The KN-001 Flying-V Electric Guitar
Made by the Rock Hero of Kuala Lumpur for his heir and all the shred glory in the world.
Body: Alder, '67 V-shape, rear-routed
Artwork: Nigel Kulasekaran
Neck: Maple, 24-frets, compound radius, 25.5" scale, Tung-oil finish
Pickups: DiMarzio Super Distortion (bridge), Seymour Duncan Hotrails (neck); direct mount
Three-way toggle switch, 1 Volume, and 1 Tone
Hardware: Gotoh Locking Tremolo and Machine Heads
Ernie Ball Slinky Cobalt Strings
Seven years in the making and finally ready to rock! A journey of exploration, anticipation, and pride. Inspired by interactions and consumption of George Lynch, Michael Schenker, and Steve Morrill's work. The body shape is based on Gibson's '67 model and is rear-routed for a humbucker-single combination, a configuration that I find the greatest utility for. The initial plan was to use Basswood similar to my other workhorse guitars, however, I went for Alder because it is a little harder and would be more robust given its radical body shape. The body artwork, hand-drawn by my son, was carefully sealed with several layers of semi-gloss clear coat.
The neck is atypical for a Flying-V, it has a scale length of 25.5" with 24 frets instead of a 24.75" scale with less frets. The neck is finished with Tung oil and plays fast.
In May, I was asked to join the teaching artists of the Boston Music Project for an upcoming performance at their 10 year anniversary event. They wanted to have a surprise insert in their set list for the evening. This accelerated the drive for completion.
The pickups are direct mounted with a DiMarzio Super Distortion F-spaced in the bridge and an old Seymour Duncan Hotrails in the neck position. DiMarzio really came through on the custom color for the Super Distortion with very a timely turnaround. The bridge pickup is a 4-conductor Ceramic magnet humbucker with a resistance of 13.68 Kohms. The initial plan was to solder a coil-split option, but opted to keep the schematics simpler because I was rushing to finish the project for the BMP performance. The Hotrails in the neck is also a Ceramic magnet with a resistance of 10.9Kohms, it has been my favorite for decades.
Gotoh hardware for the locking tremolo, nut, and machine heads were challenging to source with the time-crunch. The locking tremolo studs and nut were also difficult to manage without the right industrial tools, but prevailed with the help of a trusted Dremel. I think that Gotoh makes really high quality hardware.
The current schematic of the wiring soldered for this guitar, June 2022
This project took many years without a dedicated workshop space. Being opportunistic with tools in tow during family vacations across New England's country side was necessary to usher progress. I finished KN-001 on the eleventh hour of Boston Music Project's 10-year anniversary; I began with a shred-take on Bach and we jammed a semi-spontaneous rendition of Schenker's Coast to Coast (Em) with the non-profit's wonderful teaching artists. Fantastic time for a good cause.
Jamming with Sébastien Ridoré (viola), Christopher Schroeder (drums), Chris Hernandez (bass), Scott Ziegler (bass synth), and Rafael Nocedo (keyboard)
Post Office Square, Boston, MA
Photograph by Kevin Trimmer
Big thanks to my wife, kids, and neighbors for supporting this awesome project. Special thanks to Chris Schroeder and the teaching artists of the Boston Music Project.