Abel Axe aluminium guitars
According to a page on the Delaney Guitars website, the aluminium Abel Axe is about to be revived.
“The Abel Axe, popular with guitarists in the mid to late nineties, is back with a vengeance. From shredders to jazz masters, to fusion aficionados, to Vai and Satriani wannabes, all loved the unique, powerful sustain and tone they got from their Abel Axe. Now they are back. Jeff Abel has teamed up with Mike Delaney of Delaney Guitars to custom build the Abel Axe of your choice. From the T-6 Billet Aluminum bodies to the custom neck and electronics, these guitars will be built to order in Jeff ‘s and Mike’s shops in the Bitterroot Valley in Western Montana.”
The idea doesn’t rock my boat but clearly there’s something unique and appealing enough about aluminium guitars to warrant continued production.
At time of writing there is no live official dedicated website (although there is a splash holding page here). The following is from the Abel Axe Guitar Fansite should you wish to know more right now:
Abel Axe guitars were designed by Jeff Abel1 of Wyoming and manufactured by Abel Axe LLC between 1994 and ~1996 and again in ~2001 with body slots instead of holes. Less than 250 1994-1996 Abel Axe guitars exist -if even that many. Specs can be found in their brochure with the following additions from my own observations and from conversations with Jeff Abel:
Body Styles: Small Strat-type body with holes available with a trem or fixed bridge. You’ll notice subtle differences in hole beveling, spacing, and drilling depth if you examine the pictures closely. There was a single humbucker Abel Axe made with slots instead of holes (see Gallery). It appears to have come with a 21-fret Strat-head neck and a Kent Armstrong pickup. I don’t know how many of these one-hums comprise the ’94-’96 run.
Pickups: The very first batch (a dozen or so less) were released with DiMarzio humbuckers: PAF Pro in the neck position and Tone Zone in the bridge position. These were replaced almost immediately by Kent Armstrong pickups (at one point manufactured by Sky pickups): HRE-1 in the neck position and HSDE-1 in the bridge position. These pickups are now called WPU10CLOSE|CLOSED COVER/BLACK and WPU11CLOSE|CLOSED COVER/BLACK and are sold through www.wdmusic.com.
Nut: I’ve seen graphite, bone, and the locking nut that goes with the Kahler trem.
Tuners: Sperzel Trimlok locking tuners.
Frets: Dunlop 6100 or Dunlop 6105 equivalent, nickel silver composition.
Bridges: The vibrato bridge was a Kahler flatmount (also called Kahler pro) patent number 4457201 DS. The fixed bridge was model WD101 sold by WD Music Supply OR a different one (brand not known) with more screws into the body.
Neck: From 1994-1996, the necks were custom made by Musikraft, Inc. (the owner at the time was Gulab Gidwani). Rosewood or maple fret boards on quarter- sawn hard rock maple. Circa 2000, Warmoth necks were used. From 2007-present, necks are made by Delaney Guitars. Scale length on all necks: 25.5″.
Price: An entry in the Guitar Player 1995-96 Guitar and Bass Buyer’s Guide indicates a list price of $1395 or $1495 with the trem.
Finish: The aluminum guitar bodies came anodized (electrochemical finishing process for aluminum) in many different colors. There were only three done in grass green and about twenty done clear (i.e. silver-looking). They made them in red, black, blue, violet, gold, teal, and multicolor combos (see Guitar Shop review).