Understated Perfection
Understated Perfection

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 Kind of Blue.  This is a combination not often seen in other manufacturers, and I'm baffled! Did you ever wonder what an SG (there's that copyright thing, again) with an all maple neck might sound like? This instrument with a solid heartwood Honduran Mahogany body has a near perfect tonal balance of warmth and precise attack. Honduran mahogany varies tremendously in density and color between the softer, lighter colored (pink-ish), and less stable outer sap wood and the older, denser, rust red mature heartwood.  It should be noted that the big manufacturers, generally, don't bother to sort their mahogany supplies except for their highest end instruments.

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

A coil tapped Seymour Duncan hot rodded humbucker set provides tones from classic jazz through drop tune metal.

I use this guitar as 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 with only the body tone wood changing to prove (or disprove) the concept that body wood matters.  The other two are my Understated Perfection and Kind of Blue.  This is a combination not often seen in other manufacturers, and I'm baffled! Cherry is nearly identical to maple in density, and while it rarely produces flame figure, it has a grain structure and color prized by high end cabinetmakers. Laminated to 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 easy and fast in your hand, the string through hip-shot bridge imparts terrific sustain with a tusq nut working the head end duties.

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 easy and fast in your hand, the string through hip-shot bridge imparts terrific sustain with a tusq nut working the head end duties.

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 with two pieces of select orchestral grade flamed maple with the intent of creating 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 the review of this instrument in the magazine reviews gallery.

This has become my own main guitar because it works so well for so many styles and tones. If you go to the review link above, you'll probably find you tube clips (sorry...very "lo-fi") of me playing it through a Vox Li'l Night Train on the 1 1/2 watt EQ'd channel into a Weber 15" speaker and miced through the PA.

If you should want one of your own, your neck profile, scale length, bridge choice, basically all details would be your choice.  If you wish to retain the versatility this instrument is capable of, though, I strongly recommend using the Seymour Duncan P-rails and control circuit I've employed here, which, MINIMALLY, can be figured as having 9 tones with two switches, but with the blend pot I've used here, closer to 15 distinct tones without rolling back the volume.

If you can't find a usable tone, quickly, with this guitar for almost any song you have in your repertoire, you're not trying very hard....besides, it's GORGEOUS!

Sold but can be recreated.$3800.00 with hardshell case

Morrocan Cool
Morrocan Cool

This instrument follows a formula that I use often with variations for tone and visual effect.  By using colorwood Birch Plywood as a cavernously chambered core, with exotic tone wood caps (in this case Bloodwood), very unique one-of-a-kind looks can be created with a common feel and quality, in each instrument.  Compare this guitar to Morrocan Spank and you'll get the idea.

This guitar has a five piece maple bloodwood neck witha 12" radius ebony fingerboard.

The string through Hannes graphite bridge is a visually stunning technical marvel.  With a water buffalo horn nut, zero fret for perfect string height at the nut, Sperzel locking tuners, and a pair of coil tapped Lace Alumi-tone "death-buckers" this instrument is one of the most accurate tone machines you'll ever play.  The body woods provide a crisp snap without being harsh, while the chambering and maple/ebony neck provide warmth and depth.  The Alumi-tones aren't so deadly as super versatile (and 1/3 the weight of normal humbuckers!).  They will crank, but they never lose precision.  This is a pro's instrument! When you're good, it'll make you sound GREAT!

$3600.00 with hardshell case

Moroccan Spank
Moroccan Spank

This instrument follows a formula that I use often with variations for tone and visual effect.  By using colorwood Birch Plywood as a cavernously chambered core, with exotic tone wood caps (in this case Bloodwood), very unique one-of-a-kind looks can be created with a common feel and quality, in each instrument.  Compare this guitar to Moroccan Cool and you'll get the idea.

This guitar has a five piece maple bloodwood neck with a 12" radius ebony fingerboard.

The roller bridge and B5 Bigsby is a tried and true combination.  With a water buffalo horn nut, zero fret for perfect string height at the nut, Sperzel locking tuners, this instrument is one of the most accurate tone machines you'll ever play.  The coil tapped pick up set is a Seymour Duncan Stag-Mag in the bridge, paired with a Seymour Duncan SH1n '59 for the neck. This is a powerful combination with true single coil bite and twang when split, with a sparkly humbucker tone that resists getting muddy.

    The body woods provide a crisp snap without being harsh, while the chambering andmaple/ebony neck provide warmth and depth.  This is a pro's instrument! When you're good, it'll make you sound GREAT!

Read the review of this guitar in teh magazine reviews gallery.

