I have always had a soft spot for Shergold guitars and basses. Something about these bespoke guitars, with their quirky headstock, hardware and Blackletter font, intrigues me to no end. Guitars like this simply aren’t build anymore. Their sound is strictly their own, complimented with the often elaborate electronic switching features. Although I had never played one IRL, when I got the chance to buy one for cheap I had to at least try it.
This Shergold wasn’t in great condition, but for the price I paid I would have been crazy not to pull the trigger. I had been looking for a good 12 string electric which, like the Shergold brand, are a rarity themselves. Coincidentally, I happened to find this Masquerader 12 string. I knew how rare the 12 string model was in and of itself, and to my amazement I was the first person to arrange a pickup with the seller. Not hassling down the price any further was likely the reason I got the upper hand.
As you can see in the pictures it has been modded and is not in the best of shape altogether. The finish was stripped at some point and a string-thru bridge added. At some point prior someone must have experimented with different bridges suggested by the two separate routs in the back of the body. Although the stripped finish doesn’t conceal any of these mods I do quite like the current bridge design. Lastly, a strip of binding on the first three frets is missing and the electronics need a checkup.
One weird thing I did notice is that it’s missing the two lower toggle switches for splitting/phasing the humbucker pickups. Besides the knobs being non-original, the control plate seems to be stock. If this was a custom ordered or a temporary lack of parts at the factory I have no idea.
How does she play? I didn’t really know what to expect, but whatever expectation I could have had would’ve been shattered. This is the perfect 12 string for me! The neck feels great, as do the contours of the body. The body is made from obeche, a very light hardwood from Africa, keeping the weight to a minimum. Because the electronics aren’t fully functional most of the time, I have yet to find any complaints otherwise. Acoustically the strings ring full and its a joy just to play without an amp, which admittedly, I do most of the time anyway while practicing.
At the moment the binding and electronics are being professionally fixed, can’t wait to get it back in my hands when it’s all done. I am thinking of refinishing the 12 string at some point. The natural look is nice though, but there is no way of hiding the bridge routs in that case. If I would ever change the finish it would be one of factory colors, perhaps black or white, maybe cherry. For now I’m happy as-is.
As always, some (small) updates on the remaining two projects; I need to replace part of the electronics of the Bass VI and its done. I am lazy, so please excuse the long wait. I do want to record with that bass. The other bass, the leftovers to what was once an Ibanez Ripper, will hopefully be in the final stage of completion after I get the Shergold back from repairs. Finger crossed…