The Beauty Is In The Details...
I have worked on and studied the ins and outs of original vintage guitars over the years and am able to recreate the details that are often overlooked by a lot of builders. I work with the best suppliers in the industry and am able to offer the best vintage correct materials, hardware and components available today. I use the same methods that were used back in the day to create my guitars.
Below are a few examples of what makes my guitars different to other 'vintage replicas' out there today.
Bodies & Necks
I offer both 1 piece and 2 piece Swamp Ash and Alder bodies, these are hand made to original vintage correct spec and dimensions, with correct routing depending on the year/style.
For necks, I offer flame maple, birdseye maple or plain maple, as 1 piece 50's style with black dot markers, and 60's style I offer slab or mid 60's style veneer rosewood fingerboards with clay dots. There is also a choice of fret size (I use Dunlop & Jescar fretwire), fingerboard radius and neck back profile, so if you prefer chunkier frets, a flatter radius or slimmer neck, I can offer that. My guitars are made to be played, so I am able to offer up a few options if you don't like a chunky vintage neck for example. I offer a few neck back profiles, classic vintage C shape, a modern C, soft V and super chunky 'Baseball Bat' (early 50's style).
I take great pride in making sure all my bodies and necks have the correct contouring and the right feel before they head to the paint booth.
I offer two options on machine heads.. classic period correct Klusons come as standard. I use single line, double line stamped or no stamp Klusons depending on the year/model. I also offer Gotoh vintage style machines as a premium.. these are higher quality than the original Klusons and I personally prefer these as they are more solid and offer smoother, more precise tuning.
When it comes to other hardware, I use a mix of Gotoh and Callaham as they are the best quality parts going. Tremolos/Bridges I am able to source exact vintage repros, so like to use these.. they are made with the exact same materials and feature correct, tooling marks and specs, such as cold rolled Steel Block with shallow ballends. These are the most authentic reproductions on the planet, and I use them on all my guitars AS STANDARD!
When it comes to achieving the right sound, its important to use the best vintage correct components out there.
I use the same stuff that was used back in the day.. CTS pots (mine have a 9% tolerance), CRL spring loaded switches, Switchcraft jack sockets, cloth wire, and 'wax in paper' vintage style capacitors. This is all included as standard in each and every one of my guitars.
I have teamed up with the guys at Radio Shop Pickups, who now supply all my pickups as standard.
They are small operation based in the UK, and are doing great things! All vintage correct spec, which produces that sought after vintage tone. All pickups are hand wound to order for me. I can also source other pickups such as Lollar, Lindy Fralins etc if you have something in mind, just ask.
Electrics & Pickups
Pickguards & Plastics
All my guards and plastic parts are aged in house by, you've guessed it... me!
Guards are cut in house to original templates and feature all the characters of the original guards including a wide bevelled edge on 60's style green guards, machining marks, shrinkage, warpage and cracking. On 50's style S types I use white covers, knobs and tips and age them to look like the original bakelite parts. My T style blackguards are genuine bakelite and then sprayed with nitrocellulose like the originals. Below are some examples of this work.
All guitars are finished by myself in a true 100% nitrocellulose from the wood up, giving a nice thin finish, no thick poly undercoats here! I offer a range of the classic and custom colours from the 50's and 60's, all mixed to original examples to achieve that vintage correct look.
I have been praised for how authentic my ageing work is. All of my guitars come lightly aged or if you prefer, as new.
A lightly aged guitar will have a low gloss finish, lacquer checking, dings in the all the right places, lightly oxidised hardware, worn plastics, discoloured and warped pickguard etc. This is done through a series of processes over a period of time to ensure everything looks and feels correct. I do everything by hand and take a lot of time on this until I am happy with the result. Non aged guitars come as new, no dings or wear, with a low gloss finish for that vintage 'stored under the bed' vibe.
All my instruments come set up with Curt Mangan strings, and ship in a Gator vintage style hardcase.
Finish & Ageing