#1
On Tuesday, I got a package that had to come through customs from England.


This is a Henry Heller strap with a surfboard-like pattern!


But that can't be it! Importing a guitar strap from England would be silly.

This is a tweed (hardshell) Fender guitar case.


But that didn't come from England, either. Ahhh...here we go...









But its not a Fender!


Its a Fret-King Super 60 HB in Ice Green. That Fender case fit it like a glove, so you know what its like.

This baby has a nice, matte finished neck that is pure pleasure to play. The alder body has been nicely carved to fit my fatness...errr...for maximum comfort. It's not too heavy, and notes ring out fairly well when played unplugged. The guy I bought the case from was happily surprised at how well it chimed. Another salesman thought it was a G&L at first,

The pickups are pretty much what you want from a HSS Strat-type guitar: clean, with twang, and just a bit of extra growl when the HB is engaged. I got nice classic rock tones, and had a blast playing some surf guitar tunes.

The Tremolo is a Wilkinson VS401V, and is the source of my sole complaint. This is an engineer's tremolo, not one for a schmoe like me.

To be clear: I gave this thing a serious run through, with numerous pull-ups and dives for more than 90 minutes, and my tuning did not alter one bit. It was rock solid. Here, the engineering is grade A

The complaint is that it is not as intuitive to get the trem arm in place as the other tremolos I have had in my (admittedly limited) experience. On my non-Bigsby trems all you do is screw the sucker into its slot on the bridge.

Wilkinson, apparently, made the very clever design decision to have many (if not all) of their trem arms work in all of their various trem bridges. As such, it has had its butt-end internally threaded...but the VS401V has nothing for it to screw into. So it just slides into place.

I knew that couldn't be right- though snug, the thing would slide in and out with any real whammy action. So I contacted Fret-King and Frets Guitar Centre (from whom I had made the purchase- great guys, check 'em out) and got the answer: slide the arm into its socket to the desired height, then depress the arm like you're doing a dive. This will expose a little slot for the tiniest Allen wrench in your guitar's kit, and you tighten that thing until the trem arm does not slide around in its socket.

Its clever. It is NOT intuitive. And it is NOT mentioned in the manual.

But boo-freakin'-HOO! This guitar is classic rock through and through.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 14, 2013,
#2
Danny, you should telepathically already know how much I dig this!
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#3
I knew you- and probably Mephaphil- would love it. What surprises me is how much I'M loving it.

This is my second purchase this year in which I didn't get what I really wanted- in this case an Ice Green HSS Fret-King "Strat" instead of a metallic orange one with 2 single coils and a P90 in the bridge- and the second time I have been pleasantly surprised.

Its like that Rolling Stones song- you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 14, 2013,
#5
I think it's really cool. The mini humbucker looks great.

Sound clips!
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


#6
I do keep looking at it, it's just really nice.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


#7
Quote by Mephaphil


Sound clips!

Alas, I am not set up to record, really. One of these days...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
very nice i had an older wilkenson trem on a guitar a long time ago, they are definitely nicely engineered pieces. i probably could have told you how to get the trem bar in. they stay in good tune. better than any fender trem i have tried. (haven't played any USA models since 2011 though so maybe there is).

WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#9
Wait, there are more of us Surf Guitarists here?
Quote by chip46
"I'm discontinuing production on the Timmy now as well. It might come back into production at some point down the road, but probably not because people will just clone it anyway cause they're stupid jerk face doo doo heads. -Paul C."
#10
I play a bit of Surf/Spy and other stuff besides. But Surf/Spy music holds a special place in my heart as a player. Got a lot of Dick Dale, the Ventures, Link Wray, Duane Eddy and especially Laika & The Cosmonauts in my CD collection, to name a few.

And this guitar was bought with all of that in mind. I'm considering putting some heavier strings on it for that nice thicker low end tone to balance out the twang.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 14, 2013,
#11
The pickguard is bothering me :/ other than that its beautiful man. Congrats!
Guitars:

1998 Squier Affinity Stratocaster

Amps:

Peavey Valve king 112

Money is just paper, but it affects people like poetry.
#12
LOVE IT!


Im jelly. I adore that it's not a Fender. And the humbucker looks great. Did i mention im jelly?
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
#13
Quote by williamdllr
The pickguard is bothering me :/ other than that its beautiful man. Congrats!

It is a bit goofy,,,and if anything happens to it, replacing it won't be easy.

Of course, if anything happens to it, I'd probably try to go for a wooden pickguard. I know a place that does such things- not cheap. But maybe a little palm tree motif burned into it...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#15
I do like it, don't misunderstand- on this guitar, in this color, it reminds me of a wave appropriately enough. But like I said, if anything happens to it...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 14, 2013,
#17
I play G&Ls and Fenders through a Bassman or HRD. How can a dude like me NOT love/play Surf music? I'm totally with you, Danny. I listen to a lot of contemporary surf bands. We'll have to do a music swap sometime.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#18
Ooof. What a stunner of a guitar Danny!


Surf's up brah.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#19
That is a great looking guitar, Danny! I'm not a Strat guy myself, but that one has enough difference from the standard H/S/S Strat to stand apart. HNGD!
OffsetOffset
#20
I just watched a review video of this guitar the other day. Beautiful indeed! Congratz!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LnjSgfoaWo
G͔͓̅e͎͉̟̽ͬ͐̎̃͐ͨͅå͈͖͕̹̤̟̐̏͋ͅr̩͕̫̰̗s̹̳̼ͥ̒̍̄̅ͥ̚:


ESP Standard Eclipse I CTM VW
ESP LTD Deluxe H-1001
ESP LTD Deluxe Viper-1000 STBC
ESP Edwards E-EX-100STD
Warmoth Paulcaster "Tiger"
Tanglewood TW170 AS
Vox Tonelab ST
Blackstar HT-1R


#22
And, FWIW, I might never have gotten this guitar if D3M0N1C hadn't turned me onto Frets Guitar Centre, which had some ridiculous limited time offers on certain Fret-Kings.*

So hats off & thanks to D3M0N1C!


