Because this place drives me bonkers sometimes I tend to drift off and think about things that aren't so stressful at times. I was looking at pics of the Scientists touring the US and saw heaps of pics of Kim Salmon playing the Flame guitar I had made him, and realized that was exactly a year ago I made that for him, which got me thinking about the TMI guitars I started making over a year ago.
One of the first shapes I made in the TMI series after the Vibratone and the Versatone II was the Tokai Hummingbird. It's always been a huge influence on my guitars and I've loved them since seeing them in a guitar book years ago. It was the main influence, along with the Guyatone LG-150 on my original Mosrong series from the early 2000's.
Anyway, I had made this body along with a few others around the same time to make myself another Hummingbird but with a few twists.
This is made the same as the other TMI guitars being a hollow body or tone chambered body with a centre block. I have explained how these were made in previous blogs (linked above) so I won't bore you with the details again. They are simple 3 or 4 "slab" pieces cut and then glued together to give me the chambers.
The necks are from a manufacturer I was working with who were producing "blank" necks and I was finishing the shape and feel by hand here before painting. I used to make everything myself but as explained before, I just don't have time any more and most of my favourite guitars were made by several different factories and assembled by the brands I know and love. So until I have time to make everything from scratch again this is a way I can make some guitars and keep this place going.
So, the BuzzingByrd ....
The body is hollow chambered and a simple German carve around the edge like most Japanese manufacturers did back in the day to give the illusion of being slightly Mosrite. I like this simple carve on some shapes but do love the wonderful German carve Semie did on original Mosrites.
This is a pretty thick (and big) body at 45mm thick but isn't heavy due to mostly being hollow. The original Tokai had the neck hanging right out of the body with an extended tongue like this. When well cut and assembled it's stronger than it looks.
The neck is one of my TMI 25.5" scale maple with rosewood fretboard necks shaped down to much thinner than a standard Fender style neck. The tuners are Gotoh Kluson copies and it has a bone nut. The headstock is the same shape I have used on all my TMI guitars so far and is Hallmark/Rickenbacker influenced.
The pickups are my T-90's wound to 11 and 14K with a celluloid top plate to make it look a bit more vintage Japanese. These are modified P-90 covers with an aluminium bar across the bottom, like Mosrite for height adjustment.
Controls are a standard three way toggle for pickup selection and a master volume and tone control .... AND
I decided to make a built in Tym Buzzrite (Mosrite Fuzzrite) fuzz just like some original Hummingbird (and other Japanese guitars) had and it has a slider switch to engage and one knob for intensity.
The bridge is a Hallmark style roller bridge with a narrow string spacing and the vibrato is one of my TMI "offset style" with the baseplate shape to replicate a Mosrite vibrato.
I really enjoy making guitars, which is how this all started, I just can't seem to ever find time to do it, but, I'm going to try and get back into my original idea for making these TMI guitars for friends and maybe the shop. It might just save my sanity ... or make it worse, who knows?