Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sparrow Rat Rod customized

I often get questions asked on my guitars when I play out so I thought that I would cover one of my guitars here. I typically play a Gibson Les Paul but in the recent years, the kind folks over at Sparrow guitars has endorsed me and have been playing them since 2007 now. The model I play is the Rat Rod which I had them custom paint two of them, one which you will see here is the all white finish and the other is a reverse silver burst.

On nearly all of my guitars, and certainly all of them I have toured with; I remove everything except for the bridge pickup and the a volume knob (and these days, I have been contemplating removing the volume knob as well). The reason for the unconventional wiring is the following;

1) I have less path variables between initial string vibration and amp
2) Typically see an average of 4db gain
3) As close to the pure tone of the guitar it's self.
4) Less things to break on the road

I have been using Duncan JB as my bridge pickup of choice but have switched to pickups made by Mick Manlius of Manlius Guitar, the model I use is the Modern Vintage PAF+ after speaking to Mick and discussing my needs with him. The pickup is simply incredible, you can hear it on an upcoming record that I am finishing up with Force Fed Lies very soon.

I imagine you must have your doubts as to the pickup configuration, is it really louder? does it change the tone that much? etc....well, yes to all. I had a chance to play identical model Les Paul side by side, even lent my Les Paul to my friend Brandon to try since he is the owner of the identical model and see what the difference is and the difference is obvious.

The wiring is straight forward, its one pickup and one volume knob out to the jack, there isn't much to say further on that topic.

I have on the guitar pictured added waterslide decals on the head stock and pick guard, the same type I used for my watch dials and on the guitar, sealed with Krylon satin clear. I also painted a lot of the plastic parts (pickup ring, pick guard) white to match everything as well. The neck pickup hole is covered with a piece of Lexan I cut to shape and paint what will be the inside of the plate white and screwed down using the original screws. The holes from other knobs and pickup selector is covered using flat cap head bolts and washers, also painted white to match all of the parts.

Thanks to Sparrow Guitars for my endorsement and to Mick for making some seriously bad ass pickups.

All of my guitars are cosmetically beat to every loving hell because I play the guitar, not just collect it and watch dust collect on it. As for do I know just how dirty my guitars are? yes, this blog is called iwanttomakeeverything, not iwanttocleaneverything. on the bright side, I did wipe the blood off from the last time I played...


  1. hi where i can hear your music? i would like to hear also the modern vintage pickup because im curious how it sounds! thanks!

    1. I realize that you posted this nearly a year ago, but I've had my professional life take over. In response to your question, I'd be happy to email you some tracks that has the pick up on it if you'd like