Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Xylonix Guitars by Michael Gnapp | Successor To Rex Bogue?

John McLaughlin with Rex Bogue Double Rainbow
I just received a comment from Keith Bohanna over at on my Rex Bogue Double Rainbow article.  He also shared a link from one of his site's members, Michael Gnapp who was Bogue's woodworker. 

"Nice information on Rex Bogue, a unique guitar maker. Over on our blog we were able to share some experiences which one of our members, Michael Gnapp, had while working with Rex. 

Here are a couple of cool excerpts:

"I learned inlay from Rex; his shell work was very detailed and immaculate. You can see it in the “tree of life” inlay on the two necks of John McLaughlin’s 'Double Rainbow'.  Rex was extreme in everything he took on."

"If he took an interest in anything, he took it all the way. He had in interest in rum; my first duty in the morning was to prepare a 5-gallon water cooler full of pina colada, and it would be empty at the end of every day. There were always clients and friends hanging out in the shop, which was a small house he’d inherited from his grandmother, I believe, and so 5 gallons of the potion was usually just enough. I did the woodworking, another young man, a master of electronics, did the pickups, preamps, and wiring."

You can see the full post here:"

Michael Gnapp is also about to re-launch his own line of guitars shortly.  A luthier listing for Gnapp's Xylonix Guitars states:  "Custom thinline hollowbody archtop and solidbody guitars, funerary urns and artistic wooden home accessories."

Funerary urns?  Talk about diversifying.. is still under construction but stay tuned. 

You can check out some of Gnapp's earlier Xylonix guitar creations here:

And here's my earlier article on Ibanez's take on the Rex Bogue Double Rainbow

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Planet Waves Pro String Winder | Product Review

A string winder and wire clippers are both must-have accessories in every guitar player's toolbox and Planet Waves Pro String Winder incorporates both in one handy device.

And only D'Addario holds the patent on the all-in-one string-winder and string-cutter. Marketed under the Planet Waves brand, this little string winder/cutter has been around for awhile and has seen constant improvement over the years.

The latest incarnation of Plane Waves Pro String Winder continues to incorporate some of the same features found on the previous models that we've come to know and love -- the acoustic bridge pin puller and dual peghead slots on the winder to accomodate both Fender and Gibson-sized tuning heads are still there. 

But the single biggest improvement on the Pro String Winder is that the hex bolt screw that holds the string-cutting blades together is now securely fastened to a hex nut on the opposite end.  On previous models, only a single hex bolt held the two blade faces together.  Once the screw threads on the blades or the screw gave out -- as they often did -- the string-cutter became impossible to use.

The new Pro String Winder also features an ergonomically improved and substantial handle grip. This thing just feels right. 

And they've even incorporated a string-stretcher into the handle itself; simply slot the string onto the curved indentation on the handle, pull outward slightly and slide along the entire length of the string. Very handy.

Like all Planet Waves products, the Pro String Winder comes with a lifetime guarantee.  Just like the lifetime warranty on their guitar cables, Planet Waves will replace any of their string-winders in the event of damage due to normal use, so save those receipts, folks!

The Pro String winder is also available in a bass version.

And check out my product review on Planet Waves Fretboard 65 Ultimate Lemon Oil

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Gibson Releases Slash 'Appetite' Les Paul

Gibson recently announced the release of their new Slash signature 'Appetite' Les Paul

Based on the Les Paul copy built by Kris Derrig that Slash used for most of  Guns n' Roses 'Appetite For Destruction', this axe, honestly, appears to be not much different from Gibson's usual offerings.

It appears that either Derrig nailed it in copying Gibson's design specifications or not much research went into the design of this new signature model.  Or what if a couple of Kris Derrig's design innovations on the original were too much of a departure for Gibson to want to implement?  Who knows? 

The 'Appetite' Les Paul features a 'reverse chevron' AAA-maple top, 'Unburst' nitrocellulose finishSeymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Slash signature humbucking pickups and TonePros tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece.  Amber top-hat knobs cap the linear 300k volume pots and 500k non-linear tone pots.

