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Jol Dantzig’s Guitar Diaries – Dantzig Guitar Workshop Blog Skip to content Jol Dantzig’s Guitar Diaries Dantzig Guitar Workshop Blog Menu and widgets Pages Who I Am Archives July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 April 2015 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 January 2014 October 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 Categories Artis Proof Guitars Books Current Affairs East of Eden Film Food and Drink Guitar Building Guitar History Hamer History Hell's Half Acre Jol Dantzig's Workshop Guests Linked Miscelaneous Ramblings Music Overview Reports From the Road Sakura Guitar The Crow Uncategorized _VIDEOS_ Tulsa Pro Artist Proof Guitar As the week begins, I’m back in the workshop with another Artist’s Proof guitar. This one is something I’ve wanted to do for a while—a double German carve Tulsa in white limba. The face of the instrument is a tightly figured curly maple, while the back is a nice chunk of figured limba—sometimes called korina here in the US. I’ve built the neck from a single piece of limba with a beautiful Braz rosewood fingerboard. My signature “Claw” inlay is at the 12th fret. As is often the case on my guitars, the headstock face is black ebony. I’ll be using a TonePros adjustable wrap bridge, which should be interesting on this guitar. Here’s how I check the neck fit and angle before I glue it in place. The fit is extremely tight so I have to make certain it’s right before bonding—you don’t get a second chance do do it! Posted on July 11, 2016Categories Artis Proof Guitars, Guitar Building, Overview Following Guitar Instincts A four decade tenure in the guitar-making world has given me a pretty good overview of things. As a guitar tech and musician I’ve recorded dozens of times in real studios and played live hundreds of times. As a designer, facilities and plant manager for a number of brands, I’ve overseen the production of tens of thousands of guitars. My lean/Kaizen consulting business has seen me working in the biggest guitar factories in the US and Mexico, and I’ve toured the guitar plants of Japan, Korea and China. But what I really enjoy the most is making guitars one by one with my own hands. And that’s why I’m really digging this Tulsa Artist’s Proof thing I’m doing right now. Each of these instruments starts off as a completely freewheeling, let-my-instincts-rule sort of jam session. They are ideas I’ve toyed with, or suggested to clients before—and never followed through with. They aren’t “stock” models, and they’re all different. Some utilize combinations of woods, hardware and electronics that I don’t really offer on the stock models. Normally, I have a small team helping me build the Dantzig models: Tulsa, Milano, Tupelo and Rialto, but this is a different thing altogether. I’m a lot more hands on, and honestly, it’s the closest you could get to one of my signature guitars without the signature. Posted on June 7, 2016Categories Artis Proof Guitars, Guitar Building, Guitar History, Miscelaneous Ramblings Marigold Guitar Morning Inspirations Musicians are a bit like vampires. No, I don’t mean they’ll suck the life out of you—although that can be the case. It’s the hours they keep. I used to enjoy the upside-down, unconventional world of the working musician. While others were brushing their teeth, getting ready for their meaningless day of drudgery at the office, my musician friends and I were stumbling out of a party or loading out from the night’s gig. The pale glow of the morning’s approach was always a special, quiet time before the bustle of the straight world took over. I’d been in the company of artists—like-minded souls, with great conversations and interesting points of view. Then it was home, for a solid six hours of sleep before rising at noon. Today, it’s the reverse. The quiet time is still precious to me, but it’s at the start of my day now. I sip my coffee and listen to the birds—first a robin, then the Cardinal’s chip chip chip chip. As the sun crests the ridge, I’m walking down the wooded road to my shop. In the distance a chainsaw fires up and a dog barks faintly. This is the best time—so full of promise. My wife, Carla, had planted Marigolds at the entrance to my shop, and every day they make me smile as I approach the door. They are bright and welcoming—exploding with red, gold and yellow in the morning light. So, it wasn’t a surprise when I mixed up a new batch of glowing lacquer shaders and dyes to use on a few new instruments. I’d been staying mainly with browns, deep cherry, naturals and muted ambers, which are still some of my favorite guitar finishes, but the flowers had made me think of more bright reds and yellows. So I made a few sample blocks. I still think about the old times, and staying up all night. Bill Murray holding an enormous bunch of colored balloons in a deserted warehouse district street at 4 AM, or David Copperfield sharing cocktails and a childhood story on a balcony overlooking the lights of Chicago. Too many good memories to dismiss as wasted youth. But I like the morning for different reasons now, and my head doesn’t hurt. Posted on June 3, 2016June 3, 2016Categories Guitar Building, Guitar History, Miscelaneous Ramblings Tulsa Guitars: Studs’ Revenge Buckle rash. We all know what it is, but opinions about it vary. A belt buckle or jean studs can disfigure (some would say “relic”) the back and edges of a guitar in short order. Many believe that it renders an instrument less than desirable while others regard rash as a badge of honor. The sight of an otherwise pristine relic from mid-century American music lore made less than perfect by a former owner’s lack of compassion, and their desire to keep their trousers from falling down can make you shake your head. Today I saw a video of Joe Walsh onstage in the 1970s brandishing a fine example of a late ’50s burst—his gigantic concho belt sawing its way through the old-growth mahogany like the Colorado river creating the Grand Canyon. It made me both cringe and