The latest incarnation of my Jimmy Page "Dragon" Telecaster project build. I'm seriously running out of upgrade options now...
The upgrade to a Fender "Jimmy Page Signature" custom neck, finally completes my "Dragoncaster" project build, in some style.
After swapping out the original HOSCO neck, for a Fender neck with a rosewood fingerboard - the "Dragoncaster" somehow looks and feels a whole lot more authentic. It might not be a Vintage '59 slab board - but it does have something of the essence, and it finally finishes the build off properly. Time to wrap another project up.
Earlier on this year, I finished off my "Dragoncaster" with a HOSCO neck. This was always a compromise. Due to the CITES restrictions then in place, I didn't have much of a choice when it came to vintage style, rosewood boarded necks. Fortunately, the CITES restrictions have recently been amended, and I have a chance to upgrade to something much more suitable.
This build has taken ages - but I've eventually managed to achieve the quality of both finish and componentry, which I first set out to realise. It's well worth the wait, and the hours I spent, getting it as right as possible, haven't been wasted. And I have the additional pleasure of having put it all together myself.
My "Dragoncaster" project has taken more than a year to get to the point where I can add the finishing touches, setup and finally get to hear those revered Don Mare pickups. I've had to solve a couple of technical problems along the way, but I'm really happy with the way the guitar has turned out. With every setup I do, I seem to get a little bit better at refining the playability of my builds. It's fair to say I have more than high hopes for this one.
In building my "replica" I have to take a little bit for granted, here and there. I don't know exactly what kind of innards Jimmy's original Dragoncaster had. I've put this build together to capture the look of Jimmy's original paint job. The pickguard is as close as I can get to the spirit of the original. The pickups are hand built to capture that distinctive sound. All I can do, is take an educated guess at the wiring circuit.
Because of the close-fitting inter-relation between the scratchplate, control plate, neck pickup and bridge - the final fixing of these elements is only possible after som precision scribing to the guitar body. A few slight modifications may be required before the screw hole positions can be finalised, and drilled out.
There's plenty to get on with, and this lockdown thing means I have plenty of time. Putting the 50's "Hank Marvin" Strat together has given me a bit of confidence, but I have to balance what I can achieve, with my current visual handicap, against the need to get technical and design elements just right. In some cases - it's all about technique.
The tinted nitro finish on the Dragoncaster neck has now had plenty of time to cure properly. I've been waiting to fit the neck, so I can push on with fitting the guitar out, but my current ocular situation means I can't really deal with much detail work. I can't just sit here though. Stuff to do.