$3600.00 with hardshell case

Wild Walnut Burl
Wild Walnut Burl

I believe one of the most beautiful looking and sounding instruments I've built following a formula that I use often for tone and visual effect.  By using a core of cavernously chambered tone wood, and adding exotic tone wood caps (in this case a one-of-a-kind bookmatched walnut burl), very unique looks can be created with a common feel and quality in each instrument.  Compare this guitar to Moroccan Spank and Moroccan Smooth and you'll get the idea.

This guitar has a five piece maple and walnut neck with a 12" radius ebony fingerboard.

The U.S. made Bigbsy B-5 with roller bridge is classic and gorgeous.  With an aged bone nut, a set of Sperzel locking tuners, and a pair of coil tapped Lace Alumi-tone "death-buckers" this instrument is one of the most accurate tone machines you'll ever play.  The body woods provide a crisp snap without being harsh, while the chambering and maple/ebony neck provide warmth and depth.  The Alumi-tones aren't so deadly as super versatile (and 1/3 the weight of normal humbuckers!).  They will crank, but they never lose precision. 

This is a pro's instrument! When you're good, it'll make you sound GREAT!

I sold this instrument at the Farmington, CT NorthEast Guitar Show in October of 2016, but can reproduce it (with a different one-of-a-kind burl figure, of course) with detailing of your choice.

Sold but can be recreated with different burl. $3600.00 with hardshell case

Tom's Blue
Tom's Blue

This is a perfect example of the inherent wisdom of bolt on necks! My first two sales were to a man who has since become a close friend.  He had me build a guitar which had the body of the Solid Flame guitar a few pages ahead, and this neck.  It's a classic mahogany maple body, but Tom's back had been injured and the weight was more than he could support.  The "problem" was that he absolutely loved the bird's eye maple and ebony neck on the original guitar!

After discussing a number of options, Tom mentioned he had a very old piece of redwood, As soon as I saw it everything started to gel.  I'd begun to chamber my bodies which reduces weight, I'd tried and liked the Alumitone pickups and Hannes bridge which reduce weight to about 1/3 of those components typical weight and the redwood was old growth, resonant, and feather light! The neck was transferred to the new body resulting in an instrument that's a bit under 5 pounds without losing sustain or definition.  The blue burst is a premium finish applied by Gerhard Guitar Works.

This is Tom's main guitar, with "Red" being backup.  Solid Flame gotnew neck and as they say.."Life is GOOD!"

Sold but can be recreated. $3600.00 with hardshell case

Tom's Red
Tom's Red

This is Tom's back up guitar and another neck/body transfer story.  Once we had Blue "in the can", Tom asked about reusing a neck from a travel guitar I'd made for him.  The original plan was to take a mini version of Blue to Italy with him when he summers there.  As travel restrictions got tighter, he decided to keep an instrument he already had there, negating the need for a flying guitar.  He understood the value of having backup, and liked the idea of having a punchy, semi-hollow guitar that would let him keep the travel guitar's neck.

Red is the result.  Using the same redwood for this body as we had for Blue, we added an F hole in the upper bout.  With the Hannes string through bridge the combination opens up a whole new acoustic tonal palette before Tom even plugs in.

Tom chose Seymour Duncan Stag Mag and Seymour Duncan Sh-1n '59 pickups like I'd used on the Moroccan Twang. The result was VERY punchy and slightly "woody".  The Candy Apple Metal Flake finish by Cue Gerhard suits the sound of this guitar perfectly. No pictures do this instrument justice.

(The Jotoba travel body has a new neck and is awaiting adoption) Check it out 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

A HoPHner?
A HoPHner?

This classic bass is a bit hard to quantify into a category.  At face value it is what it seems to be, and, more importantly, sounds just like it ought to sound.  The back story ads clarity to the confusion.

The body was a "salvage" in the sense that I found it on an internet parts site as a violin shaped box....no cut outs, no joinery, just the box, and no clue to what was inside structurally.

Accurate aftermarket parts and hardware are available, but no necks, no tuners, and, at first, no plans to work from.  I found a few clues about scale length to begin with, and using photographs and scaling techniques I'd learned in scale modeling, I reverse engineered the neck dimensions. HOWEVER, I wanted to keep the original gap between the fingerboard and body.  Hofner had done this with a short neck tenon ('62 and earlier) but these have proven to be fragile.  I chose to use a tried and true dovetail joint like my archtops.  It wasn't until I was ready to glue the neck in place that I was able to locate plans which confirmed my work within a millimeter of the original basses.

The tobacco sunburst was expertly applied by Gerhard Guitar Works, so the end result is a very authentic reproduction at roughly 1/3 less than the current top tier re-issues.