Jumbo frets are fitted to the rosewood fingerboard on the slim-60s profile quarter-sawn mahogany neck and the 17-degree angle headstock features a silk-screened Slash signature and logo.

Get thee to a music store to check out the Appetite Les Paul if you're a true Slash fan.

(Pic Source:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Twilight's Robert Pattinson Signs Telecaster To Raise Funds

Robert Pattinson, taking a break from his role as vegan-vampire Edward Cullen from the Twilight series, recently stopped by Norman's Rare Guitars in Tarzana, CA to pick up a guitar for himself and also signed a Telecaster to help raise funds for Midnight Mission.   Midnight Mission provides education, job training and transitional housing for the homeless.  

Looking rather dishevelled himself in this pic, Pattinson is one of several celebrities who play the guitar some and invest in vintage instruments for their personal collections -- old guitars are gold, baby!  Why else would he be hanging at Norm's right?

(Pic Source:

Fender American Special Prototype Guitars Giveaway

Fender has announced a special giveaway for three lucky winners to win one of three Fender American Special Stratocaster and Telecaster prototypes.  To up the cool factor, Fender promises that these instruments have been "roughed up pretty good in the test-pilot phase".

Pegged by Fender as 'value-conscious guitars-for-the-times', the current American Special series includes three models -- the American Special Telecaster, American Special Stratocaster and American Special Stratocaster HSS.  All three US-made models feature Fender Texas Special pickups, alder bodies, urethane finishes, 9.5" fingerboard radius and jumbo frets.  Interestingly, the Telecaster models feature the vintage-style bridge with 3-piece brass-saddles.

Go to, fill out the contest form online and hope for the best. 

This giveaway ends 22nd April 2010 and is for US residents only.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Robben Ford Guitar Clinic 14th March 2010 | Review

Jet-lagged and appearing a little surprised at the unusually vociferous welcome at his sold-out guitar clinic, Robben Ford strapped on his black Sakashta and plugged straight into a Fender Super Reverb amp.  And for the next hour and a half, he proved once and for all that tone comes from the head, heart and hands.  The man exudes soul.

Describing his style as 'freeform but with a method', Robben began by talking about his early years studying the saxophone.  Growing up in the small town of Ukiah, CA, he listened to the local radio station, KUKI, "or kooky", as he says with a laugh. 

His parents also joined a record club.  "And in there was Ravel's Bolero and Brubeck's Take 5.  Take 5 was a big hit and that was what made me want to play the alto -- listening to Paul Desmond.  I played sax for 10 or 11 years but I'm a self-taught guitar player.  I learned to read music on the sax but somehow that never really transferred over to the guitar.  I taught myself by just beating on the guitar!"

Listening to the first Paul Butterfield Blues Band album featuring Mike Bloomfield proved to be turning point.  "For a while I sounded a lot like Bloomfield."

"I play this combination of folk-blues and jazz -- kind of a mushed-up style.  I had the pleasure of touring with Joni Mitchell and the pianist on the gig was Roger Kellaway.  I was playing on a piano backstage, doing my thing on a 12-bar blues, throwing in 13b9 chords.  Roger came in and stood there with his arms folded.  Roger started laughing and said, "Make up your mind, man!"  I never changed.  I doubt I learned a thing from that."

Elaborating further, Robben described his guitar style as 'fingerpainting'.  "You've got a white piece of paper and you kinda mush the paint around and see what comes of that.  And you must be expressive and make mistakes.  If you don't it comes from a place of technique and not from a place of feeling.  There are some great players out there, but I don't feel it."

