Phase II - a tale from the continuing saga of iO.
For this variant on my iO design, I've lengthened both horns slightly, used my 6-in-line headstock design, a 25.5" scale length, and P90s. The one-piece walnut top is also carved to a subtle arch that you can just notice in a few of the photos.
Beneath the top in this body is a layer of 1/16" maple veneer for a nice contrasting accent line. This accent ties in nicely to the maple neck as you can see below. The neck is carved to a medium-sized soft V. I continue to carve the heels on my set-necks in such a way as to be non-existant.
This next photo effectively illustrates my carved neck transition, as well as the smooth, blended belly-cut.
The finish I'm using a lot of these days is a penetrating Danish oil that I also use as a wetting agent when I wet sand my oil finished guitars to 1000 or 1200 grit for a smoothness not often found on oil finished instruments. Danish oil soaks into the wood and cures there, hardening the wood somewhat. It's not as scratch resistant as lacquer or poly, but nothing beats the feel of wood that's not covered with a film. Once cured, I give it another rub with an over-the-counter mixture of orange oil and beeswax to keep the wood conditioned and lustered, which I recommend to the owners of my guitars for occasional application.
Electronically, this is a straight-ahead volume/tone/3-way switching set-up. The pickups are Lollar P90s, directly mounted to the body wood. I really like the way P90s are inset into the body. It allows me to carve the top to any contour without having to worry about a pickup bezel fitting the surface contour.
I inset the tune-o-matic bridge into the body, making a neck angle unnecessary. I prefer to keep the strings low to the body for a good right hand position for damping strings.
I've been using the zero fret more often lately. I like how it effectively establishes the proper string height at the nut, as well as allows both the fretted notes and the open notes to sound the same. On my guitars with wooden bridges, I only have to run a ground wire to one string ferrule with a zero fret, because it makes contact with all the strings, completing the ground. This guitar, of course, has a metal bridge, but on instruments like my recent Hyperion VLM bass with a carved wooden bridge, connecting the strings for a ground using the zero fret is an elegant and simple solution.
The headstock logo is inlaid ebony rather than a 3-dimensionally carved log badge like I use on 3x3 headstocks.
This is the first time I've used the Gotoh locking 6-in-line tuners and I've got to say that I really like 'em.
As I mentioned earlier, the scale length of the iO Longhorn is the 25.5" Fender scale. It's my favorite scale, because of the slight increase in tension it has over the 24.625" Gibson scale. Tension equals tone in my book. Along with the P90s, there's potential for some serious twangability, but this isn't your father's old twanger.
iO Longhorn Specifications
one-piece walnut top/maple veneer accent/walnut back
Neck: maple, angled 6-in-line headstock, walnut faceplate, ebony logo inlay, dual-action trussrod
Fretboard: Macassar ebony, 12" radius, Mother of Pearl sidemarkers
Scale length: 25.5", 24 frets
Nut: graphite (options available), 1.7" width
volume, tone, 3-way selector
Tuners: Gotoh locking (nice!)
Finish: Danish Oil and Tru-oil
Weight: 7 lb 14 oz
PRICE: $4,650 - includes basic hardshell case
This instrument is available through one of my dealers,
Terra Guitars. Please email David of Terra Guitars or call him at (203)-815-4166 to reserve this guitar or ask any questions.