Posts Tagged ‘59 replica’

replicaWhen I bought “Ox” from my good buddy Jeff Aragaki, it had already changed hands a few times. I bought it with the intent to make it an investment guitar, and though I actually did have it sold awhile back, the deal fell through, much to the chagrin of the buyer who then tried to buy it again with a trade and cash. I turned it down for a couple of reasons: 1) I was admittedly sour on dealing with that person a second time after they reneged on the original deal – not that they weren’t nice, but I felt they were a bit wishy-washy, and didn’t want to go through the hassle of dealing with their indecisiveness; 2) After I got Ox back, I set it up with different guitar strings. I had been using pure nickel, and decided to use steel strings for more bite. So I strung the guitar with Ernie Ball RPS-10 strings, and it was if a veil was lifted off the tone of the guitar!

Point 1) above is actually a trivial contributor to my decision to keep the guitar. It was changing the strings to Ernie Ball RPS-10’s (10-46) that brought out the true nature of the guitar’s tone. I’ve since switched to Ernie Ball Cobalts, which sound just a tad bit smoother than the RPS-10’s, but they have all the attack and bite on tap that I need. And once I heard the tones issuing from my amps from just that little change, there was no way I was going to part with this fabulous guitar.

Circling back around to my original purchase of the guitar, a little research revealed that the guitar had changed hands at least a few times before it landed on my doorstep. But perhaps in the case of this guitar, they didn’t have the right combination of gear and accessories to truly experience the tones this guitar can deliver. Who knows? But I have it, and I love it! 🙂

In any case, even though I found out who the luthier was who made the guitar, I had never made contact with him. As I said in my original review of the guitar, I also didn’t want to “out” him publicly to spare him from Gibson’s litigious wrath. But finally, after four years of owning this guitar, the luthier contacted me after reading my review, which was forwarded to him via a prospective customer. We had a great email exchange where he shared some details about the neck and body of the guitar.

I always wondered how he achieved the tone he achieved with Ox. For the longest time, I felt all that juicy tone came from the types of wood that were used. Ox’s body and neck are made from old-growth mahogany, the top is hard-rock maple, and the fretboard is Brazilian rosewood. I thought that just the wood combination accounted for how good the guitar sounds, but after he explained how the wood was cut, and how the pieces interact with each other, I realized it was way more than just the combination of woods, and believe me, considering what this guy’s day job is, he knows what he’s talking about!

I can’t share all the details of what we spoke about because again, I just don’t want to out him. But suffice it to say that the more I find out about Ox, the more I’m convinced that it was the smart thing to do to keep it.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been gigging with it fairly regularly. In fact, I’ve been gigging with Ox almost to the exclusion of all my other electrics. I haven’t played “Amber” my R8 for quite awhile. And my Slash L Katie May is now my main composing tool. I’ve gigged with her a bit, but she’s such a nice guitar that I like to keep her close to home.

In any case, here are a couple of clips of the 59 Replica.

This first one is a song that I’m currently working on. There’s no lead in it, but Ox has a very distinctive neck pickup sound that I can’t quite get with any of my other guitars. It’s very evident when I start finger-picking.

This next is my song “Strutter” but played with the 59 in the lead. I love the rock sounds this guitar makes!

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