„Kauai Sunrise“ (aka Prairie Ablaze)
Price €2900,- How to buy: Simply contact me to get all details on payment, shipping, and prices.
This guitar is a tribute to Graham Nash - or more so CSN. The sunsets over Hawaii are breathtaking and the Islands also have some beautiful abalone.
This abalone has the most stunning luminescence of all of my guitars and has the strongest radiating quality.The pickups and pickup constellation are chosen by you!
I needed a few tries to get the color and blending just right. I am pleased with the gradual blend of deep brown –auburn - yellow-orange to gold. It wasn´t easy and took many steps with the airbrush to get it just right.I chose a white abalone with very deep flames that seem to glow in the dark. NO BLING here whatsoever; just real honest beauty and workmanship. The white abalone stained in deep brown has a rustic appearance that fits to a tele
I started with a light 1,8 Kilogramm two-piece, bright sounding red alder body and a flat sawn, middy sounding, grade AAAA flamed Canadian maple neck with strong flames on all sides. I stained this neck with a vintage honey color to match the airbrush painted body and bring out the flames. The curls really “pop”.
SPECS:All vintage 50´s tele measurements and thickness. The neck a vintage C with medium jumbo frets and 10 inch radius for those easy bends. I greatly rounded all body edges and contours to get a sleek look and feel. This also enables me to use less lacquer (combination of nitro cellulose and 2 component urethane) and much thinner coats for assured good resonance. You can actually see how thin the coats are in strong light. The outlines of the shell grain become apparent. This is good for the tone.Two more coats and the grain would be non-visible. I decided on less lacquer in favor of tone.
Neck and bridgeplate are always hand-fitted. ´The necks fit snugly like they should.I really on my eyes because a template can easily be off whack resulting in poor string alignment. You´ll often see this effect on factory instruments.
NO PLASTIC on any of my guitars. Putting plastic covers or pickguards on fine guitars is like putting vinyl seats in a Ferrari!
I worked in the rarest of all abalone – white clear flamed abalone - painted and stained in my own process. How? This is my trade secret and it is very tricky.
I had to hand pick and match this abalone to get a completely uniform reflective picture. I had to exclude the green and purple parts because they would ruin the orange brown color. The flames and reflection are very uniform and deep – again:stunning. This guitar barely needs light to „shine“.
After meticulous shaping and sanding I did a „wisp depth“ style airbrush on the sides and back tobring out the grain of the red alder. I united the whole picture by airbrushing a very gradual deep golden brown burst. I loved the results. Deep orange -toffy caramel edges and wispy depth intensive hand painting on sides and back following the pretty grain. The burst melts into the pure gold deep orange top to give it the effect of a rustic prairie at sundown.
Highly figured white champagne colored top – stained and painted to bring out the deep brown waves. A sparkle of gold, red,pink and yellow depending on the light reflection. The „depth“ of the wavelike flames is utterly amazing. It looks three dimensional in texture.
All my pickups are fitted by hand - meticulously - UNDER the abalone top. A neck pickup will be added according to customer taste. Either a Tele neck or strat neck pup. I can also add a strat middle pup with matching orange white flamed abalone pickup cover.
Elecronics: Hand wound Häussel bridge pickup. If you like a Joe Barden pickup then you´ll love the German Häussel. It´s got the bright Barden lead tones but a bit more mellow in tone. The Joe Barden can sound a bit shrill sometimes.In the neck position a vintage or Häussel neck pickup or even a Strat neck pickup. Vintage old fashioned Fender type ashtray bridge plate but with compensated saddles for the tradional vintage tele twang yet good compensation. String through body, for more sustain,naturally. I refuse to use a modern bridge plate because they don´t sound that twangy.
Pearl control cover on the back of the body also in matching orange.
I achieve a very dry fat sound with a pleasing tele twang: tele bite but NO icepick. The body resonates like it should with lots of sustain. A sound with the professional performer in mind.
EXTRAS:A matching pearl pickup frame, though not necessary, can be fitted around the neck pickup. I can add a matching pickup cover on the bridge pickup and neck pickup (check out my model Prairie Wedding)so you won´t have any black on the guitar. I can also add a strat middle pickup. All three pups camouglaged in the same color and material as the guitar top. I have never seen such a beautiful effect on any guitar! And this all on a vintage Tele!
Controls are also fitted under the shell from behind! NO ugly metal plate. No discredit to Leo here(his work was the work of a genius) but he wanted a practical and not a beautiful guitar! I´m simply taking his design TWO steps further.
All metal parts are gold plated including professional locking Wilkinson tuners
If you like, we can leave the Häussel Blade as a single pickup – Esquire style. I will then wire the bridge pickup with a three way switch – PARALELL (bright twangy) SERIES (fatter hotter Joe Barden tone) only ONE coil(higher thinner sound). I then like to add a special tone control to give some very tasty fatter tones.
Last but not least, I can also wire all three pickups with the Fingertips Switching:Three miniswitches that enable 13 distinct sounds – the 5 sounds you get on a five way switch along with 3 more distinct and great sounding parallel sounds and combinations and more 4 fat and more powerful series sounds. 13 sounds altogether and all very fast and at your fingertips. This will turn this Tele into a Strat/Tele Killer. Ask me for a pricequote here.
I love 3 pickups on a tele and I simply cannot fathom why some so-called Tele purists shun that amazing middle pup. With 3 pickups I would definitely recomend the „Fingertips“ switching system.The sounds are more than worth the work. 12 distinct sounds :vintage to lead to fat. Four of these sounds are not available on any factory instruments! Please email me for a pricequote on the Fingertps switching. It is time consuming to install because there are more than 28 soldering joints as compared to 8 on a standard five way switch. Check out my Youtube demos!
You can also have the Brent Mason type switching with extra volume pot controlling the mid pup. You can blend in the middle pickup a bit to add meat to the bridge pickup or blend it in full to get a Knopfler tone. There are numerous possibilities and this switching is fast and easy to use.
Like I said; I can set this baby up with almost any pickup combination you like so feel free to ask.
Impression: There are many tele tones out there and tastes are always changing. The thinner old country tones are no longer that common.
I admire players such as Brent Mason, Johnny Hiland, Albert Lee (on Tele), Vince Gill, Ray Flacke and Jerry Donahue for their clean sounds and I tend in these directions for inspiration.
I strive for a very DRY fat sound and a pleasing tele twang with lots of sustain and rich overtones, just like you would expect from a fine handmade instrument with the best wood and materials. No thin tinny sounds no matter how high you turn the treble. The neck is very comfortable and a pleasure to play. This is a guitar for the stage pro, serious collector or tele enthusiast looking for a “once on the planet” guitar.