I have just been reading up on the history of Jerry's "Alligator" strat on your very informative site. I particularly love that era of Garcia's sound and playing. I hadn't realized that the mods were that extensive - I knew about the stratoblaster, but not much else.
So I'm curious about this strat you are building. What features of "Alligator" did you choose to incorporate, which did you leave off, and why? I realize that you aren't trying to re-create that guitar, but were you inspired by that early's 70's Jerry sound? Why the humbuckers (are they coil tapped?), why the Mighty Mite, etc.
Just really curious!
Thanks has to go out to RiverRat for the awesome lineage info he put together for that alligator page. I edited some of the details of the mods, but he pretty much laid it out.
My preferred era is the 80's to early 90's, Tiger and Rosebud. Being a strat there are some things that will reflect what was done on alligator. I used a custom shop hard-tail bridge that incorporates a tailpiece that fits over the trem cavity which was gutted. I did have to relocate the bridge about a 1/4" away from the neck to get it to intonate correctly with the high action it has. The custom bridge also has saddles which have more height adjustment range then stock strat saddles that allow for a jerry setup. I also used a custom made brass string tree bar to get the proper tension on the low e, a, d and g strings. I guess these could be aspects taken from alligator, but they are also found in his custom guitars. He didn't need the string trees with the angled headstock though. I used the mighty mite neck for the ebony fretboard and jumbo frets. And i wired it up like Tiger but with the neck super 2 like Rosebud. They are all coil tapped. I opted for a battery box, and put the buffer in the empty trem cavity. I used a custom pick-guard ( thanks marty)that has a removable control cavity as well as custom pickup placement ala Tiger and Rosebud. To top it all off i custom made a scalloped brass nut for it.
Disclaimer: I make and sell Buffers. I also sometimes Modify, Build and sell preamps and amplifiers. My opinions are not intended to be sales pitches. I am a one man shop and prefer to spend time with my wife and family, i work full time on call and love to spend my spare time doing other things. I only make, modify or build things for those that seek them.