We’ve got some ‘splaining to do
Roasted – Baking, Tempering, Torrefying are a few of the terms being used to describe the process of exposing wood to higher than usual kiln temperatures. Our wood is roasted in-house using our process to gradually dry, caramelize and re-acclimate to achieve varying degrees of color and simulating structural aging on a cellular level. This process provides real advantages in stability and appearance as well as making the shop smell like pancakes and smoked meats. We primarily roast Alder for bodies and hard maple for necks and fingerboards.
Semi-solid – Chambered, Thin line, Semi hollow are terms used to describe partially hollowed out guitar bodies. We use the “Takumi-Kazui” technique where the back, sides and center block are all carved from the same block of wood and capped to close the box.
Scale Length – This is the overall length of the string from the nut to the bridge. Our standard is 25.5”, the same scale as Fender JM, and Tele models. We also offer a 24” like the Fender Jaguar and 24.62” Gibson scale. The longer the scale the higher the tension and this also tends to create brighter tones and a snappy feel. The shorter scale lengths will have a somewhat looser at the same pitch. The choice boils down to player preference.
Radius – This describes the amount of curvature of the fingerboard. The tighter radius can feel quite comfortable but will limit bending as the string will fret out over the tighter arc. A flatter radius may feel a little less comfortable for most electric guitar techniques. Our standard 9.5” radius has a pleasant modern feel and is highly usable through all registers. Additionally, we offer a 7.25” and a 12” option to suit most performances.
Neck Profile – Classic Medium C is based off of a ’62 Jazzmaster neck, 1 11/16” nut width. Very comfortable, slim but not too skinny, not too thick a feel. Chunky C is a larger full feel compared to the Medium C. Chunky Soft V has a full feel with a subtle center ridge.
Swoosh – The relieved curved portion of the headstock. Usually painted black but can be customized to match the body.
Truss Rod – This is a structural component designed to act against the string tension and is used to adjust the amount of curve or “relief”. Relief is crucial as it allows space for the natural arc of the vibrating string. We use a “2-way” rod that allows for up and back bow adjustment. Adjustment is accessed on the headstock at the end of the fingerboard.
Fret Wire – We use standard nickel alloy Medium/Jumbo (.105” wide x .045” tall) fret wire. This common dimension provides a good height for long life. Vintage fret wire (.079” wide x .043” tall) This narrow width provides a classic feel. Tall/Narrow fret wire (.079′ wide x .051” tall) This has the same slim width as the Vintage but has a taller height. All sizes have a Stainless Steel option available with additional cost.
BilT Branded Mastery – Please visit https://masterybridge.com for more information on the Mastery Offset Bridge and Vibrato
Plates – We machine all plates in-house with the option of a Polished finish or Straight-line sanded finish. This allows for all kinds of variations for control layouts.
Pick guards – We machine all pick guards in-house to accommodate all varieties of pickup combinations. Most pickguard material is ABS or PVC plastic. We also use a lot of Celluloid and Aluminum with an additional option of back painted Acrylic.
Neck Circuit – The neck or rhythm circuit is commonly located on a plate in the upper bass horn section of the guitar body. It consists of a slide switch and two roller controls. When the slide switch is down the circuit is off and the guitar operates normally. When the switch is up, only the neck pickup is on and is controlled by the roller Volume and Tone. (The bridge pickup, pickup selector switch, Master Volume and Tone are completely bypassed in this position.) It is designed to provide a warmer / darker neck pickup sound and can be left in a preset position.
HiLo Filter – This is a 2 band EQ designed to replace the neck circuit. The HiLo Filter uses the same controls as the neck/rhythm circuit (a slide switch and two roller wheels). When the HiLo Filter switch is in the up position, the master tone is bypassed and one roller controls the higher frequencies while the other roller controls the lower frequencies.
Color Type – Basic color of the guitar body. Solid – Plain colors such as black, white, etc. Natural* – Woodgrain is visible, can be tinted. Bursts – a gradient effect that concentrates color towards the outer edges. A burst can be solid or translucent. Metallics* – these colors have a fine metal flake or pearlescent appearance. Flake/Sparkle* – this option has large silver metal flakes then top color, a gloss urethane finish is included. Flake/Sparkle Burst* is a combination of the two techniques with a gloss urethane finish. Antigua* – This is a 2 toned solid color burst that is usually a cream to green appearance. This includes a painted pickguard as well.
*All Color Types (excluding Solid) have additional material and labor charges.
LO-Gloss Nitro – Ultra thin, traditional Nitro cellulose lacquer. Sprayed directly onto the wood – several coats applied. This finish is not polished to a high gloss and can therefore remain very thin. Woodgrain telegraphs to the surface. This finish is meant to patina – show wear, check and yellow with regular play.
Hi Gloss Nitro – This is Nitro cellulose lacquer applied over a leveled polyester sealer. The polyester provides a tough and level surface for the Nitro to be built up. This finish is wet sanded and polished to a high gloss. The lacquer finish is meant to patina – show wear, check and yellow with regular play. This finish has additional material and labor charges.
Satin Nitro – This is low sheen nitro cellulose lacquer applied over a leveled polyester sealer. The lacquer finish is meant to patina. This finish will wear to a gloss in spots and yellow fairly quickly. This finish has additional material and labor charges.
Gloss Urethane – This is our toughest finish option. A clear polyester top coat over color and leveled polyester sealer, then polished to a high gloss. This finish has additional material and labor charges. (Gloss Urethane is the standard finish for all Flake/Sparkle, the upgrade is included in the color type option.)