Staccato Mamba – Build

This was less of a build, and more of an evolution.

It started out as the ‘ultimate blues guitar’:


It had a neck off an Ibanez Blazer with the headstock re-shaped, some horrible aftermarket bridge plate which wasn’t a standard size and caused some headaches later, and an unusual pickup layout of Telecaster bridge, Strat middle and PAF neck. I was after the Keith Richards sound of Tele bridge and PAF neck, and also wanted the classic Strat tones. Some trick wiring gave a useful range of options.

The guitar was finished with oil and wax which was easy to do and low maintenance, but didn’t really showcase the awesome flame of the myrtlewood top.

Although the wiring worked well and was easy to use, my playing style didn’t really make full use of it, so when the time came to upgrade this one, I decided to change it completely. The original plan was to use a standard Telecaster plate and fit a Lil’ 59 pickup, but the old plate was bigger and the holes wouldn’t line up. After a lot of head scratching I discovered a Wilkinson cut-down Telecaster hardtail which fitted over the string holes. A chrome humbucker surround just covered the tele pickup rout, which I opened up to take a full-sized humbucker. I swapped the neck for one which I had tried on the Telemaster and not liked the look of. It worked perfectly on this guitar.

I tried several neck pickups, including a hot Telecaster neck and a Mini Humbucker. The P90 just had bags of tone and blended really well with the tapped humbucker.

There’s still a rout for a middle pickup under the pickguard, but I haven’t fitted one.

I’m not sure I like the Pearly Gates Plus in this guitar. It’s very bright. I’d like to try a P-Rail.