Understated Perfection
Understated Perfection

In 2007 I built 3 identical guitars to prove or disprove the concept that different body woods matter (they do).  The others are Cherry Twist and Kind of Blue.  Imagine a Mahogany body Tele, or a maple necked SG. This instrument with a body of solid heartwood Honduran Mahogany has near perfect tonal balance of warmth and precise attack. Honduran mahogany varies in density and color from the soft, pink-ish, less stable outer sap wood to the denser, rust red mature heartwood.  Many factories, don't sort their mahogany supplies except for their highest end instruments.

The 3 Piece, 12" radius, soft vee maple neck is easy and fast, while the string through hip-shot bridge imparts terrific sustain with a tusq nut at the head end.

A coil tapped Seymour Duncan hot rodded humbucker set offers classic jazz through drop tune metal tones. This is my personal number 2 stage instrument.

Sold but can be recreated.$2100.00 with hardshell case

Chery Twist on a classic Recipe
Chery Twist on a classic Recipe

This is one of three guitars built in 2007 to identical specs  to prove (or disprove) the concept that different body wood matters.  The other two are my Understated Perfection and Kind of Blue.  This is a combination not often seen in other builders, and it's a shame! Cherry is nearly identical to maple in density, and while it rarely produces flame figure, it has grain patterns and color prized by furniture makers. Layered with a Heartwood Honduran Mahogany back produces the same tonal balance of warmth and precise attack produced by the classic maple & mahogany combination.

The 3 Piece soft cee maple neck with 12" radius fretboard is fast and easy The string through hip-shot bridge and tusq nut impart terrific sustain .

A coil tapped Golden Age (Stewart MacDonald) hot humbucker set provides tones from classic jazz through drop tune metal.

$2000.00 with hardshell case

Kind of Blue
Kind of Blue

This is one of three guitars built in 2007 to identical specs with only the body tone wood changing to prove (or disprove) the concept that body wood matters.  The other two are Cherry Twist and Understated Perfection.  This instrument was an experiment rarely seen in other manufacturers, and I was quite surprised! The body wood is Furniture grade Baltic birch selected for its grain pattern. The resulting striping from the laminations with the shaded blue stain produced striking visuals, with a raw edge that makes this guitar superbly suited for hard rock and metal!  It can clean up beautifully, But "cranked" takes on a different meaning.

The 3 Piece soft cee shaped maple neck with 12" radius fretboard is fast and easy.  The string through hip-shot bridge and tusq nut impart terrific sustain.

A coil tapped Golden Age (Stewart MacDonald) hothumbucker set provides tones from classic jazz through drop tune metal.

$1900.00 with hardshell case

Custom Manhattan
Custom Manhattan

This guitar began conceptually as an instrument that most players would find to be the simplest and most versatile guitar they ever played.  I think I succeeded, and so did Vintage Guitar. You can read Pete Prown's opinion in the magazine reviews gallery.

I use this as my own main guitar because it works so well for so many styles and tones.  If I build one for you, all details (neck specs, bridge, etc.) are your choice. To retain the versatility this instrument is capable of, I strongly recommend using the Seymour Duncan P-rails and control circuit I've used here, which, MINIMALLY, can create 9 tones with two switches, but with one switch and a blend pot as shown here, closer to 15 tones without changing volume or tone . It's possible to instantly switch between "woman tone" and Sam & Dave funk, and much more! Plus it's GORGEOUS with orchestral grade flame maple top and back!

Sold but can be recreated.$3800.00 with hardshell case

Morrocan Cool
Morrocan Cool

This guitar shows a formula that I use for tone and visual effect.  By using a cavernously chambered colorwood Birch Plywood core, with exotic tone wood caps ( this is Bloodwood), unique looks can be created with a "family" feel.  Compare this guitar to Wild Walnut and you'll get the idea.

The five piece maple bloodwood neck with 12" radius ebony fingerboard has a water buffalo horn nut and zero fret for perfect string height. The string through Hannes graphite bridge is a beautiful, tone marvel.  Sperzel locking tuners, and a pair of coil tapped Lace Alumi-tone "death-buckers" make this instrument one of the most precise tone machines you'll find. The chambered body provides a crisp snap without harshness, while the maple & ebony neck provide warmth and depth.  The Alumi-tones are super versatile and 1/3 the weight of normal humbuckers! They can be sweet, and they can crank, but they never get muddy. 

