I bought this from the forum in 2019 - from RevMatt - it was looking a bit jaded and had seen some use over the years. The electrics had been fiddled with and were a car crash unfortunately. It did sound great however!
It was an original from Robs early days as Woodworm guitars (hence the neck plate), a custom order for a German guitarist who picked the fretboard logo of a chess King as that was his stage name I believe.
So I decided to get in touch with Rob after deliberating for a bit and have the body sorted and resprayed, a black headstock overspray, and have a setup, rewire, new pots, new switch, new knobs, new neck plate, gold humbucker cover added, new screws etc.. It took a while due to Covid and other things and I received it back in August last year eventually. When I got it back the body looked great and Rob had done a reasonable job of the headstock painting. I didn't have the neck refinished only polished leaving screw holes from some old tuners (pictured), the setup was done with 11-49. After a month or so the guitar seemed to develop a sitar sound on the B string, and the volume pot became a bit notchy. These issues were slightly irritating so I stuck it in it's gig bag and played my other guitars instead.
Fast forward to Jan/Feb I decided to fish it out again and thought it deserves sorting so I sent it to Jon at Feline Guitars (the best in the business for me) to sort the volume pot out, check out the set up for me and sort out the sitar sound. He also put an Earvana on for me as I like them. Jon had it hardly any time at all and did an amazing job he also blocked the trem for me so it's dive only. He discovered that the sitar sound was due to there not being quite enough tension on the B string so he added a graphtech string tree for me. It now plays as well as it's ever done (better tbh!), it's got rock solid tuning stability, and a nice lived in feel on the neck. It's got a full and rounded sound, almost Les Paul/SG like thanks to the combo of woods I guess, but it can do the strat thing easily too! It's always in tune when it comes out of the bag which is a good sign of quality.
Soooooo, after all that, why am I selling it? Well I'm a single cut player at heart and every time I try a Strat I realise they aren't for me.... You think I'd have learnt by now but it is such a lovely guitar that is now about perfect and needs some love. Look at it, it's beautiful!! Anyway details below for anyone interested, happy to meet up or can arrange shipping whichever!
Quilted Maple drop top on Mahogany body, reveal binding.
Mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard - new black headstock face.
I believe its a 9.5" radius based on my gauges, modern Fender C style neck I would say.
Chess King first fret inlay - side repeaters but no other markers.
Full body resto/respray - one burn mark is visible under the laquer near the bridge, however you can't feel it.
New electrics - new volume and tone pot, new 5 way, push/pull on tone for parallel bridge pickup, new gold cover on bridge pickup
Gotoh hardware throughout, Magnum Locking tuners staggered, EV510TS tremolo bridge with steel saddles and FST block
Pickups are handwired by Martin Dufficy from the Little Guitar Shop in Birmingham in October 2013 and are as follows:
The single coils are early Sixties style with 8300 turns of 42 gauge wire and a DC resistance of 6.1 k ohms.
The humbucker is a PAF style with total of 10,000 turns of 42 gauge wire and alnico 2 magnet, D.C. resistance of 7.1K ohms.
Switching is neck, neck/middle, middle, middle/bridge, bridge. The push/pull on the tone gives you parallel humbucker tones.
The bad bits:
Screw holes visible where the tuners were replaced before I owned the guitar, a couple of barely noticable dents in the back of the neck. There are some laquer cracks in the back of the neck, neither Rob or Jon believe these are problematic, just cracks from the usual years of use and temperature changes over the years. One visible ex burn mark on the body, which can't be felt but can be seen!
Comes complete with a Fender Gig Bag as I'm keeping the case I bought for it.
I'll be honest I have no idea where to pitch this and I'm open to suggestions and offers, with what I paid for the guitar, the restoration (!!?), and the work Feline did for me, I'm out of pocket to the tune of £1.7k+.... So I'm gonna start this one at £1050PPG to your door. If anyone wants to chat to me, feel free!!