Got the rogue ground wire soldered onto the tone pots, but that wasn’t the problem. It was when I desoldered the jack because I forgot the nut and then resoldered that I think I made a mess of the ground at the jack.

First Pics…No, Not Quite

Was almost about to be able to post photos of the newly completed Ke Kai….until the audio test failed. Could barely hear faint notes, but they were so faint that my tuner couldn’t pick up the signal. I propped up the bass near the rest of the arsenal, started cleaning up my tools….and noticed a wire sitting on the desk that I’d set aside.

Yup, forgot a connection. Hoping that’s it, because I really don’t want to try to de-solder and reconnect everything again.


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.