conventional guitars (relatively speaking)


Introducing the "TOOL"

A new line of guitars for the road or studio.  Simple and effective.  These guitars feature a special pickup combination I've developed a while ago but that to date has only been installed in very special custom instruments.  Two specially matched P-90 style Spalt BoneTop pickups in the bridge/middle position are controlled via a 4-way switch, giving you either coil or both in parallel or series wiring.  The resulting selection is then mixed via the 3-way in the upper bout with the neck pickup.  9 sound options are intuitively accessible on the fly. 

TOOL PROTOTYPE #1

Basswood body

Maple neck, Rosewood fingerboard, 24 ¾" scale

3 BoneTop pickups, volume, tone, 4-way rotary and 3-way switch

ABM adjustable wraparound tailpiece

Gotoh vintage style locking tuners

Dunlop Straplocks 

3.3kg - 7lbs 4.4oz


TOOL PROTOTYPE #2

The second Tool prototype features a lightly distressed Mahogany body.  

Maple neck, Rosewood fingerboard, 25 ½" scale

3 BoneTop pickups

Volume, tone, 4-way rotary and 3-way switch

ABM adjustable wraparound tailpiece

Gotoh vintage style tuners

Dunlop Straplocks 


Tool Prototype #3

Swamp Ash body

Maple neck, Rosewood fingerboard, 25 ½" scale

3 BoneTop pickups

Volume, tone, 4-way rotary and 3-way switch

Pigtail adjustable wraparound tailpiece

Gotoh vintage style tuners

Dunlop Straplocks 

3kg - 6lbs 10oz


TOOL Prototype #4

Swamp Ash body

Maple neck, Maple fingerboard, 25 ½" scale

3 BoneTop pickups

Volume, tone, 4-way rotary and 3-way switch

Pigtail adjustable wraparound tailpiece

Gotoh vintage style tuners

Dunlop Straplocks 

3kg - 6lbs 10oz


The Anand Project

Some years ago I had made a custom instrument for Anand Bennet with fanned frets and special tuning to accomodate his playing style.  Now Anand asked me to make a full set of instruments for him - from a small, mandolin size to a full size bass, all specially designed for his unique playing style. 

 

 

Click here for a closer look.


Tommy's Vienna Style

Vienna Model w/Spruce top

Hollow Mahogany body

Mahogany neck w/ Indian Rosewood fingerboard

25 ½" scale, 10-12" radius

22 6150 Dunlop frets

P-90 style BoneTops w/ 30's French Bakelite bobbins

3-way, vol, tone w/ push-pull for series mode

TonePros adjustable wraparound bridge

Gotoh vintage style tuners

Dunlop Straplocks

2.75kg


C 1301 "Tidepool"

This guitar was made for Paul Schmidt, the initiator of the Nouveau Series.  Utilizing seconds left from the Nouveau Series - a Rosewood neck and a Mahogany back - topped with a slab of Austrian Pearwood.  Part of a large board which I spotted in my friend Andreas Neubauer's wood shed, it sported an interesting knot.  It seemed perfect for this guitar.  I added a Lollar pickup combination, minihumbucker in the neck, Firebird in the bridge, a TonePro's wraparound bridge and Sperzel locking tuners.   Large and a hefty 4.2 kg/9lbs


Spalt 'Teletone'

When I came across a beautiful flamed piece of light Swamp Ash large enough for a one-piece body, an interpretation of the iconic Tele seemed in order.  A tightly figured Bird's Eye Maple neck, black bakelite pickguard and butterscotch tinted nitrocellulose lacquer pay tribute to the original.  A mini humbucker in the neck position and an intonated bridge constitute more modern appointments.


Solidbody Framire

Framire body and set neck.  Similar in appearance to Korina, but with a brighter, snappier sound.  Rosewood fingerboard and headstock overlay, 25 1/2" scale.  2 BoneTop P-90 style pickups.  Wilkinson adjustable wraparound bridge, volume, tone, 3-way.  Gotoh vintage style locking tuners.  Thin nitro finish. The wood and the scale constribute to a bright, punchy sound.