$3600.00 with hardshell case

Moroccan Spank
Moroccan Spank

This guitar uses a formula that I vary for tone and visual effect.  Using a vastly chambered colorwood Birch Plywood core, and exotic tone wood caps (this is Blood wood), I create unique looks with a "family" feel and quality.  Compare this guitar to Wild Walnut.

The five piece neck is maple/bloodwood with a 12" radius ebony fingerboard, Sper                          ct string height at the nut. The roller bridge and B5 Bigsby is a tried and true combination. This is one of the most accurate tone machines you'll find.  The powerful coil tapped pick up set is a Seymour Duncan Stag-Mag in the bridge, and an SH1n '59 for the neck. You get true single coil bite and twang when split, or sparkly humbucker tone that stays clear.  The chambered body offers a crisp snap without harshness, while the maple & ebony neck provide warmth and depth.  This is a pro's guitar! When you're good, it'll make you sound GREAT! The review of this guitar is in the magazine reviews gallery.

$3600.00 with hardshell case

Tom's Blue
Tom's Blue

This is a why I recommend bolt on necks! My first two sales were to a man who has since become a close friend.  He bought a guitar which had this neck and the body of the Solid Flame guitar a few pages ahead.  Tom has back problems and the classic mahogany/maple body, was too heavy.  The "problem" was that he absolutely loved the original guitar's bird's eye maple and ebony neck!

Tom had a very old piece of redwood, and as soon as I saw it I got ideas.  I'd begun to chamber my bodies which reduces weight. I'd used, and liked, the Alumitone pickups and Hannes bridge which reduces those components' weight by about 30%.   When the neck was swapped to the new, feather light, resonant, redwood body the finished instrument weighed a bit under 5 pounds without losing sustain or definition.  The premium blue burst finish is aby Gerhard Guitar Works.

This is now Tom's main guitar, with "Red" being backup. 

Sold but can be recreated. $3600.00 with hardshell case

Wild Walnut Burl
Wild Walnut Burl

This is one of my most beautiful guitars employing a formula that I use for tone and visual effect.  Exotic tone wood caps (these are walnut burl) on vastly chambered tone wood cores, create unique looks with a "family" feel.  Compare this to the bloodwood models.

The U.S. made Bigbsy B-5 with roller bridge is classic and gorgeous. The neck is five piece maple/walnut with a 12" radius ebony fretboard, aged bone nut, and Sperzel locking tuners.   The chambered body offers a crisp snap without being harsh. The maple/ebony neck provides warmth and depth.  The super versatile, tap-able Lace Alumi-tone "death-buckers" make this a super accurate tone machine! Plus they're 1/3 the weight of normal humbuckers!  They'll crank, but they're never muddy. This is a pro's guitar! When you're good, you'll sound GREAT!

This guitar was sold at the NorthEast Guitar Show in 2016. It can be reproduced (with a different burl), and detailing of your choice.     $3600.00 with hardshell case

Tom's Red
Tom's Red

This is another neck/body transfer story.  Once Blue was "in the can", Tom asked about reusing a neck from a travel guitar I'd made for him.  Originally, Tom wanted a mini version of Blue with him when he summered in Italy.  Tighter travel restrictions made it wiser to just leave an instrument there instead.  He liked the idea of a punchy, semi-hollow guitar that would let him re-use the travel guitar's neck as a back up.

Red is the result.  Using the same redwood as Blue's body, we added an F hole in the upper bout.  With the Hannes  bridge the combination opens up a whole new acoustic tonal palette before Tom even plugs in.  He chose Seymour Duncan Stag Mag and Seymour Duncan Sh-1n '59 pickups like I'd used on the Moroccan Twang. The result is VERY punchy and a bit "woody".  With a Cue Gerhard Candy Apple Metal Flake finish this guitar looks HOT. No pictures do it justice. (BTW, the Jotoba travel body has a new neck and is awaiting adoption) See it in the Travel Guitar gallery!

Sold but can be recreated. $3600.00 with hardshell case

Solid Flames
Solid Flames

This had been Tom's original body for his main guitar.  It uses the tried and true combination of quality heartwood Honduran Mahogany with a book-matched flamed maple cap.  It produced fabulous tone, but Tom's back couldn't handle the weight.  You can read the whole story on Blue's page, but suffice to say, with a new neck, solid flames lives again and is waiting for a home.

