It is always a treat to work on guitars that have been on the road and seen the world. In this case the guitar in question is a Legator N7-300 belonging to Legator artist Matt Szlachta. Matt is an impressive player to say the least and some forthcoming demo’s will make that abundantly clear. Matt is currently a member of extreme-metal band Broken Hope as their lead guitarist (with previous stints in Chimaira and Dirge Within). We began talking about an install project prior to the holidays and it quickly evolved into what you see here.
Here we see the guitar stripped off it’s previous equipment and prepped for the Cycfi XR system. It’s always interesting to note the factory markings that lay hidden in the cavities of guitars.
The first step was to run the pickup wiring harnesses through the channels in the guitar and into the control cavity. The channels are sized generously which made this a breeze. This guitar has a traditional “PAF” style rout/pickup-ring arrangement. Next the pickups were installed in the rings (note the cool clear baseplates, more on those later). Then the harnesses connected and the pickups installed – first the bridge, then neck.
Moving on to the control cavity we see the one instance of soldering required. As with the previous install (Strandberg Boden OS7) the guitar was already equipped with a stereo barrel jack and it made sense to retain it. Once the jack was soldered, the switch and pots were inserted and a battery spring-clip installed for secure mounting of the 9V cell. Lastly the remaining wiring harnesses were attached. (Note the pre-installed jumper on the volume/preamp pcb which is in place to allow for the low-pass tone control spec’d for this install.)
Here we see a diagram of the default switching configuration as well as a detail of the control section. (Our new 5-way allows for customized switching configurations as well.) This guitar is equipped with our low-Z passive coil XR’s. As mentioned above preamplification duties are the purview of the integrated volume-control preamplifier.
Now for the finishing touches. The bridge was replaced and the knobs and switch tip added. Note in second picture how the clear baseplates allow you to see the neck-through laminates in the pickup cavity, pretty cool! Lastly the guitar was strung with a set of Matt’s custom La Bella strings and pickups heights optimized while conducting a basic sound-check.
Of course, the magic really happens when an inspired player has the opportunity to sit down with an instrument. Thankfully that is already the case with this guitar. Stay tuned as we post demos and clips of this Legator N7-300 in action!