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Two words could sum up this custom guitar: Show Stopper.
From the get-go it was slated to be something special: scalloped fretboard, dragon inlay, deep trans green finish, all-chrome hardware. Like other favourite builds this one required me to learn and grow during the process. I spent nearly a week honing specialised pearl inlay engraving tools and techniques before venturing near the inlaid shell in the headstock. Scalloping the fretboard was intuitive and fun.
Imagine what it’s like to pull your guitar out of its luxurious padded soft-case, straight up revealing your own initials front and centre in the headstock. Epic.
Envy’s timber composition is a blend of American Walnut (neck, body main), Gombeira (fretboard) and QLD Maple (bookmatched cap). These are all very study woods so deep chambering was employed to keep the weight down.
Both body woods were hand-stained using multiple applications of transparent dye, followed by three individually-baked applications of water-based acrylic lacquer before buffing and polishing.
To The Power Of…
Everything in this build screams Quality!
- Schaller rear-locking tuners
- Jescar medium wide-low stainless frets
- Schaller Vintage tremolo
- Chrome-plated brass hardware
Eyes On The Prize
It’s not always the case but this was another instance where the customer had a clear vision and certainty around likes and dislikes – a framework where I could add in some innovations and specialised knowledge and then bring the dream to life.
Unseen innovations hidden in this build are:
- Carbon-fibre neck reinforcement
- Solid brass threaded neck inserts
- Internal strap pin reinforcement
- Weight-shedding internal chambering
That Feel, That Tone
There are two things that players commonly say when they pick up their custom:
- OMG that neck carve fits like a glove
- I never knew a neck pickup could sound so alive
Envy is no exception. These are details that make a real ‘custom’ actually that. Envy’s neck was carved for short, strong fingers and given a fretboard radius that complemented the player’s eclectic rock-driven style. The pickups were hand-wound to blend rich gain at the bridge (no mean feat on a floating tremolo guitar) with clarity and aliveness at the neck. Asymmetric coils feature in both of the AlNiCo V-driven humbuckers, delivering 8.1kΩ and 13.5kΩ at the neck and bridge respectively.
The result? A true custom guitar worthy of its title.
Quilted Queensland Maple over chambered American Walnut
Brazilian Brown Ebony, compound radius of 10″ – 14″
Jescar medium-low stainless
25.3” (643 mm)
Walnut, double-action spoke truss rod, carbon-fibre reinforcement, brass inserts and machine screws
Schaller Vintage floating with roller saddles
Schaller M6 rear-locking
Custom-wound 8.1kΩ neck, 13.5kΩ bridge humbuckers
Switchcraft switch and jack, CTS volume and tone pots
Plated solid brass pickup surrounds, volume, tone and switch knobs
Semi-gloss waterbased acrylic lacquer
Oil/wax, hand-rubbed to a gloss finish
In 2016 I decided I needed my “Dream Guitar”.
I spent a lot of time researching my options and found a few likely candidates, however none of the off-the-shelf high-end guitars had everything I wanted.
My journey resulted in me crossing paths with Richard Lucas from Lucas Guitar. From the first meeting I immediately felt comfortable – Richard understood what I wanted and was very consultative and thorough in his approach.
My build was definitely challenging and unique, however Richard relished the challenge at hand. His ability to learn and master new techniques amazed me. He undertook the build with the attitude “Nothing is impossible”.
The result is a functioning piece of art with the precision of a Swiss watch. From the first moment I picked up my guitar it felt part of me and was instantly comfortable to play. The key word is “Custom”, no off the shelf guitar – even the custom-shop variants – are truly “Custom”.
If you want your “Dream Guitar” to become a reality Richard Lucas is THE MAN. An artisan and perfectionist with a can-do attitude.
Thank you Richard my dream has now come to life.John Galanis