Newbie VIP-builder and wood selection... any thoughts and advice?


Junior Member
Hi all! :blob7:

Here comes half a mile of history you probably don't wanna hear...:p skip to the bottom if you want to!

I've been wanting my own PRS Custom 22 for some time now, however 1) its way too expensive to get to Norway and 2) a friend of mine recently build a bass from warmoth and it kicks ass... All this added up to me wanting to build a custom 22-like guitar myself which in turn, as you all probably know, eventually leads to a making a totally custom guitar after ones own wishes and more or less scrapping the replica-like idea... (whats the point when you can reaaally customize! :headbang: )

I already have two strats, and I love them, but for more opeth / porcupine tree / tool things (which I love..) I want something with way more bottom and prs / gibson-qualities... Of course one can never get enough guitars as well.... SO, already decided on a VIP body and a warmoth neck I'm considering the different types of wood...

This is what I have so far;

Either Mahogany or Black Korina. The latter seems more tempting with its similar properties and added mids so thats sorta final.

Either double laminate onto the body with maple for brightness, and then indian rosewood with satin finish, or simply indian rosewood with satin finish.
Is the maple-part worth it you think, to get some brightness in there? Also, I reckon it's more expensive...

I want to continue the overall look of the satin rosewood, so a rosewood fretboard is probably a given...

However I am not certain of what neck-wood to choose. I've been considering Mahogany, but then again there are the alternatives of all rosewood, or wenge neck and rosewood fretboard... I can't seem to make up my mind, especially on that last issue, so any and all advice and experiences are appreciated! You can probably make me change my mind on most of my selections, haha!

Thanks for putting up with a load of crap questions! More will be coming shortly, can't wait to start putting it all together! Hope my choices so far don't make for a total overkill! haha...

- Stay out of the road if you wan't to grow old!  :party07:
Okay, the top wood is for looks. You won't be able to tell a difference between the laminates. If you like how rosewood looks, go for that. Same with maple.

You could have a flame maple top, and a rosewood neck, no finish.


Korina, tobacco burst

and an all-indian-rosewood Warmoth neck, trap. inlays, binding

(I know it's maple)
+1 on Max's choice, beside the maple! Boatneck Rosewood for the win :D (some said '59 roundback is very alike the PRS neck profile)
Okay, so a full rosewood neck is great:D
How about the double laminate choice? Because I do think I would need a maple-laminate for tone, and then rosewood for the looks on top... Anyone know how much this costs extra, and if it looks good?

i haven't chosen too many warm woodtypes for it to get too muddy? (see, i have no idea:D) thinking of putting the dragon II pickups which normally come with the PRS custom 22 on it..=) think it'll be a beauty:D wonder wether black or chrome hardware would be best.. or if even gold would look good:D ahh, the sweet dilemmas of goodness:D
If you want a rosewood top, maybe a canary neck would look better.

The maple laminate won't have any real effect on how bright your guitar is. If it's too dark, turn up the treble a bit.

My vote is for chrome hardware.
Sorry Max, but this isn't an all Indian rosewood neck...It's birdeye maple with an Indian rosewood fretboard... :icon_scratch:
Another one coming to say, don't worry about the laminate wood as far as tone - if you want it a bit brighter, turn up the treble on your amp a touch, or get 1 meg vol / tone pots. Just get the looks you want, you can't reliably fine-tune the tone of your guitar by picking body woods. Lots more depends on the individual piece, the overall weight, the bridge type, strings, etc.
All rosewood is a great choice for a neck, and 59 roundback is like the PRS wide fat profile - I think the McCarty has that, the custom 22 neck (wide thin?) I believe is more like Warmoth's standard thin. Thick neck for better tone. Wenge / ebony is another big favorite around here, my bass has that and it's great.

DangerousR6 said:
Sorry Max, but this isn't an all Indian rosewood neck...It's birdeye maple with an Indian rosewood fretboard... :icon_scratch:
I know. It was the closest I found to a Warmoth headstock, traps and binding, Indian rosewood. That's why I said "I know it's maple"
yeah, a friend of mine has a bass with wenge/ebony.. it looks damn sexy thats for sure... how would wenge / rosewood be you think?
i feel a couple of weeks of reaaallly long days at work coming up... mmmm, warmoth:D Is there any point (for the looks and / or lifetime of the wood) in finishing the laminated rosewood-top with a clear satin?
I wouldn't go the rosewood-rosewood route, but the wenge/ebony route ;) much better feel and tone. Wenge/ebony is just much more luxurious.
If you use a RW top, get a walnut back to get some of your highs back! if you have RW top (a carved one!) on mahogany or korina, it will be too warm for many styles. maybe jazz will work out fine, but rock, blues, metal, funk, wont work, cause the tones are too warm and mellow. the wenge/ebony neck on walnut/RW body is just smooth enough for jazz and santana licks, and bright and tight enough for blues, rock, metal, funk and whatever you through in/at it.
Oi Max, you are stealing my design.. korina body, tobacco burst, indian rosewood neck..
well at least it won guitar of the month once, so it will look great!  :icon_biggrin:
hmmm, my mind is really firmly set on a mahogany / black korina body... But the wenge / ebony neck sounds like the way to go! Sounds like a double laminate maple / rosewood option will be the choice... A wenge top could of course be an alternative...! Any thoughts on that then? It's a bit brighter than rosewood, and I wonder how it would look... mmmmmm
the winning combo that tons of people are doing is mahogany or korina body with any laminate or no laminate (cuz those don't make much difference) and a wenge neck with an ebony fingerboard. A Wenge laminate top could look really cool since that would match the neck and contrast with the fretboard, but the korina body that was already posted is also a winner.
I'm definitely with the wenge / ebony neck.  Canary is too bright for what you are doing.  Don't get me wrong - sounds great, but it will definitely take you out of Gibson  / PRS territory from a sound standpoint.  Of course the surefire bet is to stay with the classic mahogany + maple cap (RW laminate) and mahogany neck (RW  / Ebony).  You'll be sure to get what you want but where's the fun?
yep=) right now Im leaning towards Black Korina / wenge and wenge ebony! 3-4 weeks of work and the order is in i'd guess:D hehe