I've been wanting to build a semi-hollow body guitar for a couple of years now. I actually started designing this guitar in April of 2014 and last year I scored some amazing billets of Caribbean Rosewood also known as "Chechen". This particular species has been catching on in recent years in the guitar manufacturing world because of its tonal qualities and abundance, so I decided to start a build for stock and in September (2015) I had a follower of my builds on Facebook take over the build. (I offer this on any builds that are headed for stock). Rick (the owner of this guitar) did have specific requests for this guitar, including OBEL (On-board effects loop) as well as an H-S-H configuration (Humbucker, single-coil, humbucker). After figuring out everything the client wanted, we moved forward with this amazing build.

Name: Natural Beauty
Series: SH Series
Serial#: 0023
Date completed: 3/4/16
Weight: 7.5 lbs.
Fingerboard:24 frets, 25" scale, 12" radius
Tuners: 6-in-line Black Locking Schallers with custom ebony buttons
Nut: Handmade natural bone nut
Pickups: Custom, in-house handwound pups with Alnico 2's on the the Humbuckers and Alnico 3's on the single coil
Electronics: Vol, Tone mini DP's to activate/kill pups, OBEL (On-board Effects Loop) with mini DP to activate.
Bridge: Hipshot Black Piano Bridge
Body: Genuine Mahogany with Caribbean Rosewood drop-top and headstock lam
Neck: 5 Piece E. Indian Rosewood & curly maple
Fretboard: Gabon Ebony
Headstock: Seahorse
Pickup rings: Custom ebony pup rings
Finishing: Isolater only (Matte finish). Paint by Moecolors
Extras: Single coil pickup is not standard on this build, so it was added to the guitar at the customer's request. Custom electronics, glow-in-the-dark side dots, recon stone inlay of rose on 12th fret, wood inlay of rosebud on trussrod cover, custom electronics cavity cover & custom control knobs (Ebony with Chechen tops)

Click on the photo below to enter the slideshow

"My experience with Virgil began when an old friend sent me a link to a write-up on Virgil's Dueling Dragons. Virgil's attention to detail captured me, and I bookmarked his pages for future reference. Fast forward to mid 2015 and I noticed Virgil had a semi hollow in his build sequence and was looking for someone to take it over. The timing was perfect as I was looking for a small bodied semi to add to my collection.

Virgil and I had countless conversations over the ensuing couple weeks to formulate a plan for the build. As a musician of 40+ yrs, my requirements for a custom build were many, Virgil bent over backwards to incorporate the most important elements into my build, and I can't thank him enough. I was kept up to date, both online and off, throughout the build process. It was hands down the best experience I've had with a custom build.

Specific notes on the guitar itself:

She came in under estimated weight, and the balance is perfect. Pickups are modeled after late 50's PAFs, Virgil was spot on recreating what I was looking for. The neck is an absolute dream to play, I'm not sure if this is his normal profile, but it's fabulous. The matte finish was exactly what I wanted, Virgil did a great job explaining this to Moe's Colors. I'm a sucker for a nice shiney guitar, but I feel this finish is better... and I don't have to polish it! Side note: the OBEL/effects loop routes the pup signal to my pedal board and back, then out to my amp. This allows me to turn the volume up and down without changing the signal sent to the pedals. This means the pedals don't react differently to an increase in the input. This is especially important to those who use an envelope filter, octave pedal, or others, that vary according to input level provided.

Overall, an incredible experience I'll never forget. Virgil includes tons of extras with the build, a top notch case, and mutliple follow ups to ensure all is well. You can't ask for more."

Richard Bauer - Cumberland, VA