This year I have spent quite a lot of time visiting one of Australia’s finest luthiers Charles Cilia. I had Charles and his team fix a couple of guitars including my 1994 Patrick Eggle that I thought was beyond repair as it has never stayed in tune, Charles quickly spotted a series of problems that needed to be addressed and a week or so later I had a guitar that is now way better than when I bought it, a complete transformation. Each time that I visited Charles’s workshop I checked out and played the latest finished guitars and saw what was in development. I have been totally blown away by the amazing quality of Cilia Guitars, they play, feel and sound better than any guitar I’ve owned so it was only a matter of time before the G.A.S. became too much to bear.
Two guitars caught my eye in particular, a couple of custom 7 string builds both that were quite different but shared the same neck carve and overall design. The 27″ neck was the most comfortable 7 string neck I’d played, it felt like I was playing a 6 string. This neck has been designed from scratch so it’s not just a 6 string design with an extra string added on which is how I feel about most I’ve played. I went away and played an Ibanez J-Custom 7, a Mayones 7, various Schecter 7′s etc. and nothing came close to what I had seen in Charles’s workshop. That was it I had to have one. On my next visit I spent a while playing one of the finished 7′s (check it out here) and that made up my mind to sell my number 1 guitar to fund a 7 string for myself.
Below is the incredible Maple top that I picked out and the Flame Maple neck blank. The fretboard will be Madagascar Rosewood with no inlays only side dots and the Rosewood will carry through as a veneer on the headstock. The body is Mahogany and it will have a Seymour Duncan Production Floor Custom 59/Custom Hybrid 7 (SH-16) in the bridge position and a Seymour Duncan ’59 7 in the neck position. It will have black hardware including a Floyd Rose and a blower switch on the volume knob to bypass the tone/volume and pickup selector circuits when activated so you just have the bridge humbucker on full volume. I will post more photos throughout the build.
The top cut in half ready for book-matching
The Maple top is then glued together in preparation for glueing to the Mahogany body:
This piece of highly figured Flame Maple will be used to create the neck:
Here is another closer shot of the neck blank: