Sunday, January 24, 2010

Indie #17 - 'Shredder' Neil Brocklebank signature model

No I don't know who Neil Brocklebank is either. Looking on the Internet would suggest he's a shredder from York, but that's all I know. Anyway, here's the spec...

Body: Solid Alder
Body Top: Curly maple
Body Binding: 2 stripes abalone
Neck: Hard maple
Neck Binding: Abalone
Neck Construction: Set neck
Fingerboard: Ebony
Fingerboard Inlay: Neil's inlay/coloured holes
Headstock Binding: Abalone
Head Machine: Grover
Top Nut: Locking nut
Bridge: FRT500/FR tail
Hardware: Black
Pickups: 2 humbucker alnico/Indie custom
Electrics: 1 volume, 1 coil tap, 3-way toggle
Truss Rod: 2-way dual action
Scale Length/Frets: 648mm(25.5")/24 frets
Finish: See-thru blue

However this doesn't really get across all the little design touches that make this a more interesting than usual superstrat.

For a start it's got a set-neck. This is not massively unusual but certainly a change from the usual bolt-on fare. The body has a pretty maple top visible through the finish and an abalone inlay that follows the line of the neck.

Most unusual is the control layout. They are quite far forward and inset into the body. The 3-way toggle is on the base of the lower horn, like the Washburn Nuno Bettencourt models, but the way it's inset means it's more out of the way. The volume control is almost completely flush with the body but a scooped section means you can roll it with your finger or the palm of your hand. So it's accessible but not in the way. The usual solution to this problem is to have it further back but then on Floyd Rose equipped guitars there's then a fair bit of metal in the way if you're looking for it. Finally there is a red coil tap push switch hidden on the underside of the guitar. At first glance this looks like a damn stupid place to put it but then in use it's remarkably easy to find.

Then there's the fretboard. Instead of inlays you've got holes right through the neck. It's almost like somebody was doing a DIY job of fitting some LEDs and never got round to it. In practice the holes make zero difference but you can sort of feel the position you're in at the back of the neck if you plant your thumb on them. The holes are specific to the Brocklebank Shredders, standard ones have the usual dot inlays so this must have been his idea. It's certainly unusual.

The thing I didn't immediately spot is that this has a special strap button at the top horn. With standard buttons screwed into a very pointy horn they never seem to sit very nicely and can damage the finish. Indie have fitted a button with a long section that goes into the body, which is much more nicely finished than usual. Of course this has stopped me fitting straplocks, but that's no big deal.

In play it works well like all my Indies. The only issue is that the Indie Alnico 'Custom' pickups aren't maybe as suited to it as they could be. I reckon it would have been better off with some of their Ceramic 'Extreme' ones. The low profile licensed Floyd Rose is adequate although when set for correct intonation almost fouls the body routing. I'm tempted to buy some replacement saddles and shorten them.

1 comment:

Callum said...

You should try and dig up some information on first gen maverick (brand) streetfighter (model) guitars they used both the set in strap pins and holes for inlays back around 2000-2002 sort of time. Unfortunatly maverick had stopped trading now