The pickups are my 1st choice Seymour Duncan hot rodded humbucker set (JB bridge/Jazz neck).  The bridge is a top loading Schaller with locking saddles to boost sustain.  I had a bit of fun with the fret markers.

This is a beautiful looking, superb sounding instrument.

$2100.00 with hardshell case

The Royal
The Royal

It's been a distinct pleasure to create this incredible custom with Roy Abraham.  He wanted his first custom guitar to speak to and through him.  He actively helped to design the body shape, select wood, details, and neck contours . This is his Royal.

The  carved and tap tuned curly cherry plates are mounted to a sapelle core, connecting to the top and back only at the rim, bridge and neck.  The shape is derived from a vintage 30's Airway archtop by Wilkanowski (Johnny Cash had one), updated to fit in a 335 style case. We gave it 24 frets, special royal fret markers and Roy's personal doodle on the headstock.

Ebony fingerboard, black Gotoh 510 tuners, Hipshot Babygrand bridge, bone nut, and Seymour Duncan P-rails with 3 way mode switch and blend pot complete the picture.

The next gallery photo shows the high access neck joint.

As shown $3800.00 with hardshell Gator journeyman linen case

The Royal Sister
The Royal Sister

It was evident as Roy and I were designing the Royal that it would be very special. I wanted a less specific version to offer after it was gone so this is the Royal Sister.

Structurally identical to the Royal, but with 22 frets,  more traditional markers, and a truly Gibson-esque neck profile, this is one stunning instrument visually and sonically. 

The highly figured maple neck is set with a very aggressively shaped ergonomic joint that can be seen in the next slide.

Chrome Gotoh 510 tuners, bone nut, hipshot Babygrand bridge, and Seymour Duncan P-rails with a 3 way mode selector and blend pot offer enormous sonic versatility.

$3600.00 with Gator Journeyman linen case

The set neck joint
The set neck joint

You can see here that the highly figured maple neck is cored with a strip of Sapelle, heel to headstock.  The heel joint is shaped to allow the players hand to have clearance for the palm, and the thumb where it's wanted when you play. 

Understated Perfection
Chery Twist on a classic Recipe
Kind of Blue
Custom Manhattan
Morrocan Cool
Moroccan Spank
Tom's Blue
Wild Walnut Burl
Tom's Red
Solid Flames
The Royal
The Royal Sister
The set neck joint
Understated Perfection

In 2007 I built 3 identical guitars to prove or disprove the concept that different body woods matter (they do).  The others are Cherry Twist and Kind of Blue.  Imagine a Mahogany body Tele, or a maple necked SG. This instrument with a body of solid heartwood Honduran Mahogany has near perfect tonal balance of warmth and precise attack. Honduran mahogany varies in density and color from the soft, pink-ish, less stable outer sap wood to the denser, rust red mature heartwood.  Many factories, don't sort their mahogany supplies except for their highest end instruments.

The 3 Piece, 12" radius, soft vee maple neck is easy and fast, while the string through hip-shot bridge imparts terrific sustain with a tusq nut at the head end.

A coil tapped Seymour Duncan hot rodded humbucker set offers classic jazz through drop tune metal tones. This is my personal number 2 stage instrument.

Sold but can be recreated.$2100.00 with hardshell case

Chery Twist on a classic Recipe

This is one of three guitars built in 2007 to identical specs  to prove (or disprove) the concept that different body wood matters.  The other two are my Understated Perfection and Kind of Blue.  This is a combination not often seen in other builders, and it's a shame! Cherry is nearly identical to maple in density, and while it rarely produces flame figure, it has grain patterns and color prized by furniture makers. Layered with a Heartwood Honduran Mahogany back produces the same tonal balance of warmth and precise attack produced by the classic maple & mahogany combination.

The 3 Piece soft cee maple neck with 12" radius fretboard is fast and easy The string through hip-shot bridge and tusq nut impart terrific sustain .

A coil tapped Golden Age (Stewart MacDonald) hot humbucker set provides tones from classic jazz through drop tune metal.

