Ok, well here it is.... essentially done save for a couple minor things & setup. Sorry about the photos, it's the best camera I have at the moment. And it's overcast out at that.
Swamp ash one-piece Warmoth body (no contours)
Maple 10"-16" Warmoth Pro compound radius neck
Corian Earvana nut
Nitro finish (see notes below)
SD SH-2 Jazz neck pickup w/ cover
SD SH-4 JB bridge w/ cover
CTS 500k pots + nice aftermarket caps and other electronics
Schaller locking tuners
Flat mount strat bridge
Tonar did the body and neck in Nitro (my first nitro finished guitar). The serious grain kicked his ass a little bit, but the finished product looks great and I'm very happy with it. The color is a natural/yellow mix with a very subtle mustard-green hint to it. I will wear this into oblivion over the next 10 years or so, but for now it looks nice and new.
Oh boy. I know some folks despise the idea of putting Fender decals on a Warmoth, but after a lot of thought I decided I just like the look of them. An actual 70's Deluxe is vastly different than this guitar in many obvious ways, so it's not like there's going to be much confusion. In any case, it's mine. The sig decal on the back is a nice touch. $10.
What I was really setting out for was a brighter version of a Les Paul - I generally love those for rhythm but done care for the fat lead tones (unless played clean).
I have a lot of adjustments to do yet, but here are my initial impressions... as far as clean sounds, the JB sounds great and the Jazz is just a little on the muddy side but surprisingly warm. Both pickups really excel in the medium-gain rhythm area, particularly in the Keith Richards to Angus Young range. It's certainly not as bright as I expected - there's no ice pick at all, and it sounds nothing like a Tele or Strat whatsoever.
The sustain is pretty good, about 80% of my LP and vastly better than my strats. In fact that's about the closest comparison to the sound - lead playing sounds somewhat fat. A little heavy on the mids but nothing I can't dial back on the amp.
Worth every penny. Nice to have all of my chords in tune - if you're on the fence I'd try one out. They looked pretty bad before Warmoth started offereing the Corian ones, but as you can see here it's not an obtrustive look at all. I can't imagine passing this option up on any future project (I have a strat neck with one being finished as well and have used the old kind in the past).
I could use a little help!:
I used blue painter's tape to mask the finish while I was putting sheilding paint in the cavity, and have residue in a couple spots. Anyone know how to SAFELY clean it off a nitro finish?