Sounds a bit provocative doesnt it?
PRESS for a more serious test - tone and playability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kqtb9LPJkU
In a time of drab and ordinary, trying to simply create something beautiful is a revolutionary act. In an age of deplorable „ugly“, a time of conforming debauchery and tastelessness – the attempt alone of capturing beauty will confound most people. It will cause them to act like a ground mole blinded by looking at sunlight after years of darkness. Those who see it for the first time defensively call it „BLING“, trying to downplay something completely foreign to their eyes. Then there are those that scoff at a rainbow and attribute it to a social movement, never stopping to be captivated by its utter beauty.
My guitars are dedicated to the search for beauty in its purest form. Each and everyone is concieved and crafted with this in mind.And if I achieve this quest then it is not my doing alone. The one that created such beautiful material as Abalone, Pearl, precious woods, gems, crystals (the list goes on) is the true artist.The one who gave us a rainbow as a gift of love shows us what art is all about. I just put it all together. Call it art if you like – but I´m NOT the artist.
Then there is the tone and playability: Does anyone really want great tone today? Stupid question, you might say. Well then just listen to the monotonous desensitizing Lemming jibberish being called music today and show me where great tone is even an issue. When was the last time you heard a fantastic tone that caught your ear and gave you goosebumps? When was the last time you heard a beautiful melody?
In an age of audial trash a beautiful tone is ridiculed.
For that matter,do you need a guitar artfully built waiting to become a prized posession. Do you need Rock n Roll ?
If you are tired of that silly fad of owning a guitar that was artificially aged and made to just look roadworn or like a wreck. If you don´t want to play " make-believe" or "show and tell" and follow the newest rave like a lemming, then read on. If you are looking for a guitar that is so pretty it will make your heart throb, then read some more:
Most of us are in search of something really special but in time we succumb to fads and media hype and forget what we were searching for in the first place. This Site is dedicated to that search.
In a time of lies, truth is scoffed at as being naive.
If good honest workmanship, critical thinking and dedication are to be ridiculed then the joke is on me. BUT, I refuse to join mindless trends and silly fads and compromise.
In a time of consuming decadence and deception by ommission honest accountability and decent principles are like a breath of fresh air.
If it is beautiful then say so and stick to it! If it´s ugly, don´t be afraid to tell it like it is-even if you are being "politically incorrect".
The sought after enthralling Gibson Les Paul flamed maple tops of the early 50´s were not readily accepted or acclaimed at the time.Those beautiful maple flames and ripples were considered, at the time, too gaudy! Too much BLING:Crazy huh?Many used Les Paul maple tops were sold far below value. And today they are selling for well over 500 Grand! 1000 Grand will eventually be reached; yet at the time very few guitar players had the fortitude to buy one and chose,instead, more popular models. And it wasn´t only the higher price of the Gibsons.Why was that?
Well, since they didn´t sell all that well not too many were built in the first place and that´s why they are so rare today. Infact, many beautiful flamed maple tops were painted over in gold in the factory. That´s like tatooing over Marilyn Monroe or Brigitte Bardot from head to foot, covering these beautiful women in greys and black.
The gold tops sold very well and alot more were produced.They were popular!
So if you had the vision and the Cojones at the time to buy possibly the most beautiful factory guitar ever built,you have got the cash in your pockets today.
Today we have learned from the past and won´t make the same stupid mistake, will we? Im afraid not! Today, simple factory custom shop relics are being called "Masterbuilt" and are going for up to 10 grand. The pretty innovative guitars are left hanging on the shelves.
To debunk a fairytale or myth is not that hard and these factory guitars don´t, I repeat - do not, require a master to artificially age them and make them look used! Behind the scenes you will discover that simple tricks are used and the unknowing audience applauds. Masterbuilt MY ASS!
I tested five roadworn Strats built by Mr. Cruz of the Fender Customshop, near Nüremberg, Germany at an exclusive guitar dealer in Jan. 2016. Prices ranged between 5000 and 10000€. They were acclaimed and treated religiously. I put them through their paces, sometimes the feel or playability was an issue and the tone was - well, very strat-like, no more and no less. Well, the smile of that dealer dropped automatically when I noticed out loud: "Hey, they SMELL NEW!" I am being ripped off.
