This is an extremely rare guitar, made around 1980 by Chris May of Overwater Guitars. If you search Overwater now, you'll see that they specialise in basses costing £3000 upwards and they are a very highly regarded British firm. However their 6 string guitars are few and far between.
I bought this one when I was looking for a Strat and at the time it was in a very sorry state with a horrendous set up, the pickups didn't work correctly and it was unplayable. Since then I've re-wired the pickups, replacing the 5 way switch, I've replaced the vintage style tuners with a set of locking Sperzels, and I've thoroughly cleaned the guitar, polished the frets, oiled the fretboard and set it up with Rotosound 10 gauge strings.
There is a but... in doing all of the above, I discovered that the truss rod doesn't seem to work correctly - it just rotates. With the current set up the guitar plays well with a nice low action, but it is something you need to be aware of. In addition, the guitar has lots of scratches and marks that hints at its 38 year old vintage!
So, onto the spec - as you'll see from the pictures, this guitar is no typical Strat. It features a maple through neck, each side of the through neck is a nice birds eye maple top. I'm not sure what the body wings are made of on the back (they may also be maple), but it's a good chunk of something fairly heavy. The fingerboard is rosewood and features 24 wide low frets.Tuners are locking Sperzal and the bridge is a standard good quality item. I can't confirm what the pickups are, but they're configured as a pair of twin rail (single coil size) pickups, and a humbucker in the bridge. The humbucker states 'made in Japan' on the back and the rail pickups are marked with an 'R' - it's been suggested to me that they may be Bill Lawrence as this is consistent with what Overwater were using.
On the rare occasions that Overwater guitars come up for sale, you'll see them offered at over £1000. I'm asking a lot less (and less than it has cost me) to take into account the anomalies of this example, but don't be put off - it's a superb guitar that plays really well and sounds huge!
I've communicated with Chris May about this guitar and he replied, 'I can confirm we (I) built this guitar in the very early days of Overwater - from the serial number I would say in early 1980 and will have been made in our first little Overwater workshop unit in the village in Cumbria, from which we took the name… This will have been almost certainly been custom order through one of the shops and built to a customers specific specifications.' If you like your custom built rarities, then this is a great one to add to the collection.
Price: £500 reduced to £425 and now £400 £350 collected from Nottingham or posted at cost
Trades: I have a number of trade ideas and am open to suggestions, I may also include some cash either way depending on what you have:
- USA or MIJ Fenders
- Levinson / Blade
- Fernandes / Tokai
- ESP / Schecters
- possibly something more superstratty from Hamer, Jackson, Charvel
PRS Tremonti or SC SE models
Always interested in any Eggles that are kicking around, especially LA Pro II