Friday, 21 November 2014

Thinline Cabronita: Another Rockabilly Beast

Well, I've been sitting on this little beauty for a few months now, waiting for a few other projects to clear. Now, finally, I have some scope to get back to it! You see, at the start of 2014 I contacted a Chinese kit manufacturer through Aliexpress to build me a custom kit. Pretty straightforward right? Broadly speaking, my specifications were to deliver a Thinline Telecaster Cabronita with an Ash body, a spalted maple cap, and binding around the top.

In June 2014 I finally took delivery of the kit and, whilst it bore only a fleeting resemblance to my initial brief, it did posses the broad strokes of what I was after.

The body could be Ash (I'm still not 100% sure what the wood actually is), and it's certainly a good approximation of a Thinine Cabronita. There is some nice grain in the piece of timber used to fashion the body (yes a one piece body - wow!) despite there being no spalted maple cap. Furthermore, instead of a control cavity in-back as requested, the controls are reached via a largish hole under the pickguard. This means that the pickguard stays, in some form or another, no matter what. Quite a blow given how nice the wood looks.

This being said, the top of the guitar is a nice solid piece of wood - not the ply sheeting that you often see - and seems to have been taken from the same single piece that the rest of the body came from. You can see how nice and thick it is at the F-hole - you've gotta be happy with that right? So in summary, while it's not the guitar I ordered, I'm quite happy with what I received. This kit is a one of a kind man - there's no way in hell I could get this configuration again by specifically asking for it! So all in all it's been a happy accident.

A week ago, with this kit firmly in my focus now, I went on a shopping spree at Guitarfetish to grab some parts. I had in mind a Telecaster Rockabilly beast, and this meant a vintage tremolo and a some single coil pickups. I thought I'd give the GFS X-Trem tremolo a go to see whether it could live up to the marketing hype. I also forwent the obligatory GFS Surf 90 pickups in favour of GFS Mean 90s. I have 2 builds now with Surf 90s and while they are a beautiful pickup, I thought the over wound Mean 90s might give me a little more grunt. Add to this a roller bridge and some roller string trees and we're in business.

Anyway, all this junk from GFS turned up on my door step today which meant that it was time to do a quick mockup and see how it all looked on the body.

It's possible that the pickup cavities may need to be deepened just slightly as I'm using flat chrome humbucker surrounds, but apart from that everything fits beautifully and really looks the goods. I must say I'm pretty happy with how she looks, and I'm actually pretty excited about this baby now - all I have to do is pick a finish for it so I can get started. I've been agonising over a colour choice for the last 5 months and to tell you the truth I'm no closer to a decision...