Re-designing a Classic

The owner of this guitar originally came to Ethos guitars for a re-spray of his 1980s Shergold Masquerader Custom. It had been sprayed in black some years previously when the Kahler tremolo had been fitted. The owner also wanted to lose the ‘plastic look’. After assessing the work, it was suggested that a 10mm thick bookmatched flame Maple top be fitted to the guitar, with the controls accessed from the rear. The owner also decided on a pair of EMG active pickups, and the ‘Greenburst’ paint job.

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Customer Feedback

“I bought my Shergold Masquerader in 1980 and it was my pride and joy. It became my trusty steed and was used almost exclusively during my all too brief career as a performing musician. After serving me so well, for so many years, I decided that I would reward it with a makeover. I had been fortunate enough to see first-hand the work done by Mr Hancox at Ethos guitars and was very impressed by the craftsmanship and attention to detail displayed on all of his models.

We spent some time discussing the options for the Shergold. I wanted to give the guitar a serious ‘face-lift’ but, at the same time, retain the 1980’s ‘English-ness’ of its character. The original design included a lot of plastic, that did not really do the guitar any favours and so the appearance needed substantial modernising. However, there was one thing that I was adamant should not be changed in any way and that was the playability – particularly the ultra-low action and the incredible neck, that had not moved a millimetre in nearly 30 years, despite some pretty tough times on the road. After mulling over the options, I went with Paul’s recommendation to have the face of the guitar body shaved off and replaced with a book-matched maple veneer (actually a 10mm thick cap - PH), that was then stained with a subtle ‘green-burst’ finish. The existing DiMarzio pickups were replaced with active EMG models and the plastic hardware dumped in favour of more subtle chrome, with access to the ‘innards’ being moved from front to rear of the guitar. I needn’t have been concerned about the neck – even with the addition of a Kahler tremelo, such is the care taken by Paul over the quality of his work, the guitar plays as well as ever, but now looks and sounds far better.

Needless to say, I am delighted not only with the result, but also the new ‘lease of life’ that the makeover has given the guitar. I know that a Shergold is not everyone’s cup of tea (although a certain Mike Rutherford might disagree) and it certainly does have a quaint, almost eccentric nature, about it, but the guitar was and is as dear to me as an old friend – having been through so much together.

I am happy to report that, thanks to Ethos guitars, our relationship has been rejuvenated and I look forward to enjoying the next 30 years with my old companion, just as much as I have the last.”