The surfer has 1 master Volume control, 1 Tone control for neck and middle pickup and 1 Tone control for bridge pickup only. Temper the brightness of the bridge pickup a little without darkening the tone of your neck and middle pickups. We can use any pickup of your choice, although we like to work with Lollar, Fralin, Nordstrand and others.
A tremolo is a challege. You want tuning stability from a device designed to detune! With so many designs out there, which one is the best? Of first importance to me was tuning stability, of second importance if it had the right ‘vibe’ or ‘mojo’, that is usually ascribed to any small detail supposedly to improve tone, like the right saddle, springs, screw block, etc. The tremolo of our choice is the Gotoh 510-FE1. The 510T block is designed to eliminate friction, resulting in improved stability. It had steel saddles, 2 locking studs and 54mm string spacing. It has an extra hard knife edge and a tight tremolo arm.
Many guitars suffer from protruding fret ends that feel sharp and uncomfortable. This has to do with shrinking and expanding of the fingerboard with the change of seasons. We build our necks with hidden fret ends, to eliminate this a smuch as possible. Combined with our comfortable fingerboard edge you will find this a most easy and convenient neck to play.
Manu times people have complained about pulling the high E string off the fingerboard. Usually that problem has to do with the neckwidth and stringspacing of the guitars. (Although you wonder about some players too…) We designed a neck that is slightly wider at the end of the fingerboard. It’s still very convenient to play but without the infamous high E string frustration.
Our experience in building basses has learned us that a thicker headstock increases sustain. Not only that, it also helps to create a stronger fundamental note with clearer harmonics. Tone just gets better, it’s a fact. So we build Surfers with a thicker headstock. Simple.
We recessed the headstock a little extra too. That way (combined with the right tuners) we can create the right amount of string angle without having to use a string tree. We want no friction in the nut or string tree which causes the guitar to go out of tune. But we also don’t want a thin sound because there is no string pressure in the nut. There is a fine line between right tone and tuning stability. A Tusq nut completes the story.
We increased the thickness of the neck-heel too. We like the neck screws to have a better grip. A small detail maybe, but with far reaching improvement in tone, since the neck is more tight in the neckpocket.