No thanks, I´ll buy an old vintage strat (please note:genuine and real) in the best condition I can find BUT I will not be made a fool of. By the way,that dealer scoffed at my Pearlvibe that I brought along as a comparison. He wouldn´t even hardly look at it. The sound comparison made it obvious and he had to leave the room. "We only deal with renowned Vintage guitars" he added.
BS! Nothing vintage about a factory wreck.You can´t even tell if they are well built.
I am not attacking guru Mr. Cruz but just trying to point out the ignorance of the masses.
By the way, that dealer sold a Customshop wreck that same day to a mid-aged man who proclaimed out loud: "What a beautiful guitar!" It was the strat that I had tested. The one with most of the fiesta red paint removed. And where the paint was left - a faded pink. I kid you not - PINK. He walked out on cloud nine - very proud of himself.
So, if you have read this far you belong to a very small minority. Take a deep breath of fresh air! Enjoy discovering my creative process. I hope that some of the beauty I worked so very hard at achieving will touch something deep within you.
A Custom Made Electric Guitar - Why? Do you really need one?
At the same time, it also shows how a boy from Brooklyn, NYC, a musical product of Woodstock of the 60´s combined with the ingenuity and tenacity of German quality today, can produce a master instrument and breathtaking thing of beauty. A guitar that will catapult you back into the Woodstock Era and into the music future at the same time. No hype, no BLING just real honest design and craftsmanship.
VINTAGE, you say, is OLD, right? My guitars are vintage through and through - old woods,old school craftsmanship, old original specs and shapes and OLD VINTAGE tone. Outside, they are anything but old. Along with EXTRA tones, you still get the old ones.
So now let´s get to the GUITARSElectric guitar players struggle with factory guitar shortcomings: buzzing, uncomfortable necks, inexpensive electronics, poor fret and nut work – and, MOST OF ALL, uninspiring, run of the mill design and looks usually topped off with a cheap plastic pickguard.
Players then often invest their time and money changing the neck, hardware, and pickups – usually with mixed results! YOU CAN´T change the paint job or looks. This guitar will look like a million others like it. You are stuck with a lot of cheap plastic paid for with your good money.
Here two customer guitars with added custom white Abalone and green Abalone pickguards. Fingertips switching on the surf blue strat.
Customers actually contact me when they are frustrated with their current guitar and ask me to add an abalone top, abalone pickguard, custom paint job or a Fingertips Circuit. "Oh yeah, and don´t forget that flamed maple grade AAA neck too."
Example of a beautiful flamed maple guitar neck – comfortable, very musical and stunning.
When you have a guitar custom made you decide on features that are rarely offered on factory models. If they are offered by factories then we are talking about very expensive guitars. Let´s face it, major companies have a great name and can ask for prices beyond $4000,- for their custom shop specials. They are not special at all. They actually fade to grey next to a custom built Pearlvibe, for example. I´ve witnessed this many times in my studio when customers bring in their expensive Custom Shop guitars to compare to one of my custom handmade guitars. All of them capitulate to the tone, playability and rare beauty and are simply overwhelmed.
Playing guitars in music stores, you find one neck is too big, next one has sharp edges, another the fret wire size is wrong. No matter how good a guitar looks or sounds, if the neck doesn’t feel right and play the way you want, you won’t be happy. You very rarely find a beautiful flamed maple neck because this wood simply is very hard to find and extremely expensive.
With a handmade custom not only the nut is accurate, intonation is adjusted properly, frets are leveled, crowned and polished to eliminate buzzing. I also spend time hand shaping the neck in the final stage so that it feels like you have played it for years. I test and play it for WEEKS setting up the action and pickups.
Maximized Guitar Intonation and Playability
Have you ever picked up a guitar that won’t play in tune because the nut is cut too high or because it wasn’t set up properly? Most mass-produced guitar makers do not pay special attention to the final details. A custom builder spends a lot of additional time going over every detail to meet high playability standards for setup, fret work and nut work. The end goal is to allow you to play your guitar without limitation; to just make music and not fight your guitar.
