What People are Saying:
Dear Ray and Lucy,
Just a quick note to say a huge thanks for setting up my Martin Omcpa1+ so quickly... Although I thought that action and playing comfort would be improved i never expected the guitar to gain so much sustain and clarity. Almost like it had a blocked up nose before! Genius work.
I've left it a few days to write to you just to make sure the magic you worked on my guitars didn't wear off. It hasn't.†
The Martin always sounded good but now it plays wonderfully too. Likewise the Tele.
It's a shame that guitars like this leave the factory without a proper set-up, but I guess there's no money in it for the big names to do the finishing touches.
My advice to other players: if you're happy with your expensive woodwork hanging on the wall you don't need Ray, but if you want to love it and play it, beat a path to his door.†
Many thanks for a great job.
Just to say thanks you for the work you did on my base. Itís great to play, the action is lower, the intonation is better and there is less fret noise.
I guess the precise details of its provenance are likely to remain a mystery and Iím not unhappy with that. Itís the bass Iíve played for more than half my life and that wonít change.
Many thanks again,
Dear Ray & Lucy,
I just wanted to put in writing how pleased i am with the Peavey Vandenberg. You made the entire process both enjoyable and informative throughout, and it was an absolute pleasure to meet you both. Everything from the paintwork, fret dressing and general set up are perfect, and the Juicy pickups are amazing. The guitar looks as if it has just come out of the shop circa 1991, and I daresay i have never before had the pleasure of playing a guitar so perfectly set up as this one. I will be using it to record solos on a new song, and i will send you a link to the recording once completed
Thank you so much, and I will most certainly be in contact again when i need more guitar work doing!
Now having spent some proper stage time with the Tele you swapped the saddles on and the strat you set up, I now totally feel the difference in the set up, its gorgeous now and so much better.
I had been looking for someone who would be able to set my guitars up locally without me having to pop into London and get ripped off in doing so. As a total guitar nerd I'm constantly changing things and adjusting the way my guitars feel but never had anyone who could help me do that. Finding Ray and Lucy has been the perfect answer to that, their knowledge and understanding of guitars and tone is unmatched and I love being able to visit and chat through anything with them. I don't need to worry about finding a reliable tech now, which as a struggling musician is a great thing. Be warned though that if you have a large collection of guitars, you'll need to get them all set up by the Coopers once you get the first one back, everything feels wrong after playing something set up by them, I know I'll be a regular customer for as long as they plan to work!
Harry Phillips - Album Out Now!
The Bass is great Ray/Lucy! Plays really nice all the way up the neck now!
Cheers Tom Doyle, Don Broco.
Great work guys ! Motown never sounded so good! Mark Anderson, Funky Flares.
Hello Ray and Lucy,
Just to say I love the new pickups in the Gibson. Much more clarity I notice and the coil tapping options makes it very versatile as well.
Also the Bunny guitar/Pickups is fantastic Too!. Sounds as good as my Gibson but has more balls ! Plays beautifully.
I'm really pleased with them. See you soon when I find something else nice.
Thanks a lot, Paul Andrews.
Hi Ray and Lucy,
Let me tell you, I'm loving this guitar, the setup and pickups are awesome, I'm glad I took your advice to include the J pup, it's great to have the flexibility of the range of tones available. I'm looking forward to improving my bass playing on such a nice sounding/playable instrument.
It's great to have the new tonal range available, something else I'm keen to explore, all in all this guitar is a completely different animal as to what I've been used to and a real pleasure to play!
Thanks to you and Ray for everything. Gary Jarvis.
As I expected, the SG sounds great through my Marshall amp. The low notes in the riffs have more definition and cut through nicely.
I like the contrast in sound between the neck Ďvintageí pickup and bridge Ďhotí pickup and this should give me all I will need to get the sounds I want in the studio and live on stage.
Thanks for your great work on your brilliant pickups and the personal and speedy service. Phil Denton.
Lincoln here. I have a day off and wanted to thank you for fixing my bass so quickly. it's playing great and no more issues so far.
So a huge thank you for getting me back on the road so quickly so i could continue my tour!
Thanks again you guys are amazing! Lincoln Spalding.
