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Titanium Pull String Party!

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Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:25 pm    Post subject: Titanium Pull String Party! Reply with quote

Dave Evans was in town last week for a quick visit to have me complete the setups on the 4 Titanium Special Pull String guitars he's built. He was jacked around by three different "boutique" shops for about a year trying to get them done and up for sale; he doesn't play and while his setups are excellent he wanted a little extra attention paid to these as they're rather high-end (and a one-shot run...titanium eats tools so these four are IT) guitars.

The bodies and necks from USA Custom and John Carruthers are absolutely outstanding, so it made the jobs relatively simple. I had to laugh, though, over one guitar that had supposedly been "Plek'd" - but had no nut or strings on it! Rolling Eyes Luckily he did NOT have to pay the shop that claimed to have done it.

The guitars are on his website (, but I thought I'd include a few pics from Friday.

One on the bench and the others in the queue:

Installing a nut on T02:

Tuning while setting intonation on T02:

Working on T04:

Dave's Titanium bridge/Callaham brass saddles on T02:

Kona, the shop steward, making sure I'm keeping my nose to the grindstone:

Dave had not had a chance to hear any of them through an amp yet - I'm not sure anyone had (I had played T03 at one of the shops and they weren't real cooperative about even getting me the right kind of strap to try it with...the guy handed me a nylon Slip-'n-Slide asking to use an amp was useless. And none of their amps were even plugged in).

So we checked 'em all out and compared them to my steel Pull String (#002) (with a boost-coil Fralin one-off bridge pickup and Lawrence single rail Strat neck pu), ultralight stainless Pull String prototype Thinline Tele (Velvet Hammer VHTBX bridge and Harmonic Design Mini-Strat neck)and Dave's prototype steel purple metalflake Pull String (Duncan Broadcasters).

The Titanium Specials have either Fralin or Lollar pickups, specific types recommended by Tommy at USA Custom for the body wood.

Short version - not too much difference between the Lollar and Fralin pickups; The Titanium Specials all had strong treble bite (as expected) and the volume/tone controls worked well together to give them an extended harmonic range, very strong in all positions. Rolling off the treble 50% really warmed them up,, and between there and about 75% up seemed to be the "sweet range".

All have tremendous output and sustain, with T03 slightly "rounder" due to the chambered body and T04 closest to traditional Tele tones, not having a maple top. The "original 2nd generation" steel models had strong and warm Tele-like tones with the pickups clearly making a difference (each good in a different way); the stainless Thinline had the most "Clarence-like" tones from the (roughly) '70-'73 period, with added Strat neck pickup tones and more harmonic/dynamic range than the steel models.

But the Titanium Specials definitely covered the most harmonic and dynamic range of the bunch (or a "Clarence Clone" loaded with Duncan stacked humbuckers and Nashville West #0001 with Velvet Hammers) and IMO could be used for any style of electric guitar, with great country twang, smooth jazz tones, warm or biting blues sounds and screaming rock tones.

Whoever is lucky enough to buy any of them is going to be extremely happy. I'd consider an one of the 4 a "desert island" guitar. Dave has told me Carruthers' shop in Camarillo CA is going to be handling the sales end (each one with a flight case and complete adjustment tool kit).
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