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Briefed as a supercharged Tele, ‘The Queen’ (or ‘Delta Cream’) was designed and built over a period of four months during early 2015. Its owner-to-be visited my workshop and fell in love with the way the contrasting and unusual timbers proposed offered the opportunity to create not just a custom guitar, but a highly-unique customised art piece. Built to sing the blues, the guitar is capable of so much more – jazz, rock, heavy rock, fusion, you name it. The highly-polished fretboard and hand-carved neck combine with a medium compound radius fretboard to provide comfortable chording and soloing in any position.
Much of the innovation and quality lies beneath the surface of this lovely lady. It was during the building process for the Queen that I developed the idea to use Jarrah inserts within the body, in order to reduce the tendency of strap pins to become loose under performance conditions. In addition the noise or ‘hum’ proofing of this instrument is par excellence due to the attention paid to its interior shielding. With eyes closed, you could be forgiven for thinking that the bridge single coil was a humbucker.
A great example of how the use of uncommon guitar woods can deliver just as exceptional a tone as traditional choices, Delta Queen is both visually and sonically striking. The neck humbucker has the characteristic flexibility offered by underwound pickups, creamy or raunchy depending on pick attack and volume settings. The bridge single coil has a bold punchy feel capable of dishing out the dirt when called for and a sweet trebly note when gained down.
Bringing it all together are the simplistic but elegant Hipshot open brass-geared tuners, and Schaller’s inspired Hannes6 bridge, which features individually adjustable slippery PTFE string saddles for accurate return to pitch.
Quilted Queensland Maple over chambered Victorian Ash
Brazilian Brown Ebony, compound radius of 9.5″ – 11.5″
Jescar medium stainless
24 ¾” (629 mm)
Wengé, double-action spoke truss rod, brass inserts and machine screws
Hipshot Classic open gear
Custom-wound 7.9kΩ neck humbucker, 10kΩ bridge single coil
Switchcraft switch and jack, Bourns 500kΩ pots, treble bleed circuit
Plated solid brass pickup surrounds, volume and tone knobs
Semi-gloss waterbased acrylic lacquer
Oil/wax, hand-rubbed to a semi-gloss lustre
A passionate master craftsman. That’s how I’d describe Richard Lucas in a few words. I’m the lucky and very happy recipient of Richard’s latest custom built guitar. I first emailed Richard last December about a custom build, asking what I hoped were intelligent questions. He promptly replied and suggested I visit him in his workshop to have a look and talk about my guitar. I met a friendly guy who was passionate, and knowledgeable, about building great guitars out of beautiful timbers. We quickly got down to business and after a highly enjoyable and informative 90 minutes, I went away with a good idea of what Richard had in mind for me. Prototype body and headstock designs soon arrived. Richard was happy to take my suggestions on board and the whole process was highly collaborative.
Once we’d settled on a design I was happy with, Richard set to work, keeping me informed by email and Facebook posts about his progress. It was thrilling to see the guitar take shape from the 4 pieces of timber Richard selected to the beautiful instrument you can see on this page. The design and build quality are first class and I couldn’t be happier.Bob Agnew