- Heavy duty riffing machine
- Naming influenced by the dark anti-hero of Napoleon Hill’s Outwitting The Devil
It should come as little surprise that Driffter was conceived in the mind of a massive Metallica fan. This is appropriate seeing that it’s the first Lucas custom that doesn’t feature pickups made in-house, its owner instead selecting James Hetfield’s signature EMG Het Set for the dirty task at hand.
Built with sleekness and a nod to metal tradition in mind, the clean black mass of matte-finished body and earthy Ebony-bound neck give little away. Just a hint of the beast’s beating timber heart is evident in its African Mahogany pickguard and rear cover. There’s no chambering, aside from the cavities needed to house the EMG electronic setup, and even with the lightweight Fijian Mahogany used in the body and neck this beast still tips the scales in the heavyweight class.
Similarly, to think that Driffter is a lightweight in the innovations department would be a mistake. Carbon fibre neck reinforcement, and six chunky brass neck inserts mated with anodised machine screws keep everything rock-solid. The nut is PTFE (a.k.a. Teflon) impregnated for uber-slipperiness and the German-made Schaller roller bridge acts in the same manner. Schaller locking tuners and plated brass tailpiece keep the string anchored at either end. The Jescar medium stainless frets will hold a shine for all time.
A Neck To Die For
The icing on this custom cake for the player is the neck profile. Endowed with massive hands, up until this build Driffter’s owner hadn’t encountered a neck carve that had truly fit him like a glove. Charged with the mission of accomplishing that outcome, I went to work carving the kind of handle I that I believed this modern warrior would feel most comfortable hanging off of for hours on end.
The overall result was best summed up by the player’s partner after he had mentioned to her how amazing it felt to play:
“Well, it was made for you.” And that it was.
US Maple over Fijian Mahogany
Ebony, compound radius of 9.5″ – 13″
Jescar medium stainless
24.75″ (629 mm)
Fijian Mahogany, double-action spoke truss rod, carbon fibre reinforcement, brass inserts and machine screws
Schaller M6 Mini top-locking
EMG Het Set active
Switchcraft switch and jack, EMG volume and tone pots
Plated solid brass pickup surrounds and control knobs
Matte waterbased acrylic lacquer
Oil/wax, hand-rubbed to a semi-gloss lustre
It was the never ending search for tone that eventually brought me to Lucas Guitars. I wanted something beefy and full of attack but I figured while I was at it why not make something as sturdy as it sounded – many a guitar have I run into the ground with my boisterous playing.
Richard was great. Right from the start he took the time to hear my vision and help hone it into a reality. No stone was left unturned as he delved into my influences, my playing style, even my physiology, to ensure that not only were my wants as a guitarist met, but also the needs that I had never even considered. He was full of suggestions and insights every step of the way and the build was an exhilarating process with regular updates keeping me excited.
I couldn’t be happier with the final product; a beautifully crafted riff machine with plenty of bite and a sturdy build that fits in my hands like it was built for me – because it was.