The top four photos show the sorry state of this guitar when it came to Studio California to be converted into a Light Show model. It had been heavily-used as a John. Lennon replica, though its profile and details were not accurate upon close inspection. (It was a later model 325, from 1981, and had the wrong body thickness, neck profile, headstock, and myriad other differences.)

Following stripping the hardware and removing the original, much-touched-up Jetglo finish, numerous extra holes were filled and the body sanded free of all imperfections. (Next photo) This included several passes through the thickness sander to level the back, which had begun to develop a “potato chip” curl and many waves. The entire body was fine-sanded and scraped to render it defect-free—a status now reflected (literally!) in the quality of the multi-coat, shaded, and star-studded “Night Sky” paint work.

The controls were moved to a panel in a deep recess in the upper bout, so as to maximize the light display in the smaller body top. Wiring was changed to VVT, using miniature aerospace potentiometers in place of the original CTS items. The Light Show feature itself uses 15 high-intensity LEDs in cyan, red, and yellow, each responding to a different frequency range in the sonic spectrum.

We reconfigured the fretboard with new inlays displaying the phases of the moon, with a large crescent straddling the 12th fret, and the new fretboard was oil-dyed to an ebony look, refretted, and varnished with the rest of the instrument.