I haven’t started doing anything yet, but regarding the How, I got a rather good idea. From measurements, it was already clear that two additional Burns Tri-Sonic pickups would fit into the Mini May’s body. Here‘s a layout that should work quite nicely; the red lines are the additional routings that have to be done to the body. Still missing depth information, but otherwise complete.
Billy Nvlay’s sonic capabilities should match Brian Mays “Red Special” relatively closely. But the Red Special has 24 frets and a 24″ scale length, whereas the Stratocaster kit has 21 frets and a 25.5″ scale length. Maybe I’m overcomplicating things, but I think that the pickups should be in similar positions below the strings to produce a similar result. So how might that work?
If you ever searched for “Brian May Guitar” on Aliexpress, you might have noticed the strange text “Bill Nvlay” that’s part of most descriptions. It meant quite a lot of head scratching until I found out what that’s supposed to mean: on the head of the guitars, there’s a faked “Brian May” signature. For the first copyist, the signature must have looked like “bill nvlay”, and since then it’s used that way 🙂
Since I just acquired a Stratocaster DIY kit without any hardware, I’ll outfit it with the circuit of Brian May’s Red Special – three Burns Tri-Sonic pickups in series, each of which can be switched in or out of phase. And since the Chinese text amuses me endlessly, I’ll call it “Billy Nvlay”. But I won’t apply Dr. May’s faked signature 🙂