smile. Then it hit me. The revenge of the guitar. My Georgia Pine Project #1 guitar has a pair of tooling holes drilled through its back that were used to create the router tooling. I didn’t want to pretend like they weren’t there, so I just carried on with the build. But as I watched the Walsh video, it dawned on me that perhaps it was time for the guitar to fight back. In the 1980’s I’d designed stud-laden guitars for KK Downing and Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest, but the idea of putting the cart before the horse on my new guitar was just too tempting, and I had just the weapon. Every day I wear my tough as nails Levi’s work shirt—I have a closet full of these iconic and practically indestructible black shirts. The one shortcoming they possess is they have metal studs for buttons. On a few of my shirts, I have removed the cuff buttons because they can interfere with sanding and polishing—clanking and scratching while I’m attempting to make things nice and neat. I wondered, what if the guitar was outfitted with its own set of molesting buttons? The shoe would be on the other foot, so to speak. Right then and there, I grabbed some cutters and snipped the iconic Levi’s studs from the very shirt I had on. What great inlays they will make on the back of the guitar! The lucky person who gets this instrument had better be careful what they wear because it will be armed to fight back. Iconic Levi’s Stud Buttons Here’s the Walsh video: Posted on May 26, 2016May 26, 2016Categories Guitar Building Georgia Pine Project—Artist’s Proofs The chips are flying and the lacquer is wafting through the air in the workshop as I press onward with my series of Artist’s Proof guitars. These are basically prototypes—all different. The first examples are now entering the painting stage, and include the first two of the Georgia Pine guitars. This is Georgia Pine #1, which has a maple neck and a spalt maple top. The A/P designation is on the headstock The second GP is all pine with a maple neck. As with the first, the fingerboard is rosewood with pearl dots and a seven-piece “claw” inlay at the 12th fret. Rosewood with my distinctive Claw inlay These instruments are insanely light in weight, and I can’t wait to hear them sing. Although they are routed for humbuckers, I intend to use single coil pickups in the neck position. The airy and open sound of the pine should match up nicely with what I have in mind. At the moment there are ten different A/P guitars in progress, and although a few have been spoken for, there are still some available for purchase. Contact me to discuss the details—this is a great opportunity to get what amounts to a one-off guitar at “Team Built” pricing. Name(required) Email(required) Website Comment(required) Posted on May 18, 2016May 20, 2016Categories Guitar Building German Carve on the Bench One of the things I’ve wanted to incorporate in my designs is an old-school type of relief carving sometimes called the German carve. While at Hamer I couldn’t really do it because it was not in the “Hamer tradition” as it was called. The closest I came was with the Monaco guitars, which featured a more radical scallop at the edge. But in my shop, I make the rules, so I’m making a few Artist Proof instruments to see how it looks on a Dantzig guitar. What do you think? My Tulsa model with a German carve flame maple top The resurgence of the so-called “German carve” is an interesting development in the world of guitar fashion. Traditionally used on furniture, I first noticed it on the Mosrite Ventures models I lusted for in my 1960s youth. Actually, it was quite popular with European guitar builders (mostly in Germany and Italy) where a man named Roger Rosemeissl grew up working in his father’s guitar shop. Roger Rossmeissl Eventually, Rossmeissl came to America and began working at Rickenbacker, where he designed a number of instruments in the late 1950s. A few of his designs featured the carved relief technique he had learned at home in Germany. Later, Semie Moseley would work alongside Rossmeissl at Rickenbacker before striking out on his own. Moseley’s new company was named Mosrite, and he carried the European carving over to his designs for the Ventures. Today, all things old are new again so it doesn’t surprise me that the scalloped appearance of the German carve would appeal to a new audience. For me, it is a tip of the hat to some of my guitar-building heroes—and to the Ventures model guitar I dreamed of owning when I first started playing guitar. I can’t wait to finish these new instruments. Posted on May 11, 2016May 11, 2016Categories Guitar Building Tulsa Artist Proofs There will soon be a small number of unique and interesting “Artist Proof” Tulsa guitars available for purchase. Work on the Tulsa models continues with a major streamlining of the workspaces in the shop. Beacause the Dantzig guitars (as opposed to the Signature models) are team built, I needed to create fixturing and work process standards that all of us can follow. Right now in order to test the tooling I am personally building a few guitars in very different configurations, including alder, mahogany pine and Limba bodies, spalted maple, German carve flame tops and full Korina guitars. A couple of these instruments will have maple necks with rosewood fingerboards. This is a fun and satisfying part of the process as I explore options beyond the stock Tulsa specifications. This group of guitars will help me decide on future configurations for the Tulsa model. For right now, these are “Artist’s Proofs” which I will offer for sale after I get a chance to evaluate them. This is an excellent opportunity for some of you to acquire a rare version of my Tulsa model. If you are interested in grabbing one of these guitars, contact me directly. Name(required) Email(required) Comment(required) Posted on April 14, 2016May 26, 2016Categories Guitar Building Bitter Ghosts of American Manufacturing Here’s one from the archives, as published by Premier Guitar magazine. I like how the publisher and editors allow me the