I, Robin, built Jacques for myself. I had the idea for a long time and during the first covid-19 lockdown I took the time to build it.
I just needed a singlecoil guitar with those glassy, dynamic sounds and also a tremolo. The doublecut design is far away from the Fender classic and is more a single cut that continues from one side of the neck to the other which is very comfortable to play and only achievable with a set neck.
The body is swamp ash because I love that wood. The smell, the large pores, the low weight and also the tone. As we like to do, I made the top curved so it weighs even less and makes the guitar more elegant. At the beginning I wanted a maple neck but I had the feeling that I should use the old church bench mahogany that I used for Susi . And that one needed a ebony fretboard.
The pickups are made by Harry Häusseland have a special wiring: A blade switch is hard to install on a curved top, so I took a 3-way-toggle to switch between neck and bridge singlecoil (like a Tele). When both are activated you can pull the volume pot to switch them from parallel to serial which makes the tone fatter. For activating the middle pickup in parallel to the others, I pull the tone knob. The craziest sound on this is neck and bridge in series and the middle pickup in parallel to them - sounds like a fat humbucker and a thin out of phase sound at the same time.
The Schaller tremolo whirrs easily, which is nice, and when you use it the locking machines and the bone nut help to keep the guitar in tune. Even a divebomb is possible.
Well, and the color... I called it strawberry milk but it is the F classic Shell Pink. I got inspired by old American cars, so I wanted the whole hardware to be chrome. At the same time I did not want a high gloss super solid surface. So instead of filling the large pores of the swamp ash I only painted it with the color directly on the wood and didn't even put a clear coat on it. Looks cool, I think. The mahogany neck I just oiled. I like the raw feel of that.
I am happy having Jacques!
- Body: swamp ash
- Neck: churchbench mahogany, 2 pieces
- Fretboard: ebony
- Machines: Schaller M6 Mini Toplock
- Bridge: Schaller Vintage tremolo
- Pickups: Häussel ST Classic Set with chrome covers
- Scale: 648 mm
- Finish: "Strawberry Milk", open pore, gloss (nitro), neck oiled
- Year of manufacture: 2020