Our nearest stalls at the London Guitar Show were Neil at G&B and James at Halflight Guitars .
Neil has invested in a state of the art CNC machine and it shows in the quality of the bare wood Strat and Tele bodies and necks that he had on display at the show. Neil undertakes a wide variety of work through to complete instruments.
If you want to build your own guitar from the ground up, Neil can supply a range of body and neck templates along with body blanks.
James’ custom-made guitars are very distinctive. The first thing that strikes you is the lack of controls and brightwork. To my mind, gives the guitars the air of a piece of beautiful woodwork. Even the strap buttons, jack socket and the pickup are completely hidden!
The neck is created from one piece of wood (so no scarf joint) which facilitates the truss rod being accessible from the top of the headstock (yes, the far end of the headstock!).
The neck also features a zero-fret with the break angle over the fret being achieved using a wooden block (which is actually an extension of the fingerboard) through which the strings are fed on their way to the tuners. Other than the frets, the tuners are the main pieces of metal you notice on the guitar.
The fingerboard profile is entirely flat – i.e. no radius at all. However, James tells me he can build you an instrument with whatever profile you desire. The frets are stainless steel – takes four times longer to work than standard fret-wire, but will last twice as long.
Without volume and tone controls, the output is full-on all the time, just how I like it! If that doesn’t float your boat however, James will install whatever custom electronics you need.