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Andy Hudson is a man who knows what he wants.
When talking about guitars that amounts to 3 things:
- Pretty woods
- Monstrous tone
- A structure that will take a beating
Already the owner of one Lucas guitar, the Harlott frontman had clear ideas for this build that he dubbed ‘Antagonist’. While he loved his other guitar, he wanted something large enough to complement his solid frame. Sharp, beveled contours were another requirement, plus binding around the neck to keep contact with fret material to a minimum at the edges.
This guitar was a joy to work on, with much time spent hand-filing the custom contours on the top edges and rear belly cut. Devil is truly in the details with this guitar, and you may notice that the lower straplock sits in an unusual position. What you can’t see is that inside the body is dual-chambered and I’ve also removed 5mm of body thickness in order to shed weight. Doing this changes the guitar’s balance point, so the lower strap point has been shifted to avoid neck dive, which is common in heavy-neck/light-body guitars.
Woods used in this build are:
- Wengé (Africa)
- Macassar Ebony (S.E. Asia)
- Victorian Ash
- Mahogany (Fiji)
The reasons for selecting these woods are straightforward: Wengé and Ebony for their beauty, stability and feel; Victorian Ash for beauty; and Mahogany for its lightness.
As with most Lucas customs, the pickups were wound in-house to suit player requirements. A big distinction with the bridge pickup in this metal shredder’s axe is that it isn’t wound simply for all-out gain. It’s wound holistically to provide ample gain, balanced with fat tone and low feedback – bucking the trend of many heavy pickups that sound thin and squeal at the drop of a hat.
Providing backbone to endure Andy’s aggressive playing style are the German-made Schaller bridge and tuners. Fretwire is Jescar jumbo stainless, and the neck is fitted with six tough brass threaded inserts that use anodised machine screws to anchor the assembly in place. Hardware such as the pickup surrounds and volume knob are plated brass, and electronics are US Switchcraft.
The result is not only stunning but (at owner request) bone-crunching. It’s already found its way onto stages across Australia and was recently used along with two other Lucas guitars on the band’s latest release, Extinction.
Flamed Victorian Ash over chambered Fijian Mahogany
Macassar Ebony, compound radius of 9.5” – 11.5”
Jescar jumbo stainless
24.562” (624 mm)
Wengé, double-action spoke truss rod, brass inserts and machine screws
Schaller M6 Mini
Custom-wound 9.5kΩ neck, 15.3kΩ bridge humbuckers
Switchcraft switch and jack, CTS volume pot
Plated solid brass pickup surrounds, and volume knob
Semi-gloss waterbased acrylic lacquer
Oil/wax, hand-rubbed to a semi-gloss lustre
I’ve been playing for over half my life my now and in that time I have owned and played a truly disgusting number of guitars. The more I played, the more I learnt and developed. The more I developed, the more I required out of my instrument to make the most of how I wanted to play it. I tried for years to find the perfect match, but a mass produced off the shelf build may only be 70% of what I need. After many years and a small fortune in purchases, repairs, modifications, adjustments, and so on, I was approached by a man who woke me out of the cycle, and brought me into the world of the true artist.
It was a blessing and privilege to be able to sit down with Richard and talk tones, speeds, feels, looks, and have that translated into woods, radius’, dimensions, materials and finishes. I didn’t realise how much I needed from a guitar, until I was told exactly what I could get.
The rest is history, and an exciting journey down a path from which there is no return. I was involved in each level of design, and present for all the glorious triumphs and events. I witness a lump of wood transform into a weapon of beauty. I was so satisfied and informed by the adventure I feel as if I created the beast myself.
I admire these instruments. They are gorgeous to behold, magnificent to play, and heavenly (or hellish) to listen to. I adore them for what they are, but I love them because they are mine.Andy Hudson