Introducing the Spidercaster!

Spiderplayer

New member
Messages
6
Hi everyone.

It's ages since I posted anything, got a bit busy with work etc. but thought it was time to post some pictures of my favourite guitar in all the world, the (Warmoth) Spidercaster (Swiss Army Knife) guitar! It's over 10 years old now and has been gigged extensively and played every day. Definitely my 'No.1'. Basic info:

- Body: Warmoth showcase chambered swamp ash, comfort contours, DIY finished in Mary Kaye-type white nitro
- Neck: Warmoth showcase Modern Construction, pau ferro over canary, SS6150 frets, LSR roller nut (retro-fit)
- Pickups: neck, Seymour Duncan SM-1 mini-humbucker; bridge, Dimarzio Area T hot; Graphtech Ghost acoustic piezo saddles
- Electrics: mags, 4-way switch, stacked vol/tone; acoustic stacked vol/tone; 3-way mini switch for mags only/both/acoustic only. Stereo jack in electrosocket (kudos to Steve at Manchester Guitar Tech for amazing installation!)
- Hardware: Sperzel Trim-Lok; Gotoh bridge; custom pickguard, Schaller strap-loks
- Logo: custom logo by Rothko and Frost UK

This guitar has been through about 4 different pickup changes (Lindy Fralin, Wilde, Bare Knuckle) and a couple of bridge changes (Kent Armstrong) but I'll be sticking to this set up now.

I've been playing for over 40 years now and owned all sorts of guitars over the years, Fenders, Gibsons, PRS etc. but this guitar is something special. It's certainly developed in terms of tone, and it's now by far the most interesting and complex electric guitar that I've ever played. I know it's hard to define tone, but played acoustically this guitar has the most amazing tone, it's subtle, nuanced, woody, textured. It's got a really quick attack, the notes just jump out, and what I really love most about it is that you can really get an amazing array of different tones depending on how hard you hit the strings, where you play in relation to the bridge etc. It really changes tone when you vary the angle of the pick, if you pick gently using the pick edge at an angle you get loads of different textures; same is true if you fingerpick with the flesh of your fingertips or your fingernails or slide from one to the other - and all this before plugging in! This guitar feels alive, a gentle strum makes the whole thing vibrate and resonate, you can feel it almost buzzing against your body. Oh, and it's super light as well. And almost impossible to put out of tune.

Plugged in, this is a real Swiss Army Knife guitar. I play with a stereo cable running into separate electric and acoustic rigs, currently it's strung with D'addario Chrome Flatwounds.  In terms of the magnetic pickups with the SD mini-humbucker and Dimarzio Area T hot I get amazing tones playing jazz, blues, pop, rock, from heavy sounds through to crystal clean. And all with no hum or buzz, it's totally quiet. Switching to the Ghost pickups I get a very serviceable acoustic sound, no, it's not a mic-ed acoustic but it's very nearly as good as my Santa Cruz OM with Rare Earth blend pickup - and all with no feedback. Also, unlike some UST pickups the string-to-string balance is perfect. So I only need to take one guitar to a gig...

I'm not sure how or why this guitar has developed such a great tone, it could be anything including the passage of time, but it's just an amazing, amazing guitar. Thanks, Warmoth!



 

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rgand

Senior member
Messages
5,934
What a cool account. How cool to have one that fills in with exactly what you want. It looks good, too. Thanks for sharing.
 

bagman67

Senior member
Messages
8,359
She's a beauty, Spidey!  Thank you for sharing the tale of her development and of course the lovely photos as well.  Keep on rockin', etc., etc.
 

Spiderplayer

New member
Messages
6
No, because it's a chambered body there just happened to be a chambered part of the body right where the mini switch needed to be, so no further routing for the switch was needed.
 

TonyFlyingSquirrel

Senior member
Messages
4,274
Spiderplayer said:
No, because it's a chambered body there just happened to be a chambered part of the body right where the mini switch needed to be, so no further routing for the switch was needed.

So, is it underneath & slightly to the side of the battery box?
 

Spiderplayer

New member
Messages
6
Yes, that's right. It all fits together well, and I'm surprised at how good the Ghost pickups and Acoustic-phonic preamp sound. I had been using a 12-fret dreadnought with an Anthem pickup but it was hard to control at high volume in terms of feedback - no problems like that now!
 
S

swarfrat

Guest
Looks like a good plan. I thought long and hard about a mini humbucker in the neck. Still wonder actually, but as i havent strung up yet, I'll just have to wonder a bit longer
 

Spiderplayer

New member
Messages
6
I like the mini humbucker in the neck for a tele, certainly the Seymour Duncan SM-1 is a very versatile pickup IMHO - it can do lots of different styles, takes gain really well but also retains clarity, something that's critical for me.
 
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