Have had quite a bit of noodling on Jimi ,
I cannot thank you both enough for the amazing job that you have done for me on this. Not just the artwork , but technically it is absolutely incredible I cannot wait to start Anoracking Off down the pub on Saturday night with my brother about this one Lol !!!
he sounds so good with all the different sounds you can get from the extensive & creative Juicy switching system, I have hardly been putting him on the dirty channel or engaging any drive pedals . Loviní it!
Look after yourselves , and already looking forward to my next visit Gary Bird.
The Vintage is great, a really playable little machine now. A couple of others have tried it & remarked on the smooth feel & the bite of the pickups. I tried a couple of similar Vintages to see how it would normally feel & sound and itís clearly a very different instrument now, far higher quality. And, of course, it goes up to 11 :-)
I took the plastistrat to a jam recently & it did itís usual job on observers ("never seen one of those before, isnít it a bit heavy and blimey, thatís got some b*lls to it). Best pickups & wiring job ever.
Had this guitar for ages locked in the store room, was in desperate need of some TLC. Refret, set up, custom p90 pick up and whole guitar rewired by the legends that are Ray and Lucy Cooper Plays and sounds amazing!
Ben Sansom, Lower Than Atlantis.
Hi Ray and Lucy, just to let you know I'm really pleased with the guitars.
The J180 is great... but you've transformed the J45; I was in two minds about keeping it when I came to you but I wouldn't want to let it go now!
Many thanks again... I'll be in touch about some other bits and pieces.
Cheers Simon Hanhart
Just a quick note to thank you for the excellent job on r-fretting and re-finishing the neck on my old stratocaster.
Took it out for a gig this afternoon and I could not believe how good it felt and played absolutely fantastic !!!
Look forward to you sorting out the other one when I get it back from Portugal.
Very many thanks again.
Best regards, David Brierley
Just wanted to say thanks again for a really beautiful job ... first
time it's ever felt right & plays like butter.
Big thanks &
Best regards Mick Grabham
My once tired and wobbly 26 year old Les Paul is now back and better than ever. The full set up and replacement machine heads mean itís like butter to play and actually stays in tune!
The new ĎJuicyí PUP in the bridge is just that and squeals delightfully as the gain is ratcheted up. Itís definitely a bit ĎPageyí and I love it. You were right though it makes the Gibson pup in the neck sound a bit muddy, it creates quite a unique tone with the 2 on together but Iím going to have to come back for an upgrade to 2 Juicyís.
Even my Ďcheapí Ibanez artcore roadster is punching above its weight following a proper set up and some TLC who needs a 335?
Thank you for rejuvenating my beloved guitars, and for the little extras you threw in. The service and workmanship is exemplary and I am delighted.
P.S Lucy, I will get you a clip of the pup in action but reckon it should be live, loud and just through the tube as it deserves.
Just to say the tele is ROCKIN!!!!!
Cheers guys x
Thought you might like to know that Trevor the owner of the cittern was absolutely over the moon when I gave it back to him. He couldnít take the smile off his face and ended up playing it until 2am in the morning! Heís delighted ....I told him it would feel like a new instrument after youíd set it up properly!
Thanks again and be in touch soon
Best wishes Nigel Kippax.
Hi Lucy and Ray,
I absolutely love my bass, it's totally awesome!!! I'm really sorry I couldn't come today, I had a nightmare of a cold all week and am trying to get better for college. I was hoping to thank you guys in person for the tremendous work on the bass! It's beautiful, it reminds me of bullet for my valentines guitars which happen to be my favourite design of guitars. The next big challenge is relearning to play with my left hand but I've already got to work on some slipknot so with any luck later this week I should be able to send you a video of that.
My dad's taken photos of me and the 'Raybeirger', I can't really call it a steinberger now it's had such a transformation. I'm gonna send a thank you card to your dad and wondered what kind of present I could send him, mum says not chocolates:) mum says your dad isn't feeling well so I hope he feels better soon. I'll add you on Facebook and ill have a look at the photos. Thanks ever so much again, let's hope I can do it justice live.