freedom to express my love for every aspect of my guitar and craftsmanship obsession. This one is about factories closing down. Esoterica Electrica: An Axe to Grind Posted on April 9, 2016April 9, 2016Categories Guitar Building Strong Indications If you ever wondered what a typical day in the shop is like, I can say with confidence that you rarely know what you’ll get. As much as I’d like to say that it’s all cutting and carving wood and making lovely instruments, it often is far from that. This morning I wanted to drill a few holes in a fixture I was building, but the drill bit was vibrating a bit as I set about to drop the quill. A quick inspection with my favorite Brown & Sharpe indicator showed about .005″ run-out at the chuck. This would translate to a more severe wobble at the end of the bit, so it had to be fixed. Sometimes a chuck will have debris inside, or the bit may have a burr; either of which can create a bit of run-out. I examined the bit, and it seemed fine—a roll test on the surface plate showed it was true. I was confident that a quick blast of compressed air would clean the chuck interior and I would be on my way. Or perhaps it was the arbor coming loose. My conscience demanded that I set things truly straight by disassembling the whole thing to put my mind at ease. I’d been wanting to reduce the return spring tension as well, so no better time than the present. The best way to determine a problem is to systematically go through each step until you find the source of the problem. Out came the wrenches, wedge set and the arbor drift. Before I knew it, two hours had passed. Measured, solvent cleaned, then lubricated properly—the whole thing went back together beautifully. The culprit? A little bit here, a little bit there all added up to too much play in the end. When I put the indicator on the arbor it was only showing about .001″— which is pretty much dead nuts for this type of machine. With the chuck cleaned out and fitted snugly, it was ready to rock. By then it was lunchtime. At least I knew that the rest of the day could move ahead without incident. Posted on April 1, 2016April 4, 2016Categories Guitar Building, Miscelaneous Ramblings Spring Forward Yesterday was a gift. March has certainly come in like a Lamb. The mercury (remember thermometers?) touched the mid-70s, and dogs were sleeping in the sun outside the shop. I had all the doors open, allowing a warm New England breeze to sweep through the workspace as I glued up a pair of Tulsa body blanks. Building guitars is always a joy, but when the weather is nice and the sun shines into the shop, it’s even better. Here is a two-piece, figured white limba back on the router table. The internal chambering has just been finished, and it’s ready to receive a curly maple top. Next up is a similar guitar that is a few steps ahead in the build sequence. This is another maple-topped, limba Tulsa body in its final shape—ready for the pickup and control routs. Posted on March 10, 2016March 10, 2016Categories Guitar Building Testing Tulsa Tooling My Tulsa guitars have been getting popular, so I decided to streamline and rebuild some of the tooling I use to build them. I hadn’t figured on “tooling up” properly so this was an opportunity to make use of my experience and do things correctly. Having great tools allows me to spend more time on the things that matter most instead of trying to remember dimensions and build order. One of the things that does require a lot of handwork is the fitting of the neck. Because my neck tenon is full width, and has square corners, the pocket in the body must match. The router leaves a rounded corner, so the only way is to hand chisel the corners. The mortise (pocket) is routed slightly undersize, so that I can open it up by hand until the neck is a tight fit, and that happens at this stage. Once the neck fits, I clamp it temporarily to check the pitch to the bridge. This one is getting a wrap tail, so that’s what you see here. I actually like to do this before the neck is fretted and the body completely finished. That way if things are going astray I have less time invested if I have to switch gears—like using a different neck! Thankfully, my tooling and measurements are precise, so this one is right on the money. Posted on March 4, 2016March 4, 2016Categories Guitar Building Welcome to Jol Dantzig’s Guitar Diaries —the new home of the Dantzig Guitars Workshop Blog. As my instruments evolve the workshop does as well. This blog, diary or whatever you want to call it, is now a cleaner, more concise place for me to ramble aimlessly as I follow my muse—wherever that may lead. Whether I build an instrument for you, or you just enjoy the stories about the shop, I thank you all for the support and kind words of encouragement that allow me to do what I do. Posted on March 4, 2016Categories Guitar Building, Miscelaneous Ramblings More Tulsa Guitars Carving a maple Tulsa neck—this one is going to be a little different! If it turns out the way I hope, I’ll be making more. As a big fan of the Stratocaster and Telecaster, I appreciate the snap and spank of a long-scale maple neck, so I’ve decided to build a few Tulsa guitars that stray from my usual repertoire of maple-capped mahogany with mahogany necks. It will be an interesting experiment and when they are done I will offer them for sale. Meanwhile, I’m busy doing more inlay work. Here, I’m using a small chisel to square up and cut sharp corners that even the tiny router bit won’t cut. This is for a Tulsa model made of white limba. This is a beautiful piece of Brazilian rosewood from my decades-old stash. Here we have a customer guitar mahogany neck with a rosewood head plate. The truss rod has just been installed and I am prepping it to receive the matching fingerboard. Posted on March 1, 2016March 6, 2016Categories Guitar Building Tulsas on Deck The reception of my Dantzig line Tulsa model has been very satisfying for me. It is a way to offer my designs in a more timely fashion for those who do not desire a one-off guitar. Today, I am laying out the