Our “Andy Summers Tribute T-Type” is our version of the wonderful, idiosyncratic guitar that Summers used throughout his time with The Police and beyond.
Summers reportedly bought the guitar complete with all the unusual modifications as he simply the feel and tones available.
The complicated looking switching and electronics are actually very simple in use.
The regular volume, tone and three-way do exactly what you’d expect and operate like a twin pickup guitar. The first mini-toggle mounted on the control plate is a phase reversal switch, that flips the phase only when both pickups are on together, producing a predictably nasal and hollow tone that can be heard on many Police tracks.
The second mini-toggle engages an active pre-amp with a hefty wallop of gain and extra midrange, the amount of which is controlled by the third pot located on the body below the control plate. Used with the out-of-phase tone in particular produces some very unusual and musical tones.
The original guitar had the the Kluson tuners replaced with a set of “Dual-mount” Schaller units (common enough in the ‘70s and early ‘80s) but no longer in production that I can find. I was fortunate enough to have most of a set in a box in the workshop, and even more fortunate to find another original set from another Luthier on selling online.
Another unusual feature is the brass six-saddle bridge. The original may have been a Schecter part (I’m not absolutely sure) but fortunately the wonderful “Armadillo Guitar” guys in Texas offer a superb repro (along with many other sexy parts) which works perfectly. I aged the bridge once it arrived (via Australia!) And even replicated the “crack” from the pickup hole to the edge of the plate. You may notice the lack of pickup height adjustment screws in the bridge - well, the original has the bridge pickup mounted directly to the body, so we did the same.
Elsewhere, the finish is all nitro three-tine ‘burst, heavily aged of course and the neck is a slim “C” shaped vintage recreation, featuring a 7.25” radius and small vintage sized frets for authentic feel. I’m almost certain that original has been re-fretted at some point in it’s life, and during the process the fingerboard was re-lacquered, losing all the sexy wear in the process. This is understandable given the number of gigs it would have been used for, and I did consider adding a lot more wear to the ‘board, but ultimately decided to copy how it looks now with some darkening but without the heavy wear on the ‘board surface between frets.
Model: “Andy Summers Tribute T-Type”
Body: Two-piece, double-bound alder
Neck: One-piece maple
Neck profile: Slim “C” shape
Neck dimensions: 21.6mm deep at 1st fret to 24.5mm deep at 12th
Nut width: 41.5mm
Fret size: 6230 Vintage small
Number of frets: 21
Finish: All nitrocellulose, heavily aged three-tone sunburst
Plastics: Aged parchment three-ply pickguard
Bridge: Armadillo brass six-saddle, aged with replicated crack between pickup hole and edge.
Tuners: Super rare Schaller dual-mount
Pickups: Eternal hand wound “PAF Replica” in neck position with a bespoke ‘60s wound single coil in bridge using plain enamel coil wire. Black string wrap and aged, mounted direct to body.
Electronics: CTS Brass collar 250k volume and tone pots with an Orange Drop capacitor, CRL three-way and a Switchcraft output jack socket. Mini-toggle on control plate for phase reversal with both pickups on.
Second mini-toggle on body engages an active pre-amp boost circuit, with the amount of boost controlled by third pot located on body beneath control plate.
Nut: Handcut bone
Strings: Ernie Ball Slinky 9-46
Case: Vintage style hardcase included
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