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some fantastic players demonstrating our guitars & pickups
Eternal Guitars: "Blackie Tribute" S-Type demo with Gray Large
Since I began building tribute models to some of the most famous ever guitars used, the one that I'm most often asked about is Eric Clapton’s “Blackie”. Our Eternal “Blackie Tribute” is a wonderful early mid-'50s combination of alder and maple finished in heavily aged nitrocellulose aged to mimic the battle scars and wear of the original guitar. The neck has a wonderful worn aesthetic and feel - broken in and comfortable but with the addition of medium-jumbo frets for an enhanced vintage feel, it’s accurate and a breeze to play - the perfect combination.The hardware is all Gotoh vintage repro with split-post tuners and a steel block vibrato bridge with bent steel saddles for THAT tone.Our “Timeless Blackjack” pickups are a perfect match and wired through our usual top-notch, highest-quality CTS, Switchcraft and CRL electronic components (there’s even a repro “Phone Book” paper in oil cap) for decades of hassle-free use. I’ve recreated the heavily worn black nitro finish on a two-piece, 50s routed alder body and mated that to a truly sumptuous feeling one-piece maple neck with a soft but distinct “V” shaped back profile. A vintage correct 7.25” radius ‘board uses black dot markers beneath the heavily worn and lightly tinted nitro finish - there’s virtually zero finish left on the back of the neck and it feels broken in and well-used with rounded edges and a smooth effortless playing feel. The original guitar was re-fretted on numerous occasions so I’ve used medium-jumbo frets to aid string bending and offer a more definite, responsive feel. Eric never used the original six-screw vintage vibrato, preferring to screw down to the body so I’ve used an excellent Gotoh reproduction and secured it firmly with a full complement of five springs tightened as far as possible into the body to ensure that it never moves. There is very little actual documented information about how Blackie was wired but I assume it was as standard with the addition of a five-way sector to replace the original three-way, and most probably the small mod to wire the second tone pot to the bridge pickup. The back of the one-ply pickguard has some additional copper sheet shielding added to reduce noise and undoubtedly a few small electronic parts would have been replaced during maintenance over the years. From the one or two images available, I believe that the original cloth-covered wiring has been replaced with plastic-covered wire (or the wiring loom is from a later period guitar) The pots are almost certainly approx 250k and an original ‘phone book” capacitor appears to be in situ, so I’ve replicated this as closely as possible but used cloth-covered hook-up wire as I much prefer it. Things get interesting with the pickups, however. Both Eric and his long-serving guitar tech Lee Dickson always seemed vague on the subject of which pickups are in the original guitar, and the assumption is that they are a mixed set from the three mid-‘50s donor guitars - Eric having simply chosen the ones he preferred the tone from. This makes perfect sense given that the neck and body are mid-50s but in my research, I discovered an anomaly: the pickups appear to be grey-bottomed. This is significant as grey-bottomed flatwork was first used in the mid-‘60s by which time Fender had swapped to using dark purple plain enamel pickup coil wire and the pickup winders at the factory were struggling to see it against the black fibre board. The solution was to use a light grey fibre board for greater visual contrast. This is common knowledge but why significant? Well, just maybe all these glorious tones didn’t come from a set of Heavy Formvar wound ‘50s Strat pickups as has long been accepted, but just perhaps they were from a set of mid to late ‘60s Plain Enamel wound, lacquer dipped single-coils? The timeline fits and maybe Eric simply preferred the brighter, louder tones that they offered. His friend Jimi Hendrix was using them after all and making some fairly decent sounds… Another detail is that the original pickups appear to have black and white plastic lead wires rather than vintage cloth-covered. Okay, it’s extremely possible that a guitar this heavily used would have needed a pickup or two re-wound or repaired at some point, and it’s not beyond belief that a tech somewhere on the road would have suggested replacing old and worn cloth wiring throughout with more robust plastic wire - or maybe the pickups and wiring are from a later era guitar after all? Without access to the original guitar, I would have to do what I felt was best and closest tonally, so I set about designing and building a bespoke pickup set that would nail the sweet, singing tone. A few prototypes later I was happy - so happy that I’ve decided to make this set of pickups available to purchase separately as part of my “Timeless” range and have named them “Blackjacks”. Audio and video recorded and edited by Sam Bell.