Cheers, Soph Notarianni
Hi Ray And Lucy
I finally got got to try out the Strat you guys worked on for me, and I must say its fantastic. The set up is great and its plays effortlessly, and the pickups, wow what can I say they sound great. Great clean tones, really crisp and vibrant and with all three going you can get some really unique and twangy Tele kinda tones.
As you will see from the picture it's gone from the rack to no1 go to position on my Studio wall. I will be in touch soon to get some more work done on some others.
You have done what no other man has done , finally i have a LP that stays in tune ! Halleloolia !
Thankyou very much!
Dear Ray and Lucy,
What can I say! !!! I have never enjoyed playing my Tele more than giving it its first outing last week end The feel was fantastic, and all due to your hard work.
The sound and tonal range is amazing, Lucy's pick ups surpass my greatest expectations . You have been looking after my guitars for years now and will continue to do so. Thanks again for a great job, John Clare
John Clare, Joe Brown and the Bruvvers
Been playing the Tele all afternoon; its bloody awesome. Great job you have done there. Rich Welch Hi Ray, I just wanted to say thank you for making such a great job of my strat. I've been playing it for most of today and am loving both the feel of the neck and the set up. Many thanks! Simon.
Dear Ray and Lucy
Thank you both SO much for the work on the New Windsor banjo the action is fantastic, the strings are so close to fret even I should be able to play it!! You hardly need to touch the strings.
The lacquered metal work and renovations to the wood have given it a new lease of life, so I expect it will gone on for another 100 years, I hope so. The only problem is its so good that Garry keeps walking off with it, so banjo harmony may cause domestic dis-harmony whilst we fight over it :-)
I popped into see Neil in Tring on the way home but he wasn't aware of anyone who can teach banjo but he made a note to call in case that changes (he was really nice as you said he would be). There's a guy in Aylesbury, Garry Mullins, who may be able to help and thank you Ray for the names you left on the answer machine - I will try them too.
I really appreciate the care and time that has so clearly gone into the work you have done. I could see how good it was in the workshop but having got the instrument home I've had time to really take it in. Remember Lucy, I'll phone when I'm frailing, so open the door and you'll hear me!
Best wishes - have a great Christmas Jenny Bowden
Story of '' Juicy '' Les and ''Juicy '' Lag
This is the story of my Gibson Les Paul Axcess custom and Lag Arkane Master 3000 guitars, both of which were previously fitted with replacement ' split ' tapped pickups and had previous set ups
I had been searching sometime for a service quality by someone of Luthier skills, experience and knowhow, as I have always suspected the level of ' shop Service 'available for my guitars
I searched the internet, and came across 'Ray Cooper Guitars ' the information looked promising I read the various very positive review articles . could this be the one I thought ??? but no phone number ?? just e-mail address !!
Not easily deterred, I quickly mailed Ray, saying I wanted a full set up of both my guitars, and got a fast response saying bring them down for an evaluation and I can see what needs doing.
So I made my way to his workshop in a very nice area in Hertfordshire, and arrived in his extremely well equipped workshop, with walls adorned with photo memorabilia of various guitar and rock icons. all signed !! .. all of which are customers of Rayís from his 40 years of luthier experience .. I felt comfortable here already. Ray and daughter Lucy , who has been trained by Ray over the past 10 years, are such warm, friendly and very knowledgeable people, . this was a great experience already J
Ray had a quick look at the Les Paul Custom saying thatís not right and then onto the Lag which he found tons of things wrong . especially the fret set up which was not crowned at all.
leave them with me and weíll put Ďem right , from the various 'tuttís' and headshaking I felt that my Lag had been butchered somehow !!!
Lucy then ran me through what she does with her 'hand scatter wound' pickups marketed as 'Juicy Pickups' .. each set is hand wound by her, according to the Sound or type of music the customer likes to play, all built the Old Fashioned vintage way, utilising the best braided wiring etc. She grabbed both the guitars, whipped off the electrics covers plugged each humbucker into her equipment and remarked these are not wired as split coil . Apparently all I was getting was a reduced output and not a switch to a single humbucker slug as I has wanted !!!
flaminí hell I thought . but I guess thatís what you should expect from the previous back street ' Bodge it and Scarper ' outfit !!!
