Callaham Vintage S bridge review

August 15th 2007 | Posted in Reviews | 68 Comments

I recently replaced the stock bridge system on my black Strat with a Callaham Vintage S Model kit. The old saddles had deep creeks in them from the strings and I’ve always had problems with keeping the intonation.

Callaham bridge

Callaham offers a wide range of replacement parts for most Stratocaster models. The Vintage S Model is a faithful replica of the classic pre- CBS Fender bridge with needed upgrades. It also comes with a shortened tremolo arm… a welcomed feature for us Gilmour maniacs. Visit Callaham Guitars (see “S Bridge details”, left menu) for more technical info.

One of the improved features is the tremolo block. I’d never though it would improve my tone as much as it has. The guitar sings with rich sustain, fatter bottom and a distinctly punchier attack. It’s amazing how good it sounds even when I’m just strumming acoustically. The slot for the tremolo arm is also improved making the arm very sensitive and extremely smooth. (see “block details”, left menu)

I also love how the string slots on the saddles are slightly lengthened so that the strings flow more easily. The guitar stays in perfect tune even when I’m abusing the tremolo arm.

The Callaham set was a great surprise and one of the best investments I’ve done in a long time. A big thanks to Ernest for recommending it! It really brought new life to my bellowed black Strat! Highly recommended!

David Gilmour Signature Strat!

June 30th 2007 | Posted in David's Gear | 73 Comments

DavidGilmour.Com brings news about the new promised Fender Gilmour Strat. Initial plans were to release the guitar in early 2008 but now they have decided to issue a model in due with the upcoming DVD in medio September! Estimated price tag is $4000.

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Skreddy Pedals review

May 31st 2007 | Posted in Reviews | 68 Comments

I’ve had the pleasure of trying out some of the most talked about pedals on the net, – Skreddy Pedals. They’ve caught the Gilmour enthusiast’s attention with nicknames like “Pinkmour”, claiming to catch the very essence of Gilmour’s tone. I just had to check this out…

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Interview with Tim Renwick!

May 20th 2007 | Posted in Miscellaneous | 33 Comments

You might only know him from playing with Pink Floyd, but Tim Renwick has played with them all. His résumé is a long list of top selling bands and artists and his reputation among fellow musicians is right up there with Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler and David Gilmour. I’m very proud to share this interview I recently did with Tim Renwick.

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Reverb – good or bad?

April 24th 2007 | Posted in Feature Guides | 44 Comments

Article updated August 9 2009

Reverb can make a dry toneless guitar sound like something an angel played in a huge cathedral. It’s the tool of every producer making the music sound alive on record. Yet, reverb can also kill your tone and make every effort of producing the greatest tone on earth seem like a complete waste. In this article I’ll try to share some views on a topic that often cause a lot of debate.

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The Telecasters

April 13th 2007 | Posted in David's Gear | 44 Comments

Although David is mostly associated with the Stratocaster, he has always been a big fan of Telecasters. His very first “Floyd” guitar was a Telecaster and over the years, David has recorded and performed numerous songs with this classic guitar.

The article takes a look at all of David’s Telecasters, from the blonde he used when joining Floyd to the Custom Shop model seen on his latest tour. You will also learn more about David’s more famous Telecasters, like the 1959 Custom used on Dogs and the legendary 1955 Esquire, seen on the About Face album cover. Crank Run Like Hell on your iPod and enjoy!

The Bill Lewis Guitar

March 8th 2007 | Posted in David's Gear | 24 Comments

We all know the story about how Gilmour used a custom designed guitar to reach the high tones on the Money solo from Dark Side of the Moon and most of us has also seen the guitar in action on the studio footage from Live at Pompeii. The Bill Lewis guitar is one of the most talked about in David’s collection; still the details about its origins are rarely documented.

Guitars

- David pictured with the Bill Lewis guitar for the BBC Classic Albums documentary in 2003.

David visited Bill Lewis and tried one of his guitars when Pink Floyd played in Vancouver, Canada, on October 9th 1970. Later that same month, Bill’s wife met Gilmour (and Bill) at the airport in San Fransisco where he got the guitar. The earliest footage of David using the Lewis is from Copenhagen, Denmark, November 12th 1970. It’s seen in action on several performances throughout November and December, notably on a French TV-show at ORTF-TV Studios in Paris 4. and 5. of December.The guitar made its studio debut during spring/summer 1971 when David used it to record the solo on Echoes and of course he used it to record the last part of the solo on Money in 1973. The Lewis is still in David’s possession and was last seen on the BBC Classic Albums Dark Side of the Moon documenray (2003) and at the Pink Floyd Interstellar Exhibition in Paris, France, in 2004.

Guitars

- The Bill Lewis guitar. It was made of mahogany and had a removable back.

I’m very pleased to share the following article written exclusively for Gilmourish.Com by former Bill Lewis’ colleague, Mark Fornataro.

“The Lewis custom guitar, designed by Bill Lewis of Vancouver, played a significant role in the recording of Dark Side of the Moon. David Gilmour’s Lewis, built for him in 1970, has the very rare 24 accessible frets. The fret spacing was worked out with the use of a computer, which back in the late 60s, when the guitar had its debut – was also rare. This allowed for better accuracy than usual, in terms of pitch, and of course the full 2 octaves on the high E string allowed Gilmour to reach notes unattainable on his Strat. The extra wide fingerboard which flattened out by the 24th fret is also a great advantage for bending notes.
Jimmy Page, who has a Lewis guitar, wrote me 1992, referring to the guitar as “quite revolutionary”. Not the least of these revolutionary features were Lewis’ own humbucking pick-ups which were cast in resin using a vacuum system, the first time pick-ups were designed in such a way; they are capable of a very clean sound with great sustain (David’s guitar also had switches on each pickup for humbucker and single coil options. – Bjorn). Another first, a trade secret at the time, was the neck design through the incorporation of two parallel rectangular steel bars running the length of the neck and epoxied beneath the fretboard for stability. This allowed for a very fast neck; much thinner than guitars of its time. Gilmour’s guitar is built of a single piece of Honduras mahogany, an ebony fingerboard and Schaller heads. The snap-off back made for easy accessibility to the electronic components.”

Guitars

“The Lewis guitar first gained notoriety in Vancouver on August 9 1969 when Eric Clapton used one for an entire Blind Faith concert. The Vancouver Sun published a picture of him using it on August 11. After Bill Lewis started getting more orders for it luthier Mark Wilson and I were the only two working full-time handbuilding them. Wilson had suggested approaching Clapton. I started working with Lewis in October 1969 and got on the promotion bandwagon, suggesting approaching Gilmour and was thrilled to see him trying one out in the store in 1970. I remember he had his little finger hooked around the volume control, rocking it back and forth, thus producing an amazingly even vibrato. Mark Wilson died very young in the early 70s and the guitar which had always been a special labour of love, never mass-produced, went out of production. Bill Lewis, a master luthier who also made great acoustic guitars and had given a keynote address at a luthier’s convention, died in 1996 at age 61, leaving a legacy to be proud of.” (by Mark Fornataro © 2007)