Purpleheart special

Mahogany body w/ figured Bubinga top, Mahogany neck w/ Purpleheart fingerboard and headstock overlay.  Tonepros adjustable stoptail bridge, Sperzel locking tuners.  The knobs are from a 40's vintage radio, the truss rod cover is pearl.


Aure Custom

In addition to the magnetic Tele-style configuration,  there are piezos mounted in the 'point technology' tremolo for a MIDI output.  The top is Wenge, with a Maple 'faux' pickguard inlaid.  The  white and black sections on the fanned fretboard correspond to the white and black keys of a keyboard, a feature patented by Aaron Wolfson.


F.A.T. Greenburst

Built for my friend Fabian, this custom guitar has a hollow Mahogany body w/ a fiddleback Ash top and a set flame Koa neck w/ a flame Maple fingerboard.  Reverse tremolo/headstock.  The electronics are loaded through the tremolo spring cover.


'Coppertop'

All-Mahogany body and neck, Rosewood fingerboard.  Loosely inspired by the work of Zemaitis.  I used an old brass bridge and knobs over a thin sheet of aged copper.  A P-90 in the neck and a vintage Gibson Lap-steel pickup in the bridge give a full, rich sound.  The back is finished in black lacquer.

addl. Photos courtesy of Miyaji Gakki Tokyo, 1-4 Kanda Ogawamachi, Chiyodaku, Tokyo

http://miyaji.co.jp


'Brass Buddha'

The copper top on this guitar is left to oxidize naturally.  A brass plaque depicting the buddha is inset into the top.  Vintage radio knobs with metal tops and brass hardware reinforce the theme.  The bridge pickup is a green 'BoneTop' Tele-style, the neck is a cream 'square tab' DiMarzio PAF humbucker - the earliest series, which by now have aged nicely and offer some of the best PAF-tone out there.  Mahogany body and neck.  Nitrocellulose finish on the back.


the jem series

These guitars are an offshoot of my collaboration with Thomas Nordegg, Steve Vai's (and many others') longtime tech.  Based on the Ibanez Jem model they explore various technical parameters.

jem 1

This example has a Lacewood top and is stripped down to the essentials.  A LSR nut and Steinberger gearless tuners ensure tuning stability while streamlining the appearance.


jem 2

A bit over the top, with a Snakewood fingerboard with Abalone purfling, gold hardware and a Sustainiac circuit, this guitar has a Mahogany body and a figured Maple neck.  The finish is nitrocellulose lacquer.


jem 3

Sister to the Jem 2 with different finsh.


SN08

The result of staring at a left-over piece of prime old-stock Honduran Mahogany, too short by 1/2"  for a regular LP style body.  The neck appears a tad longer and as a result also offers better access to the upper frets.  The wood speaks for itself, tonewise...  24 frets, Ebony fingerboard, locking Gotoh vintage style tuners and a Bigsby tailpiece with roller bridge. SD Antiquity Seth Lover pickups.

SN08 'Re-imagined'

Originally built in 2008, this guitar found its way back to me after 8 years.  After looking at it again for a while I decided to change some things - to re-imagine it in a new way.  The same fine old Mahogany now supports a 30's French Galalith (a type of bakelite) pick guard and a Lollar Charlie Christian and Imperial pickup configuration.  I adjusted the shape a bit.  The tone is sweeter, with an ABR type bridge - the silky wood is set off nicely by a hand-rubbed oil finish.  3.5kg


KR special

Swamp Ash body, flame Maple neck.  Callaham trem and a versatile pickup combination.


C6

Swamp Ash, bird's eye Maple, Tele bridge/pickup and a vintage Gretsch Filtertron make for a deceptively simple guitar.


C7

Two versions of the same guitar - the eternal quest for tone...  Swamp Ash body.  First version  Mahogany neck w/ Madagascar Rosewood fingerboard, reverse headstock, flat profile.   Second version bird's-eye Maple neck w/ a V-shape.  Various pickup combinations.


'RS Corvette'

Producer Rob Schnapf left some parts - a Warmoth neck and two TV Jones humbuckers - which didn't fit our current projects at my shop.  I decided to make him a Gretsch Corvette knockoff for his birthday.  It has a Mahogany body, a Bigsby tremolo and the lacquer finish is lightly relic'd.