When asked about his practice schedule, Robben replied, "There was a time I used to practice.  It was a very short time -- I did it for 6 months!  On the cover of the first Paul Butterfield Blues Band album was a picture of Bloomfield playing a 9th chord.  When I learned it, I just played the shit out of that chord!  I didn't know many chords at the time so I got hold of a chord book -- Mel Bay's Jazz Chords Vol. 1.  When I was playing with Charlie Musselwhite I started using all these chords in that band."   Robben then launched into an elaborate jazz-blues progression throwing in a multitude of chord substitutions into mix, before pausing at the end and exclaiming, "Shit, I've changed keys!"

"I learned some scales and some standard bebop licks.  You can pretty much boil everything down to  ii-V progressions.  It's actually not complicated -- the language of music is very simple, you can understand those things in a couple of weeks.  It's not like learning French that can take years."

Emphasizing the need for simplicity and the importance of finding one's own voice, Robben proferred, "People learn Herbie Hancock and Coltrane licks and they can blow your mind.  But will it ever evolve into their own voice?"

"Doing my own thing has kept me unique.  I had a good sense of time, rhythm and feel -- the fundamentals.  I always played loud and proud.  And sometimes strong and wrong!  I did a lot of screwing up real loud!"

Asked about his current amplification setup for tours, Robben expressed his preference for Fender Super Reverbs, explaining that his setup when he was with Jimmy Witherspoon's group consisted of a Gibson L5 archtop into a Super Reverb amp.  "With good speakers and matched tubes, the Super Reverb is my favorite.  The Gibson L5 was a big-bodied guitar.  Then I got a Gibson Super 400 which had an even bigger body.  I played on the treble pickup most of the time because I wanted it to sound like Miles Davis' trumpet."

Robben also offered his opinion on pedals.  "To find your sound, get rid of your pedals.  Take 'em away.  For a while at least.   With pedals, you're going to think that your sound is in your gear.  I didn't have pedals when I started out, so I didn't have that problem.  Pedals are the icing, not the cake so watch it with the effects."

Delving into his use of the diminished scale, Robben explained, "Larry Coryell told me about the half-tone/whole-tone scale.  I was about 18 or 19 and I asked him how he played all that out stuff.  I didn't know it was a diminished scale, but I started practicing it and made up a few of my own licks.  The b9 on the dominant 7th chord reminded me of Miles' playing." 

After a tasty demonstration of some lines that outlined the changes to a blues progression perfectly, Robben explained, "The diminished scale takes you very nicely to the IV chord in a blues. Eventually you'll find the common tones moving to the next chord.  You don't want to use it on the I chord, but you can use it on the IV and V chords.  The half-whole scale (based on the root of the chord) has served me well."

Concluding his clinic, Robben Ford had this to offer, "Ultimately music comes from inside you, not from outside yourself.  It's translated through you -- it's intangible.  I'd like to help people bridge that gap."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Steve Lukather Guitar Clinic 13th March 2010 | Review

Randy Brecker's Soul Bop Special Edition is in town for a concert, featuring the guitar pairing of Steve Lukather and Robben Ford!  Are we lucky or what!

Playing his new copper-gold Musicman Luke into a rented Marshall JCM2000 Triple Super Lead head, Steve Lukather showed us why he was still a player to be reckoned with, in this up-close and personal guitar clinic.

Starting his clinic 25 minutes late for some undisclosed reason, and after an informal self-introduction, Lukather launched into a beautiful, moving chord-melody solo based on Larry Carlton's  It Was Only Yesterday.  Reminiscent of Carlton's own chordal intro on the same track from the live Paris Concert dvd,  Luke laid it all out for us to hear with emotion, nuance and absolute control over his instrument.

Channel-switching his Marshall to the 'red' high gain channel, he next unleashed a barrage of classic Lukather-isms -- slinky pentatonics and wah inflected licks -- before playing some Jeff Beck-style pseudo-slide-guitar using the whammy-bar to gliss between notes.  Here's a guy who makes it point of learning something from everyone he can!  Bringing things down, Lukather closed off with a near note-perfect rendition of Jimi Hendrix's guitar outtro from Castles Made Of Sand.  And that was just the beginning!

Despite his volume I was surprised by how warm his sound was -- a far cry from the searing, high-gain, mid-range scooped Steve Lukather tone of old.  Nice.