inlays on some rosewood and ebony fingerboards. The Tulsa model comes adorned with basic pearl dot markers, but can be optioned with a number of my “signature” inlay patterns. I still lay the inlays out by hand and rout the pockets out manually. Not quite as quick as the CNC methods that we used at Hamer, but it’s something that I enjoy. These fingerboards have the “full claw” which entails 70 separate pieces of mother of pearl and abalone per board. The examples above feature the “Claw” inlay at the 12th fret only, but can be had with the full claw treatment as well. Also available are Chevron and T-Bird inlays, for those who desire a slightly less intricate pattern. This is the three piece T-Bird inlay, shown at the 12th fret. The Chevron inlay is a single part without the center piece—the simplest of my large patterns. Many customers have opted for a 12th fret inlay only, but you can order any combination. Posted on February 24, 2016February 29, 2016Categories Guitar Building, UncategorizedLeave a comment on Tulsas on Deck Back in the Saddle It has been a busy few months—lots of research, writing and following up on things, and not as much building guitars as I would like. That’s not to say that my shop has been idle. Space is always at a premium, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned—no matter how much you have, you’ll fill it up. So, in order to make things a little easier on myself (and my clients) I’ve been streamlining the shop. If you follow my posts on Facebook you’ll know that I’ve gotten the Hell’s Half Acre build back on the bench, and it feels good. The tobacco sunburst is appropriately named for this cowpoke guitar, and it turned out really nice. I’m back in my paint room, which has been upgraded, and am now putting on clear coats of nitro. Lately, I’ve been infatuated with three things: French polish, old violins, and the patina of age on vintage guitars. I’ve been working on a way to stylistically blend these influences into a thin nitrocellulose guitar finish. Here is a test panel compared to an original 1964 Precision Bass. I’m not trying to match the color here, just the sheen. It is a combination of additives in the lacquer, and a hand polishing technique using a wool pad and lots of elbow grease. It’s not as easy as buffing a high gloss, or spraying a satin paint, but I think the results are great. This process gives the guitar more of a real musical instrument vibe, and less of a “production/factory” look. After all, I don’t make toasters or automobiles—I don’t think of guitars as appliances. Posted on April 30, 2015February 29, 2016Categories Guitar Building, Guitar History, UncategorizedLeave a comment on Back in the Saddle Then and Now, Short Form Here is a template that I made in the early 1980s. It has been used to start the process on thousands of instruments. It hangs in my shop to remind me of my journey and all of the wonderful people I have met along the way. At the lower right hand corner is a current color sample block for a client’s guitar order. I’ve never done this for the money, but I like to be paid for my time and expertise. I didn’t start building guitars because I wanted to be rich, or even to be a businessman. I just wanted to make cool shit. I figured that if I satisfied myself, maybe there would be a few people like me who might want one of my guitars. So far, it has worked out way better than I’d ever hoped. Related articles Value of vintage guitars on the rise Everything Changes but Guitars? I disagree. ‘Inventing the American Guitar’ Explores 1840s Innovations Collings: Lost Art of Handmade Guitars Still Alive in Texas Posted on October 2, 2014February 29, 2016Categories Guitar Building, Guitar History, Hamer History, UncategorizedLeave a comment on Then and Now, Short Form Patterns of Behavior Space, the final frontier. It’s always a battle to find enough space in the workshop. If I’ve learned anything over the years it is that if you have the space, you will fill it, and there will never be enough room. Consequently, I’ve become very good at squeezing more things into less space. The downside is that sometimes you forget where things are, or that they exist at all. This runs in direct opposition to my Kaizen training—where visual systems rule the roost. I find it neccessary to routinely jockey tables, benches and machinery around in order to accomodate projects as needed. Good things in small packages: the original 6L headstock pattern. As I was rearranging things yesterday I came upon a small box marked “Jol’s work patterns.” Inside was a time-capsule of paper cutouts shaped like guitars folded up neatly. In an instant I knew what I’d found. Before the advent of CAD, I did all my design work in full scale on a drafting table. When specifying a custom order for construction in the shop I would draw it and then cut the pattern out to be used as a template in the woodshop. These paper patterns contained all the location and configuration information we needed—it was the blueprint that we used to create a customer’s guitar. A customer’s order with Floyd Rose and custom control location I have many large boxes full of my original Hamer drawings, blueprints and templates, but this small cache was part of a stash that somehow got separated from the rest. It was a bit like time travel to look through it and I intend to share more of it as time goes on. Posted on September 16, 2014May 24, 2016Categories Guitar Building, Guitar History, Hamer HistoryLeave a comment on Patterns of Behavior For the Want of a Tool I love tools—I’ve got boxes of them in my shop and in my home. My wife chuckles and shakes her head, I’m sure, because there’s a tool kit in almost every room of our house. Every new job I take on is an opportunity to acquire a new wrench, cutter or crimper. Punches, files, clamps and drills fill my heart with joy. Pantographs, saws and shapers fill my workspace with lovely dust. As much as I adore specialized tools—the ones that do one thing and one thing only—measuring tools, that I use every day, or even every hour