Anyway, I thought right, letís go for this then and requested a new set of Juicy Pickups for both guitars, split wired, and with vintage specification wiring .. she threw in some capacitors the
' size of coke cans ' which apparently improve the tone roll off Öall booked in and left my guitars to be sorted.
Well, sorted they were in fact re-born !!!
The Lag was completely re-worked, from correct fret setting and crowning, through setting the Floyd rose bridge and head nut being re-set correctly.. fully set up, tuned up, re-wired and sporting the New Juicy Specíd pickups, as was the Les Paul Custom Axcess .
The result . ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE !!! . Both like completely different, brand new guitars. The playing action is fantastic, so very very easy now. The attention to detail in all the work done is amazing, which gives these superb results .. and the pickups are just fantastic clear , detailed, great punch when you want it, smooth volume and tone roll off .. proper 'split coil ' tapped pots, and so many permutations of tones now available from both guitars, is just amazing !!
Now to anyone who has trawled their way through this massive review, all I can say is that Ray & Lucy are two of the best people you could wish to meet in this industry, their knowledge and skill is of the highest calibre I have met .. If you are either looking for a decent professional level guitar set up, or just love your instruments and want the best service for them then you MUST try Ray Cooper Guitars out . You have invested a lot of cash and time into your guitars already, as I had, and they DESERVE to be set up so that they can be at their fullest potential .. you wonít be disappointed I certainly wasnít as I have a ' Juicy Les ' and a 'Juicy Lag ' set of Guitars Gary Bird
Hi Ray and Lucy
Glad you both enjoyed the plonk again, it was only fair after the tremendous work that you & Ray put in.
It....sounds....bl**dy....amazing. Firstly, the pickups are just superb, the neck is warm but with just the right edge, middle adds a great balance but nothing jarring, and the bridge has a real bite to it. Each has a responsive, clear & full sound which is distinctly Strat, and with the higher output levels I have to say that overall they leave the Rio Grande pickups Ė which I originally thought were truly great & which I chose in preference to DiMarzio and Seymour Duncans (hey, it was a few years ago !) Ė sounding empty, flat & fairly gutless. Utterly brilliant job, Lucy, love them.
The next good bit though comes with the special wiring job. With the neck/middle selected & when you add the bridge with the push/pull tone pot the sound of all 3 pickups together is just huge, a full-range sound that has a big round tone but when you dig in for a solo it just whistles through. Awesome. Compare it with a high-end PRS (but far, far better). Likewise the neck/bridge combination, a great warm neck sound but with that clear Fender quack which cuts through when you dig in Ė like a souped-up Telecaster. And the really nice thing Ė no-one else in the world has a guitar like it.
Rayís recommendation of the Gotoh bridge was inspired. Itís solid, holds stable tuning, has taken a huge amount of abuse so far & has only lost the occasional bit of tuning because of the new strings being tortured to death by me Ė I finger bend up quite hard & then add a big handful of whammy bend. Thatís what happens when youíve been without a working trem for years. On the other hand, a perspex strat weighs a bl**dy ton so itís not something you can play all the time.
Currently not playing in a particular band although Iíve depped occasionally & regularly play with ex-members of my old band just for the fun of it. We might have a reunion sometime just to show the current pretenders using the old band name how itís really done. Iíll let you know so that you can come along for a good night of funk & soul.
Better save up now to have my Les Paul tended to.
All the very best,
Hi Ray and Lucy
What incredible pickups. The humbuckers are big, full, lots of bottom & mid but with some great top end bite and lots of clarity across the range, even when you drive it hard. Open up the coil tap & the sound is instant Fender BUT fuller, hotter & with a sweet edge to it. Never heard anything quite like it, My booster pedal also looks like it can be retired, I only used it to give the original fairly gutless licensed Seymour Duncans a bit of a kick. Basically this is a spectacular new guitar, and since Rayís worked his magic itís a damn good one too.
Awesome job, utterly delighted with it. Now Iíll have to bring by homemade perspex strat up to date & get rid of the Rio Grande pickups Ė I thought they were great but theyíre really not in the same league as yours.
Enjoy the wine. Mungo Duncan
The guitar (Custom Ray Cooper Junior) arrived yesterday evening. Thanks for packing it so well.