Self-deprecating as usual -- "I'm just jammin', goofing off" -- Lukather came across as someone who obviously still loves playing the guitar.  By his own admission still the eternal student, it was refreshing to see a musician of his caliber still re-inventing himself on the instrument.  After 35 years in the music biz, most cats would be kicking back in the producer's chair and thinking about where to go to later for dinner.

Luke's pedal rig was modest by any standard -- an Ibanez Tube Screamer, two Boss Digital Delay pedals for long and short delays, a Providence Chorus and a Boss Tuner pedal.   And according to him, rental amps were an economic necessity in this age of high airline freight charges -- "It would cost $20,000 just to ship my three road cases over here!" 

Turning to his new copper-colored Musicman Luke guitar -- "I'm not sure if I like the color; it kinda looks like my 2 1/2 year old baby's poop!" -- he talked about his current disdain for Floyd Rose bridges and their inherent string-changing hassles, opting instead for a non-locking floating bridge on all his current Musicman guitars. 

He then demonstrated the range and tuning stability of his Musicman's traditional fulcrum trem with Jeff Beck's Where Were You and more faux slide-guitar licks -- "When Jeff Beck does that stuff, he sounds like God's guitarist!"  Luke even gave us a little background on Beck's fingers only technique.  Apparently Jeff had told him that he dropped his pick playing live on the Ed Sullivan Show on TV and swore after that that he wouldn't rely on a pick anymore.  "With Jeff, it's all in the right hand.  Put a pick in his hand and he doesn't sound like Jeff Beck."  Interesting!

When asked about his work on Michael Jackson's Thriller album, Luke launches into the famous Beat It riff.  He states matter of factly, "I did all the grunt work on that track; I played all the (rhythm) guitars.  I even played bass!  But Eddie gets all the love."  Luke even goes into an uncanny impersonation of Michael's personal phone call to him to play on the Thriller sessions, hanging up on him three times thinking it was a prank call! 

With Eddie Van Halen having laid down his solo -- but refusing to play over a certain section of the song that was eventually edited out -- Lukather set about re-recording the basic rhythm tracks with a barrage of heavy Marshall tones, "I mean we had Eddie Van Halen playing on it, right?"  But according to Lukather, producer Quincy Jones wasn't thrilled with the wall of heavy guitars and instructed him to re-cut the guitars so the track would fit in on the R 'n B radio format.  "So we took off the barrage of Marshall amps from the track and brought out our little Fender Princeton's."  He seemed reluctant when prodded to dish the dirt about Jackson, offering little more than "I saw him kind of change -- facially.." 

And Lukather really got animated when someone asked a question about the rampant use of digital editing in recording, obviously one of his pet peeves.  "People criticise Toto's records for being too slick, but we were all playing live in the same room together.  We overdubbed some solos and background vocals but that was about it."   Referring to the ubiquitous ProTools recording system, he said most artists these days lacked the talent to get a decent take in the studio, choosing instead to 'Tool it.  "Back then you had to be good (to make a record).  Then MTV came along and you had to be good, and pretty.  Now you just have to be pretty."

Closing his guitar clinic with a verse of Hendrix's Little Wing, which he sang through the driest of guitar clinic PA's, Lukather talked a little about the virtues of slow and deliberate practice.  "Think of music like sex, take your time and take it slow."

Words to live by indeed.

Stay tuned for my review on Robben Ford's clinic tomorrow!

(Pic Source:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bolt-On Vs. Neck-Thru Tone Difference for Bass

This is a very cool vid that compares the tonal difference between bolt-on and neck-thru basses.  The instruments in question, both by Ken Smith, feature 18-volt BMT (Bass, Middle, Treble) EQ circuits so they are identical electronically.  The neck-thru features a walnut/maple/walnut sandwich body, while the bolt-on is maple/walnut/maple. 