of every day are my bread and butter. Rulers, scales, micrometers, depth and diameter gauges. These are the implements needed to navigate the complexities of building something to close tolerances—like a guitar. But by far the most versatile of this class of tools is the dial caliper. I’ve had my Brown & Sharpe dial calipers since the late 1970s. The corners and edges of the mahogany case have been rounded off from three decades of constant use, and the mahogany itself is darkened from oxidation and the oils from handling. If you look closely, you can see the impression from the serial number stamp in the wooden case. Steve Ward and I used those calipers to build the original five-neck guitar and the twin necked “Uncle Dick” for Rick Nielsen. I used them to plot the original design for the sustain block bridge and world’s first 12-string bass. They were there to measure neck dimensions on KK Downing’s Flying V and Glenn Tipton’s SG when designing their signature models in 1984. Gary Moore and I used them to measure the neck width and depth of Peter Green’s Les Paul ’Burst. Almost every person of note who worked at Hamer handled this tool at one time or another. It’s is still insanely accurate and one of my most treasured possessions, and as much as I enjoy the new digital calipers that can add, subtract and convert to metric at the touch of a button, there is something satisfying about using the analog version. It’s a connection to something deeper than just the job at hand. Posted on August 6, 2014February 29, 2016Categories Guitar Building, Guitar History, Hamer History, Miscelaneous Ramblings1 Comment on For the Want of a Tool Golden Age Update My last post about the huge amount of electric guitar builders making instruments today elicited quite a volume of mail in my inbox. Some of you had additions to my list while others wanted to know why certain names were deemed “worthy” of inclusion. A couple people with severe OCD suggested the list be alphabetized. For those who sent me names, we all thank you. I couldn’t really grasp why the list should be in alphabetical order (as opposed to by cost, state or body style for instance) but I did it just the same. I think that my point was well made before the addition of another 100+ builders, but now we have a bigger list to view anyway. As I said before, this list is not complete—not by a longshot—and it does not represent any sort of endorsement or judgement by me. What do you think this says about the state of the guitar industry? Enjoy! A E Guitars, Abel Axe Abita Guitars Abyss Guitars Abyss Guitars Ace Guitars Agile Guitars Ali Kat Guitars Andrews Guitars Aria Aristides Guitars Artinger Guitars ASG Asher Guitars Austin Guitars AXL Guitars b3 Guitars Bacorn Guitars Banning Guitars Batson Guitars BC Rich Bear Creek Guitars Becker Guitars Bell Custom Guitars Benavente Guitars Benedict Guitar Company Black Mesa Guitars Black Pearl Guitars Blade Guitars Blu Guitars Blue Eagle Guitars Bolin Guitars Bootleg Guitars Boris Guitars Bourgeois Guitars Branch Guitars Brubaker Guitars Buzz Feiten Guitars Byrd Guitars Campbell American Guitars Campellone Guitars Caparelli Guitars Carl Barney Guitars Carvin Chafin Guitars Chappell Guitars Charvel Chris Larkin Guitars Cilia Guitars Cimarron Guitars Citron Guitars Collings Guitars Conklin Guitars Cort Crafter Guitars Creston Guitars Crook Custom Guitars Cycfi Research D’Angelico Guitars Daisy Rock Guitars DBZ Guitars Dean Guitars Decava Guitars DeLacugo Guitars Delaney Guitars DeTemple Guitars DGN Guitars Di Vill Guitars Dingwall Guitars DiPinto Guitars Dolan Guitars Doppler Guitars Dragonfly Guitars Dragonfly Guitars Dreamer Guitarworks Driskill Guitars Dudley Customs Dudley Guitars Duesenberg Guitars Eastwood Guitars Eastman Guitars Ed Clark Guitars EER Customs Electra Guitars Electrical Guitar Company Elliott Guitars ESP EVH Falbo Guitars Fano Guitars Farida Guitars Farnell Guitars Fender Guitars Fernandes First Act Flaxwood Guitars Fleishman Guitars Flinthill Fliski Guitars Fodera Guitars Framus Guitars Francis Guitars Fretlight Guitars Fujigen Guitars G&L Guitars Gadow Guitars Gelvin Guitars Gene Liberty Guitars Gibson Guitars Gigliotti Guitars Gil Yaron Giles Guitars GJ3 Guitars Glassical Creations GMP Guitars Godin Guitars Gordon Smith Greenfield Guitars Gretsch Guitars Grosh Guitars Grove Guitars Guild Guitars Hallmark Guitars Ham-tone Guitars Hamburguitar Hanson Hanson Musical Instruments Harden Engineering Headless Guitars Henman Guitars Heritage Guitars HiTone Guitars Hofner Guitars Hoyer Guitars Huber Guitars Ibanez Guitars Italia Guitars J. Backlund Guitars Jackson Guitars Jacob Chapman James Tyler Guitars Jay Turser Guitars Jericho Guitars JLS Guitars John Carruthers Guitars Johnson Guitars Joseph Lukes Guitars K-Line Guitars Kammerer Guitars Ken Parker Guitars King Blossom Guitars Knaggs Guitars Knutson Luthierie Koll Guitars Kostal Guitars Kramer Guitars KXK Guitars Lace Guitars Lado Guitars LAG Guitars Landric Guitars LaRose Guitars Larry Alan Guitars Leach Guitars Learn guitars Legator Guitars Lieber Guitars Lindert Guitars Lodestone Guitars Lollar Guitars LSL Guitars Luna Guitars M-Tone Guitars Malden Guitars Malinosky Guitars Marchione Guitars Maret Guitars Mario Martin Guitars Martin Guitars Maton Guitars Mauel Guitars McCurdy Guitars McElroy Guitars McInturf Guitars McMahon Artistry McNaught Guitars McSwain Guitars MDX Guitars Melancon Guitars Michael Kelly Guitars Michael Tuttle Guitars Mike Lull Guitars Minarik Guitars Mike Guitars MJ Guitars Moniker Guitars Moonstone Guitars Moser Guitars MotorAve Guitars Musicman Guitars Musicvox Myka Guitars Nash Guitars New Breed Creations North American Instruments Norton Guitars Novax Guitars Novax Guitars ODD Oktober Guitars Ozztosh Parker Guitars Paul Rhoney Guitars Peavey Guitars Peerless Guitars Pensa Guitars Perri Ink Custom Guitars Phantom Guitar Works Potvin Guitars Prestige Guitars PRS Pure Salem Guitars Rebel Guitars Recording King Guitars Red Rocket Guitars Reverend Guitars Rickenbacker International Ritter Instruments Rizzolo