My latest Electric

Discussion in 'Guitar Building' started by CatonGuitars, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. CatonGuitars

    CatonGuitars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    I dont build too many electrics but this client told me I could do whatever I wanted and to just send it to him when I was done...Well...It's hard to say no to that. So this is what I came up with. I had Adam of Elysian Guitars & Pickups Elysian Guitars wind a custom set of pickups with cocobolo bobbins to match what I was looking for in the guitar. They sound KILLER and look flippin great. Thanks a million Adam, great work! Let me know what you guys think and go check out Adams site and help support another talented luthier.

    Hand crafted custom electric guitar by luthier Kevin Caton.jpg

    Custom guitars handcrafted guitar by luthier Kevin Caton.jpg

    Hand crafted electric guitar caton guitars.jpg

    Custom hand crafted guitar fingerboard inlay by luthier kevin caton.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Leo, EYC and HEADKNOCKER like this.
  2. aeleus

    aeleus Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Seriously nice workmanship and details.

    How do you round-over the fret ends? Do you do that before or after they're on the neck?
     
  3. CatonGuitars

    CatonGuitars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Thanks. Ive built for this client before, and he knows my work. So he told me to build something I thought he woukd like. I took it as an opportunity to get creative.

    I round over my fret ends after they are installed. I use a special beveling file that puts the same angle on each fret end regardless of the fingerboard radius, then i use 2 different files to shape them. The first one takes off the bottom corner and the other rounds the end over. After that I use 600 grit to roll over any hard edge and then polish. It takes about 15 or 20 minutes and is well worth it.
     
    aeleus likes this.
  4. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,511
    Likes Received:
    884
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Damn that looks awesome.

    These pickups were an interesting experiment. Was going for a PAF type tone but wanted to do something a little special, so I did an Alnico V bar magnet underneath and the inner coils have Alnico V pole pieces. They came out sounding really nice, well balanced, and very versatile.
     
  5. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Love the original design - especially the "f" holes around the edge. Well done, sir!
     
  6. CatonGuitars

    CatonGuitars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Thanks Adam.

    The pickups really are great. I cant get over how quiet they are. Even humbuckers generally have a residual "hum" or Idk ...not 60 cycle hum but just a sound from the electronics. With these pickups, I couldnt even tell my amp was on untill i played. And they have such a clean clear tone. They worked fantastic with this guitar and balanced very well. No big volume jumps across the pickup or when switching from neck to bridge. I basically installed the pickups, set them to a ballpark hight that i think a pickup should be at, plugged it in and was like...shit thats perfect. It never works that way. Even nice expensive pickups always need to be balanced and tweeked a bit to get an even tone /volume.
     
  7. CatonGuitars

    CatonGuitars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Thanks Chris. Ive been playing with sound ports lately. About 40% of my acoustics have an armrest. With the past few i have started putting sound ports in the armrest itself. I new i wanted this guitar to be chambered but im very sick of looking at "f" holes, no matter what the shape. So i took the armrest sound port thing ive been doing and ran with it.
     
  8. TKOjams

    TKOjams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,259
    Likes Received:
    573
    Location:
    Connecticut
    outstanding work, brother:bowdown:
     
  9. Knarbens

    Knarbens Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    984
    Likes Received:
    607
    Location:
    Saxony, Germany
    Cool window bevels! Nice work!
     
  10. ScottMarlowe

    ScottMarlowe New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Stunningly beautiful guitar! Great work.
     
  11. CatonGuitars

    CatonGuitars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Window bevels...Hum ...that's a good name for those. I've never seen another guitar with them. I'm not delusional in thinking that I have came up with a new design. I kinda live by the "there are no new ideas" philosophy, when it comes to guitars. If you know of any other builders who have done this let me know. I'd like to see their take on it. This is a one off from me. I even gave the customer the templates to guarantee that I will never build it again.
     
  12. fumblefinger

    fumblefinger Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Central Midwest
    With those special pups, I'm sure it sounds great plugged in. How does it sound unplugged? I'd think those lovely ports would produce a great acoustic sound also.
     