* And they're still doing some!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#23
Quote by JustRooster
I play G&Ls and Fenders through a Bassman or HRD. How can a dude like me NOT love/play Surf music? I'm totally with you, Danny. I listen to a lot of contemporary surf bands. We'll have to do a music swap sometime.

I am actively looking forward to getting my HRD set up again specifically for playing some surf tunes on this guitar, and some stuff on my recently acquired Reverend Flatroc.

A bit of warble from my Boss Rotary, a little chorus form my H20, maybe a bit o grit from my Famulus...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#24
Gotta love that real Fender spring reverb tank, homie. You can't not.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#25
very nice

i got one of my fretkings from them, too. they seemed to be pretty good, the guitar was in really good condition etc.

if you think the trem is annoying now wait till the little grub screw falls out on you when you're trying to adjust it I must have wasted 20 minutes trying to get the thing back in. Don't get me wrong- it's a really good idea, and does stop the arm from slopping about in the socket. But (IMO) the way gotoh does it on their floyd is better, having it on the actual trem arm's collar. Having to depress the bar etc., while it maybe makes the trem look more vintage accurate, is a total faff.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#26
Yeah, like I said, its an engineer's trem. I have no idea why they didn't just use the screw the thing is threaded for, or have the exterior of the arm threaded like on my only other non-Bigsby trem, I'll never know. I'm sure there was a reason,but its not exactly user friendly.

It immediately reminded me of 90's era Chryslers that had their alternators rear-mounted behind a wheel, Audis with the battery underneath the rear passenger seat, and Pontiacs with head-rest releases located inside the seats, requiring a special tool akin to a locksmith's window jimmy. The "solutions" generated as many problems as they solved.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#27
haha yeah
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#28
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Yeah, like I said, its a bad engineer's trem.


fify
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#29
Nah, if it were a bad engineer's trem, it would be non-intuitive AND suck! This thing is really, really good. It just wasn't made so that Joe Schmoe could figure it out just by looking.

Its probably more accurate to say it is an unfettered engineer's trem. I bet nobody on staff thought to say, "Yo, TW- can the man on the street out this together without instructions?"
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#30
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Nah, if it were a bad engineer's trem, it would be non-intuitive AND suck! This thing is really, really good. It just wasn't made so that Joe Schmoe could figure it out just by looking.

Its probably more accurate to say it is an unfettered engineer's trem. I bet nobody on staff thought to say, "Yo, TW- can the man on the street out this together without instructions?"


Ok I see what you're saying. Guess I should have read the first post a bit better anyway, I still think the best engineers should consider how easy an object is to operate by the average user. I think when you're making a design it's easy to think that everyone will find it easy to use, just because you know all the ins-and-outs of it. It's like when Herman Li writes a guitar part, he probably thinks it's a total breeze to play
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#31
I still think the best engineers should consider how easy an object is to operate by the average user. I think when you're making a design it's easy to think that everyone will find it easy to use, just because you know all the ins-and-outs of it. It's like when Herman Li writes a guitar part, he probably thinks it's a total breeze to play


Bingo!

It really applies to anything potentially complex. Sometimes, it pays dividends to have another person- possibly even one who is completely outside your field of expertise- look at your work. Ideally, anything important I do, I like to have another person make sure its as clear as I think it is; that my message is actually getting through.

One of my other hobbies is jewelry design. I have designed pieces ranging in price from $50 to $50k. However, not everything I come up with is a winner...

Over the years, I have learned to listen to the jewelers I work with- besides their words, their tone and body language will often tell me if I'm getting ready to sink a lot of money into a project.

Wilkinson needed someone he trusted to tell him that the Allen wrench trem arm attachment method was...ill advised.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 15, 2013,
#32
Cool guitar! Love the color and it sounds great! I have a bunch of guitars including a Strat w/lace sensors. Different sound, but quiet. I had a '71 strat, purchased new in '71, but sold it in '83. Big mistake. :-(
#33
Strat with Lace Golds? I hear good things.
Quote by Shredwizard445
Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


Quote by Shredwizard445
Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


#34
Quote by Mephaphil
Strat with Lace Golds? I hear good things.


Bitches love Lace Golds. Especially bitches like me
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#35
Nice Danny! NGD is a day to be noted on the calendar for posterity. Ice Green? Beautiful shade indeed but could it possibly be Surf Green? Ref The Fantastic Baggys. Enjoy!
#36
Ice Green is essentially Fret-King's version of Fender's Surf Green, near as I can tell.

Now that some time has passed, a little update:

I have to say that I really wish Trev had made this trem with a screw-in arm. The tuning stability is excellent, as I said before, but adjusting its height with that tiny Allen wrench is annoying. Because it is pressure only holding it in place, if you don't tighten it enough, its height can slide up or down. And, of course, you'll need to fiddle with it whenever you need to put it in its case.

That is a minor quibble, however.

The pickups...I don't know what they used (probably their own), but the singlecoils are fairly noiseless and the HB has a little bit of snarl. Just enough to add a bit of bite to the tone when selected without completely changing it.

The guitar is still a dream to play. I put it in a class with any Strat style guitar I've ever played, and I'll definitely consider other guitars from Fret-King in the future.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Apr 22, 2013,
#37
I'm pretty into surf, so I commend both your guitar and its colour. HNGD. This reminds me, I have to make one of these for my Jag.
yep