NGD: The Bionic Strat? [ESP / Cyber Joint Content]

narad

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Living in Japan I come across a lot of weird ESPs, but some things have eluded me for a long time. One of them is the "cyber joint", a hybrid neck joint that ESP was exploring around the late 90s. It's a bolt-on, but the mounting block is a lot deeper into the body, allowing the heel to feel like a set neck. A lot of times when they come up here they're attached to the most boring headstocks or bodies, or wind up at Essex Studios or something asking stupid money. But after a few years on the prowl for one, I saw it attached to this weirdo guitar with some bizarre but high-end specs:

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So basically a strat shape, with a top woods all around: really thick maple top, birdseye board, quilt maple headstock veneer. It was actually sold as having a maple body, but it looks like mahogany to me. I like some choices to inset the jack this way as it's both easy to get to and is cool with just the maple slab on top of it, and it's scalloped on the higher frets. After wanting to own something with scallops for a long time, this week wound up with two things with scallops on the higher frets and really enjoy it.


The cyber joint is also one of the better ones. I like how they finished it like it was part of the body, doing the usual ESP finish "V" shape transition, and then putting a matching body veneer over it. So, does it make a difference? Well, it does feel like a set neck or neck through, so comfort-wise it's great. I guess we could go with the usual crowd wisdom that bolt-ons are snappier or brighter than set necks. Obviously I can't A/B really, but I have other ESP strats, and this one does have a lot of snap, and it is bright. In this particular case I don't like the tone with the EMG 81 (I think it's 81/85), it sounds thin and there's not a lot of body, vs my horizons or M1s with the 81. I'd like to swap to something with more body/full sound/depth if anyone has any recommendations. I think I have a dominion around to try.


Anyway, I wound up buying a ton of stuff the past 2 weeks. I basically had my visa temporarily revoked and I can't work, so I'm just lounging around buying stuff, checking out shops, and it's been expensive. So originally I was about to put this up on Reverb, and these photos were for sale photos. But I actually had been wondering what it'd look like with a pickguard, and I have one lying around....

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Damn, really makes the burst come alive. Okay, maybe it'll get a pickup swap HS and a (screwless) pickguard. But now I'm running out of stuff to sell...
 

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Nice find, I wouldn't do the pickguard. Would probably look for passive humbuckers and install Seymour Duncan's Tripleshot rings... and depending on the cavity space, probably place a touch style kill switch in the actual switch position, a freeway 3X3-05 switch at the volume and add a volume knob at the tone position... but it's your guitar, do as you please...
 

Zhysick

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Never seen that joint on ESP before, the closest I can remember is something BC Rich made... IT? can't remember...

But with the pickguard is going to be sick!!

Also, easiest way to get a fuller and rounder sound from the bridge is just swapping and using the 85 in the bridge and 81 in the neck... I am not the only one that prefers this way of using the famous 81/85 combo so... try it, you might like it too!
 

SamSam

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That's fucking awesome. I'm not sold on the pickguard although black does suit it quite well. Definitely the sort of guitar I would consider picking up!
 

narad

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Never seen that joint on ESP before, the closest I can remember is something BC Rich made... IT? can't remember...

But with the pickguard is going to be sick!!

Also, easiest way to get a fuller and rounder sound from the bridge is just swapping and using the 85 in the bridge and 81 in the neck... I am not the only one that prefers this way of using the famous 81/85 combo so... try it, you might like it too!

Yea, that's tempting. I should probably do that. I've been doing some pickup swaps on my horizons lately and a lot of their 90s stuff was pre-dating them using the solderless connectors, which is a bit of a pain. But I've heard of people doing the 85 in the bridge for a long time.



Hmm....

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Zhysick

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Yea, that's tempting. I should probably do that. I've been doing some pickup swaps on my horizons lately and a lot of their 90s stuff was pre-dating them using the solderless connectors, which is a bit of a pain. But I've heard of people doing the 85 in the bridge for a long time.



Hmm....

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The pink-ish... DO IT! :lol:
 

CrushingAnvil

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Nice guitar. Seldom do you see ESP's quite like that one. I think the pickguard looks fantastic. I would be disappointed that I couldn't do an HSS pickguard.
 

ClownShoes

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I've seen a few of those cyber joint guitars on japanese auction sites, so weird but very innovative.

I'm guessing they were only on early 2000s JDM guitars?
 

narad

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I've seen a few of those cyber joint guitars on japanese auction sites, so weird but very innovative.

I'm guessing they were only on early 2000s JDM guitars?

Late 90s JDM artist sigs and customs, maybe spilling over into the 2000s. I've seen 1998 and 2004, if they were labeled correctly. This one has no dates, at least on the headstock.
 


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