  13. CatonGuitars

    CatonGuitars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    The pickups sound fantastic. My client has told me that he will be using Adams pickups for all of his future pickup needs. The guitar has a very acoustic sound. I inlayed a transducer into the body under the saddle, in combination with a few coin transducers attached to the top plate on the inside. The middle toggle switches between the bridge pickup and the transducers. With just the transducers on it has a surprisingly "OK" acoustic tone. With it completely unplugged it is about, but not quite, as loud as a 335 unplugged.

    If any of you have not checked out Adams pickups I highly recommend them! Elysian Guitars
     
  14. Axeman270

    Axeman270 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    9
    gearing up to finally resume my first build and browsing through the forums for the first time in a long while. Love the design and look of this one. Had a few questions.

    Is this essentially a semi-acoustic electric? the ports look pretty deep

    Why is this one not on your web page pictures? It's the most striking.

    You mentioned an arm rest on your acoustics, but I couldn't really see that on your page. Wondering if you had a photo.

    It looked like an acoustic on your page had a similar port to this one. how does that affect the volume given that the sound escapes differently?

    I've seen once a 'convertible guitar'' where there were ports along the side of a different design and you could close them individually if desired which was interesting. didn't look this nice though

    any sound files? I'd be curious to hear both plugged and unplugged.

    Keep up the great work.
     
  15. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,511
    Likes Received:
    884
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    First two images in his gallery.
     
    TIC and Wretched like this.
  16. CatonGuitars

    CatonGuitars Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Chicago IL

    Hey Axeman

    Thanks for taking a look. Sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner. I've been busy moving my shop and haven't had much time to be on the forum.

    As far as your questions go...I will try to answer them without going too far down the rabbit hole.

    When I designed this I had no intent on it being "acoustic". However it is completely hollow except for a center block, and the top is carved outside and inside like an arched-top. But "semi-acoustic" in my opinion (being an acoustic builder) is a strong term. But it definitely has an acoustic quality to it similar to say a 335. But if I'm being completely honest, the only reason this is hollow at all is because I wanted to put the "windows" in the bevels. My customer gave me free rein, to do as I please so I ran with it.

    The reason this is not on my website is because , I am an acoustic builder. I want people to think "flat top acoustic guitar" when they here the name Caton Guitars. I build a few electrics each year but they will never be on my site. The last thing I want is for people to be asking me to build them electrics. No offence to the electric builders...just not my thing.

    If you go through the gallery on my website, there are several guitars on there with a few different styles of armrest and ribrest. Adam posted pics of my asymmetrical body that has an armrest and ribrest. The pic attached is of an eight string baritone that I made. I put sound ports in the armrest and this was the inspiration for the ports in this electric.

    Now here is a short answer to the "rabbit hole" question. Does this effect the sound? well...yes. On the electric it is what it is. I think well all know what having a hollow body does to an electric. Weather or not the placement of, or shape of, the "f" hole/s, ports or whatever has any bearing on the way it sounds is up for debate. As for a sound port on an acoustic...I just simply cannot answer that in this thread. I could write a book on how things effect the acoustic of a flattop guitar and a sound port on the side or in an armrest has a BIG effect. So to give you a short simple answer... it all boils down to compression. By adding sound ports you lose compression and this causes the guitar to become more brite (loses low end) and is not as loud. However if you understand how compression works with acoustic there are easy things that you can do to add compression back to the guitar. All I do when I add a port to an acoustic is shallow up the body by around 1/4". I would go into this but its probably best to start another thread if you are interested.

    I probably have a sound sample of the acoustic somewhere (it sounds like a 8 string baritone) but the electric is a one time build, was sold before it was built, and was over a month late getting to the customer. So I never recorded a sound sample. Although I wish I did for Adam. The pickups sound flippin awesome.
     

    Attached Files:

    HEADKNOCKER likes this.
  17. SimonB15

    SimonB15 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    Stunning build. Just beautiful work. Thanks for sharing.
     
  18. TIC

    TIC New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    you do good work
     
  19. GuitarBuilder

    GuitarBuilder Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    17
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice