First Switchback guitar build complete


Hi guys, new guitar builder here. I ordered and built a Warmoth Switchback with a Warmoth neck and just got it completed. I had MTJ finish the guitar in Pelham Blue nitro, "closet find" aged.

The specs are as follows:
Mahogany Switchback body, 3-layer black pickguard
Warmoth Wenge neck with Ebony fretboard, MOP dot inlays and side dots

Gibson Tradbucker neck and Super57 bridge (with A4 magnet swap)
CTS pots and 490 Designs aluminum knobs
Grover nickel locking tuners
TonePro locking bridge
Gibson Vibrola with imported Left hand string mount/arm

Neck set for low action and is mostly buzz free. I've fixed and modded guitars for years but I've never put one together like this. This was my first attempt and I think it came out nice. So nice I bought TWO more Warmoth guitars so I can build them up nicely. The next two I skipped the MTJ finishing and let Warmoth finish them.

Here's some pictures of my new axe!


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attempt and I think it came out nice. So nice I bought TWO more Warmoth guitars so I can build them up nicely.
It's a addition, nobody can build just one, I hadn't taken an poll but I bet you everyone here saw someone playing a guitar when they were 2 and been captivated ever since.
Dude, that is gorgeous!

I am becoming more and more convinced that the Pelham blue/ firemist silver/ocean turquoise/ice blue color family is the most pleasing.

The abalone also have that color, which is extra cool.

I love Vs, especially the offset ones.
There’s a misconception that building your own guitar is cheaper than buying one. This is definitely not the case. Just try finding a pelham blue left handed Flying V made by anyone anywhere…
This was a very fun build. I made a few mistakes but my next build will be on point.
The MTJ finish is spot on but it’s so expensive - the finish alone cost me what the Warmoth body and neck cost me.

The warmoth neck was wenge with ebony and it’s a winner combo with the Mother of Pearl dots. They were the only premium selection that allowed the MOP. I would have selected the Diamonds if they were MOP and not pearl-like. Side markers are MOP.

The neck was a Warmoth Standard Thin with the 10-16 compound radius (whatever the stock configuration was). Feels good, thin but not too thin. I probably won’t try a different neck shape. I like the Gibson SlimTaper necks, and this is pretty close.

In case you’re wondering, this neck would have benefited from the 720 Mod aesthetically, but would have resulted in having a super low angle and require a recessed TOM or other bridge type.

The frets are ‘low and wide’ standard frets that Warmoth offers. I picked those because my technique sucks and I press to hard into the fretboard - the lower frets keep me from bending all my chords out of tune :)

The frets and feet ends are as good as any Gibson or Epiphone I’ve owned, out of the box. I won’t have them worked on unless the guitar goes to the shop. My neck needed a Stew Mac 0.25 neck shim to get the angle I wanted - otherwise the neck angle was way too flat.

Pickguard was delivered without control holes - I knew I would need to personally drill them to exactly where I wanted them. I like how the control layout looks but I honestly use the pickup toggle way more than the volume knob so it would have been better functionally to use the default Warmoth setup of Switch - knob - knob - knob. Oh well.

I got a company to make me a ‘Fender’ script with my branding to mount to the headstock so I feel like I have a real guitar :)

You can see I mounted a vibrola because I think it looks great but I don’t use it. Won’t do that next time.

The pickups were selected from my experience with three knob guitars and how my amp setup works. With three knobs (vol vol tone) frequently I get one pickup dialed in and the other suffers. So the Gibson Tradbucker is a low wind burstbucker type with an Alnico V magnet. This scoops the mids a little and keeps it from getting muddy. The bridge is a Gibson Super 57 that I swapped an Alnico IV magnet into. It’s a combo that works for my setup for many guitars and It’s kind of my goto. It works very well here too, with the bridge having good power without a lot of EQ peaks - which blends nicely with a weaker scooped neck pickup when in the middle position. My other option was a pair of Burstbuckers (1 and 3) with the bridge magnet swapped to an Alnico III (my replica of the Seymour Duncan Queen Bucker set).

Overall I am happy with this build and look forward to making less mistakes with my next one. If only Warmoth had lead times less than 18 weeks …
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