Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Jeremy's Mahogany Les Paul: Unboxing

Today I received a new kit in the mail - ready to start a build for my friend Jeremy from GuitarGAS.com! It's a Pitbull Guitars LP-1M - a mahogany body Les Paul with a flame maple veneer and a mahogany neck.

As usual, the kit arrived from Adam and the guys Pitbull well packaged and undamaged, and the kit itself looks pretty darn good! Here's how the kit looked straight out of the box..

Unboxing - always an exciting time
The mahogany neck looks good, with some interesting swirls in the grain. The neck profile is a little shallower than my recent Pitbull LPA-1 build, so this LP will be even more comfortable to play. It's much closer to my Epiphone Les Paul standard than my other Pitbull kit.

Nice mahogany neck will look killer grain filled.
The frets and fretboard also look good, with straight binding all the way up the neck and all the frets seated correctly. I think that there could be a little glue on the fretboard down near the 18th/19th fret but it's only very slight. It's almost nothing to worry about. The grain on the rosewood fretboard looks really nice, with vertical patterns down the entire length. It should look killer with a little Dr Ducks.

Fretboard grain looks killer and frets are all nicely seated.
As for the flame maple veneer, it's unfortunately not as pronounced as other kits I have seen. When the veneer is dry you can hardly see the figure at all. However, add a little metholated spirits and the flames can be seen more distinctly. Hopefully some Colortone dye can help to bring them out!

The flame maple figure appears with a little metholated spirits to help it.
Lastly, the all important neck fit is really impressive. The neck is really tight in the pocket and I can easily lift the body with no glue needed. That alone will give this axe some great sustain. I'm very happy with it.

The neck fit is accurate and tight.
So in terms of positives, the kit looks generally very good. There are a few issues however that will need to be taken care of (or hidden under the finish). Firstly, whilst it's not really that bad, the two pieces of mahogany that make up the body don't really match too well in terms of grain. The join line is quite apparent when you flip the body over. It wont be as obvious once the body is stained but still.

The two pieces of mahogany aren't very well matched.
The other negative is the condition of the sides of the guitar body, with quite a bit of glue evident in places just under binding (the worst place for it).

Dreaded glue spots near the binding
On the heel of the guitar there are also a couple of fills that have been done to fix small cracks in the mahogany. It's nothing that will affect playability, but it's something I may not be able to hide completely. Hopefully some sanding and Colortone stain will hide these for the most part. At least we can be thankful that they aren't up on the horn or visible from a playing position.

A couple of cracks filled on the heel of the guitar.
So there you have it. A warts-and-all unboxing of my new Pitbull build. Hopefully Jeremy will be satisfied with the results. I'm planning a tobacco burst for the top (similar to my Ash Les Paul build) so it will be interesting to see how it comes out on the flame maple rather than the ash veneer. Jeremy has sent me a complete set of custom hardware to slap on this bad boy so stay tuned for the mock build over the next few days.