Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oscar Schmidt

After the week in 2003 where I bought a guitar, bass, and electric drum kit all in one week the guitar bug had definitely bitten me.

In the fall of 2003 Blink 182 came out with their last album which was simply self titled, "Blink 182." I had the Fender Tom Delonge Signature Stratocaster but I found out, when this album dropped, that Tom had a new signature guitar put out by Gibson, Fender's competitor. With the itch to buy guitars I probably would have bought this new model right away except for one thing...the price tag. While the Fender model was around $600 this new Gibson design was commanding a $2500 price tag. Yikes!

So, what was a boy to do?

You got it, I decided to build one myself.

I found a cheaply made Oscar Schmidt knock off that looked about the same as the Gibson design for a clearance price of $150. I ordered a new pick-up for it and some new knobs. And one night, once all the parts had arrived, my friend Adam Trapani and I ripped this new guitar apart and rebuilt it to look like the Delonge model. And it took all night long.

We replaced the guitar's bridge pick-up with a Seymour Duncan Invader pick-up. We rewired the guts of the guitar to make the new pick-up work. We took all of the hardware off of the body of the guitar and, making a quick trip to the Kinko's sign and banner department, added a gold racing stripe down the middle of the body. We added the new knobs and cleaned it all up.

When we finally finished the sun was coming up and I remember driving Adam home while we watched people getting ready to go to work and start their day.

It was a great night and I wish I had more time these days to do fun stuff like that. One of the things I still want to do is a project guitar. I'd love to design it myself, buy all the parts, and make a custom built Sean Tiffany guitar. But I can never seem to find the time.

So, this guitar will always be special to me. I never play it and it's in a closet in a guitar case but I can't seem to bring myself to ever sell it. The Fender bass, stratocaster, and electric drum kit I showed yesterday have all either been sold or given away.

But this guitar, the cheap Oscar Schmidt, is here to stay.

Tomorrow, the gear I am using now to make the OilCan Drive album.


rob! said...

Way cool!

Sean Tiffany said...

After writing this post I have the itch to build a guitar again. I've found myself on all day looking at guitar necks, bodies, and parts...uh-oh.

Somebody stop me...