Gray Guitars' Emperor model takes inspiration from the classic S-style guitar. Staying close to the design of the original, this guitar has the extra finesse that you'd expect from a hand-crafted, British-made instrument.
Although a strong vintage vibe is conveyed, the Emperor has many modern refinements to ensure that contemporary players are catered for. With a versatile HSS pickup configuration comprised of hand-wired Radioshop pickups, this instrument also boasts a compound radius fretboard for ultimate playability and feel.
The Emperor's body is formed from Swamp Ash, a popular guitar tonewood that provides a rich and balanced sound. Offering plenty of resonance with a smooth mid-range, this wood serves as a fantastic tonal foundation for the exceptional Radioshop pickups. Covered with a high-gloss nitrocellulose finish, this type of lacquer hearkens back to the old-school vintage guitars of yesteryear and will age beautifully over time.
Joining the body is a stunning AAA Flamed Roasted Maple neck, which gives the instrument a snappy response with plenty of top-end definition. The roasting process also ensures incredible stability, as moisture is removed from the wood. Adorned with a Roasted Maple fingerboard, the neck conveys a truly high-end aesthetic and feels simply divine to play, especially with its smooth oil/wax finish.
Compound Radius Fingerboard
The slim '60s "D" neck profile offers exceptional comfort, but the compound radius fingerboard really enhances the playability of this beautiful guitar. Rounded at the lower end of the neck to make chords easier to play, the fretboard flattens out in the higher register for unhindered lead playing; made even easier via the "Easy-Access" neck joint. A compound radius also helps to prevent notes from fretting out when performing string bends, making it a very practical design.
The neck's compound radius fingerboard, as well as the slots for its tall/narrow frets and bone nut, are cut via a highly-precise PLEK machine. The use of a PLEK machine ensures laser-accurate measurements and consistency, providing you with superb intonation and carefully-levelled/dressed frets that allow you to set the string action super-low. Only a handful of premium high-end guitars in the world undergo this comprehensive process!
Gray Guitars have selected only the best pickups available from the UK for its Emperor model. With a triple threat of Radioshop pickups, this hugely versatile HSS set can deliver a great array of tones for practically any style.
The PAF humbucker has a wide frequency range, with singing highs yet a broad low-end; staying focused and tight. This is perfect for overdrive and even higher levels of gain, but isn't too hot to sound brash or brittle with clean settings.
Radioshop's Chris Buck signature ID single-coils are fitted in the neck and middle positions, designed to deliver increased dynamics and slightly more output than vintage single-coils. These particular pickups are also voiced to provide excellent "in-between" tones when using positions 2 and 4 on the 5-way CRL pickup selector switch.
About Gray Guitars
Gray Guitars is basically one person – Thomas Gray. Based in London, he has been making custom guitars for over 10 years. Before becoming a full-time guitar luthier, Tom was a professional guitar player and music teacher, with a 1st Class Degree in Music. In Tom's early life he was surrounded by musical influences, with his father Nigel producing the first three Police albums, as well as working with Siouxsie & the Banshees and other well-known artists.
Prior to working with Andertons, Gray Guitars were only available via personal commissions. Thomas has made guitars for the likes of Graham Coxon, Tim Renwick, Josh Smith and Chris Buck, and when Thomas met Lee Anderton in 2017 via their mutual friend Dan Steinhardt (of 'That Pedal Show' fame), they soon began talking about making a range of guitars for Andertons.
Want a Gray Guitars Emperor with different options? As these guitars are custom-made, you can request your very own specs; from the body and fingerboard materials to the guitar and pickguard colour - plus more! Please contact us for details.
- Body Wood: Swamp Ash with Deep Belly Contours and Easy-Access Neck Joint
- Body Finish: High-Gloss Nitrocellulose
- Neck Wood: AAA Quarter-Sawn, Flame Roasted Maple
- Neck Finish: Oil and Wax for Superior Feel and Playing Comfort
- Neck Shape: Slim, '60s "D" Shape
- Neck Width: 20.5cm at 1st Fret, 22.5cm at 12th Fret
- Fingerboard Wood: Matched AAA Roasted Maple with Custom Rolled Edges
- Fingerboard Radius: 9.5" – 12" Compound Radius
- Fingerboard: Inlays: No Face Dots, Large 4mm White Side Dots
- Frets: Stewart McDonald 154 (Tall and Narrow)
- Truss Rod: Dual Action with Easily-Adjustable Wheel at Heel
- Scale Length: 25.5"
- Nut: Bone
- Bridge Pickup: Radioshop PAF Humbucker, Hand-Wound with 42 AWG Plain Enamel Wire, Alnico IV Bar Magnets (Vintage Spec Output: 7.9k)
- Middle Pickup: Radioshop Chris Buck ID Single-Coil, Vintage Staggered Alnico 5 Magnets (Vintage Spec Output: 6k)
- Neck Pickup: Radioshop Chris Buck ID Single-Coil, Vintage Staggered Alnico 5 Magnets (Vintage Spec Output: 6k)
- Controls: Volume (500K CTS) with Treble Bleed Circuit, Tone (250/500K Stacked CTS) for Humbucker/Single-Coil Control, 5-Way CRL Pickup Selector Switch
- Bridge: Wudtone CP Vintage Tremolo
- Tuners: Gotoh Vintage Type
- Case: Hiscox Lite Flite