A year with my Millimetric MGS3
I knew it must have been approaching the arrival 'anniversary' soon but with life as busy as it's been of late it had slipped my mind. It wasn't until someone kindly commented on my 'NGD' unboxing video over on my YouTube channel last night that I realised yesterday marked a year to the day since my MGS3 arrived! So I thought it might be good to follow up on my time spent with the guitar and ultimately, did I still admire it as much as those first few weeks/months we often call the honeymoon period. Well the good news for me, is of course a resounding yes!
It's been around 14/15 months since I received this first photo update of the build preparing to become my instrument. You can see the walnut stack in the middle of this pile of timber, that went on to become the body to my guitar and it's great to check back on these photos again.
The guitar was quite different really to what I'd been used to playing since a young age, which was predominantly Strats, and quite traditional ones at that aside from a good run with a tricked out Jeff Beck signature. So the scale length, neck shape/profile, board radius, pickup combination, bridge, control layout, tuners, pretty much everything stepped away from my 'comfort' zone so to speak. But I do believe doing that was a good thing, I'd grown a little tired of chasing other peoples sounds and tones, it does of course teach you a great deal but the idea of a blank canvas and importantly, one that inspired me to play more regularly felt more important to me now. As you probably know already from reading my previous articles about this guitar (and Florian's work in general) is how much I admire the design aspect of it. There is, and rightly so, a place in history and our guitar playing hearts for the classic designs, but something about the lines of a Millimetric that spoke to me and I can't tell you how many smiles it's brought to my tired face since this MGS3 has been hanging on my walls!
I haven't changed much, if at all really. I managed to find a really great matching Mother Mary Company strap so that to be kept back from stock! Along with a lovely Loaded For Bear Audio cable in Jon's 'Ling' colour which is a pretty good compliment to the MGS3' copper finish too. Both look great with the guitar.
One of the many cool things that happened during my first year with the guitar was that I was approached by a writer at Stuff Magazine, as they wanted to feature Millimetric as part of a guitar spotlight they were putting together. As the demo model MGS2 had recently been featured by Guitar Magazine, ideally we wanted to use another model so I offered to photograph my MGS3 for them which worked out really well indeed! The guitar ended up as the centerpiece to the article, getting a full page image, so that has been a nice keepsake for me.
But I've mainly just spent my time playing the thing! The neck profile is quite a bit slimmer than what I was used to with my old Strats, where I usually favoured chunky profiles. But with that, I found I was pretty lazy and wrapped my thumb around the neck a great deal. Although of course I can do that with this slimmer profile, I soon found that I was dropping my thumb a little further down without even realising it. Which over time I have found has helped me work on my playing technique and try and improve things there. So maybe a slimmer profile neck was actually better suited to me than the chunky ones I'd used previously. Either way, enjoying the change and I have been enjoying trying harder at being a more efficient player, ultimately making me feel like I deserve to own such a well made instrument!
Only thing I have changed more recently is to remove the treble bleed cap from the volume pot. I left it a good while before doing so, as I wanted to see how I would get used to it, potentially even preferring to have it fitted. In theory, I very much understand the benefits of a treble bleed cap, but truth is I've never used one on my previous guitars so it sounded a little too much to my ears. It just sounds more natural to me to not have one, so I have removed that for a while to see how I get on, so far so good! Set-up wise I have barely touched it, just a little refinement during string changes, which I've kept to 11s as originally set-up. I couldn't begin to put a figure to the playing hours spent on it, but it's got to be a pretty impressive figure and a year on, I'm still reaching for it off the hanger first. But also, very much reminded just how good it is after playing other guitars too. Very proud to have this guitar and still enjoy playing it, and admiring the design each day too!
Thanks for reading,