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 first ax, but proceeded with Alder because it is harder and robust for the radical body shape. The 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 Hot Rails in the neck is also a Ceramic magnet with a resistance of 10.9Kohms and has been my favorite for decades. The wiring schematics were kept simple, partly from the stress of the performance deadline. I may eventually return to re-solder a coil-split configuration.
Gotoh hardware for the locking tremolo, nut, and machine heads were challenging to source with the time-constraints. The locking tremolo studs and nut were also difficult to manage without the right industrial tools, but I prevailed against set backs with elbow grease and the help of a trusted Dremel.
The current schematic of the wiring soldered for this guitar, June 2022
This project took many years without a dedicated workshop space. KN-001 was finished in the eleventh hour of Boston Music Project's 10-year anniversary; I began with a shred-improv of Bach and jammed a rendition of Schenker's Coast to Coast (Em) with the non-profit's wonderful teaching artists. Fantastic time for a great 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
This awesome project would not be possible without the support of my wife and kids. Special thanks to Chris Schroeder and the teaching artists of Boston Music Project.