Well,it happened: I finally succumbed to MA Pete's incessant praising of all things Ted.
Pete, you were right, this thing is a tone monster! (note to self: buy everything that Pete does!)
Many thanks to Eric at Willcutt for selecting the wood and for pushing me past the goal line. You need to make more of these!
Additionally, I'd like to recognize everyone in the factor who assembled it as well as the guys who harvested Mirkwood Forest and brought back the most sonically enchanted woods.
An honorable mention goes to Hans for planting the shorter scale bug.
From a playability perspective, it did not take long to realize that the 24.5 inch scale would not be a problem. My mind kept telling me that there was something wrong with the neck carve though, as it didn't feel like my other wide/fats. I compared the shape to my array of neck templates and there was nothing discernable except the result of hand sanding. OK then, fine.
When played acoustically, it resonates with authority while still have notable sustain.
I started the electric evaluation with the dirty channels in my C, H, and Original Sewell. From the first "Paranoid" riff I was astounded. From where is all this tone coming? Every note is crisp and distinct, regardless of volume, dirt, or chord structure. Egads! The bridge pickup is loaded with succinct snarl that is full of mids and rivaling a stock Grissom. The mid position yields a hint of quack while the neck pickup is as creamy as a half-melted ice cream cone on a hot day. I'm usually not much of a neck pickup guy through dirty amps but I was drawn to this one. I kept grabbing for notes and bends and the guitar responded. I instantly became a better player. When split dirty it seemed very similar to the effect of the 408's, where the sound thinned without substantially dropping in volume. Neat. I can see how Pete can take a single Ted to a show.
On to clean amps: the C and the Dallas. The bridge split had just a hint of quack, but was generally "boxy" - not in a bad way, but akin to Volvos being boxey yet good. The neck split had power and balance without being overly bassey. I was shocked by the split middle position: there is great quack! All of a sudden this guitar has huge breadth. In humbucking mode there is more power without losing too much of the general characteristic of the split coils. Wow, what a great, multi-purpose clean guitar.
Overall, I'd say that this one is lacking deep lows but is not excessively bright. In other words, it has huge mids. It is very comfortable, exceptionally responsive, and covers a considerable sonic space.
The sum of the 7 pounds of parts is amazing! This one is a winner!