Aesthetic advice for my planned Soloist build

SaxyCalzone

New member
Messages
2
Hi everyone! I've had a Soloist build planned for a while now, and I keep waffling back and forth on what options I want, figure I'd ask the fine people here.

I'd really love to do a purple to clear burst Soloist. I tried to do a mockup of what I have planned, I'll attach that as well. My quandary comes from deciding what exclusive options I want, as I can't make it exactly how I'd like it due to certain limitations at Warmoth.

Carved top or flat top? What makes me want a carved top Soloist is that I always wanted a Charvel 750XL. I'm not sure what binding color would look good with the purple to clear burst. If I got a flat top, however, that enables me to get the masked edge line, which looks gorgeous. I'm leaning towards carved top, once I can decide what binding to get.

24 frets or 22? Building a superstrat, it seems like a no-brainer that I'd get a 24 fret neck, but if I have to get binding on the body, I'd like the neck to match, which I can only do on a 22 fret neck. Plus, I'm doing ebony, and there's something about a bound ebony fretboard that just pops. On the other hand, how much will I use the extra two frets?

Purpleheart or another wood finished in transparent purple? I like the purpleheart. It's different, and Warmoth said they could apply a gloss finish even though purpleheart can be played raw. I could do this, or I could do pretty much any wood and have them shoot it in transparent purple. Might lean towards the latter, just to have it match the back of the body more closely.

What do you all think? I'm welcome to ideas, even if they don't align with what I've said here. I'm no master designer!
 

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TheOtherEric

Active member
Messages
63
Carved top Soloists are super cool. Downsides: you can't do natural binding, it adds quite a bit of weight, and you don't have the nice arm cutaway on top.  The showcase bodies I saw seemed to weigh ballpark 13 oz more than non-carved top bodies, but OTOH Soloists are generally very light bodies, so a bit of weight is often not a big deal.

Overall looks nice, especially with gold hardware. I'm not quite sold on that headstock, but yeah lots of folks love that shape.
 

NedRyerson

Senior member
Messages
412
It looks like your mockup has the white pearloid binding, which I would've gone with as well.  For the neck, if it was me, and I went with the purpleheart, I'd have it unfinished. I'd want to inspect the color in person, because it could vary in real-life versus the hue seen on screen.  That would leave the option of tweaking the color ever so slightly if you're so inclined or you can just leave it alone.

22 vs 24: if you're asking whether you'd even use those two extra frets, chances are that you won't (no criticism meant; some of us just aren't the meedly-meedly lead playing types who have to go that high).  Plenty of notes available on the rest of the fretboard.  Get the binding to match.

I personally lean toward the chrome hardware.  Gold on purple screams "LA Lakers" to me. :)

Waffling on options is good. That means you'll eventually get to something you REALLY want without the buyer's remorse of having spent a ton of money then regretting it soon after hitting "submit order."
 

rlefty

Active member
Messages
62
Not sure how useful the extra two frets are on a standard cut body. I'd go 22.
 

ragamuffin

Senior member
Messages
910
I'd probably go carved top and cream or ivoroid binding.

If you don't know that you need the two extra frets, you probably don't need them.

Purpleheart is a beautiful wood, but keep in mind that it will slightly darken/brown over time. If you're going with an exotic wood that can be left raw, I would recommend leaving it raw and burnishing it. Raw/burnished necks feel great!

Like Ned I'd definitely go with chrome hardware over gold. Black could be a nice option to for a modern look!
 

J-Bones

Active member
Messages
34
TheOtherEric said:
Carved top Soloists are super cool. Downsides: you can't do natural binding, it adds quite a bit of weight, and you don't have the nice arm cutaway on top.  The showcase bodies I saw seemed to weigh ballpark 13 oz more than non-carved top bodies, but OTOH Soloists are generally very light bodies, so a bit of weight is often not a big deal.

Overall looks nice, especially with gold hardware. I'm not quite sold on that headstock, but yeah lots of folks love that shape.

Like the Carved Top Velocity and Tele, the Carved Top Soloist isn't actually any thicker than the regular Soloist.
 
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