It is immediately apparent that the neck-thru sounds rounder, smoother and more compressed on the slap section (0:07-0:34).  The slap section on the bolt-on (0:35-0:47) on the other hand is very bright with wilder harmonics that seem to jump out from the instrument.  Personally, I prefer the tone of the bolt-on for slapping -- chalk it up to listening to Marcus Miller and his Fender Jazz bass on Miles Davis' We Want Miles in my formative years.

The bolt-on gets my vote as well in the pizzicato section (0:48-1:25).  The notes just have more clarity and definition and react more to the player's touch depending on how hard the string is being played.  The neck-thru again is very smooth and more even dynamically.  One might even say that the neck-thru is more forgiving of flaws or unevenness in a player's right-hand finger technique.

The neck-thru really shines in the chordal section (1:27-2:05) and the tapping section (2:07-2:29) where its natural compression provides a solid platform for the notes, with no interfering harmonic frequencies as on the bolt-on.

SmithGroove's YouTube channel has a bunch of other bass demos and song grooves.  Check it out.

And in case any guitar players reading this are feeling a bit left out -- "Hey, isn't this The Guitar Column, dude?"-- all the principles that apply to bolt-on and neck-thru basses translate to the guitar world just as well.  Something else to think about when deciding on that next guitar purchase.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Plek Technology | Ultimate Guitar Setup

Deriving its name from the word 'plectrum', the Plek machine is revolutionizing the way guitar setups are traditionally done. The brainchild of German inventor Gerd Anke, the Plek still relies on the trussrod adjustment to be done by hand, but once that is accomplished -- watch out!  The Plek machine takes over with unerring accuracy; measuring, grinding and crowning each fret to 1/100th of a mm.  That's a fraction of a millimetre folks. 

If the map of Plek users in the video (1:29) is anything to go by, it appears that there are already a considerable number of Plek machines earning their keep throughout the US, with some guitar manufacturers owning several:

Martin Guitars (Nazareth) -- 13
Heritage Guitars (Kalamazoo) -- 12
Wechter (Paw Paw) -- 6
G & L Guitars (Fullerton) -- 3
Gibson Guitars (Nashville) -- 10
Suhr Guitars (Lake Elsinore) -- 4

Suhr Guitars puts their four Plek's to good use even on their imported Rasmus guitar line.  And other than guitar manufacturers, a number of repair shops have also purchased Plek machines of their own.

See the Plek in action in this video starting at 2:26.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Joe Satriani and Living Colour | Experience Hendrix 2010

For those of us who couldn't be there, here's a vid of Joe Satriani and Living Colour burning it up on Foxy Lady at Experience Hendrix 2010!

Satch is in fine form here, eliciting some Hendrix-approved tones from his custom three single-coiled, maple-neck Ibanez.  Nice color too.  Let me guess -- Neptune Blue?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

IKEA Butcher Block Guitar | Zachary Guitars

Country superstar Brad Paisley allegedly once said, "a Tele is nothing more than a cutting board, a baseball bat and strings".

And stepping up to the plate to meet that challenge is Zachary Guitars with this Ikea butcher block (SPÅR) Tele-style

Once this gets out, Ikea could become the next Stewart-MacDonald for those on a shoe-string guitar-building budget. 

Also check out my earlier article on the Bambusa solidbody for a guitar that unintentionally looks like a chopping board.

(Pic Source:

(Guitar parts and accessories resource:

For the less adventurous DIY'er, may I suggest the Saga Tele-style guitar kit below.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tyler Studio Elite HD Spalted Maple Top on eBay!

According to the seller this was the first Tyler guitar built in 2010 and bears serial number 10001. 

This gorgeous Tyler Studio Elite HD weighs in at 7.3lb, features a Honeyburst finish on a bent spalted maple top on a mahogany body, multi-layer white/black binding, white pearloid pickguard and a maple neck with an Indian rosewood fingerboard.  Check out the peghead pic for a close look at Tyler's 'rolled' fingerboard edge at the first fret next to the low E! 

