Werewolf Pat brings you awesome guitars, restoration projects, DIY tips and tricks and much more!

Finally! After lots of time and efforts my custom made left handed Gibson Maestro Lyre Vibrola tremolo comb is done! It is a unique piece for a quite unique guitar and I can’t wait to install it on my Epiphone Firebird… For those who don’t understand the situation, left handed Epiphone Firebirds are using a right handed string comb which means the tremolo arm is facing up! Nonsense! Not to mention it is an insult to left handed people! I did find an original Gibson left handed tremolo comb (probably from an Elliot Easton SG) but it is chrome plated and made from zinc alloy… I couldn’t find a company able to gold plate a non magnetic alloy so I decided to make my own from steel and by doing so not only improve tone and sustain but also be able to have it gold plated! The funny thing is that during the time it took to make the steel comb I found a company able to plate the original Gibson one in gold! So in the end I have 2 left handed gold string combs, one from zinc alloy and one from steel! My next step is to compare the tone and sustain of the 2 and see if steel is better than zinc… After all that holds true for Stratocasters so why should it be different with the Maestro Lyre Vibrola! Time will tell and I will make sure to post my findings!

maestro lyre vibrola tremolo from Gibson

Dan Altilio of Top Gear Guitar shows us this incredibly nice reproduction of the Adam Clayton Popmart bass, an instrument built for him by master luthier Jerry Auerswald of Germany… Scott, the owner of this great bass guitar belongs to a U2 tribute band and he commissioned Dan to build his latest dream instrument… As usual Dan went out of his way to make sure the quality is second to none and the result speaks for itself! Scott will certainly be happy with it and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of this bass guitar on YouTube very soon!

U2 Adam Clayton’s Popmart bass high quality reproduction by Top Gear Guitar!

The Mighty Strat is essentially a Fender Stratocaster on steroids! I wanted sort of an Ibanez PGM 300 RE guitar but more versatile so after discussing things with Dan Altilio of Top Gear Guitar in San Diego, I opted for the Dimarzio PAF JOE in the bridge position, the Dimarzio FS1 in the middle and the Dimarzio PAF PRO in the neck… Combined with a custom S1 Fender switching system and an all steel tremolo this guitar rocks like there is no tomorrow! The body and the neck are from the company Mighty Mite, hence the name Mighty Strat! I bought the neck and body separately from 2 different people and I really scored on both! The quality of the wood, the finish, the frets are truly amazing… This guitar is very comfortable to play and the body’s wood is so nice that I decided to keep it as natural as possible and I will only clear-coat it with a satin waterborne clear… I decided not to use stain and keep this guitar as natural as possible since Mighty Mite was nice enough to go out of their way to make this body so nice! I will soon post some pics and videos about this truly great guitar, stay tuned!

The Mighty Strat really deserves its name!

This awesome guitar was built by Dan Altilio of Top Gear Guitar in San Diego, California… It has the body of the Fender Jaguar and the features of the Fender Stratocaster! It is outfitted with Dimarzio area 58 and 61 noiseless pickups, a Callaham tremolo, HipShot tuners, a Graph Tech nut, a Fender Eric Clapton pre-amp and a candy apple red paint job with matching headstock… Check out the photos and the upcoming article and videos…

Custom electric guitar based on Fender Stratocaster and Jaguar

I ordered this incredible guitar from Phantom Guitar Works in USA… It is a left handed version of the famous Brian Jones Vox Teardrop Mark III, an electric guitar that became the epitome of Rock legend of the Sixties! Vox built 4 prototypes of this particular model based on Brian’s feedback and some of his requirements were for only 2 pickups with the bridge pickup mounted as close to the bridge as possible, one tone and one volume, a 3 way switch and the head stock was to be painted white, like the body… The result is a surprisingly awesome guitar with sort of a Fender Telecaster sound plus of course its own totally far out design! Phantom Guitar Works owns the trademarks for some of the classic Vox guitars of the 60’s and the owner Jack Charles is a great guy to deal with… They offer a wide range of Vox reproduction guitars and they are of much higher quality than the original Vox and much cheaper too! I am so pleased with their product that I already ordered another Teardrop but this time it will be a lefty Triburst hollow body model with a tremolo… As of this writing only 5 left handed units will be made and mine is the second so it means only 3 are left!!! If you are left handed and have around $1100 I strongly suggest you contact Jack Charles and get one before it is too late! Why spend more than 3 grand on a Gibson ES 335 when you can have this great and unusual axe!

phantom guitar works usa vox teardrop mkiii mark 3

A faithful reproduction of the original Vox Teardrop, only much better and cheaper!

