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Thread: Project complete: My Axis (Hybrid) Sport

  1. #1

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    Project complete: My Axis (Hybrid) Sport

    I have always had a real affinity with the Axis in all its guises over the years. I love seeing its many variants in pics and in a live setting. Landmark sightings go back to a Guitarist magazine review of a purple hardtail EVH model when it was introduced, seeing the Van Halen Poundcake and Runaround videos, watching Jerry Cantrell on Jools Holland back in 1993 with a trans blue EVH, right on through to the epic Jamie Humphries on the Musicians Channel series and beyond.

    I came close to a purchase some time back, but Floyd and I just didn’t see eye to eye. I sourced an Axis Sport from a fellow forum member a while ago; a Pearl Blue beauty, MM90s, maple neck with rosewood ‘board, and vintage trem. Lovely guitar; a perfect mix of things for me to try, and the deal was done. The result was along these lines:

    • Trem: Never gonna work for me. Apparently I can make any guitar sound like my first with a trem.
    • MM90s: Lovely subtleness……… but a little lost in my hands.
    • Neck: Stunning, though I really wanted to try a maple fingerboard.
    • Body shape: Oh hell yes!

    Whilst contemplating a plan to source another Axis to suit me better, I managed to snag a great maple neck from all round top bloke Pete Dubaldo. Pete had embraced the lure of the rosewood neck for his Blue Dawn Axis Sport, so international relations were strengthened as his original neck was put back in play on my Pearl Blue Axis Sport. That worked well for some time, but I still hankered after humbucker brutality with hardtail assurance.

    Now that I knew what I really really liked, an evil plan was hatched………………………

    As mentioned, I have always been a huge fan of the great Jamie Humphries. Jamie’s go-to Super Sport, or as he calls it “Old Faithful” is probably one of my favourite guitars. It looks “right”, and sounds fantastic live, filling Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with memorable magnetic and piezo goodness last year. Old Faithful looks killer with the non-zebra DiMarzio 36th anniversary pickups, the brushed stainless piezo saddles, and the clean lines of the maple neck.

    And so the evil plan was named…………. Project Humphries Tribute Super Sport!

    I managed to source a Super Sport that had a fair few issues, but nothing some replacement parts couldn’t make new again. Huge thanks to Alex at Strings and Things for the patience of a saint, sourcing the necessary parts (i'm a little fussy) to make this thing look and feel great.

    I opted out of using lower output pickups and went for a Tone Zone (bridge) and Air Norton (neck) combo as a non-zebra set. I masked off the pickups and sprayed the pickup bases satin black. Switching is a little changed up from standard:

    • Position 1: Tone Zone coils in series
    • Position 2: Tone Zone coils in parallel
    • Position 3: Tone Zone & Air Norton in series
    • Position 4: Air Norton coils in parallel
    • Position 5: Air Norton coils in series

    I added in the ex-Pete DuBaldo neck, threw in some tasty stainless Graph Tech saddles, and restrung this baby with Hybrid Slinky goodness, and we are now good to go. Big thanks to Ian at the Guitar Repair Shop for some great work with the electrics and nut work, outstanding as ever.

    Basically, I think I now have a hybrid Axis variant that suits me very well. Only one thing was missing: Jamie Humphries approval. Next stop, EBMM clinic in Glasgow, and the big fella happily signed the control plate for me - project complete. What a gent.

    Bonus points for eagle eyed trivia monsters....

    Last edited by Sticky1973; 03-17-2012 at 04:59 PM.

  2. #2

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    It looks awesome!!!


  3. #3

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    Looks great!!! Nice work!
    Starry Night LIII HH
    DuBaldo Blue LIII HH
    Bali Burst LIII HH
    some other LIIIs
    25th Anniversary

  4. #4

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    Nice job, beautiful flame on that guitar. I see you used an old style neck plate too, nice.
    Play Ball!!

  5. #5

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    Trivia question.

    Only one output jack?

    Nice work.

    FWIW Jamie mentioned in his clinic at Andertons the other week that his pickups aren't that hot.
    Black Cherry Burst Albert Lee , SSS,Trem & Piezo 2005
    Black LE Albert Lee MM90,Trem 2006 with solid 9k gold knobs;Mesa F50 Combo; Original (owned from new)Marshall 25/50 Silver Jubilee signed by Jim;AER 60 ;WEM Clubman 5W;Musicman RP 65 112;Musicman RD 50 112:

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the nice words guys!

    Fred gets bonus points for noticing the neck plate. I have removed the plate with serial as I am in the process of making a rather nice engraved plate for myself (a touch pretentious, I know!). The current neck plate is on loan from another of my guitars.

    Spud, also a keen eye! The Graph Tech saddles I've fitted aren't Piezo equipped for now, only brushed stainless. Future upgrade being considered is drilling the bridge plate for wire routing 6 x new Piezo saddles and using a stereo output at the jack.

    The 36th anniversary pickups Jamie has are indeed lower output pickups that offer a subtlety and flexibility that is well beyond my playing. I went straight for a hotter pair for brutality

  7. #7

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    Fantastic, I'm glad to see you finally found the neck a permanent home!
    Have you got G.A.S. for another EBMM???
    Visit the all new! <--- My Store --->DuBaldo Music on Facebook & on twitter
    Do you want to TRADE your used EBMM in for a NEW one? -- Email me for details! <--- My email <--- My band

  8. #8

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    That's a great looking guitar! Neat project.

  9. #9

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    Fantastic Blue Flame....... WOW

  10. #10

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    Cool mods and beautiful guitar
    EVH Hardtail Red 1995
    Axis Sport SSS Trem Transparent Purple 1998
    Axis Sport MM90 Trem Transparent Orange 1999
    Axis SS Hardtail Piezo Honeyburst 2007
    Albert Lee MM90 Hardtail Dargie Delight 2007
    Bongo 4HH Stealth 2007
    BFR 25th Anniversary Venetian Red burst 2009

  11. #11

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    Cheers guys, there's a satisfying mod or two in there.

    Yeah, Pete that neck had a little nomadic existence until late.

  12. #12

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    One of the best lookin' Flame tops I've seen in a while !!!
    99 EBMM Silhouette Special (3 Tone Sunburst) S-S-S
    96 EBMM Silhouette Special (Purple) H-S (Custom pickguard)

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