Pickups are a pair of JT S2 Hot Laura single-coil pickups and a Tyler Studebaker humbucker in the bridge. 

Electronics are classic Tyler -- single volume and tone controls, 5-way switch and a Demeter mid boost preamp with on/off button switch which is great for kicking in on leads.  The Demeter mid-boost also manages to fatten out single-coil pickups to the point that they almost sound like full humbuckers.  

Hardware on this Tyler Studio Elite HD includes locking HipShot tuners and a G2RV bridge with Raw Vintage saddles which replicate the heavier high-mass steel Fender saddles of old.

eBay Item #: 230445643794

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Vibesware Guitar Resonator | Infinite Sustainer

I remember reading an article about the inventor of the Heet Sound Ebow in a British magazine back in the late '70s. And it wasn't a guitar magazine either -- the following page featured an article about the art of English blood pudding making.

But there it was in all its shiny chrome glory.  The first device of its kind to offer the possibility of infinite sustain on the guitar by generating an oscillating magnetic field to keep the strings moving. 
The Ebow, not the blood pudding, intrigued me no end.

The Vibesware Guitar Resonator is the new generation of harmonic feedback generators but it works along the same lines as the Ebow.  But rather than having to hold a device against the strings (while hoping for the best), the Vibesware Guitar Resonator is mounted to an adjustable gooseneck stand.  The player simply steps up to it, aligns the blue LED on the strings and voilà -- infinite sustain

The device includes a variable power control with which the player can adjust the sensitivity of the device.  And since it draws its juice from its own independent power supply, the Vibesware Guitar Resonator can really make those strings vibrate.

And I still don't quite know what to make of blood pudding.


Friday, March 5, 2010

PRS Guitarbud Interface For iPhone and iPod

As iPhones take over the world, their software applications proliferating like bugs under a log, bringing us ever closer to some grim unforseeable eventuality, guitarists everywhere are enduring solder burns and frustrating trips to Radio Shack looking to solve a single dilemma -- how on earth do we connect our guitars to our iPhones so we can take advantage of all these cool new apps..

Like a gift from the gods, the PRS Guitarbud Interface is a handy little must-have.

The 6-foot long Guitarbud Interface by PRS Cables enables a guitar's 1/4" output to connect directly to the 3.5mm input of an iPhone or second-generation iPod. 

For monitoring purposes a female 3.5mm connector acts as a headphone output, an essential if you're going to be plugging into iPhone apps like PRS Jam Amp, StompVox, Riff Raters, GigDaddy, Rectools Pro, Guitar FX Deluxe or even Voice Memos.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

NAMM 2010 Suhr Modern with Scalloped Fingerboard on eBay!

This Suhr Modern from NAMM 2010 is a throwback to the guitar fashion trends of the late '80s.  (Item #: 280460221922)

The metallic pearl pink paint job, Gotoh Floyd Rose, pointy headstock and those dual humbuckers would go perfectly with striped spandex pants and high-cut tennis shoes.   Don't we all long for the good ol' days when MTV videos looked like they were shot by film school dropouts and bands actually managed to sell warehouse loads of records?

But back to the guitar. 

I found it interesting that Suhr chose to go with a basswood body for this axe -- Ibanez's shred guitars have always featured basswood bodies almost exclusively.  Basswood is a softer wood that helps to temper the shrill metallic, top-end frequencies of Floyd Rose bridges.  The addition of a maple top on this Suhr Modern tightens up the top-end a little and also provides a more stable anchor for the Gotoh Floyd's bridge stud mounts.

And what about that maple 24-fret scalloped fretboard with a compound radius no less?  Dare I say -- pure CNC and Plek perfection!

Jumbo stainless steel frets, Sperzel locking tuners (kind of redundant in this case, except that they don't need any winding around the string posts), 5-way switch, single volume and tone, and Suhr Doug Aldrich signature humbuckers make this piece of guitar eye-candy a functioning instrument.

