiger copy by Matt Moriarty but over time the letters WWJP (what would Jerry play?) kept coming to mind. I say this because the Grateful Dead have always been about utilizing cutting edge technology, and since Jerry's last guitar was built the process and materials used have become more refined. So, instead of purchasing a Tiger clone I elected to begin my own "search for the sound," albeit with a strong Garcia influence. My journey led me to contact Scott Walker and the project you are now viewing, though not yet complete, is the culmination of my own research and Scott's outstanding craftsmanship.

As many here know Scott offers a model called the "Phantom," which is based on Steve Cripe's "Ebony" owned by Steve Kimock. In collaboration with Scott I requested several design modifications which include the following:

Ziricote top and back
Flame maple laminates
Chambered purpleheart core
Flame maple/purpleheart neck
Custom inlays by Jimmi Wingert (http://www.jimmiwingertinlay.com/)
Ibanez half bone/half brass nut
H-S-S pickup configuration with a Lollar Imperial bridge, split SD-II middle, and D. Allen Voodoo Blues neck
Walker booster/buffer preamp
OBEL
Custom Walker case

Scott has been great to work with and is very open to incorporating your own ideas into his designs. He began by sending me sample photos of his wood choices and the finished fretboard:

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Next, he got the body glued together and began the sculpting process:

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Here's the body wet to bring out the grain. I love how the flame maple laminates create a glow around the edges.

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Next up, the neck.

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The project should be finished in about a month. I'll send updates as the work progresses. Comments and questions are always welcome.
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby playingdead » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:10 am

Gorgeous. That wood could be the twin to this acoustic I just got in from Carter-Poulsen, also in Santa Cruz.

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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby Utah Joe » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:47 am

Wow, that's stunning. Before I started researching guitar construction I'd never heard of ziricote but as a tonewood it's supposed to fall between Indian rosewood and macassar ebony. Scott said that he got a shipment of it in Santa Cruz a while ago but that this is the first guitar he's used it on.
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby tcsned » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:00 pm

Wow! That's one hulluva guitar. Scott does some incredible work. He's a true artist. Love that inlay too.
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby jalevinemd » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:53 pm

Beautiful guitar!

Believe me...you will not be disappointed. Scott is an incredible craftsman. I've had my Walker Special for about 3 years now. It's the only guitar I take when I play out because I can get every sound I need out of it. Have my third custom Alembic in the works and a Tiger from Scarlet Fire. Once those are done, I plan on doing another build with Scott.

Hope you don't have too many guitars because they're just going to gather dust...trust me. :lol:
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby ccw3432 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:14 pm

Beatiful. Can't wait to see more photos as the build continues. I need to start saving.
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby gr8fulbluz » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:39 am

great loooking, wicked grain pattern, WhOOt!
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby NWPines » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:49 am

Wow, that is stunning!
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby cmc64 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:37 pm

I have one the Scott Walker Super 2 Single coils and it sounds fantastic and the build quality is outstanding. Good choice.
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby Utah Joe » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:13 pm

First coat of lacquer is on.

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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby BigBoyPete » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:47 pm

Wow, what great choices you have made. I am completely impressed and can't wait to see the finished product! I have flirted with the ideas of committing to this process. And the Phantom model is the one I would pick. The inlays you picked are so tasty! How long is the process supposed to take for your guitar? Our tastes are VERY similar. I also would put that headstock on that guitar. Well, anyway, congrats! and I will live vicariously through your purchase, and this thread.
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby zambiland » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:51 am

It's almost a shame to have to route for the pickups!
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby Ddavis510 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:21 am

I dig Scott's work. Great choices. Keep the pics coming. I really dig this thread!

I mean isn't he living the dream? He gets to live in Santa Cruz and build guitars fulltime? Sign me up.
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby Utah Joe » Wed May 01, 2013 7:52 pm

Things are moving right along. The neck hasn't been bolted on yet so in this picture it's just sitting in the pocket. The frets will be placed tomorrow and then Scott will start designing the pickguard. I decided to go with black pickup covers and an aluminum pickguard, so I switched from gold hardware to chrome so it would match better. I chose a satin finish instead of a high gloss, in part because Scott said that in his opinion a satin finish "opens up" the tone of the guitar. All things considered the guitar may be ready to ship sometime next week.

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I really appreciate the comments from everyone. Living in Salt Lake City I feel kind of isolated sometimes, musically speaking. When I was working with Jimmi Wingert on the inlays I sent her some examples of elvish art from the Lord of the Rings and asked her to base the fret markers on that style. Scott plans to do some similar engraving on the pickguard and perhaps add a subtle lightning bolt for good measure. The wood choices are unique; Scott said that he hasn't used flame maple for laminates before but the effect is quite nice, if I do say so myself. Ziricote and purpleheart are dense woods and should allow me to approximate the Garcia tone with the split SD-II in the middle position, OBEL and preamp.
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Re: Another Scott Walker Masterpiece In The Works

Postby Chuckles » Wed May 01, 2013 10:59 pm

Beautiful build! Amazing mix of tone woods, too. Curious tho... Hoe are you getting a split SD2 in the single-coil pup cavity in the middle position? Are you actually "splitting" the pup? Or, am I missing something and being obtuse as usual?

Absolutely beautiful looking instrument!
Seems like I've been here before...

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