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A "frequensated" Sheraton II


matthewk

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I always felt my Sheraton looked a bit Dot-like with a hard tail and wanted the Frequensator look. So I ordered a "split-trapeze" tail from forum member Twang, and stripped my 1997 MIK Sheraton down. Replaced the tuners with 18:1 Grovers (my hardware was already stripped to nickel) and I carefully dulled the finish down with 0000 steel wool, then cut and polished it by hand to give it a softer patina. I'll do more pics and give the details later but I thought I would share a reassembly shot. I still need to fill the hardtail holes - I'll use bits of half inch dowel stained walnut, I think (no "custom made" plate for me thanks).

With the vintage burst, inlays and frequensator tail it looks a little like an old jazz box (although I must say I still don't have a lot of love for the pickups). Having the trapeze tail makes it sound throatier and more resonant - less sustain but more "air" or "voice" if that makes any sense. Sounds a tad louder acoustically, which I didn't expect. Surprisingly little effect on string tension / bending.

4036164093_9aed5be1da_o.jpg

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I wonder if the 2 extra "sound holes" have anything to do with the slight increase in volume ?

Perhaps it's because I often practise unplugged, and I've been using a solid-body Telecaster for the last month while I had the Sheraton apart - I just forgot how loud it was!

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I recently put a trapeze tail piece on my dot. To "fill" the holes where the original tail piece was I used these 2 black plastic hole plugger things (don't remember exactly what they are called) I found at the local hardware store. They look good, fit snug and leaves me the option to put the stop bar back in if I ever feel like it.

 

I'll try to post a picture so you can see.

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I reckon Gallagher had one of the Japanese Sheratons from the 80s - like the originals, these had Frequensator tails as standard.

Thanks for the kind comments. I plan to get some maple plywood and investigate staining to match the top; cutting a sharp clear circle will be a challenge. Alternatively I thought I might source wooden buttons for clothing from a craft shop to see what fits.

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  • 4 weeks later...

That must be one of the most beautiful guitars I've ever seen! I'd dearly love an original Sheraton like yours, the colour, grain and finish is perfect, congratulations! My advice regarding the holes would be to allow a cabinetmaker to fix them. He would have access to a huge range of timbers and would be able to make an almost perfect match for you - and he would be quicker! Ok, it would come at a price, but what price is perfection? Your Sherry must be pretty close to it in my opinion!

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.

Before I pulled the trigger on my Sherry II and put a 60's Bigsby on it, I tried a bunch of similar mid nineties Sherry's with the stop tail, and two retro fitted with frequensators. Your comment on bendability reminded me - the one had the frequensator the other way around to yours (short arm / long string on the treble three strings). It was quite different to the almost identical Sherry with frequensator the way round you have it. The three treble strings felt more compliant and it played nicer. Didn't really sound different, just felt better. YMMV but it has to be worth trying.....

As for the pups - I put SD 59's in and they are good for me, vaguely PAF-like but brighter. Tone control will take the bite off when needed (jazzy, bluesy stuff). Wound 'em down lower than I expected and got a real nice tone out of them.

.

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If you want to swap to mini hums, theres a thread in Epiphone Electrics titled "Finally I Found it" that links to a site that sells p'up adapter rings for using minis in fullsized routs.

 

Edit.........I seriously think my next "project" is going to be putting a frequensator & a set of good minis on this

 

GarysCam066.jpg

 

Being ebony, the tailpiece stud holes should be easy to hide...........i'd LOVE the "Custom Made" insert.

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Kind words those - I must take some time to post a few more pics and talk about the process. I must admit that I considered some kind of filtertron pickup but my plan is one day to go for a P90 equivalent - I am more a single coil kind of person.

 

I knocked the finish back from glossy to something a little softer - it's still shiny but it looks a bit worn. Took some photos so I will get to work on a writeup.

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If you want to swap to mini hums' date=' theres a thread in Epiphone Electrics titled "Finally I Found it" that links to a site that sells p'up adapter rings for using minis in fullsized routs.

 

Edit.........I seriously think my next "project" is going to be putting a frequensator & a set of good minis on this

 

[img'][/img]GarysCam066.jpg

 

Being ebony, the tailpiece stud holes should be easy to hide...........i'd LOVE the "Custom Made" insert.

 

thats what im talkn about!

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Oh - forgot to say, a furniture maker friend of mine told me that I should use a plug bit on a drill, and take plugs out of a sheet of maple ply, then stain to match. It's what I plan to do for the stoptail holes - and if I mess it up, she's got the skill to rescue it I hope. After that she reckoned I could build a Telecaster body - good friend to have!

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I'd dearly love an original Sheraton like yours

Hey Andy - it's easier than you think because that's not an "original" Sheraton, but a Sheraton II, made in Korea, 1997. Typically you can pick these up under $400 (in the USA) but you might have to be patient, that "vintage sunburst" finish hasn't been offered for the last 10 years or so. But you should easily get one under $500. There are 4 on eBay which are the same colour and era.

 

Since I got it I have resurfaced the finish, stripped or replaced all the gold hardware to nickel, rewired (VERY difficult job!) and added the tailpiece. So it hasn't cost all that much. Also - the guitar is very very well made, the fit and finish are excellent and the neck is great. Quite a slender neck as 335 type guitars go - much thinner than a Dot or the recent solid-neck Sheratons (mine is laminated from five strips of timber).

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Hey thanks, I'll take this advice! I must admit that I had considered contacting Epiphone HQ to get a quote for a custom finish scheme as per the original specs (surely would be cheaper than a bog-standard ES-335). But I'll follow your advice and see what happens!

 

Keep us up to date with progress photos - as you can guess your guitar is something I'm aspiring to!

 

Manyana, manyana, manyana

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