Cabernet Pics

I ended up tracking progress on my Facebook page instead, so here’s the list of photos, no other text description. This was a little too hectic since I was doing a lot of the top-coat while working from home throughout May.

The pickups are a pair of DiMarzio Titans at the bridge and neck, with the single-coil DiMarzio Blaze in the middle.

It’s always the ground, isn’t it?

I don’t remember when I discovered the problem with Ke Kai, but it was another grounding issue. It was the stereo barrel jack. The lack of instructions provided by the seller meant I had to research the wiring on my own, and it’s been rather lacking out there in Internet land.

Turns out that I had to jumper the unused lug to complete the circuit to ground. I used a small piece of spare wire, and that eliminated the hum.

And that was apparently also the issue with Cabernet. After we got up to the up-north house, I looked at all of my wiring under the pickguard. Everything was nice and secure.

On the flip-side, however, in the spring cavity, that might have been the culprit. The ground wire was loose from the spring claw. Solder doesn’t stick well to shiny chrome.

Using my Leatherman, I scuffed the metal and resoldered the wire, making sure it was nice and secure. At first test on my travel amp, I couldn’t hear any buzz. The real test will be back at home on the bigger amp.

First Test-Fit

First test-fit of pieces for Cabernet.

The pickguard is going to be painted red. That white pearloid just isn’t my style! 🙂

But this little crack was why it $50 was knocked off:

A $5 tube of wood filler will take care of it.

Arrival and Name

The new guitar kit has arrived, and after a test-fitting/inspection, it’s interesting to note that the crack in the body that led to this being considered a B-stock is hardly noticeable. I’ve ordered a tube of wood filler anyway from Home Depot, which I’ll go pick up tomorrow.

Name-wise, I’m going with “Cabernet.” It’ll be red, to fit with the guitars I have at the permanent home and also to take advantage of the vine themed inlays on the fretboard.

The mental picture for the theme:

  • Body & headstock dyed red to highlight the natural wood look
  • Red on neck (heh…)
  • Black grain filler on body
  • Pickguard sprayed to a deep red
  • Black faded burst style with dye, like what I did for Ke Kai

The trem is actually a Floyd-Rose-licensed piece, just like on Madeleine, my Jackson Kelly.

I’d considered a set of Dimarzio pickups in red, but that would’ve cost me almost $300, so I’ll have to save that for another time.

New Project

Solo Guitars had a B-stock item available, one of two models that I’d been looking at. Since it was $50 off and requiring what appears to be a $5 repair, I went for it. An Ibanez JEM-inspired 7-string. No name as of yet, will need to wait until it’s in my hands and I have an idea of how to finish it.

The inspiration here came from wanting a lower-tuned guitar. Either a 7-string or a baritone, neither of which I’ve had in my collection ever. I was considering a Rhoads-style V, then either setting it up and tuning it to B-to-B as a fake baritone on a traditional 6-string scale, or in the wildest of fantasies, installing a custom baritone-scale neck from Warmoth.

Only problem with that plan was that the neck I designed at Warmoth ended up at $365 for the neck alone. So that’s not happening! But an ebony fretboard, with black perloid starburst inlays for fret markers?

Maybe some day…. Anyway….

The rated build challenge is higher than that of Blue-J or Ke Kai, probably because of the Floyd-Rose-inspired tremolo bridge. But lucky for me, Madeleine, my Jackson KE-3, has a FR trem that I’ve learned to adjust.

I’m not sure yet if I’ll go with the red theme to match my other instruments down at the permanent home or a blue/green to fit with the gear up north. I was leaning toward just pure green because of the vine inlay on the fretboard, and calling it Poison Ivy, but that’s kind of cliché already.

I don’t know, maybe something red and calling it Chateau Picard? 🙂

Not quite brutal enough for a 7-string, though.