Shergold Custom Masquerader

These aren't really that rare but it caused quite a sensation on FB yesterday so I thought I'd share this one with you. I have worked on a few of these and although you don't see too many of them, they are around and pretty cheap when they come up for sale. They were made in 6 and 12 string and a bass version too.

These were made in the UK and were a spin off from Burns. They were pretty widely used by British bands in the 80's and 90's and even "famous" for a 12 string version being used by the Church here in Australia.

They're well made and had electronic options out the wazoo. There was a similar model that had a modular type electronics plug in to give different tones for recording too.


  


This one hadn't seen a lot of use lately and needed some real TLC. The control plate that holds the pots and all the switching options had broken. This is common on these as they use a perspex (acrylic) material for their scratch plates which tends to break or shatter pretty easily.

I rang the customer and they just wanted a fix done to get it playing so I opted for making a new plate out of generic scratch plate material.


 


As you can see the electronics are all high quality and complex with tag strip construction. All the Shergolds had this type of electronics with complex multicore wiring and switching.

With a new plate traced and made off the old plate it was time to re-assemble the electronics and put a new output jack in and test it all. Like I said these are high quality parts and generally don't have a lot of issues despite the complexity of the switching. They were well built and assembled.


 


With a general clean the electronics all worked so it was a time for a fret dress and set up. The binding on the neck needed to be glued back on in places which is common on these too.

This one has been well played and feels great. The necks on these are quite thin and remind me of Mosrite necks (not AS thin) but with bigger frets. They're very comfortable to play.

Like most great guitars they have a zero fret which I LOVE. I've said it before in my blogs but zero frets make SO MUCH sense to me for several reasons.


 


The headstock is an interesting shape and the string trees pull a little too far off line for my liking but it all works well in practice. It's a pretty cool shape too.

The perspex badge is a little touch of class which looks great.

I like the tailpiece set up but the bridge doesn't have a lot of travel for intonation adjustment and I have worked on some of these that just won't intonate really well.


 


All in all these are pretty cool. Every time I work on one I think to myself I should probably own one of these one day but never have got around to doing so.I've had a few go through the shop and worked on a few but never owned one for myself. They are very much like a British Mosrite in many ways.

The truss rod is adjusted through a slot in the body under the chrome serial number plate like some Burns guitars used. It's an ingenious way of adjusting the rod as you don't have to mess with the strings or neck in any way to adjust it. Very cool.


Aug 10 2013 Written By: Tim Brennan