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Kiwi

Alan Knight - Hitmaker replica

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A couple of months ago I dropped Alan Knight a line and asked if he might be interested in making a replica...sorry, a TRIBUTE to Nile Rodger's original hitmaker guitar. You know, the white one that he's never seen without these days...?


It's got an interesting story behind it - started off as sunburst '59 with a rosewood fingerboard and over the years it turned into Triggers Broom with changes that included an Oly white refin and maple fingerboard neck off a 60 strat, the plastic pickguard was replaced with a chrome plated brass job to screen EM interference, the Klusons were replaced with Sperzels for faster restrings and the top hat knobs replaced with Gibson Speed knobs. The wood for the body was from a batch of alder that Fender bought very cheaply in a remote location only to discover later that the cost of shipping was way more than anticipated. Apparently Leo instructed the mill to saw the body blanks slightly thinner than normal so that they'd get more bodies out of the shipment and cover their losses. Apparently these bodies were being used on instruments up to 1962 at least.

Anyways, here's the one Al made.
[attachment=206273:DSC03457.JPG]

The attention to production details is very impressive. He made the body from scratch and I think the neck was licensed Fender as the profile is classic and chunky. The pickups come from a Russian supplier who can do vintage recreations at very reasonable prices. To finish, I put a Fender decal logo on it and added a few more key fob dents, scrapes and scratches. I'll stain the exposed wood a little to dirty it up in places too.

[attachment=206274:DSC03464.JPG]

Al mentioned that on the real one, the Fender part of the decal sits further from the headstock edge. However, on the custom shop Hitmakers, the logo is inline as on all the other Fenders. So if anyone ever needed a way to tell whether Mr Rodgers was playing the real thing on stage, this is how!

Hitmaker OEM:


Hitmaker CS:


Sound wise, I didn't have high expectations but was stunned by how close it sounds to the records. Fender's custom shop reckoned the scratch plate changed the inductance on the original so it sounded mellower and slightly less spanky. I think the same has happened on this instrument too. There's a very distinctive chime to the muted notes which has been captured brilliantly.

Really happy with how things turned out and Al's prices were extremely reasonable.

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I'm not normally a fan of relicing (is that even a word? :unsure: ), but that looks really rather good. Any numbers to go with it - time it took, cost, etc. From the text I'm guessing that the parts were sourced very specifically for this instrument...?

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Nice tribute!

Have you managed to source a genuine chrome plated brass pick guard? The only reason why I ask, is that they are aren't readily available... Fender apparently had the exact number made up for the CS release and no more. My friend has made his own Hitmaker (took a Nash guitar and had it refinished and relied) but couldn't source a genuine chrome plated brass pick guard.

His solution?

Well, he is a chrome plater by trade so he had the CAD made up, the brass cut and then chrome plated a number of them, 11 holes (like Niles) and 8 holes - properly countersunk. If you are interested in getting his details to get one (if yours isn't brass), hit me up with a PM.

Similarly, if you have got a brass guard that is chromed, where did you get it from? You can get plenty of chromed pick guards - but not brass - and I'd be intrigued to see where you got it from.

Edited by EBS_freak

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[quote name='leftybassman392' timestamp='1448908051' post='2919104']
I'm not normally a fan of relicing (is that even a word? :unsure: ), but that looks really rather good. Any numbers to go with it - time it took, cost, etc. From the text I'm guessing that the parts were sourced very specifically for this instrument...?
[/quote]

The build took about 6 weeks and the quoted cost was £650 but I supplied the sperzels and the pickguard so he knocked £30 off. He makes each instrument to order so yes parts were sourced specifically for this instrument.

[quote name='EBS_freak' timestamp='1448967129' post='2919594']
Nice tribute!

Have you managed to source a genuine chrome plated brass pick guard? The only reason why I ask, is that they are aren't readily available...
[/quote]

It was a genuine chrome plated brass pickguard made by Kahler but sold as NOS by a guitar salvage guy on Ebay for £45. I didn't think much of it at the time but it sounds like I might have been super lucky?

Al has someone who can make them for £60 each.

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[quote name='Kiwi' timestamp='1448968658' post='2919612']
It was a genuine chrome plated brass pickguard made by Kahler but sold as NOS by a guitar salvage guy on Ebay for £45. I didn't think much of it at the time but it sounds like I might have been super lucky?
[/quote]

Yeah - defo. Spent quite some time trying to source one. Similarly, those that said/advertised they could make one, wouldn't or couldn't. Guess they just want to shift large numbers, which lets face it, isn't probably going to happen regularly.

The add a fair bit of heft to the weight too.

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On 01/12/2015 at 11:17, Kiwi said:



It was a genuine chrome plated brass pickguard made by Kahler but sold as NOS by a guitar salvage guy on Ebay for £45. I didn't think much of it at the time but it sounds like I might have been super lucky?

Al has someone who can make them for £60 each.

1

Whats the easiest way to contact Alan, I see he's on LinkedIn, but it took me ages to get rid of that.

 

I'd like to put a Hitmaker together for my eldest son for his 17th birthday, he's Stratless at the moment, usually uses my Levinson Blade.

 

And apologies for resurrecting necro thread :)

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On 20/06/2018 at 21:42, Ratae Corieltauvorum said:

Whats the easiest way to contact Alan, I see he's on LinkedIn, but it took me ages to get rid of that.

 

I'd like to put a Hitmaker together for my eldest son for his 17th birthday, he's Stratless at the moment, usually uses my Levinson Blade.

 

And apologies for resurrecting necro thread :)

Initially, I used LinkedIn but he's on Myspace too (do we all remember that...? ;) )

@realting Here's a pic of the Hitmaker replica with my pre-EB stingray. 

 

20170428_085758.jpg

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