Guitars Ronin Guitars Roscoe Guitars RS Guitarworks Ruokangas Guitars Ruokangas Guitars Russell Guitars RWK Guitars S3 Guitars Sadowsky Guitars Saul Koll Guitars SB MacDonald Schaefer Guitars Schroeder Guitars Scott French Guitars Scott Walker Guitars Sexauer Guitars Shishkov Guitars Silvertone Slick Guitars St. Blues Guitars Starr Guitars Stevens Guitars Stewart Guitars Stremel Guitars Strobel Guitars Suhr Guitars Switch Guitars Tagima Guitars Taylor Guitars Ted Crocker Guitars TMG Tobias Guitars Tokai Guitars Tom Anderson Guitars Tonesmith Guitars Tradition Guitars Travis Stevens Triggs Guitars Trussart Gutars Tsunami Guitars TV Jones Guitars US Masters Guitars Veillette Guitars Veritas Guitars Versoul Guitars Vesper Guitars Vigier Guitars Viktorian Guitars Virgil Guitars Volta Guitars Vox Warlatron Guitars Warr Guitars Warrior Guitars Washburn Guitars Wayne Guitars Wood Hagan Guitars Yamaha Guitars Zager Guitars Zarley Wideneck Guitars Zemaitis Zion Guitar Technology Zolla Guitars Zon ZOZO Guitars Posted on June 17, 2014March 4, 2016Categories Guitar Building, Guitar History, Miscelaneous RamblingsLeave a comment on Golden Age Update Golden Age or Glowing Sunset? Every ten years or so over the last five decades a major publication has featured a big story about how rock is dead and the guitar is going the way of the accordion. Recently I read about how EDM is killing guitar-oriented music and that an entire generation is growing up without the power chord or jingle-jangle of guitar. My reaction was pretty much the same as it has always been—not so fast. How can the guitar be on the wane when so many different instruments are being offered—and sold at bargain prices? Or will that be the cause of its demise? Part of the guitar’s appeal has always been its status as a rebel’s badge, which is pretty hard to justify when there are more guitars than there are people. Typical Day at the Big Box Brand If you read the guitar magazines or visit online guitar-centric sites, you’ll have noticed that there are more brand names than ever before. In fact, it seems that there are almost more guitar companies than there are bands. For a player, this is heaven—so many designs and configurations to choose from! The vast offering of styles makes it a good bet that if you crave something, there’s somebody out there who can supply it for you at a price you can afford. There are vintage styles, modern styles, hybrids and mutant mashups in every color imaginable and some not to imaginable. Certainly this is a buyer’s market. But what about the builders? Can you imagine being in competition not only with offshore giants who can build a finished guitar for under $30, but with hundreds (or thousands) of local garage-based businesses? For some, it’s just a hobby where real profit isn’t important. This is the case for a lot of builders who are happy to make a few instruments a month down in the basement. It keeps them busy and maybe even pays for itself—if they don’t look at their time as costing anything. I quickly compiled a list of some of the guitar brands being sold today. This list is by no means complete or comprehensive. In fact, my list contains just a fraction of what’s out there. Perhaps you’ve heard of some of them. I ran out of patience before I ran out of names to type. Did I mention your favorite? Peerless Guitars Farida Guitars Paul Rhoney Guitars Banning Guitars Blu Guitars Wood Hagan Guitars Veritas Guitars Volta Guitars Yamaha Guitars Doppler Guitars Lollar Guitars Ham-tone Guitars Gibson Guitars Rickenbacker Guitars Electra Guitars Warlatron Guitars Peavey Guitars RS Guitarworks Agile Guitars Dudley Customs Harden Engineering Landric Guitars Grosh Guitars Dreamer Guitarworks Fujigen Guitars D’Angelico Guitars Dean Guitars Wayne Guitars DBZ Guitars Warr Guitars Stewart Guitars Carl Barney Guitars Washburn Guitars Scott French Guitars Vesper Guitars Koll Guitars Fano Guitars Moonstone Guitars b3 Guitars Zolla Guitars Framus Guitars Trussart Gutars LAG Guitars Ronin Guitars Fender Guitars HiTone Guitars Ruokangas Guitars St. Blues Guitars McElroy Guitars Hamburguitar MDX Guitars Collings Guitars Ritter Instruments Crafter Guitars Viktorian Guitars Giles Guitars Mike Lull Guitars Taylor Guitars Francis Guitars Maton Guitars Kramer Guitars Takamine Guitars Martin Guitars Godin Guitars Gretsch Guitars Duesenberg Guitars Hofner Guitars SB MacDonald Creston Guitars LaRose Guitars Hoyer Guitars M-Tone Guitars Ibanez Guitars Recording King Guitars Suhr Guitars G&L Guitars Blade Guitars Musicman Guitars ESP Guitars Fretlight Guitars Zager Guitars Schroeder Guitars Potvin Guitars Virgil Guitars Lieber Guitars Fliski Guitars Black Pearl Guitars Abyss Guitars Abel Axe Ed Clark Guitars Abyss Guitars Driskill Guitars Andrews Guitars Dragonfly Guitars Farnell Guitars Melancon Guitars Michael Kelly Guitars Ted Crocker Guitars Tom Anderson Guitars Batson Guitars Greenfield Guitars Mauel Guitars Sexauer Guitars Gadow Guitars Fodera Guitars Warrior Guitars Abita Guitars Ace Guitars Bourgeois Guitars Fleishman Guitars Knaggs Guitars K-Line Guitars Campbell American Guitars Conklin Guitars Delaney Guitars Learn guitars McInturf Guitars Sadowsky Guitars Pensa Guitars Novax Guitars Stevens Guitars Artinger Guitars Dragonfly Guitars Marchione Guitars DiPinto Guitars McNaught Guitars Minarik Guitars Nash Guitars Moser Guitars TV Jones Guitars DeTemple Guitars John Carruthers Guitars GJ3 Guitars Brubaker Guitars GMP Guitars Henman Guitars Ken Parker Guitars Malden Guitars Tonesmith Guitars Triggs Guitars Zion Guitar Technology US Masters Guitars Bear Creek Guitars Bell Custom Guitars Dingwall Guitars Dolan Guitars Chafin Guitars Bolin Guitars AXL Guitars Heritage Guitars James Tyler Guitars Leach Guitars Michael Tuttle Guitars Myka Guitars Boris Guitars MJ Guitars Norton Guitars S3 Guitars Jackson Guitars Tradition Guitars Veillette Guitars Chappell Guitars Electrical Guitar Company Byrd Guitars Knutson Luthierie King Blossom Guitars Bootleg Guitars Austin Guitars A E Guitars Grove Guitars J. Backlund Guitars Gigliotti