I spent hours playing it last night - probably the best guitar I have ever played. You certainly are a master of your craft.
I have a tiny studio here in Germany, so when I record the guitar, I'll send you a track.
Once again, thank you.
How are you both?
Just wanted you to know how pleased i was with the second Strat. Its absolutely brilliant, plays like butter, and once again the best set up i have seen. Loved the chat again as well, its so nice to come and see you and be treated like and old mate. I guess both being originally from the smoke helps a lot, plenty in common.
Anyway, i don't think i will see you now before xmas, so have a great time, whatever you do, and I'll pop in and see you in the new year for a chat.
Youíll be pleased to know i made it home without forgetting the moon river joke punch line! My missus couldn't stop laughing. Mind you i don't know if it was the joke or my singing that she found funny!!
One last thing. Iíll give you £80.00 for the Junior, and youíll be happy, and I'll be happy!!!!!
Merry xmas to both of you lovely people.
Hi Ray and Lucy, just a quick note to say thanks for setting up my D28 so beautifully.
It was great to meet you both.. and I really enjoyed your stories Ray!
I'll be in contact about my Martin 00028VS very soon.
Thanks again, best, Simon Hanhart
Its Ian, with the white Strat and the gammy arm!
This is the first chance i have had, but i just wanted to thank you both for setting up my Strat. As you know, i still cant play properly due to surgery, but i have noodled about, with some scales and chords, and it truly is the best set up strat i have played, lovely action, perfect intonation, and so easy to play, nice and smooth. Really appreciate it.
Also you are two of the nicest people i have met. I really enjoyed talking to Ray about London, and the Roundhouse and Marquee Club, brought back so many memories of so many bands.
I will definitely be considering getting Lucy to wind me some of the Gilmour type single coils, just need to do some overtime!!
See you both soon, Thanks again and take care Ian Carry
Hi Ray, Just to let you know I just got home with my Vox Virage, that you set up and replaced the pickups with some of Lucys P90's. What a difference!! it plays like a different instrument, and the sound is superb. Now if I'm using the overdrive channel of my amp I can roll off the guitar volume and go back to a clean tone, roll up the volume and get some great distortion tones. It really has made the world of difference to my guitar. Makes my amp sound great too. Many thanks for a great job, and thanks to Lucy for the pickups Neil
Ray, Lucy, just a quick mail to say thanks so much for your time today. Its always fantastic to spend time in your guitar-filled world!A quick run down on the guitars
White Tele : sounds better than ever. I really really love this guitar. Thank You!
Schecter : OMG - i never thought it would feel this nice to play. Thanks Lucy!
Strat : It's finally worth its custom shop logo - shame the good people at Fender couldn't set it up this well to start with!
Just to say thanks for the fourth guitar you have fixed for me. All the playing problems have been resolved, and I particularly like the way you have redesigned the bridge saddle. Rest assured that when I need repairs done I wouldnít consider going anywhere else
A massive thanks to Ray for fixing my guitar before a major gig the next evening. I left a garbled and stressed message on his answering machine late one Friday evening because the nut had just fallen off my PRS Custom Guitar completely. Not only that but one of the pickups had sunk too far into the body. Ray called me at 8 am the next morning and told me to bring it in. He fixed it all in an hour which saved my backside big time. As usual the guitar played better than ever afterwards as well!
Just a quick message to let you know that both guitars survived the trip back to canada ok
and are receiving a lot of admiration the guys from
a big canadian band Helix were asking how the action
was so good on the 335 told them it was an english trade secret . Thanks again for an amazing job and at short notice see you next year
all the best Andy Hobbs
I want to thank you for the truly excellent re-fret and general set up you've just done on my old Gibson Les Paul Junior. It's a guitar I cherish, and I use it a lot, and my heart sank when I realised it needed some attention. I needn't have worried. I've just got it home after collecting it from your workshop, plugged it in and spent a joyful hour or so. It plays and sounds better than ever. Thanks, you did a really great job!
Just wanted to thank you and Ray for making Rose's day.
I feel you may have gone beyond the call of duty on this one as it is absolutely superb,
I didn't realise how much it mean't to her as to me it was just a broken guitar, but when we got home she put it on display in her living room and sat there talking of her husband playing it to get her kids to sleep etc and it brought back a lot of happy memories for her.
