Les Paul Smartwood Project: Complete!

So back in, oh maybe ’99 or ’00, I got this Les Paul Smartwood.  I guess it’s technically a “Smartwood Studio”.  I believe the wood on this one is Peroba, but I really don’t know anymore.  I do know that it was ugly out of the box.  I got it for a very low price because nobody wanted it and it was seemingly built on a Friday afternoon.  Frets were all overhanging, setup was horrid, and again, it was ugly.

Here’s the only shot I have of the guitar kind of in its original state. read more


So I’m making it a point to actually start finishing some of the projects I’ve had in progress for several years now. Enough screwing around and delaying things, it’s time to get stuff done!

I’m taking this weekend to get moving on some things. First up to bat was an easy one, finishing the headstock on the DNA. I put the neck from a JEM7VWH on long ago, but the headstock was in really bad shape. It was all dinged up and badly painted. Looked terrible for a $50 guitar, forget about something that costs 100 times that. read more

NAMM 2008 – Anaheim, CA: 2 months late

So this year, thanks to Kevan @ Tremol-No and some help from the Hoshino crew, I got into NAMM for the first time. For those who are unfamiliar, the NAMM show is the music industry’s big trade show. It’s turned into a global event and as the music equipment/supply industry keeps growing, so does the show. It’s a place for everyone from a huge guitar manufacturer like Fender or Gibson to show of their newest and staple products as well as knockoff companies and 2-3 person operations just getting their feet under them. By the way, it’s massive. The show takes place in the Anaheim Convention Center, which has over 800,000 square feet of space. They not only use all of it, they use more. There’s stuff outside, in the lobby, everywhere. I spent maybe 8 hours there on Saturday (pretty much from open to close) and aside from a quick lunch with a friend, it was all walking around, talking to people, looking at stuff. I played a lot of guitars, from fairly inexpensive Ibanez or Carvin models to borderline unaffordable Vigiers or similar high end brands. Best playing guitar there was by far in the Ernie Ball booth (they had a 30’s gangster theme, so all the guys were dressed in pin-striped suits with top hats, cool company, I liked the idea). I am now very eager to buy a John Pettrucci model. No joke. The 6 string version definitely surpassed anything else I touched at the show in terms of playability (there were plenty that were probably built better or looked nicer or sounded better). I’m going to start saving my spare change for one of those. read more