Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Shergold Custom Masquerader with extra pickup for stereo


After Sunday's lovely 60s Vox Grand Prix, we have another classic British guitar. This time from the 70s.

This beauty is currently on Ebay. The seller doesn't go into much detail except to say that this is a 70s Shergold Custom Masquerader with extra single coil pickup with its own output for stereo use. He doesn't say whether it's an original variation or a later addition but as it is a "custom", maybe that's its customisation.

Judging from the same (slotted) screws on all the plates and the (surprisingly still present) bridge cover, it may well have been done by Shergold themselves. Shergold were an offshoot from Burns and Hayman, and are similar to the Haymans of the early seventies. Check out the Shergold site for more info.

Anyway, the other thing he doesn't say is how gorgeous this instrument is. It definitely fits in the "cracking" category. I love that yellow colour. A little reminiscent of Fender's Monaco yellow Strat. The first time I remember seeing one was being played by Chris Salmon of Stump on their "Chaos" video and have had a hankering for one ever since. This Shergold seems to be in pretty good shape and with a starting bid of £395, is giving me a very sunny feeling and is quite tempting.

David In Barcelona (I've been a bit quiet of late but hopefully I can get back into the swing of posting).
© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - 10 years and counting!


  1. You of course forgot Bernard Sumner of Joy Division/New Order. He used a masquerader, or it may have been a similar styled model, but wikipedia states 'shergold custom masqurader' (shared with ian curtis on some songs).

    She's lost control.


    Personally, Bernard's Doesn't look right. It doesn't appear to have the Shergold pickups. But... I know so little of the comapny I can't say they're not factory fitted. But I thought that, much like G&L the true brillaince was in the pickkups and bizzare electronics (much like the stereo one here).

    Still I guess Shergold were an odd little eccentric comapny (as all british ones are) so many and sundry variations upon a theme.

    All said and done, how do they sound? Are they like a lot of budget guitars in that they need a good amp to really get goibg?

    1. They definitely were never "budget" guitars!

    2. I did think of including something about Bernards Shergold but it seems every time Shergolds get written about his name comes up, with vox Phantoms it's Ian and teardrops it's Brian Jones and with Dan Armstrong Plexi's it's Keith Richards. So I like to reference Julian Cope or Mike Rutherford, who I associate with my youth. Dave Wakelin and Siouxsie Sioux - Vox Teardrops.
      Fromthe Shergold site... "Barney using his customized Masquerader - note the white DiMarzio pickups and Fender style trem." So there you go. Those DiMarzios got everywhere back then.


    3. DiMarzio's were a plaugue upon guitars in that time.
      The worst example i Saw was of a (formerly) mint 1958 fender stratocaster having all of it's pickups removed and discarded and being routed to take two dimarzio humbuckers. The value on that one probably went down by about 80,000$ US.

      And were shergold upmarket, it's just they look (i'm not going to say cheap, I'm not gpoing to say it).... so unconventional. I've never associated them in my mind with expense. still, would love to try one... But there's probably not many in Aus.

    4. I always saw Shergolds as workmanlike and unglamorous, especially when compared with other 1970s British instruments such as John Birch, Peter Cook or Zemaitis. They were like a Tele on steroids, really; slab body, slim maple neck, very little refinement in design (yes, possibly even a bit ugly, in an endearing way) but reliable, nice to play and solidly built. And "budget"? They were never cheap, but they were the closest thing to a mass-produced electric that anyone in the UK produced in the '70s, and we should all thank Jack Golder (RIP) and Norman Houlder for that.

  2. Back in 1978 when I was 16 I got a white Shergold Custom Masquerader almost identical (apart from extra pickup, controls and finish) to that one. I know that sounds silly, but that particular model had two different headstock designs (straight-sided like this one or curved like Hayman's) and two different scratchplate designs (large, with the pickups attached as here, or smaller and only covering the area below the pickups) , so it's quite rare to find one like mine, even in a different colour!

    But I can confirm that "Custom Masquerader" is the name of the standard model and does not refer to the extra pickup. I sold mine in 1981 having rarely played it (I'm more of a bassist and keyboardist than a "real" guitarist).

  3. But what are the 3 blobs on the scratch plate with the silver top knobs? Slide switches? Tele type switches?

  4. The two knobs are, predictably volume and tone.

    The three switches are 3-poition blade switches like that on a Tele but much more substantially built, with an angular (and potentially painful!) knob and a bezel which follows the arc of the switch's movement.

    One switch is a standard pickup selector and the other two offer a choice of standard humbucking, humbucking with one coil reversed (so-called "out-of-phase") or single-coil for each pickup. A very versatile passive circuit. Bit of a birds-nest inside though...

  5. Here's a link to a picture of that switch. "Over-engineered" doesn't begin to describe it...


  6. Very pleased to see Stump mentioned on Guitarz.



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