What to Consider Before Ordering a Custom Guitar
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Ordering a custom guitar is exciting. You get to make an instrument that is built just for you and has one-of-a-kind characteristics. Our bass player, Rom, uses a custom build Sadowsky from New York. If you are thinking of getting a custom build, here's a guide on what to expect.
Placing the Order
When you place the order the staff will walk you through the selections including:
- Type of wood for the body
- Type of wood for the top
- Type of wood for the neck
- Type of wood for the fretboard
- Body shape
- Bridge/Machine head hardware colour
- Body top colour and finish
- Fretboard inlay type
- Pickup types
- Number of strings
- Neck-nut width
- Neck radius
... and some possible extras
- Battery housing type
- Bass extender lever
- 3-band mid-range boost EQ presets and selector switch
- Kill switch (this particular bass is the first Sadowsky to have a kill switch)
Now The Fun Part - Selecting the Top
Almost immediately, the staff will show you a full array of woods to choose from. There's a wide range to choose from so the selection process may take a few weeks, allowing for time to "sleep on it" and change your mind a few times.
Here's the final Buckeye Burl top selected for this build.
First Pictures - The Cut Body
Just like the anticipation of seeing your unborn baby's first ultrasound image, the first picture of the cut Alder wood body and top arrive in a few months, and the excitement starts to build.
The New York custom Sadowskys have hollow bodies which make them super-light. Sadowskys made in Japan have solid bodies.
Be warned, once you use a Sadowsky hollow body bass you will forever-after complain about the weight of other bass brands.
Second Pictures - The Neck
Pretty soon, the pictures of the neck and fingerboard arrive. This build has a roasted maple neck with ebony fingerboard.
Custom fingerboard inlays are also available but add extra cost and time to the build time.
This build has standard fender dot inlays.
The Most Important Part - Colour and Finish
Uh oh, the colours didn't blend together correctly. We're going to have to try again. We actually experimented quite a few times to get the colour blend just right for this build.
Nailed it! Now we finally have the color tones right.
It's an exciting moment to see the completed neck and body joined together. Delivery day is fast approaching.
Ready to Drill Holes
We only get one shot at drilling the holes, so we need to plan out the positions of the 4 control knobs and the 2 selector switches for the EQ's and kill switch in relation to the bridge.
Piecing It Together
All the holes have been drilled and electricals are in place. Now it's time to put all the pieces together. It's starting to look like the finished product.
Just adding strings, strap connectors and control knobs.
Final Inspection and Shipping
Each delivery is personally inspected by Roger Sadowsky himself (not in photo) and packed with a fingerboard protector and shipped. Total build time is usually around 14 months but this could be longer depending on what custom changes you want like custom fretboard inlays, colours and finishes.
Ultimate Test - Playing it Live!
Time to use it live with the band, and see how it looks and hear how it sounds on stage.
That's up to the audience to decide. We love it!
Disclaimer: Black Rain Sky has no affiliation or endorsement agreement with Sadowsky Guitars.