NGD: Blackmachine-inspired and it feels so good...

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by mikah912, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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    So, several years back when I first started getting into customizing guitars, I heard about this shop in Colorado making scatterwound pickups - The Guitarmory. It was basically a one-man show and the man was Dale Blakeman. He also got into making custom axes very reminiscent of Blackmachine B6 models.

    Before I say any more, though, pics:

    D31.jpg

    D32.jpg

    D33.jpg

    D34.jpg

    IMG_20190328_175757.jpg

    IMG_20190328_175852.jpg

    Dale made a few "D3" guitars, and I would just drool over every progress pic and finished pic because I absolutely couldn't afford to pay for even a reserve slot, much less the full monty. Occasionally, I'd see one show up on Reverb for pretty high prices and get snapped up quickly.

    Fast forward to 2019 now that the fervor over this body style has calmed down, and The Guitarmory has changed ownership a few times and is now pickups-only. I saw the #4 D3 pop up and just sit there on Reverb quite awhile. I was interested as the price was an absolute steal, but already had money in another custom build. Well...that didn't work out, so this Guitarmory "Wardenclyffe D3" is all mine.

    Specs:

    • 25.5" scale
    • Sapele body
    • Multi-ply padauk/wenge neck.
    • Bolt on construction.
    • Guitarmory Foxbat pickups with zebrawood bobbins.
    • Schaller Hanness bridge.
    • Hipshot hardware/locking tuners.
    • Stainless steel frets.
    • Glow-in-the-dark inlays and side fret markers
    I've held Blackmachine-type guitars before, but forgot how ergonomic and crazy light they are. This one is clean and feathery, but also somehow fat and mean-sounding. The pickups are an absolute joy. Probably my favorite set yet. Clear, yet balanced with some personality. I think they're just two-wired, so no push/pull coil tap yet. Doesn't really need it, tho.

    I love the glow-y quilt maple top too. Pretty without being gaudy. I've played a Schaller-Hannes bridge before, but it feels better here. So good on the wrist. Sterling fret and nut work, too. Plays fast as hell, and is resonant acoustically to boot.

    Overall, just an absolute beaut of a custom American-made beast that I got for Indo Schecter/Ibanez prices.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
    aesthyrian, Masoo2, Toxin and 12 others like this.
  2. guitaardvark

    guitaardvark SS.org Regular

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    Beautiful! What's with that plate under the volume knob?
     
  3. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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    His own little tweak to the formula. It's just a chunk of iron that makes it a little more badass. I remember Dale was into military/firearm stuff hence the names of his pickups. I think it's inspired by that.
     
  4. AaronGraves

    AaronGraves SS.org Regular

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    Nice! Dale used to come into Guitar Center when I worked there and I got to play a few of his guitars! They felt so nice. I actually have 2 OG Polaris bridge pickups that he wound back at the end of 2014. Nice to see his guitars still floating around!
     
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  5. BlackSG91

    BlackSG91 Loves Black Guitars

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    That's a very stunning looking guitar. It's very sleek.


    ;>)/
     
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  6. Dawn of the Shred

    Dawn of the Shred Sweeps and Chuggs

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    Congrats and HNGD
     
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  7. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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    I'm really sorry he got out of the business, so to speak. Guy had a way with both pickups and guitar making that really stood out. I did a NGD recently for a custom I really liked that I had done by a small California shop, and this D3 blows it away for fit, finish and playability.
     
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  8. IbanezDaemon

    IbanezDaemon Raptus regaliter

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    Killer top! Looks better than my Blackmachine B6 for sure.
     
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  9. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks! It's interesting that the vast majority of Blackmachine-inspired guitars have super quilt-y, flame-y or burl-laden tops with elaborate trans dye finishes, while the originals are downright austere, comparatively, with unvarnished ash bodies.

    As I said, I think this one strikes a balance. It's not too elaborate or distracting.

    I just realized, too, I didn't do a back shot of mine, so without further ado....

    IMG_20190328_175746small.jpg
     
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