With a wood guitar, it takes awhile for it to settle in under string tension. After assembly and setup, I let the guitar sit strung to pitch. I tune it and check the relief every day to make sure there is no movement in neck and set up the guitar to specs again. I then do a final setup on pick-up height and do a final finish polishing and stringing it up with the best strings. I want your guitar to be as stable as possible and arrive at your house playing the same as when it left my shop.
Just Great Sound and Tone
Most manufactured guitars come with one set of pickups or hardware per model. Do you honestly believe that the body WOOD is specially selected after aging for years or is that a lot of marketing hype?
Hand chosen, fully dry resonant bodies. Notice the swamp ash, alder and PINE bodies chosen after hand tapping for their resonance using a stethoscope.
With a handmade custom guitar, you can choose the right pickups, body wood and wiring scheme that will dial in your signature sound. You can have custom switching and circuits designed for your needs (e.g.my Fingertips switching). I work with only the best high-quality pickups that have convinced me through their TONE – NOT their HYPE. I´m open to try your favorite pickup. I spend a lot of time adjusting the height of the pickups to get the tone right. To reduce buzzing, all of my guitars are shielded with copper foil, and all cavities are connected to a common ground to be as quiet as they can be.
I test my completed and set-up guitars for over a week, sometimes changing pick-ups again and again to get a great useable tone. I always test the guitars on four situations: 1.Clean through my Princeton reverb 2.Clean through my Dr.Z maz38 3.Clean through a Yamaha transistor amp 4. Clean directly into the digital mixer. Why clean and not overdriven? Well, testing a guitar in the overdriven mode or even through effects is like wearing earmuffs during testing. If she sounds great clean then she´s ready to be overdriven and will always sound great.
Highest Quality Guitar Parts
Nothing is worse than coming home with your new guitar and realizing the tuners need replacing, the nut is plastic, or the pots are scratchy and feel cheap. You begin to realize you are going to need to change a lot of parts to get this guitar close to what you want. When you order a custom guitar, you work with the builder to select the highest quality heavy-duty components (tuners, knobs, bridges) to achieve the best playing and sounding guitar.
Airbrush Paint Job and Finishes, genuine Abalone Tops
Mass-produced guitars offer a limited list of stock colors because they buy in large quantities and don’t have space and time to switch paints for every build. The finish might come with flaws because the guitar is quickly buffed once or twice right from the paint booth and that’s it.
The start and finish of the “Sweet Home Abalone” S Type.
Notice the hand shaping of the added abalone top and the fully handpainted finished product. Not shown are the recessed handwound pickups and custom electronics.
The backs and sides are a cavalcade of colors and intertwining abstract shapes. An avalanche of layers and dreamlike ideas.
Your custom guitar finish is one aspect where you can let your imagination run wild to make your guitar look amazing. I´ll help you with my experience, because let´s face it, no one else works with these thrilling materials like abalone and pearl tops. The airbrush paint job is my artistic expression and I will spend over a week to get the painting the way I want it. Call it artistic pride.
Eight -T type bodies hand painted to match the abalone tops
I add clearcoats and sand extensively to keep the coats as thin and hard as possible. They also provide that all important ultraviolet ray protection. Nitro varnish does not protect at all and will allow the colors to fade and yellow with time. Check out the old 70´s Anniversary Stratocasters. They started out as SILVER guitars. Today they are GREEN METALLIC!
I start out with a coat of nitrocellulose but end up with super hard 2 component urethane for full protection. Urethane also feels very silky and great on the neck. It doesn´t feel sticky like nitro.
Take a close look at all of my pictures that show the different steps in building a beautiful abalone top Pearlvibe. You will realize that there is more here than just a uniquely beautiful guitar but moreover a fantastic versatile instrument built to be played – played HARD!
This is the start of a “Prairie Sunset” S type.
The end product: A flamed „Prairie Sunset“ strat type.
Now all this baby needs is a FINGERTIPS SWITCHING and she will blow most strats away. Listen to the demo soundfiles: DVD,Soundfiles and Videos to hear what this switching can do for an ordinary strat.