The reinvented Wheel (there’s no way round it) sees a set of Sheptone Heartbreaker humbuckers completing a carefully appointed singlecut that was built by La Grange founder Benjamin Wasservogel’s in search for “a new ‘classic’ instrument for the blues and rock guitar player.”
The Heartbreaker humbuckers make an interesting addition to a series that hitherto shipped with P90s.
The Wheel has a solid korina body with a dog-hair, open-grain finish, a set maple neck with a purple heart stripe, and an ebony fretboard. The controls are simple, with a three-way pickup selector, master volume and tone (both CTS 250K). La Grange say the orange 22K capacitor and the treble bleed circuit in the guitar's wiring help wring as much tone as possible from the instrument.
The neck profile – a c-shape measuring 22mm at the first fret and 23mm at the twelth – should make for a playable vintage feel. Other features we dig include the Jescar jumbo fretwire, the nickel ABR-1 tune-o-matic bridge and Gotoh tuners. The tortoiseshell pickguard is darn cool, too.
A Bigsby B5 vibrato is available as an optional extra.
But it’s the pickups that are really interesting. The Shepton Heartbreakers shoot for that PAF humbucker vibe with Alnico 5 magnets and 42 plain enamel wire. That the name is inspired by Jimmy Page should give you an idea of where they are tonally.
The Wheel retails from $3,480 and ships with a hard case. See La Grange for more details.