$2000.00 with hardshell case

Kind of Blue

This is one of three guitars built in 2007 to identical specs with only the body tone wood changing to prove (or disprove) the concept that body wood matters.  The other two are Cherry Twist and Understated Perfection.  This instrument was an experiment rarely seen in other manufacturers, and I was quite surprised! The body wood is Furniture grade Baltic birch selected for its grain pattern. The resulting striping from the laminations with the shaded blue stain produced striking visuals, with a raw edge that makes this guitar superbly suited for hard rock and metal!  It can clean up beautifully, But "cranked" takes on a different meaning.

The 3 Piece soft cee shaped maple neck with 12" radius fretboard is fast and easy.  The string through hip-shot bridge and tusq nut impart terrific sustain.

A coil tapped Golden Age (Stewart MacDonald) hothumbucker set provides tones from classic jazz through drop tune metal.

$1900.00 with hardshell case

Custom Manhattan

This guitar began conceptually as an instrument that most players would find to be the simplest and most versatile guitar they ever played.  I think I succeeded, and so did Vintage Guitar. You can read Pete Prown's opinion in the magazine reviews gallery.

I use this as my own main guitar because it works so well for so many styles and tones.  If I build one for you, all details (neck specs, bridge, etc.) are your choice. To retain the versatility this instrument is capable of, I strongly recommend using the Seymour Duncan P-rails and control circuit I've used here, which, MINIMALLY, can create 9 tones with two switches, but with one switch and a blend pot as shown here, closer to 15 tones without changing volume or tone . It's possible to instantly switch between "woman tone" and Sam & Dave funk, and much more! Plus it's GORGEOUS with orchestral grade flame maple top and back!

Sold but can be recreated.$3800.00 with hardshell case

Morrocan Cool

This guitar shows a formula that I use for tone and visual effect.  By using a cavernously chambered colorwood Birch Plywood core, with exotic tone wood caps ( this is Bloodwood), unique looks can be created with a "family" feel.  Compare this guitar to Wild Walnut and you'll get the idea.

The five piece maple bloodwood neck with 12" radius ebony fingerboard has a water buffalo horn nut and zero fret for perfect string height. The string through Hannes graphite bridge is a beautiful, tone marvel.  Sperzel locking tuners, and a pair of coil tapped Lace Alumi-tone "death-buckers" make this instrument one of the most precise tone machines you'll find. The chambered body provides a crisp snap without harshness, while the maple & ebony neck provide warmth and depth.  The Alumi-tones are super versatile and 1/3 the weight of normal humbuckers! They can be sweet, and they can crank, but they never get muddy. 

$3600.00 with hardshell case

Moroccan Spank

This guitar uses a formula that I vary for tone and visual effect.  Using a vastly chambered colorwood Birch Plywood core, and exotic tone wood caps (this is Blood wood), I create unique looks with a "family" feel and quality.  Compare this guitar to Wild Walnut.

The five piece neck is maple/bloodwood with a 12" radius ebony fingerboard, Sper                          ct string height at the nut. The roller bridge and B5 Bigsby is a tried and true combination. This is one of the most accurate tone machines you'll find.  The powerful coil tapped pick up set is a Seymour Duncan Stag-Mag in the bridge, and an SH1n '59 for the neck. You get true single coil bite and twang when split, or sparkly humbucker tone that stays clear.  The chambered body offers a crisp snap without harshness, while the maple & ebony neck provide warmth and depth.  This is a pro's guitar! When you're good, it'll make you sound GREAT! The review of this guitar is in the magazine reviews gallery.

$3600.00 with hardshell case

Tom's Blue

This is a why I recommend bolt on necks! My first two sales were to a man who has since become a close friend.  He bought a guitar which had this neck and the body of the Solid Flame guitar a few pages ahead.  Tom has back problems and the classic mahogany/maple body, was too heavy.  The "problem" was that he absolutely loved the original guitar's bird's eye maple and ebony neck!

Tom had a very old piece of redwood, and as soon as I saw it I got ideas.  I'd begun to chamber my bodies which reduces weight. I'd used, and liked, the Alumitone pickups and Hannes bridge which reduces those components' weight by about 30%.   When the neck was swapped to the new, feather light, resonant, redwood body the finished instrument weighed a bit under 5 pounds without losing sustain or definition.  The premium blue burst finish is aby Gerhard Guitar Works.

This is now Tom's main guitar, with "Red" being backup. 

Sold but can be recreated. $3600.00 with hardshell case

Wild Walnut Burl

This is one of my most beautiful guitars employing a formula that I use for tone and visual effect.  Exotic tone wood caps (these are walnut burl) on vastly chambered tone wood cores, create unique looks with a "family" feel.  Compare this to the bloodwood models.

The U.S. made Bigbsy B-5 with roller bridge is classic and gorgeous. The neck is five piece maple/walnut with a 12" radius ebony fretboard, aged bone nut, and Sperzel locking tuners.   The chambered body offers a crisp snap without being harsh. The maple/ebony neck provides warmth and depth.  The super versatile, tap-able Lace Alumi-tone "death-buckers" make this a super accurate tone machine! Plus they're 1/3 the weight of normal humbuckers!  They'll crank, but they're never muddy. This is a pro's guitar! When you're good, you'll sound GREAT!

This guitar was sold at the NorthEast Guitar Show in 2016. It can be reproduced (with a different burl), and detailing of your choice.     $3600.00 with hardshell case

Tom's Red

This is another neck/body transfer story.  Once Blue was "in the can", Tom asked about reusing a neck from a travel guitar I'd made for him.  Originally, Tom wanted a mini version of Blue with him when he summered in Italy.  Tighter travel restrictions made it wiser to just leave an instrument there instead.  He liked the idea of a punchy, semi-hollow guitar that would let him re-use the travel guitar's neck as a back up.

Red is the result.  Using the same redwood as Blue's body, we added an F hole in the upper bout.  With the Hannes  bridge the combination opens up a whole new acoustic tonal palette before Tom even plugs in.  He chose Seymour Duncan Stag Mag and Seymour Duncan Sh-1n '59 pickups like I'd used on the Moroccan Twang. The result is VERY punchy and a bit "woody".  With a Cue Gerhard Candy Apple Metal Flake finish this guitar looks HOT. No pictures do it justice. (BTW, the Jotoba travel body has a new neck and is awaiting adoption) See it in the Travel Guitar gallery!

Sold but can be recreated. $3600.00 with hardshell case

Solid Flames

This had been Tom's original body for his main guitar.  It uses the tried and true combination of quality heartwood Honduran Mahogany with a book-matched flamed maple cap.  It produced fabulous tone, but Tom's back couldn't handle the weight.  You can read the whole story on Blue's page, but suffice to say, with a new neck, solid flames lives again and is waiting for a home.

The pickups are my 1st choice Seymour Duncan hot rodded humbucker set (JB bridge/Jazz neck).  The bridge is a top loading Schaller with locking saddles to boost sustain.  I had a bit of fun with the fret markers.

This is a beautiful looking, superb sounding instrument.

$2100.00 with hardshell case

The Royal

It's been a distinct pleasure to create this incredible custom with Roy Abraham.  He wanted his first custom guitar to speak to and through him.  He actively helped to design the body shape, select wood, details, and neck contours . This is his Royal.

The  carved and tap tuned curly cherry plates are mounted to a sapelle core, connecting to the top and back only at the rim, bridge and neck.  The shape is derived from a vintage 30's Airway archtop by Wilkanowski (Johnny Cash had one), updated to fit in a 335 style case. We gave it 24 frets, special royal fret markers and Roy's personal doodle on the headstock.

Ebony fingerboard, black Gotoh 510 tuners, Hipshot Babygrand bridge, bone nut, and Seymour Duncan P-rails with 3 way mode switch and blend pot complete the picture.

The next gallery photo shows the high access neck joint.

As shown $3800.00 with hardshell Gator journeyman linen case

The Royal Sister

It was evident as Roy and I were designing the Royal that it would be very special. I wanted a less specific version to offer after it was gone so this is the Royal Sister.

Structurally identical to the Royal, but with 22 frets,  more traditional markers, and a truly Gibson-esque neck profile, this is one stunning instrument visually and sonically. 

The highly figured maple neck is set with a very aggressively shaped ergonomic joint that can be seen in the next slide.

Chrome Gotoh 510 tuners, bone nut, hipshot Babygrand bridge, and Seymour Duncan P-rails with a 3 way mode selector and blend pot offer enormous sonic versatility.

$3600.00 with Gator Journeyman linen case

The set neck joint

You can see here that the highly figured maple neck is cored with a strip of Sapelle, heel to headstock.  The heel joint is shaped to allow the players hand to have clearance for the palm, and the thumb where it's wanted when you play. 

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