Walker Phoenix 2010The PhoenixScott Walker spent two years designing this instrument. It followed detailed consultations with Steve Kimock, Jason Lollar, and John Cutler. The blade ‘Jazzmaster’ style pickups were designed especially for this guitar by Jason Lollar. The electronics are stereo with dual preamps designed and built by John Cutler. The pickguard is copper with a special patina and hand engraving by Scott. Scott Walker and Steve Kimock began discussing guitar ergonomics in 2007. After detailed discussions of how an instrument should look and feel, how it fits the human body and how it makes playing more delightful; they current design emerged.They then began looking at the neck joint. They re-examined bolt-on technology and added an extended tenon. This improved alignment, stability and tone transfer. The pickups were mounted directly to the tenon for increased resonance.During this time Steve began discussing pickups with Jason Lollar. They came up with a wide, thin, blade style single coil. When both pickups are on they are hum-canceling.Looking further into the electronics, Steve looked back on some of his favorite guitars and we decided to start working on a stereo circuit. John Cutler then offered his expertise in onboard preamps. John designed and built a unique two channel Unity Gain Buffer, helping to manage the two signals. It had the sound that Steve was after. John and Scott also incorporated the passive circuit to get the best of both worlds.Scott and Steve then added the solid copper pickguard to shield the electronics and create a canvas for Scott to incorporate his patina and engraving skills. 25 1/2″ scale21 frets1 11/16″ bone nut2 ¬” string spacing at the bridgeStrings through the bodyDouble action truss rodKluson tunersGraphite reinforced neckChrome hardwareLollar blade style pickupsCutler preampBelize Curly Mahogany body and neckBrazilian Rosewood fingerboardMedium jumbo fretsTone Pros bridgeCopper pickguardThe ElectronicsThe Phoenix can be played in stereo, with a stereo “Y” cable, or played in mono with a standard mono cable.To be played in stereo:Insert the stereo jack of the “Y” cable into the guitar. The legs of the “Y” cable become the two channels.Channel 1 is the neck pickup and channel 2 is the bridge pickup. This allows you to send each pickup to a different amp and ultimately have two chain of effects in each channel.On the guitar, there are three mini toggle switches. The one closest to the bridge is the “Pickup Reverse” switch. This allows you to switch which pickup goes to which amp in a live setting.The second mini toggle switch is the “Stereo/Mono” switch. This allows you to play in either stereo or mono, and if using the stereo “Y” cable, you can send both pickups to either channel 1 or 2.Passive or Active? – You choose!The third mini toggle is the “Active/Passive” switch. This changes the signal form either hi or low impedance. In the active, or low impedance, setting you get a transparent crystal clear tone and avoid the loaded down signal from cables, and effects pedals. In the passive setting you get a more traditional passive sound.There is a volume and tone for each pickup. Because both the active and passive circuits require different potentiometer values, we have added custom stacked pots to get the right sound for each circuit. Two pots for each control but only one knob!There are pickup selectors for each pickup. In the up position they are in phase, middle is off, and down is reverse phase. This gives you complete control over the phase of your pickup. Certain effects will reverse the phase of your signal. If this is the case, you can simply reverse the phase of your pickup and it will then be in phase with your amplifier!To play the guitar in mono with a regular mono cable, plug in the cable, set the switch to mono and you still have the benefits of playing active or passive.Preamp Details:The unique, two channel preamp was designed and built by John Cutler specifically for the Phoenix stereo guitar. The design is based on the unity gain buffer that he originally hand built for Jerry Garcia’s “Tiger” guitar.The buffer essentially acts similarly to an automatic transmission for a car. It ensures that the pickups and associated controls are properly loaded with a constant, high impedance. At the same time, it delivers a low impedance, strong output drive to whatever combination of cable, effects and amplifier the guitar is plugged into.Tonally, this results in a more transparent, clear and true sound and it eliminates any high frequency roll off caused by external loading. The guitar becomes more articulate, dynamic and responsive to the player’s touch.The Phoenix also incorporates an independent passive mode which completely bypasses the active buffer circuitry. In this mode, the signal from the pickups goes through traditional, high impedance volume and tone control networks. This allows the player to access the best of both sonic worlds at the flick of a switch.