$2100.00 with hardshell case

Understated Perfection
Chery Twist on a classic Recipe
Kind of Blue
Custom Manhattan
Morrocan Cool
Moroccan Spank
Wild Walnut Burl
Tom's Blue
Tom's Red
Solid Flames
A HoPHner?
Understated Perfection

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 Kind of Blue.  This is a combination not often seen in other manufacturers, and I'm baffled! Did you ever wonder what an SG (there's that copyright thing, again) with an all maple neck might sound like? This instrument with a solid heartwood Honduran Mahogany body has a near perfect tonal balance of warmth and precise attack. Honduran mahogany varies tremendously in density and color between the softer, lighter colored (pink-ish), and less stable outer sap wood and the older, denser, rust red mature heartwood.  It should be noted that the big manufacturers, generally, don't bother to sort their mahogany supplies except for their highest end instruments.

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

A coil tapped Seymour Duncan hot rodded humbucker set provides tones from classic jazz through drop tune metal.

I use this guitar as 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 with only the body tone wood changing to prove (or disprove) the concept that body wood matters.  The other two are my Understated Perfection and Kind of Blue.  This is a combination not often seen in other manufacturers, and I'm baffled! Cherry is nearly identical to maple in density, and while it rarely produces flame figure, it has a grain structure and color prized by high end cabinetmakers. Laminated to 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 easy and fast in your hand, the string through hip-shot bridge imparts terrific sustain with a tusq nut working the head end duties.

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 easy and fast in your hand, the string through hip-shot bridge imparts terrific sustain with a tusq nut working the head end duties.

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 with two pieces of select orchestral grade flamed maple with the intent of creating 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 the review of this instrument in the magazine reviews gallery.

This has become my own main guitar because it works so well for so many styles and tones. If you go to the review link above, you'll probably find you tube clips (sorry...very "lo-fi") of me playing it through a Vox Li'l Night Train on the 1 1/2 watt EQ'd channel into a Weber 15" speaker and miced through the PA.

If you should want one of your own, your neck profile, scale length, bridge choice, basically all details would be your choice.  If you wish to retain the versatility this instrument is capable of, though, I strongly recommend using the Seymour Duncan P-rails and control circuit I've employed here, which, MINIMALLY, can be figured as having 9 tones with two switches, but with the blend pot I've used here, closer to 15 distinct tones without rolling back the volume.

If you can't find a usable tone, quickly, with this guitar for almost any song you have in your repertoire, you're not trying very hard....besides, it's GORGEOUS!

Sold but can be recreated.$3800.00 with hardshell case

Morrocan Cool

This instrument follows a formula that I use often with variations for tone and visual effect.  By using colorwood Birch Plywood as a cavernously chambered core, with exotic tone wood caps (in this case Bloodwood), very unique one-of-a-kind looks can be created with a common feel and quality, in each instrument.  Compare this guitar to Morrocan Spank and you'll get the idea.

This guitar has a five piece maple bloodwood neck witha 12" radius ebony fingerboard.

The string through Hannes graphite bridge is a visually stunning technical marvel.  With a water buffalo horn nut, zero fret for perfect string height at the nut, Sperzel locking tuners, and a pair of coil tapped Lace Alumi-tone "death-buckers" this instrument is one of the most accurate tone machines you'll ever play.  The body woods provide a crisp snap without being harsh, while the chambering and maple/ebony neck provide warmth and depth.  The Alumi-tones aren't so deadly as super versatile (and 1/3 the weight of normal humbuckers!).  They will crank, but they never lose precision.  This is a pro's instrument! When you're good, it'll make you sound GREAT!

$3600.00 with hardshell case

Moroccan Spank

This instrument follows a formula that I use often with variations for tone and visual effect.  By using colorwood Birch Plywood as a cavernously chambered core, with exotic tone wood caps (in this case Bloodwood), very unique one-of-a-kind looks can be created with a common feel and quality, in each instrument.  Compare this guitar to Moroccan Cool and you'll get the idea.

This guitar has a five piece maple bloodwood neck with a 12" radius ebony fingerboard.

The roller bridge and B5 Bigsby is a tried and true combination.  With a water buffalo horn nut, zero fret for perfect string height at the nut, Sperzel locking tuners, this instrument is one of the most accurate tone machines you'll ever play.  The coil tapped pick up set is a Seymour Duncan Stag-Mag in the bridge, paired with a Seymour Duncan SH1n '59 for the neck. This is a powerful combination with true single coil bite and twang when split, with a sparkly humbucker tone that resists getting muddy.

    The body woods provide a crisp snap without being harsh, while the chambering andmaple/ebony neck provide warmth and depth.  This is a pro's instrument! When you're good, it'll make you sound GREAT!

