I promised a NGD post for this guitar, so here we go (Images are all from ToneTree, they are better than my own):
I saw this ad:
sometime last month, really liked the look of the guitar and decided to give it a try. I got in touch with Robbie Bailey, the maker of the guitar, who kindly delivered it to some friends who stay nearby in Kleinmond. No delivery charge. The guitar got to me in Joburg traveling via a network of friends and family.
If I look at the other guitars posted on his page (https://www.facebook.com/ToneTree-Guitars-995333160536338/), this is definitely one of the more affordable guitars in the range --- probably the only reason why I was willing to buy it without playing it.
In my opinion the quality of the woodwork and the construction of the guitar far outshines anything I've seen at this price. On top of that it includes extras like custom maple pickup-rings, a custom maple jack-plate, glow-in-the-dark side-dots, a solid brass nut and a custom maple electronics cavity cover. Robbie also included a set of strap-locks which was a nice surprise.
The neck is perfectly straight, frets were leveled and crowned and action was set nice and low. For comparison, my Epi LP needed work in these areas and was a more expensive guitar. I did do a 1/4 turn truss-rod adjustment since the neck was a bit flat to my liking, but I think that is understandable when moving a guitar from the coast to Joburg.
When I bought the guitar, Robbie urged me to upgrade the pickups and hardware (He even offered to do the installation for free), and I agree with him. The pickups are from an Ibanez GIO, and while they sound good, I think a better set will make this sound amazing. Both Robbie and I agree that the hardware will look better in gold, so my plan is to upgrade the pickups, tuners, bridge and pots as and when I can find some extra loot.
In terms of pickups, I have my eyes on the Dimarzio Bluesbuckers, I think they sound as good as the SD P-Rails, and they come in gold. Bridge and Tuners will probably be Gotoh.
So here are some sounds I grabbed this morning, clean to dirty (excuse the butchering of the licks)
There are some short blips in parts of the recording which sound like clipping but is actually just missing data. Obviously a laptop/reaper issue that I have to hunt down. All sounds came from my Line 6 modeling amp using presets from Line 6.
Anyway, I am very happy with this guitar, and I hope I can get my playing to do it justice.