She is an interesting woman over 90 odd years of age and with Ray talking about the war
and repairing her husbands guitar,
it started her talking to me about it all and after me digging a bit , I found she had an award for saving the lives of 3 men from a crashed bomber. I have known her for nearly 30 years and she had never mentioned any of this , typical of her generation .
Shows what restoring a guitar can do !
I'm sure you don't need telling. but a Huge Thanks for the Transformation you did on my L/H Stag.
It was a pleasure to meet a craftsman, and I can't stop smiling or playing the best guitar I have ever owned.
It's gone from a Skoda to a Ferrari overnight.
I just show my fingers to the strings, and they play beautifully crisp and clean.
Cant wait to sell a song and commision one of your works of art :)
Antony, John Dennis
Just to let you know that the Fischer you repaired for me is 'settling down' after some hours of played and it's everything I wanted. The change of fretboard you did is an astonishing piece of work and the frets are better made and cut than they were originally. The action is now playable and I'm not getting any fret buzz. I don't mind saying that I was a bit worried about the guitar (even after the great work you did on my Gibson L4). When you've got a thirty-three year old 'name' classical guitar, it's not something you want messed up. But it's turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made. Many thanks.
Leaving a Gibson L4 for repair with someone you don't really know is likely to be a bit stressful, but with Ray what I came across was an artist who really knows his stuff. He spent time with me beforehand explaining what the problem might be and also what else I should be aware of, and that in itself gives you confidence. In the event, the quality of his work was absolutely excellent, the problem (a strange rattling) was solved - which appeared to be number of issues rather than just one - and the work he did on the neck and frets has made the guitar even easier to play. The intonation has also improved due to changing a damaged nut; something which I would not have been aware of.
My conclusion is that if you take your instrument to Ray and he tells you something needs to be done, take his advice. I also showed him a Paul Fischer classical guitar worth around £5,000 which needs some work on the neck; a much more difficult task than the Gibson I would have thought. I now have every confidence that Ray is the man to do it. I would recommend him to anyone. (And he let try out a 1955 Gibson L5 and a 1935 Gibson 47...what shop would allow you to do that!)
PS Ray, you mentioned your website and I have no objection to you using the 1969 Isle of Wight picture (which is not copyright) on it or in the workshop. Similarly, I have downloaded a few others free for use. Some of the people I played with, backed, or did sessions for were Billy Fury, Vince Eager, Tommy Quickly, Americans Bob & Earl, the Flower Pot Men, the Pirates, Marsha Hunt, Billy Davis, Screaming Lord Sutch, David Garrick, Billie Davis, James Royal, Marc Bolan, Mike Hurst of The Springfields, the Freddie Mack Sound and finally Warhorse before getting out of the business mentally intact. Ged Peck
Just a quick note to say thank you for your prompt repair of my guitar, I didn't expect you to drop anything to do it but was over the moon when you fixed it so soon.
You have give me 20 years of great service, thank you very much
Silvertone 1423 gold / black sparkleI took the guitar straight to the gig on Friday and played a great show. It sounded mad. Worlds apart from the sad instrument that my mate Jonny carried through Heathrow Arrivals!!! Thanks so much for all you have done. There's more!Cheers,
Andy Neal, Polecats
Hi Ray, Lucy,
Well, after a good hour of playing both the Washburn and the Yamaha all I can say is wow! So THAT's what they should be like!
The speed on the Washburn is absolutely phenomenal now and truly a delight to play. I've had that Washburn for 20+ years and it's never ever been as good as it is now. Who would have thought the old girl had it in her to be so agile and sweet eh?!
In all honesty I'm not sure if I would have bought the Yamaha if I'd brought the Washburn to you before I went shopping, and that's not anything against the Yamaha because that's REALLY sweet now too. What a difference having it setup has made even though it is only about a year old, and I thought it was superb BEFORE I brought it in to have your magic touch! The pickup set-up has made a whole world of difference to the evenness of the response, and the contrast between and richness of both pickups is so much better.
What can I say? I'm delighted.
I absolutely love what you've done, but now you have given me a problem because they are both so nice I won't be able to decide which one to play!