Read the review of this guitar in teh magazine reviews gallery.

$3600.00 with hardshell case

Wild Walnut Burl

I believe one of the most beautiful looking and sounding instruments I've built following a formula that I use often for tone and visual effect.  By using a core of cavernously chambered tone wood, and adding exotic tone wood caps (in this case a one-of-a-kind bookmatched walnut burl), very unique looks can be created with a common feel and quality in each instrument.  Compare this guitar to Moroccan Spank and Moroccan Smooth and you'll get the idea.

This guitar has a five piece maple and walnut neck with a 12" radius ebony fingerboard.

The U.S. made Bigbsy B-5 with roller bridge is classic and gorgeous.  With an aged bone nut, a set of Sperzel locking tuners, and a pair of coil tapped Lace Alumi-tone "death-buckers" this instrument is one of the most accurate tone machines you'll ever play.  The body woods provide a crisp snap without being harsh, while the chambering and maple/ebony neck provide warmth and depth.  The Alumi-tones aren't so deadly as super versatile (and 1/3 the weight of normal humbuckers!).  They will crank, but they never lose precision. 

This is a pro's instrument! When you're good, it'll make you sound GREAT!

I sold this instrument at the Farmington, CT NorthEast Guitar Show in October of 2016, but can reproduce it (with a different one-of-a-kind burl figure, of course) with detailing of your choice.

Sold but can be recreated with different burl. $3600.00 with hardshell case

Tom's Blue

This is a perfect example of the inherent wisdom of bolt on necks! My first two sales were to a man who has since become a close friend.  He had me build a guitar which had the body of the Solid Flame guitar a few pages ahead, and this neck.  It's a classic mahogany maple body, but Tom's back had been injured and the weight was more than he could support.  The "problem" was that he absolutely loved the bird's eye maple and ebony neck on the original guitar!

After discussing a number of options, Tom mentioned he had a very old piece of redwood, As soon as I saw it everything started to gel.  I'd begun to chamber my bodies which reduces weight, I'd tried and liked the Alumitone pickups and Hannes bridge which reduce weight to about 1/3 of those components typical weight and the redwood was old growth, resonant, and feather light! The neck was transferred to the new body resulting in an instrument that's a bit under 5 pounds without losing sustain or definition.  The blue burst is a premium finish applied by Gerhard Guitar Works.

This is Tom's main guitar, with "Red" being backup.  Solid Flame gotnew neck and as they say.."Life is GOOD!"

Sold but can be recreated. $3600.00 with hardshell case

Tom's Red

This is Tom's back up guitar and another neck/body transfer story.  Once we had Blue "in the can", Tom asked about reusing a neck from a travel guitar I'd made for him.  The original plan was to take a mini version of Blue to Italy with him when he summers there.  As travel restrictions got tighter, he decided to keep an instrument he already had there, negating the need for a flying guitar.  He understood the value of having backup, and liked the idea of having a punchy, semi-hollow guitar that would let him keep the travel guitar's neck.

Red is the result.  Using the same redwood for this body as we had for Blue, we added an F hole in the upper bout.  With the Hannes string through bridge the combination opens up a whole new acoustic tonal palette before Tom even plugs in.

Tom chose Seymour Duncan Stag Mag and Seymour Duncan Sh-1n '59 pickups like I'd used on the Moroccan Twang. The result was VERY punchy and slightly "woody".  The Candy Apple Metal Flake finish by Cue Gerhard suits the sound of this guitar perfectly. No pictures do this instrument justice.

(The Jotoba travel body has a new neck and is awaiting adoption) Check it out 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

A HoPHner?

This classic bass is a bit hard to quantify into a category.  At face value it is what it seems to be, and, more importantly, sounds just like it ought to sound.  The back story ads clarity to the confusion.

The body was a "salvage" in the sense that I found it on an internet parts site as a violin shaped box....no cut outs, no joinery, just the box, and no clue to what was inside structurally.

Accurate aftermarket parts and hardware are available, but no necks, no tuners, and, at first, no plans to work from.  I found a few clues about scale length to begin with, and using photographs and scaling techniques I'd learned in scale modeling, I reverse engineered the neck dimensions. HOWEVER, I wanted to keep the original gap between the fingerboard and body.  Hofner had done this with a short neck tenon ('62 and earlier) but these have proven to be fragile.  I chose to use a tried and true dovetail joint like my archtops.  It wasn't until I was ready to glue the neck in place that I was able to locate plans which confirmed my work within a millimeter of the original basses.

The tobacco sunburst was expertly applied by Gerhard Guitar Works, so the end result is a very authentic reproduction at roughly 1/3 less than the current top tier re-issues.

$2100.00 with hardshell case

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