Guitars Hanson Musical Instruments Benavente Guitars KXK Guitars North American Instruments Red Rocket Guitars Black Mesa Guitars Chris Larkin Guitars Larry Alan Guitars Motorave Guitars DGN Guitars Malinosky Guitars LSL Guitars Crook Custom Guitars Branch Guitars Cycfi Research EER Customs Decava Guitars Bacorn Guitars Maret Guitars RWK Guitars Russell Guitars McSwain Guitars Schaefer Guitars DeLacugo Guitars Switch Guitars Tsunami Guitars Becker Guitars Benedict Guitar Company Gene Liberty Guitars Citron Guitars Hallmark Guitars McCurdy Guitars Posted on June 3, 2014April 24, 2016Categories Current Affairs, Guitar History, Linked, Miscelaneous Ramblings10 Comments on Golden Age or Glowing Sunset? Axes to Grind In my latest column for Premier Guitar I describe the arc of some American manufacturing businesses including guitar factories. Yesterday I paid a visit to Grover Jackson’s website to see what he’d been up to. The last time we spoke, about a year ago, Jackson had recently started a small guitar-building shop with ex-Fender salesman John Gold and they were building new instruments under the GJ2 name. He’d gotten himself a Fadal CNC and was about to release a new design called the Concorde. I was happy to see Jackson back in the saddle, he’d been an inspiration to me and I loved his original designs. I wished him luck and waited to see what amazing stuff he’d come up with next. However, when I recently looked at his site, I was a bit surprised to see some pretty straight ahead Strat and Tele clones for sale. Well, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised at all. It’s a tough marketplace out there if your headstock doesn’t say Gibson, Fender or Martin. The realities of the marketplace are in force even if your name is Grover Jackson. I know from personal experience that copycatting can be a double edged sword. It can make you, but it can cubbyhole you into a second-tier existence. On a related note, here is my latest column for Premier Guitar. It’s about how the guitar industry is following a familiar arc. How many Packards, Tuckers, Humpmobiles, or even Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles do you see on the road today? There have been Shelbys, Deloreans, Studebakers, Dusenbergs, Hudsons, and Bricklins out there, trying to do battle against a stacked deck. For those of you who don’t know those names I’ll fill you in—they once were big shots in the car industry. So to all the small builders out there hanging on by your fingernails, you have my respect and I wish you the best. It’s not easy to survive in the shrinking guitar market—even if you have a famous name. Posted on May 15, 2014February 29, 2016Categories Guitar Building, Guitar History, Hamer History, Miscelaneous RamblingsLeave a comment on Axes to Grind The Plywood Panacea and Masonite Mantra Paul Simon wrote, “every generation throws a hero up the pop charts” and how correct he was. But Simon could have been talking about the product life cycle of any consumer item that relies upon favor for its sales. In my latest column for Premier Guitar I examine the budget bin guitar fad. Click here to read. Fifties guitars and boutique handmades are priced out of the reach for all but the wealthy or the truly dedicated players—something was bound to burst. Just as Andy Williams was left high and dry by the arrival of The Beatles, so too might be the fate of instruments from the golden age. Disdain of the old has often been the motivation for trends of the young. We don’t need your stinkin’ Les Pauls, PRS and Stratocasters, we’ve got cheapo student guitars that sound funky and make us look different than the old people in classic rock and country. Maybe the suits at PRS will abandon their collectibles attitude and scramble to duke it out with more trendy upstarts like Fano. The executive teams at Fender and Gibson are already turning the microscope onto the pages of their cheesiest past offerings—you know, the ones that sort of inspired Fano in the first place. Meanwhile, Rickenbacker just continues on making beautiful and glorious sounding, but practically unplayable art. Read my latest for Premier Guitar Posted on April 24, 2014Categories Guitar Building, Guitar History, Miscelaneous Ramblings, OverviewLeave a comment on The Plywood Panacea and Masonite Mantra The Smart and Simple Strat Seems like as always, I’ve touched a nerve. This month’s column for Premier Guitar is my take on the Fender Startocaster. Those of you who know me are probably tired of hearing about how much I love Strats and Teles—but might not fully know why. Here’s another angle on Leo’s mighty creation. Read the article HERE. Posted on March 23, 2014February 29, 2016Categories UncategorizedLeave a comment on The Smart and Simple Strat Winning I guess I missed the memo. Forgive me because I’m just a little “slow” if you catch my drift. Now I smell what’s cookin’ and it’s the last fragment of my stupid optimism about art and the expression of the human condition. Because now I realize that rather than being humbled by of our tiny place in this immeasurable universe, life and art are really about winning. I used to believe that life was not a zero sum game and that the world held so much bounty and beauty that there was enough for everyone if they’d just take the time to look skyward and breathe nature’s divine air. I guess I’m an idiot. Training to win. The author in school circa 1965 I recently read a post from Esquire about how a rapper went home from SXSW early, because he “won”(their words) and it got me thinking—make that seething—about how everything in life now has to be a competition. Especially in this country. It’s the biggest, baddest, boldest, richest, righteous; most-popular-takes-the-prize mentality that surrounds us all. And it has always been this way. I was just a fool to think otherwise. Top forty, Billboard charts, top grossing movie, highest price paid for a painting and auction results on the morning news. What is American Idol if not a competition? Duh. Even education is now about winning. Screw the arts—too