The icing and the cherry on this cake is the Suhr logo inlaid in abalone and the laser-etched wood Certificate of Authenticity.

The Suhr guitars booth at this year's NAMM show surely wins my vote for most imaginative variations on a single theme.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pat Martino's Sakashta Guitar On eBay!

This is an eBay listing for Sakashta guitar belonging to Pat Martino!  (Item #:  150417649967)

According to the seller this guitar was specially built and presented to Pat Martino by the late guitar maker Taku Sakashta in Japan, presumably before the latter's fateful move to the US. 

This guitar is Sakashta's R-Style New York model.  The R-models feature a unique body construction -- the backs and sides are hand-carved out of a solid piece of wood with an X-braced top added. 

This 'hollowed-out solidbody' construction facilitates more modern playing styles and amplified tones, resisting feedback at higher volumes, unlike a full-bodied archtop, while retaining some of the acoustic properties of a hollow instrument.

The hand-carved sides are beautifully rounded and flow seamlessly into the top, eliminating any square-edges on the body. I can only imagine what holding this guitar feels like! 

Dubbed the 'Black Jack' this guitar was apparently purchased from Pat along with several of his other personal instruments when he started his endorsement with Gibson Guitars.

As always do the necessary research before committing!

The complete home study jazz guitar course

Rasmus Guitars By Suhr

Responding to growing demand for a more affordable instrument, Suhr Guitars has started producing their new Rasmus line of quality guitars overseas. 

Rasmus Guitars -- derived from John Suhr's family name of Rasmussen -- are currently being manufactured in limited quantities.

Built using North American maple and alder and Indonesian rosewood which are selected according to strict weight guidelines, the Rasmus line also uses the same German fretwire found on the US-made Suhr models.

To top it off, each Rasmus guitar is shipped to the US, disassembled upon arrival at the Suhr factory and then Plek'd -- an automated computer process that dresses the frets to extremely high tolerances, allowing for extremely low action.  Final assembly and set-up is also done at the Suhr factory. 

According to Suhr, it is this labor intensive involvement in the Rasmus line that is the reason for them being produced in limited quantities at the moment. 

US-made Suhr pickups and Japanese-made Gotoh 510 or Gotoh Floyd Rose bridges are standard equipment.  Each Rasmus guitar comes with a Suhr Deluxe gig bag.

I'm glad that John Suhr decided not to use the Suhr brand and logo on this line of overseas-manufactured instruments -- no matter how good the quality may be. Companies like Kramer and Hamer did so in the past with almost no regard for the integrity of their brand-name and paid the price in the end.

Go to for more details.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

10 Comebacks For The Next Time Someone Asks You About Your Custom Shop Relic Guitar

It's funny how non-guitar-playing folk get the concept of a new pair of faded, distressed jeans but absolutely balk at the idea of a relic guitar

And sometimes you just get tired of having to continually rationalize the rather beat up appearance of your relic'd axe to annoying relatives -- your lengthy explanation of the precise scientific processes involved in simulating age on a brand new guitar is usually met with glazed looks, and a subtle shaking of the head.

Followed by the inevitable, "How much did you pay for it?!"

With that in mind, here are 10 quick comebacks for the next time someone asks about your prized custom shop relic guitar:
  • I keep my guitars in a toolshed I built out back. One day I'll get round to putting a roof on it.
  • I left it with my brother for over a year.  Whenever he and his wife have a fight she takes it out on the guitar.
  • When I told my kids not to play with daddy's new axe, they tried to chop a tree down with it.
  • I tied the guitar to the back bumper of my car and dragged it around town for a couple of hours.  I heard that's how they do it at the Fender Custom Shop sometimes.
  • If you think this is bad, you should see what our cat does to the furniture!
  • Vandals!
  • I've used this thing in more bar fights than I can remember.
  • People say I play harder than Stevie Ray Vaughan.
  • It was a brand new guitar when I checked it in on United Airlines!
  • This is my dog's guitar.

Thanks to Stratoblogster for inspiring this post!


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