It may be an inexpensive guitar but it is nevertheless a very good one! The neck is very comfortable and the quality of the finish is amazing considering its price range… The cherry sunburst is very nice and lets you see some of the wood underneath… Of course they had to cut corners but overall this guitar is very good! I have planned some major modifications for her and the list is quite long! I got a lot of parts on Ebay for excellent prices so in the end the cost of upgrading this Les Paul will not be bad at all… Here is my plan: Dimarzio D-Activators passive pickups, CTS matched pot set with Sprague Orange capacitors assembled with silver wire, a Graph Tech Tusq XL nut, a set of Hip Shot locking tuners, a Graph Tech Resomax NVS Tune O Matic bridge, a Graph Tech NVT tail piece, a switch craft high quality jack output, steel neck inserts and a deep neck contouring with metal ferules in place of standard neck plate… I haven’t decided on the paint job yet but I intend to keep some red on this baby since the neck is so comfortable that I don’t want to have to re-paint it! Inspiration will come when I start with this project!

epiphone les paul 100 left handed

A lot of cool mods planned for this very nice Epiphone Les Paul!

I searched hard but I found one! I couldn’t be happier to find such a fine example of the famous Fender Telecaster. This one is made in Mexico in 2002 but it is flawless and sounds excellent… It needs a good setup and a nice set of strings and it is ready to rock! I do not plan any massive mods on this one, it is almost perfect as it is… I am considering installing steel inserts in the neck to improve sustain but I will give myself time to think about it! In the meantime enjoy the photos!

left handed fender telecaster sunburst

Fine specimen of the Fender Telecaster in sunburst color

This lefty MIM black Fender Stratocaster is a prime example of a high quality yet inexpensive guitar… After doing a comparison test with an expensive USA made Strat we came to the conclusion that Mexican Strats can be as good as USA Strats… Keep in mind that this is not a rule! In any case and even with the USA models it is highly recommended to try many different Stratocasters (or any model actually) until you find one that sounds exactly as you want! There are noticeable differences between guitars of the same brand or model. With this beauty I got lucky but regardless I will pimp it to make it even better! I will start with a set of Dimarzio area 58, 61 and 67 noiseless pickups, a Graph Tech Tusq XL nut and a Callaham tremolo block mounted on the stock assembly. I will also slightly contour the heel using a genuine Fender left handed contoured neck plate and since the body is black I may be lucky and only have to repaint the heel section of the guitar and try to blend it in with the rest of the body but if it doesn’t work, I’ll have to repaint it completely… No big deal, just more work!

lefty fender stratocaster black

Beautiful black Fender Stratocaster for a very low price!

This very cool MIM (made in Mexico) Fender Stratocaster has seen a lot of action since its birth in 1998… Its previous owner played the hell out of it and that’s very cool because a guitar should be played! The paint is still excellent but the frets show some wear and the neck’s clear coat is starting to peel… Nothing major but I decided it is time to rejuvenate this baby! I have quite a few plans for her and unlike my SG-400, I will do a lot of mods… I will start with an ebony fingerboard and some 6105 stainless steel frets, some Sperzel locking machine heads, a Graph Tech Tusq XL nut, a Callaham tremolo assembly, Lace Alumitone pickups mounted on a custom pick-guard with a modified Fender S1 switching system… The neck to body joint will be based on the Ibanez system which favors ferules instead of a steel plate… This system allows deep contouring of the heel for great access to upper frets… I will also notch the lower horn a la Herman Li to further improve upper fret access… Read full article for more info!

fender stratocaster made in mexico MIM

This great veteran Strat is ready for some serious pimpin'

8 September, 2010

I bought this awesome Epiphone Firebird SG 400 left handed in a pawn shop in Texas for $155 including shipping! Although it has a few scratches I consider that it is in perfect condition… It was made in China but the build quality is excellent. This guitar is extremely cool and I love the easy access to the upper frets. I can say without hesitation that this Epiphone SG is as good as any Gibson SG made in USA… I will do some upgrades but actually not many because this guitar is already excellent… I will change the bridge, the nut and the pots, that’s about it… The pickups are excellent and the Grover tuners are also good so no need to spend too much money! The finish is still very good and only requires a serious polishing with some major elbow grease!

epiphone sg 400 lefty

A beautiful guitar indeed with a cherry red finish