About Scott Walker
Scott began tinkering with electronics at an early age. In his early teens he began playing guitar and experimenting with pickups. Fifteen years later he found himself working alongside luthier Richard Hoover, of Santa Cruz Guitar Company, studying acoustic guitar construction. At Santa Cruz Guitar Company he hand carved over 1000 necks. During this time he carved necks for artists such as Tony Rice and Norman Blake. Custom neck carving became his specialty. While mastering every aspect of neck construction he took on other responsibilities as the Shop Foreman. These included all phases of guitar construction, guitar finishing with Nitrocellulose, wood management and tool maintenance. At this time he began developing an electric guitar for the 21st century. After meeting musician Barry Sless, he began to develop an instrument that had the broadest tonal range available. After five years he opened shop and offered his guitars to the public. During his pursuit to develop an electronic package to incorporate into these instruments, he began working with electronic wizards Peter Miller and John Cutler. The collaboration between Scott, John, Peter, Barry and Steve Kimock has opened the door to a variety of options now available on these instruments.
Scott plays guitar and Pedal Steel guitar. Music is his passion.
Onboard Effects Loop
These guitars are optional with a built in effects loop. This allows the guitars master volume to be after the effects (stomp boxes, etc.). The guitar has a stereo jack and a normal mono output jack. When the stereo jack is engaged, with a stereo “Y” cable, the guitar signal exits the instrument on one channel of the stereo cord, is routed through the rack or stomp box effects, is routed back to the guitar on the other stereo cord channel, then goes through the guitars master volume, and finally goes out the normal mono jack, down the regular mono cord to the amplifier. This way the effects are always driven at full guitar output, and the master volume on the guitar controls the volume of the guitar plus the effects. There is also a effects loop bypass switch. This allows the guitarist to switch from sending the signal through the effects loop OR to travel straight to the amp the traditional way by using the on/on mini toggle switch.
Also, with the passive/active switch, you can go from a completely passive to a boosted signal that is adjustable. The new custom preamp, voiced for transparency and clarity, changes impedance from high to low helping to bring out the ultimate harmonic complexity your guitar has to offer.
As an option, these instruments feature a unique array of preamps and buffers. Over the years Scott has installed a variety of buffers from the leaders, CAE Sound. Designed by John Cutler, this preamp buffers the high impedance output of the guitar pickups and provides the low impedance drive necessary to send the signal to the effects pedal with no tone loss. The transparent and glassy, sweet high end of this new preamp make it a clear match for these guitars. It works with the instrument to bring out harmonics and overtones.
The added Gain knob on the guitar allows the player to dial in the right amount of gain, from unity to 6db. With the addition of the active/passive switch, you get the best of both worlds. The traditional passive sound with the pickups natural and intended tone, as it interacts with the cables and other outboard gear, or with the active circuit you get the Hi-Fi, clarity and additional sensitivity that will bring the most subtle of nuances of your playing. With this additional switch you can also use it as a boost selector, when you just want some extra gain for leads.
In 2010 Scott began constructing his own preamps and now are featured as an option in the guitars. At the heart of the booster and buffer circuit is a J201 FET transistor, giving a warm tube like tone. Scotts circuit is unique in the way that it features both a booster section and a buffer section that can be inserted in different spots of the guitars circuit, or run in series. There is no “one size fits all” with these circuits. Scott will go over your style of music, playing techniques, desired tones and pickups, in detail when finalizing your preamp design. You can select the amount of “boost” from a “gain” knob on the guitar, or an internal trim pot to adjust the gain setting. With the true bypass switch on the guitar, the options of doubling your tones becomes a reality. Talk with Scott to find out what will be best for your instrument.
Inlays & Logo
All Scott Walker Guitars come standard with the Walker logo in the headstock.
The Walker “Diamonds” , “Chimera” and “Lotus” repeating patterns are available as an upgrade and are available in Mother of Pearl, Abalone, Corian, and Wood.
The Jimson gets a high quality “Transfer” applied under the finish.
Custom inlays are available. There are many examples in the photo gallery section displaying work done by Larry Robinson. Larry will take your ideas and create a truly custom design for your guitar.
Bellow are some examples of Scott shop built cases. This is optional. We use different cases for different guitars. Please see the price list to see the current case being provided with its guitar. Starting in 2016, we will be working more with Calton Cases and most models will come with a custom case from them. Feel free to contact Scott to discuss options.
The headstock has a few functions. Mass, string pull, tuners, and logo. There are a variety of headstocks available, in a variety of woods, bindings and inlays. When you go over your custom guitar with Scott, you will decide on which design will work best for you. All headstock feature the signature “dart” style volute on the back of the headstock, adding strength and style. Here are a few examples.
Over the years Scott has used a veriety of pickups. Different combinations, by different makers and brands. This is a big part of the custom guitar experience with Walker guitars. You choose, with or without help, which pickups will work best for your guitar and playing style. There are a few exceptional pickup makers out there and we like to “collaborate” with these makers when building your instrument. Most of them will custom wind your set to achieve the tone you are looking for and make your instrument truly one of a kind.
The new Jimson model features hand wound pickups by Scott. With lots of research and development focussing on the “T” style pickups, Scott has cracked the code for an exceptionally clear, full and articulate set of pickups. These feature Alnico 3 magnets, 42 Awg wire, and shellac potting to give just the right amount of liveliness. The neck pickup wire is coated with Plain enamel coating to help accentuate the higher frequencies and the bridge with a heavy formvar to add a little compression and tightness to the sounds. The Alnico 3 magnets, being weaker than the Alnico 5, help with sustain and clarity, making a really usable warm but chimy neck position.
To top it off, Scott hand engraves the nickel pickup cover to give it some visible personality.
Guitars are available in a variety of finishes.
The default is a thin well cured nitrocellulose, wet sanded up to 2000 grit and buffed with a fine compound, leaving a mirror finish.
Satin nitrocellulose is also a popular finish, giving the guitar a silky comfortable feel. Either applied to the neck or body.
Custom sunburst and staining is available and is included in the custom package, in most cases.
When rosewoods are used for neck material, it is sanded up to 1000 grit, and a light coat of oil is used to seal and protect the neck.
The Fathom finish is a thin bronze coating that doesn’t alter the tone of the guitar. It can either be finished in a natural bronze, antique bronze, or a heavy patina. The patina process can be part of the custom design, giving a true one of a kind instrument. It is then stabilized and sealed leaving an extremely durable and light finish that will last for many lifetimes. There is no more added weight than a regular nitro finish.
The guitars pickups and electronics are housed in a variety of ways. Usually the pickups are mounted with rings or a pickguard. Copper is a great way to add a unique look to the instrument and make your guitar one of a kind. The copper is flexible enough to bend to the shape of the radius top and hold its from. A variety of patina finishes are available, from a heavy green and blue patina to more of a “Dirty Penny” look. The copper also acts as a electronic shield for the pickups and controls, helping to keep things quiet.
Another way to house the pickups and controls is with an Italian Tortoise pick guard. Scott stocks a variety of tortoise shell pickguard material, to accentuate and adorn your guitar.
Each pickguard is hand made, and buffed to fit the guitar it is built for. There are no two exactly the same.
Guitar Modder is a free diagramming tool created to design, archive, modify, and share drawings for electric guitar circuits. It features a library of components and parts found in most electric guitars. With Smart wires, you can connect the components and move them around to arrange a neatly organized layout of your project. The wires automatically re rout them selves and the diagram can be resized as needed. This is best viewed in Firefox and Google Chrome. It is a work in progress and will updated as frequently as possible. Create diagrams like the ones bellow. Enjoy!
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