hard to quantify. Our English and literature classes are now dumbed down to serve as training for corporate report writing. Learning is no longer the point; it’s all about positioning oneself for future employment. Imagine the fraud generated by all or nothing winning attitudes about the end game above all else. Creativity is given much lip service, but in the end it’s conformity that gets rewarded. Still, I have optimism. Creative souls have always slipped through the cracks. In fact, I think the more robot-like the world becomes, the more misfits will rise to the challenge. Writing, filming, playing music, building and carving—not because of the money, not because of the fame, but because it has always been this way. That’s the creative person’s way of winning. Posted on March 17, 2014February 29, 2016Categories Uncategorized1 Comment on Winning Big Apple Birthday Bash Buried near the bottom of page six in the faded green ledger that Hamer Guitars used to record instrument serial numbers, is an innocuous entry for the third week of December, 1980. It reads: Andy Summers, black, new model, 3-coil, S/N 02391. Three-coil was code for an as yet unnamed model, and it is significant not because this guitar was the first of its kind—It wasn’t—but because Summers and his band, The Police, were about to play a momentous gig with it. The guitar almost didn’t make the show. The Hamer Guitar serial number ledger book I awoke early on January 9th, 1981 to a typical Chicago winter morning not unlike today. It was cold, still dark and my first impulse was to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep. I’d barely gotten any rest after having spent the night partying with friends. Dimly lit, bare trees swayed in the chilly wind outside my window and my head throbbed dully as I put together my thoughts. Then I remembered—it was my 29th birthday and I was celebrating with a trip to see The Police. I had less than an hour to get out of the house. At 8:40 AM I boarded a non-stop American Airlines flight to New York, and immediately fell asleep in my seat. Fastidiously packed in a custom-made brown cardboard shipping box and checked as baggage in the hold below was the black serial number 02391 guitar, which I planned to deliver to Summers in time for the band’s first ever show at Madison Square Garden the next day. After working with Andy Summers for almost two years, The Police had arrived in the Big Time, and there was no way I was going to miss it. The flight was uneventful, relatively short and after a shuttle bus ride into Manhattan I checked into my hotel on 57th street. I was feeling better and there was no need to hurry, I’d done this dozens of times. After ordering some room service, I unboxed the guitar and opened the case. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Despite my packaging, which bordered on fanatical, the fucking airline gorillas had broken the guitar’s neck loose. My blood pressure started to rise and I felt nauseous—this definitely wasn’t in the plan. No amount of profanity was going to fix anything and I resisted the urge to toss the TV out the window. Just barely holding back panic I picked up the phone but instead of throwing it, I called a friend at a guitar shop on 48th street and asked him to open up a repair bench for me. I grabbed the guitar and practically ran all the way there—thoughts spinning in my head. How bad was it? Could it be fixed in time? A dozen blocks of dodging and weaving my way through crowds of people had me sweating and out of breath as I pushed the shop’s door open at last. I was desperate to get the guitar on the bench where I could force the crack in the neck heel open and see how bad things really were. The view from the workbench on 48th St. The Steak & Brew is now Rudy’s Music. Luckily it was a pretty clean break, and getting glue in there and clamping would be fairly starightforward. I’m not always a big fan of epoxy for repairs, but in this case it was a good suggestion by the shop’s tech—so we proceeded. We got the clamps on and I removed any excess adhesive off without harming the finish. Could I be this lucky? I took a cab back to the hotel with the guitar still in clamps and was feeling somewhat confident it would hold. Summers backstage at MSG clowning for my camera after receiving s/n 02391 The next afternoon I delivered the guitar backstage at The Garden, and Summers marched right out on stage with it which was still a real leap of faith. I held my breath, but the neck stayed put. I worked my way from the side of the stage to the orchestra pit in front of the stage and fired off a few photos—one you see here. The guitar debuts on the big stage A lot has been said about Summers, Sting and Copeland and how calculating they could be, but I like to remind people about how fearless they were. They were musicians first and last. I witnessed so many occasions where they would try something new without hesitation and that night in New York was no exception. Luckily the guitar didn’t let them down. The feeling of relief that the guitar worked was so overwhelming I barely remember the details of the show. So, what did Summers think of the guitar? He liked it enough that he asked for another to be built, and we went out to dinner to celebrate—him for having played MSG, and me for having successfully saved the guitar. It was a better birthday present than I had expected. The guitar model was introduced shortly after, known as “The Prototype”—a decidedly poor choice of product name despite its impressive public debut. I still have a soft spot in my heart for that guitar. Posted on January 9, 2014April 24, 2016Categories Guitar Building, Guitar History, Hamer History, Jol Dantzig's Workshop Guests, Uncategorized3 Comments on Big Apple Birthday Bash Posts navigation Page 1 Page 2 … Page 5 Next page Proudly powered by WordPress

dantzig.com Whois

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  Domain Name: DANTZIG.COM
  Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
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