* TL Mahogany kit with EMG T System Active Pickups *
This is my first kit build and it was a lot of fun! The guitar plays great, but it was not without a few challenges. I wanted to get a different pickguard, but the overlap on the base of the neck is too thick to allow for most pickguards (this comes with a one-ply plastic standard 8 hole - which looks great by the way, I just wanted something different) and I had to use a dremel and a grinding stone (wear eye and hand protection!) to widen the opening in the bridge to make way for the EMG pickups. I took a lot of time on the neck and the frets and it really paid off. This guitar sounds great. If you have always liked the simplicity of a T-style guitar, but never liked the bright twangy bridge sound and the dark neck sound this is the way to go.
I was ready to solder and shield. That is not needed with the EMG T System. It has its own control plate, output jack (you use the kit jack plate, it's fine) and the wires will fit through the cavity tunnels. At least they did on mine. I used a dremel to route out the control cavity to fit a 9 volt battery in under the control panel. These pots come pre-installed on the control panel and need very little room. If you unplug the instrument when not in use, you are "turning off the power" to the pickups (when you plug in you turn it on) EMG claims that you can get about a year out of a battery with normal, regular use. And it is 2 screws. But be ready to find a place to put the battery.
Once you have a battery you can put in an LED kill switch, etc. Sustainers are also a lot of fun.
The wood on this kit is really nice. I was set to paint it and I used Danish Oil (4 coats) then wipe on poly on the headstock and body - NOT THE NECK - this neck is sweet as candy just well sanded and oiled. It has 3 good coats of Danish Oil, which hardens in the wood not on the wood, so it still feels like wood. Holy Moly this is a good neck! Hats off to Fretwire; they sell good s***.
I finished the front face of the headstock with a vinyl decal of my last name and then put a coat of StewMac Nitrocellulose Lacquer over the decal and also did the front face of the guitar, but 2 very light coats. I wanted to keep this wood as natural looking and feeling as I could knowing this will be a gigging/recording guitar that will need to be durable. I love it.
Can't wait to do another kit. ~jck (SLC, UT, USA)