After 5 years of dedicating myself to the study of golden age models such as pre- CBS Strats, Teles, Basses and late 50's Les Pauls and ES-335's I finally feel comfortable enough to clear my mind and try to design something that I believe might bring some freshness into my work. The big question for me always was "why invent something new when the old stuff is so perfect" and the truth is, no matter how much I struggled with the idea of a new design I just couldn't think of anything that will be seriously meaningful in tonality yet simple and different in a good way. Sure... I could have taken a '59 LP, change the outline, headstock, inlays... etc... and call it 'my own' but this is not good enough. Visual shape doesn't really change anything. On the other hand, building something that is way out in terms of construction materials, PU's and building methods might be a mistake for me because I'm still a vintage purist in my soul and my entire experience is based on the old guitars, be it the lumber, glues, shapes, PU's, methods... I find the old school stuff magical and consider it as a base for anything I do. So... the recent idea was simple (as always). I made a list of the attributes I find important in an exceptionally good sounding guitar and another list of the things that I don't like. If I'll be able to suppress the bad and emphasize the good the outcome might just be 'my own'. Why 'my own'? because this is reflecting the way I, as a player and a builder, can control the result and create something that has roots in the past but is still different. I'll be making a few new models but will share only one in this thread. This design is called 'Bone' and will reflect my new take on a late 50's Les Paul. It's common knowledge that not all of the original bursts sound exceptional. Some are great some are not so much but when you play one of the great ones you can understand why it has become an iconic instrument. I've been doing my best to build my 59 LP replicas to the highest standards and I believe I gathered enough experience by now to be able to control the outcome and achieve consistency where every guitar that leaves my shop is great sounding (to me at least). Making a long story short... Here's the good and bad lists: GOOD: 1) Tight balance of frequencies across the entire range 2) Even bass and treble response across the entire fingerboard 3) Strong and well defined midrange with depth and sweet articulation 4) Enough brightness but no harshness 5) Wide dynamic range 6) Perfect balance between PU's 7) Sustain 8) High resonance and high acoustic level 9) Low weight for comfort BAD: 1) Not very comfortably played while sitting down 2) Weight of the average LP can get a bit hefty 3) Some PAF's just don't cut it 4) Headstock gets broken easily 5) Inconsistency - some are killer some are not 6) Some design factors don't contribute to maximize tone quality If I can make some changes to emphasize the good stuff and diminish the bad it would be a good starting point. The only question is how much emphasizing is just enough and not over the top? This is where a proto build is needed. I'll be messing with the above attributes the way I see fit and judge the changes with my hands and ears... there's no workaround.