Thanks Ray. Excellent!
All the best and thanks again! David Lambert
Dear Lucy and Ray,
many thanks again for the work you have done to restore my Twin Neck. I'm delighted and am looking forward to many hours of practice with the beast now!
All the best
Hope to see you both soon... (In fact Ian came back that week and had a custom guitar restored which you can see on Juicy Pickups) Ian Lyall
I gigged the Vox for the first time last night Ė what an awesome guitar ! I promised to give you a run down on how it played.
Firstly, this is the first time ever that Iíve played a guitar that feels the way this does. You may think Iím losing the plot slightly, but thereís something about it that just feels, well, alive ! Itís incredibly responsive & feels as if itís leading your playing Ė you always feel that you can play something better, or smoother, or more dynamically, more emotionally Ė and you do. Iíve owned & played all manner of guitars over the past 35 years, Gibsons, Fenders, Guild, Ibanez, Yamaha etc etc, the odd custom guitar, even down to a bunch of good copies & homebuilts but nothing that quite feels like this one. Itís a joy to play, set up incredibly well & with a vintage sound that makes your ears smile.
So speaking of sound, itís very varied. The baseline is definitely vintage strat & you can pull out all the usual nasal quacking funky strat stuff, but it also has a bit of tele-type bite about it, particularly on the centre & bridge pickups. The neck is very different though & you could easily sometimes think youíre playing a PRS, it still has the base strat sound but itís also quite creamy, rich & smooth. Favoured position is with neck & centre selected Ė it has a full-range sort of feel, sort of ballsy Strat with an edge, but roll off a wee bit of tone & youíre easily into PRS territory. At higher gain settings the bridge pickup has a nice saturation about it without being too brittle & will happily feedback when required whilst still being very controllable. Itís easily better than my old Ibanez S540 for high-gain lead work Ė the Ibanez always sounded a bit flimsy, this one has punch & edge but still retains a fullness at the high end. Nice. Extremely positive comments on the sound from the rest of the band & our roadie.
Tuning & stability Ė excellent even under hot lighting. Neck Ė great feel. Narrower than I usually like them, but very easy to adapt to & at higher registers the string spacing is good.
I have to say that I think that both Lucy & yourself have done a phenomenal job & this is one superb guitar which will work well across the range, from light clean picking work through jazz, funk & soul into blues & rock. I didnít feel the need to get the 6 month old VG Strat out last night, this 47 year old instrument took 2 Ĺ hours in itís stride without even losing tuning. Awesome.
Hi Ray & Lucy,
Thanks for fitting the Juicy pickups and the Washburn trem system onto my Gibson SG Supreme.
The guitar sounds and feels great now. I played it the very same night that I picked it up from you at our gig in Camden.
I thought the sounds coming out of my SG were wicked, and judging by the enthusiastic response from the crowd, they thought so too!!
So thanks once again for your skill, care and craftsmanship on another Elixir axe.
Take care, Phil Denton,
Dear Ray & Lucy,
I would like to state on record of your professionalism in fitting juicy Lucyís pickups for my bass and many thanks to ray for making it sound superb.
I could not have asked for more but to me using my GK amplifier, it makes a vast difference in the quality of sound. I cannot emphasise more than that the pickups are
What makes the sound of bass crispy and taut in producing the sound I like it to be.
Many Thanks for all your hard work in advising me of what I needed and creating it for me Kumar
Yesterday I spent a very pleasurable couple of hours playing my dear 'ol jazz bass and felt moved to send you this note.
This bass has a long story attached to it. Thankfully, it has a happy ending and one day I fully intend to write it all down. Suffice to say that the previous owner had not cared for it and when I happened upon it many years ago it was badly in need of some serious TLC and what better people to give it a new life than Ray and Lucy. Ray rebuilt it for me. The end result is truly a work of art and has to be seen to be believed. The final touch was the recent addition of Lucy's pick-ups which has given it the rich and classic vintage voice that it deserves. Think early Robert Palmer and Little Feat.
It has a great range of sounds. Both pick-ups pushed nearly to their limits is frankly an awesome sound. Amazing bottom end a very clear mid punch. Wind off the neck pick-up a little, tweak the tone and you are given a lovely tight funky sound. Perfect for 'popping the octaves'. It is also impossible to get a harsh and brittle top end. Whatever combination you choose these pick-ups only deliver warm sounds. They are highly recommended.
For this gift I am forever in your debt. Lord Rippington of Fishery.
I have been using Ray and Lucy for the past couple of years and I wouldnít let anyone else fiddle with my G-string!
For over a year I used Seymour Duncan pickups on my Tele and could never get to grips with how disappointing their tone was. However all it took was one conversation with Lucy and Ray and I was given a pair of the finest hot vintage Tele pickups I have ever heard! If youíre not happy with your pickups then donít take a chance with ones that are not tailored to your exact specs, otherwise you will never be satisfied!
just a quick note to say thank you - for your inspiration and shear craftsmanship that went in to restoring my 68 Tele.
It sounds, plays and looks fantastic. The most fun i have had spending money in a long long time!
all the best, Paul Brock
Hi Boys and Girls....
Just a short note to say thanks for bringing my 1955 Gibson Les Paul Jnr back to life. Its never sounded or felt so good.
The attention to detail is astounding!!!
Cooperman and Cooperwoman come to rescue once again!!! Best Wishes Nick Robinson
You don't have to be an experienced player to benefit from 'Uncle' Ray's craftsmanship! infact I would
say that novice's to the instrument, (like me), definitely benefit from his expertise, Uncle Ray makes any
production guitar easier to play, as well as sounding better. I first visited Uncle Ray on a recommendation
from the right honorable Dave 'Bucket' Colwell, and I'm ashamed to say that I have been back
EIGHT times in the past two years as I struggle, (- it's a very enjoyable struggle!), to work out which
guitar style suits me best. I'm addicted to playing, and keep chopping and changing instruments,
(- eventually I'll do the sensible thing and commission him to make me one), but Uncle Ray patiently nods,
rolls his eyes, and works his magic on each and everyone. Even so- called "Custom Shop' instruments need a
'Ray Cooper' set-up. Admittedly my guitar 'habit' means I am now virtually bankrupt, but I cannot
imagine playing a guitar that Uncle Ray, (and Lucy), HAVEN'T breathed on - in pursuit of tone, what would
be the point? Lovely people, although I'm still convinced Uncle Ray was a great train robber in a previous life...
Ray Cooper! Guitar Maker Extraordinare!!!
What a buzz it was to visit Ray Coopers guitar workshop. I watched the master and his very clever daughter Lucy at work first hand. These lovely people have worked with many of the biggest names in the music business. Paul ( Greenie) sat down and played. Ray listened. " Do you see what I mean"( Greenie) " Yes " " We can do this and this and this and this and we can get that sorted out" says Ray!
I didn,t know what they were talking about. it sounded good to me but when I heard the guitar the next week after Ray had done this and this and this- there is no doubt the guitar sounded fantastic. Ray was working on a Les Paul Special from the 1950s when I was there. The guitar is valued at thirty thousand Euros but Ray still took time to work on my humble four hundred pound guitar. Lovely people and very clever with it. Thanks again Lucy and Ray.
Gigged the perspex strat on Sat, sounded awesome, really noticed the difference in tone & power, many thanks. For the first time I really enjoyed the way it sounded & it was a pleasure to play it. Best gig we've done in a while!
Cheers Mungo Duncan
Ray has maintained all of my guitars over the past 12 years & each and every one has sounded and played 100% better for his attentions. The oustanding thing for me is that Ray has appreciated every one of them, even the inexpensive ones, for what they are & what they can do, and has put in the same care and attention to detail into them so that they give 100% of what they're capable of. I have a beautiful Les Paul goldtop copy that my wife bought me 13 years ago to get me back into playing after a 12-year layoff and I can honestly say that after Ray had finished work it sounded and felt far better than most of the Gibsons that I've played recently. Just my view ? Absolutely not, all of my guitar-playing friends will backme up. Ray's a true craftsman, He won't let you down!
Reviews custom built guitar hand made guitar custom made guitar guitar.
Specialising in Vintage Restoration, Custom Made Guitars, Guitar Repairs.