With this being my first blog post for LT Custom Guitars, I thought it would be quite fitting to talk a bit about my brand new model, the Pioneer – P1. The idea for a new model is one I developed over a long time, and lockdown presented the perfect opportunity for me to bring it to life.
Within five seconds of looking at it, you can see where it’s roots are, there’s not secret that it’s a super strat type guitar, however its the super strat from my head. I’ve always had this crazy notion about ‘what if guitars could evolve, what would they look like in 50 or 100 years time’. Well, seeing as they haven’t changed too much in the last 60 years, they probably wouldn’t change that much over the next 60 years either. However there are some great luthiers out there who are really making a name for themselves with their own takes on certain models. The first one that comes to mind, as it’s a favourite of mine is Seth Baccus, widely acknowledged as one of the best electric guitar builders around. His shape ‘The Nautilus’ – whether its classic or modern, is exactly what I imagine a Les Paul would turn into, if guitars could evolve! I like it so much that I’ve even spoken to Seth to let him know that I’ll be having one for my personal collection one day. With that said, I feel like the Pioneer is where I see the strat shape heading if it could evolve. A thinner body, longer more angular horns, a slimmer waist, an offset lower bout, a smaller headstock for balance, and rear routed pick ups to a cleaner, sleeker look. I have to say, it’s turned out even better than I could have imagined on that late spring evening in 2019 when I took pencil to paper to sketch out my idea.
Pioneering the idea
The whole idea behind the Pioneer was to carry on making a hand built guitar, but a repeatable, batch production model. Those of you who are very familiar with my work know that I mainly build a lot of one offs, whether its a resin river, resin hybrid, or just something classic, they all tend to be one of a kind, and for the most part, made to order. It was a big change with the Pioneer, I had to make sure that my wood supplier could continue to supply the same high standard of wood, and that my hard ware suppliers could keep up with me ordering the specialist hardware. Then came the build time itself. Most of the cost of any luthier built instrument, is the time taken by the maker to build it. I needed to keep the build time as low as possible in order to pass that saving on to the customer. This was done by making a series of templates which I use in succession to each other and it’s cut my build time in half from a regular custom build. This does come at a price though, everything is fixed on the Pioneer – P1. the scale length, the nut width, neck thickness and carve, control layout etc… To combat this as such and keep the ‘custom’ feel to the guitar I decided to offer 2 options on the body wood, 2 for the neck wood, 2 for fingerboard and headstock materials and whether or not you want a reverse or regular type headstock. Giving the Pioneer – P1 a total of 16 different variants that customers can pick to truly make their guitar unique to them.
With the guitar launched now, I couldn’t be happier with the feedback I’ve had, and continue to have from anyone who’s played it, and to those that have bought one. Just check out the video’s they’ve put up online to see for yourself. I am still however asked why the P1? This relates to the model variant, the P1 is a stripped back, oil finish guitar. With the P1 proving popular already, and people wanting to customise it, I’m already lining up a Pioneer P2 model. With things like and exotic top, further wood choices, compound radius fingerboard etc… but that’s a topic for another time!