Eternal Guitars: Sam Bell "Parami" demo
In this video the incredible Sam Bell demonstrates the tones available on his own Eternal "Parami" T-Type guitar. This is the guitar that Sam used on his recent stint playing on tour with the awesome Kosheen. Featuring a lightweight obeche body, one-piece maple neck with jumbo frets and a lightly aged all nitro finish - Candy Apple red on the body with tinted, worn lacquer on the neck and our own 'secret sauce' blend on the back of the neck that makes it feel worn and broken in. The juice comes from our meaty "T90" bridge pickup with a soapbar "VT90" in the neck....
Eternal Guitars: "Timeless '59 Strat Pickups". Demo by Gray Large.
Watch and listen as our buddy Gray 'Groover' Large demonstrates the tones available from our "Timeless '59 Strat Pickups". Installed here in my own "Tallulah" S-Type Eternal Guitar. Video/audio recorded and edited by Sam Bell We first made these wonderful pickups for our SRV Tribute guitar, and they sounded so authentic that we were asked to make them available to buy. We used the correct magnet type and stagger, nitrocellulose insulated bobbins with Heavy Formvar coil wind and black wax potting for the most authentic version of the old low output pickups found on some of the best vintage guitars ever made.
Eternal Guitars: "Mishca" the semi-hollow T-Type Deluxe. Demo by Sam Bell
Our "Mishca" is a lightweight "Gold Foil Novatron" equipped T-Type Deluxe. Built from semi-hollow ash with a one-piece maple neck and our own "Novatron" pickups in snazzy "Gold Foil" covers. Here the incredible Sam Bell takes you through some of the tones onboard... Model: “Mishca the semi-hollow T-Type Deluxe” Body: Semi-hollow ash Neck: One-piece maple Neck profile: Slim C Neck dimensions: 21.9mm deep at 1st fret to 23.9mm deep at 12th Radius: 9.5” Fret size: 6100 Number of frets: 22 Nut width: 41.9mm Finish: All nitrocellulose, aged Three-Tone sunburst on body with worn tinted maple on neck Plastics: Aged red tortoiseshell pickguard Bridge: Gotoh hardtail with through-body stringing and three compensated brass saddles Tuners: Kluson vintage repro split post Pickups: Eternal hand made low-wind “Novatron” set with “Gold Foil” covers Electronics: CTS brass collar 500k volume and tone pots with an Orange Drop capacitor, Switchcraft three-way toggle switch, cloth covered hook-up wire and a Switchcraft output jack socket. Nut: Handcut bone Strings: Ernie Ball Slinky 10-46 Weight: 5Ibs 12oz Case: Vintage style hardcase included
Eternal Guitars: "Polina" the Obeche T-Type. Demo by Sam Bell.
In this video the one and only Sam Bell demonstrates the tones available on our "Polina" T-Type guitar which blends the best of best vintage-inspired tones with a modern feel and stunning aesthetics. “Polina” is a proudly unsubtle blend of different styles in one stunning package. Beginning with a contoured T-Type body carved from lightweight and resonant Obeche (which has the best tonal qualities of ash and Korina but with a very stable weight) coated in a double finish: a full three-tone sunburst lies beneath the striking and vibrant Lake Placid Blue - all aged to taste. A body this traffic-stopping needed a neck to match so I went with a reverse big headstock S-Type neck - a decent C-shaped carve topped with a meaty slab of rosewood and medium/jumbo frets to make effortless work of the 9.5” radius. Pearl dot markers light the way… Gotoh split-post tuners and a three-brass saddle ashtray bridge anchor the strings. For the juice, I chose our “Broadcaster” bridge pickup mated with one of our A2 magnet PAF Replica low-wind humbuckers in the neck offering the best of both LP and T-Type tones. Choose between them via a three-way toggle on the the upper bout Gibson style, and tame them with the master volume and tone controls set in a familiar S-Type position with the volume knob nestled just beneath the bridge for those volume swell moments.… a hand-cut bone nut and the usual top-notch CTS and Switchcraft electronic components round out the spec. The overall feel is best described as enhanced-vintage and the combination of a lightweight build, solid hardware and our open vintage inspired pickups create a unique tone - both resonant and focussed that really allows the player to find their own voice to craft truly musical tones. And importantly look THIS GOOD when doing so. Model: Eternal "Polina" T-Type Body: Solid Obeche Neck: Maple with slab rosewood fingerboard and big reverse headstock Neck profile: C-shape Neck dimensions: 22mm deep at 1st fret to 24mm deep at 12th Radius: 9.5” Fret size: 6130 Number of frets: 21 Nut width: 42.7mm Finish: All nitrocellulose, aged Lake Placid Blue over Three-tone Sunburst on body with worn tinted maple on neck Plastics: Black Bridge: Gotoh three brass saddle ashtray with through-body stringing Tuners: Gotohvintage repro split post Pickups: Eternal hand wound “PAF Replica” in nickel cover in neck position with a “Broadcaster” singlecoil in the bridge Electronics: CTS brass collar volume and tone pots with an Orange Drop capacitor, Switchcraft three-way toggle switch, cloth covered hook-up wire and a Switchcraft output jack socket. Nut: Handcut bone Strings: Ernie Ball Slinky 10-46 Weight: 7.0Ibs Case: Vintage style hardcase included
Eternal Guitars: 'Timeless '69 Strat Pickups" Demo by Sam Bell
Our “Timeless ’69 Strat Pickups” are an authentic and detailed recreation of the finest post-'65 CBS era Strat pickups ever made. Although much-maligned when compared the pickups found on the '50s and early '60s fender instruments, many of these late ‘60s pickups had a wonderful sweet voice all of their own with bags of clarity and character, and that’s what we’ve recreated here. We use the distinctive and era correct purple-coloured Plain Enamel coil wire and nitrocellulose lacquer potting rather than traditional wax potting. Lacquer isn’t as effective as wax and only partially penetrates the coil creating a hard and brittle outer coil with (what I call) a “fluffy” interior. This happy accident makes some very lively “edge of microphonic” performance, and in use this translates into a bright and sweet tone with the outstanding clarity so beloved by Jimi.
Eternal Guitars: "Timeless '54 Strat Pickups". Demo by Graham "Groover" Large
Fitted to our own Eternal "Coralina" S-Type guitar, our “Timeless ’54 Strat Pickups" are an authentic recreation of the iconic low output pickup with all the bell-like, open and chiming tones found on some of the finest electric guitars ever made. We use the correct stagger Alnico 3 magnets with vintage correct black bottom Forbon flatwork dipped in nitrocellulose lacquer to insulate the poles. The bobbins are sanded and then handwound with 42 AWG Heavy Formvar coil wire and vintage cloth push-back hook-ups and then potted using the era correct black wax method. Played here by the wonderful Gray "Groover" Large - video/audio recorded and edited by Sam Bell.
Eternal Guitars: "Cantata" S-Type build for John Gregson
I built this classy guitar for our friend John Gregson back in the darker days of lockdown. At the time I didn't publicise it a great deal, but when I came across these pics recently I realised that it was time to share this stunning build. John loves a big neck profile so this one is huge with 24 frets and a bound dark rosewood fingerboard. The contoured body is alder and houses a Floyd Rose non-fine tuner bridge and a bespoke wound humbucker (a variant of our GST pickup) with some fancy switching to offer single coil tones plus series/parallel options.
Eternal Guitars & Pickups: Jamie West-Oram "JWO-1" Guitar demo.
Jamie West-Oram is best known as the sonic wizard guitarist in “The Fixx”. Since forming in 1980 the band have recorded fourteen studio albums including the Platinum selling “Reach the Beach” and Gold “Phantoms”. His resume also includes session work, touring and writing with such luminaries as David Bowie, Tina Turner, Brian Eno and Stevie Nicks among many others. Jamie has been a customer and friend of Eternal for many years as I look after his various touring guitars when they need fretwork or surgery. Late last year we began to discuss the idea of building a guitar, and Jamie came up with an idea to combine the more aesthetically pleasing elements of a T-Type guitar with the fundamentals of his more favoured S-Type builds. We used his current Custom Shop Strat as a starting point for feel and wood choices to provide a familiar “spine” and then decided that we could make something unusual and unique at the same time. I was working on a modified T-Type shape at the time and once Jamie saw it he was hooked. We improved the standard upper fret access and a shortened the upper horn for a cute, snub-nosed appearance, and then added forearm and tummy cuts for comfort. We were firmly aiming for an enhanced vintage design and aesthetic to incorporate the better elements of the original classic guitars, feel and hardware but it also had to be bullet proof in use. A vibrato bridge was also essential so we used the best vintage repro currently available the Callaham paired with the excellent Gotoh vintage repro tuners and a handmade bone nut to keep things stable and reliable. Direct body mounted pickups were also a key feature which also allowed us to show off a little more of the “Luscious Lilac” finish (actually inspired by a pair of brightly coloured socks that Jamie’s gorgeous wife Bibi was wearing at the time!). We also simplified the control layout to master volume and tone with the volume pot placed exactly where it would be on a regular three pickup pickguard as Jamie uses it a lot to create his unique tonal landscapes. The neck was initially based on one of Jamie’s favourite guitars but he asked if it could be a little larger in profile with pronounced extra depth and wider than standard nut. In fact, I put the guitar together without paint or electronics for Jamie to assess the neck profile - fully expecting it to need a considerable amount of slimming down, but once he played it he found it so comfortable and stable that he decided to leave it as it was - a great decision. Pearl position markers were added to the dark rosewood fingerboard along with Luminlay side dots. Jamie’s favoured 6105 size Stainless Steel frets and vintage correct 7.25” radius were included which added to the beefy neck profile makes the whole thing a serious piece of very stable neck, and compared to a slimmer neck’d guitar using comparable spec. the added depth of tone and resonance is immediate and a joy to behold. The electronics were a much simpler decision as we’ve been making a Signature Set of “Fixxers” pickups for Jamie for a number of years so they were a no brainer as they offer Jamie exactly what he needs. These are wired through the highest quality brass collar CTS pots with a CRL five-way switch and a Swichcraft output jack. Model: Eternal “JWO-1” Body: Solid alder Neck: Two-piece. Maple shaft with slab rosewood fingerboard and offset pearl dot markers on face and Luminlay side-dots. Neck profile: Big C-shape Neck dimensions: 25mm deep at 1st fret to 25mm deep at 12th Radius: 7.25”” Fret size: 6105 Number of frets: 22 Fret material: Stainless Steel Nut width: 43.mm Finish: All nitrocellulose, aged “Luscious Lilac” on body with worn tinted maple on neck and headstock. Plastics: Three-ply aged Pearl pick guard with aged Parchment pickup covers. Bridge: Aged Callaham vintage repro. Tuners: Gotoh vintage repro split post. Pickups: Eternal hand wound “Fixxer” set - aged with aged parchment plastic covers. Electronics: CTS brass collar 250k volume and tone pots with an Orange Drop capacitor and CRL five-way selector switch, cloth covered hook-up wire and a Switchcraft output jack socket. Nut: Handcut bone. Weight: 7.5Ibs
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