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Custom Resin Top by Michael Spalt
Oct17

Custom Resin Top by Michael Spalt

I post quite a lot of images of Michael Spalt’s guitars. No apologies from me …   http://www.spaltinstruments.com/ Share...

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The Maiden by Francis Guitars
Mar12

The Maiden by Francis Guitars

http://www.francisguitars.com/ Share...

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A ’68 Gibson Les Paul – in sparkly blue … with killer whales!
Mar12

A ’68 Gibson Les Paul – in sparkly blue … with killer whales!

Bruce Johnson from Toronto sent me these pics of his Les Paul which he has owned for 17 years. Apart from the fact that it has a blue sparkle finish with a killer whale motif (!), it’s interesting from a back-story point of view. In Bruce’s own words: The story I heard from the guy I bought it from was the the fellow who painted it did four guitars like this. One for Clapton (supposedly a Strat), one for Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick (an Explorer), one for Jimmy Page ( a tele) and the one I have, with no word on who the supposedly famous guitarist was that it was owned by or intended for. Makes for a fun story with no way of backing it up, and all the research I’ve done leads to dead ends …. except … Clapton had a Strat that he sold in one of his auctions. The last I heard, the Hard Rock chain had it at their Chicago location. I’ve seen pictures of it and it has airbrushed snow leopards within a gold metallic sparkle paint scheme and looks like  a brother to my LP. Spooky. As for the guitar? There’s something in the wood, it weighs a ton  (5 kilos actually) and would completely impractical to play with live. But sitting down with it on your knee it plays beautifully and sounds gorgeous. Share...

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The most expensive bass guitar
Mar13

The most expensive bass guitar

This is the ‘Flora Aurum’ by German luthier, Jens Ritter. He is already quite well known for creating high end, boutique instruments for – well, how shall I put it? – stinking rich bass players. His instruments normally sell for between £3,000 and £10,000, but this one completely takes the biscuit having been valued at $250,000! How come it gets to be the most expensive bass guitar in the world? The face of the bass bears a floral pattern fingerboard developed using 24 carat gold, and every single inlay-leaf comes decked with a black diamond (set in platinum). Its bridge, tuner buttons and the knobs come layered with gold. Two of its knobs positioned at the apex flaunt two flawless brillant-cut diamonds. To top it all, the nut is finished using 10,000 year-old mammoth ivory. (Cunning use of ivory without endangering a species there!) This is quite old news I have to admit and I’ve only just come across it. The guitar was made in 2007 and there is an interview with its creator to be found at bassplayer.com. Asked why he wanted to create the instrument, Jens Ritter says: “I wanted to do something special for my tenth anniversary, and I had a customer who wanted me to build the most expensive bass of all time. It’s not just an instrument; it’s a statement, a symbol of the development of the bass guitar. Twenty years ago bass was always in the background—the second choice to play after guitar. But in an interesting development, more and more people are in front playing bass guitar, and bass players are becoming more self-confident. Similarly, more development is happening in bass design than with guitar.” http://www.ritter-basses.com/ Share...

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Abel Axe aluminium guitars
Mar10

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...

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