How many Carved Top Soloist styles have there been?

PFDarkside

Junior Member
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I’ve got four Carved Top Soloist bodies from different eras, and they are all a bit different. One (not pictured) is the modern style double lamtop, I chose Aaron’s off menu PRS style controls for it. The standard controls look like a clone of the Strat style ones.

The other three are all pre-double lamtops of varying ages. I think the red is the oldest, I’ve had it since 2000 and it was in this condition when I got it. The 5-Way is low and out the the way and the volume/tone is very “flat”. This is my favorite configuration. I think the Amber one is next, the 5-way is in Strat position but the volume/tone is still “flat”. I think the burst is from the era just before the double lamtop took over, the controls looks very much like Strat 5-way, Volume/Tone1.

Is anyone else aware of any other configs that were available? (And anyone selling any of the pre double lamtop carved top soloists? They are my favorite body)


IMG_2609.jpegIMG_2610.jpeg
 
That 3rd one you have displayed is my fave of the 3, reminds me of the older ESP/LTD H series guitars with the older/classier Teardrop headstock than their newer ones.
 
@aarontunes any knowledge you can drop on me?

To my knowledge there have only been two official Carved Top Soloists, the old single lam style with more traditional/aggressive contours, and the newer DL Tops version which have a simpler top contour. It's possible there were revisions to the former over the years as Ken tweaked. It's also possible that over time manufacturing tolerances/practices drifted and had to be brought back to spec. Also possible that the "flatter" control areas you mention were Johnny Heavyhand leaning into it on a Friday afternoon. Who knows?

The control locations could be just about anything. As you already know you can sometimes request off-menu locations. Could be they were employee-built guitars with oddball controls.
 
To my knowledge there have only been two official Carved Top Soloists, the old single lam style with more traditional/aggressive contours, and the newer DL Tops version which have a simpler top contour. It's possible there were revisions to the former over the years as Ken tweaked. It's also possible that over time manufacturing tolerances/practices drifted and had to be brought back to spec. Also possible that the "flatter" control areas you mention were Johnny Heavyhand leaning into on a Friday afternoon. Who knows?

The control locations could be just about anything. As you already know you can sometimes request off-menu locations. Could be they were employee-built guitars with oddball controls.
Thanks as always Aaron!

This is my favorite body style, taking the super Strat one step closer to Les Paul territory.

An obvious thing too is that the controls on the Amber one could easily have been drilled by the original owner. I can’t wait to get my final body/neck assembled here too.
 
To my knowledge there have only been two official Carved Top Soloists, the old single lam style with more traditional/aggressive contours, and the newer DL Tops version which have a simpler top contour. It's possible there were revisions to the former over the years as Ken tweaked. It's also possible that over time manufacturing tolerances/practices drifted and had to be brought back to spec. Also possible that the "flatter" control areas you mention were Johnny Heavyhand leaning into it on a Friday afternoon. Who knows?

The control locations could be just about anything. As you already know you can sometimes request off-menu locations. Could be they were employee-built guitars with oddball controls.
There is a total of 3. We did a Soloist CT pre CNC days using a Pantograph machine. My back is still sore running the stylus over the entire surface of the template.
 
There is a total of 3. We did a Soloist CT pre CNC days using a Pantograph machine. My back is still sore running the stylus over the entire surface of the template.
Thanks! Does the red one look like it’s from that era?
 
Cool builds! I’ve played around with the CT Soloist builder a lot, but I can’t help but to favor single cutaway guitars like Les Pauls and Teles aesthetically and haven’t really owned a Strat/Soloist/Dinky/Pacer for years.

But… one of my first guitars as a teenager was this crazy thing:

IMG_7123.jpeg
I have often thought about a tribute build using Warmoth parts. I’ve definitely outgrown the desire for a flame inlay fretboard ;)
 
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