February 15, 2000
The Tremolo model is ready and it kicks ass. I am using a Wilkinson-style tremolo with a floating up and down movement. The great news is that I just recently discovered a secret nut material which keeps this thing in tune like crazy. Throw out your locking tremolos, you don't need them anymore.
I will never tell what the composition of this nut material is. Even under torture I would never tell. The secret is mine. I wouldn't want all these "cookie cutter" guys to get a hold of it. All I will say is that it has zero friction and it sounds great. Most plastic nuts currently on the market intended for trem use are crap compared to this material, I find they make your guitar sound like its dead. You can dive-bomb with my nut and it comes back to pitch perfectly every time. I also use Sperzel locking tuning keys. WOW! You got to experience it and you can only get it if you buy a Zachary guitar.
The Zachary Bass will be ready as soon as my German pals make some bridges to my specs. As soon as I get the bridges I will build the bass. This bridge will be identical to the hardtail bridge design which I use on my guitars. It will be very unique on a bass. Never been seen before.
The hollowbody is finished and it turned out well. I really like it. Its like a little acoustic. It has the characteristic acoustic "hollow" tone with the strong attack to the notes. You can even play it unplugged. What makes it really interesting is that its very versatile. It has some powerful pickups on it and you can play anything on it from fingerstyle clean jazz to shredder music. The tone through a Fender Blues Junior amp reminds me of that George Thorogood tone on "Bad to the Bone". The guitar sounds very raw through a clean amp. Good for rockabilly or any other percussive sounds, but if you turn up the gain it really sings. Check out the pics on the "Currently For Sale" page. Click on the second last serial number.
I plan to build a series of three "Ikea" model guitars. This is what I call them because I bought the Pine wood from an Ikea furniture store. Actually this is the wood from those $15 end tables you can buy at Ikea and assemble yourself. The most beautiful and rare Knotty Pine you ever saw, glued together from about ten different strips, Private Stock, AAAAAAA quality. They will also have original Ikea stain colors and a unique Beeswax finish. Now if that isn't Cool, I don't know what is! I am very worried PRS will copy it. If they do, just remember where you saw it first.
I plan to take some digital pics of some new exotic figured wood I got. Anyone interested in a guitar can just pick out the wood they like from the pics. You will be able to choose the raw wood which I will build your guitar from. What a novel idea, wouldn't you say? That's what I call involvement. It reminds me of an oriental restaurant I went to where you could pick out all the raw ingredients in a bowl and take it to the chef who would cook it up for you before your eyes.
March 18, 00
The first of the IKEA guitars has turned out really well. I did a few new things in the way I built it and the hardware I used. This opens up more possibilities for Zachary guitars such as P 90 style pickups, narrower bridge spacing, metal wood inserts for screws and fretting the neck before it is carved. The tone is incredible from this knotty pine guitar. If Pavaroti was a guitar he would sing like a Zachary.
April 19, 00
I have been playing my second tremolo guitar for several weeks now and I can't believe how good this thing is. I modified the trem block and enlarged the cavity. This results in a greatly increased travel for the trem. It goes way up and all the way down to slack. The sounds that I can get from this guitar are just amazing. I think of it as a Sound FX guitar. The tuning is marvelous. After stretching new strings and playing the guitar for a half hour, you can go absolutely crazy on the trem and it will come back perfectly in tune. What a total improvement on your regular Strat. Its just one amazing guitar. Hendrix would have loved it.
August 26, 00
The big news is the introduction of the Z2. This is not an improved version of the Z1, it is an entirely new guitar. It has a new and different body style with more high fret access. It is a less traditional shape which is more radical in appearance, but the construction and design is virtually the same as the Z1. It sounds and plays like a Z1 because it is built using the same concepts and methods. At first I thought that considering the more radical shape, the Z2 would not be as comfortable or balance as well as the Z1. Was I in for a pleasant surprise. It is very comfortable. In the sitting position it actually blends in with your body. Its like and appendage, it feels so natural. The look is also a very cool, a one of a kind guitar which feels very organic and manageable due to its small and light body. The tone is just as good as the tone of the Z1 because the large contact area between the body and the neck has been maintained on the Z2. Pickup placement, switching, neck feel is all identical to the Z1. I am also using my Anti-Friction "Mission impossible" nut material on all my guitars and these things simple do not go out of tune.
December 3, 00
Well, the Z2 single coil is out and it sounds different from any of my previous guitars. It sounds like I am playing a Strat or a Tele. Its all twang. I think the top is very interesting. It has holes which are actually knots in the wood as well as quilt. This is wood commercial mass-production manufacturers would toss out as "junk wood". Just because it does not fit their image. That is very unfortunate. I love this piece of wood. Take a look at the thickness of the top. Its thicker than the Mahogany back. The mass-producers use a thin veneer in most cases. They might as well use wallpaper or Mack-tack.
I have a big surprise coming up shortly, the introduction of the Z3 body style. This will be a surprising shape. Stay tuned, I should have it ready by the new year.
December 22, 00
The new VHS Demo-Video will be hot. You can see me play various tunes on Zachary guitars. Go to the Video page for more details and send your address and I will send you a FREE video
The Z3 is next and then a bass for Fat Weasels bassist Bob M.
I am excited already. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
December 31, 00
Happy new year everyone. I have most of the video shot but I have to edit it and then duplicate it. It looks great on my Mini DV camcorder but I tried transferring it on VHS and it dramatically dropped in quality. I also have a problem getting the necessary hardware and software for the computer for the editing. I was told that I need a FIREWIRE card and cable as well as some software. I was recommended the Studio DV package. The problem is that after Christmas it is not available at any of the stores in my area. So I must wait.
If anyone has some pointers how to best go about doing this, please let me know. I need to duplicate this on VHS and not loose any quality if that is possible. Also, I was told that I may be able to just save it on CD-R and just send those out. I am not sure if it can be viewed by just anyone. Do they need special software?
January 30, 2001
I have just returned from California. I went to visit the NAMM show. This is the big musical instrument show where all the manufacturers exhibit and all the music store owners attend to check out the new products. Its a big zoo. Very hard to play any instrument, talk to anyone or even to hear yourself since there is so much noise in the halls. Its a nightmare to find anything or to seriously check anything out.
In terms of guitars, there was "a lot of show but very little go". Whichever company uses grotesquely figured veneer tops and shiny thick paint is the one with a lot of admirers at their booth. There are too many suits at this convention and not enough musicians. There is a real shortage of truly knowledgeable dealers present. The smaller exhibitors got lost in all the confusion among the big companies who take up separate halls with live stages, furniture, breast implants and other gimmicks. I don't believe there was one guitar at the show that blew me away. I came to realize that there are very few, truly good guitars made these days. Paint jobs and image is what the companies are producing. I picked up some expensive high end guitars but they all played terribly and had no tone to speak of. You either get repackaged "same old, same old" or you get very radical esoteric guitars that are hard to relate to. How about building an original, yet also traditional guitar that plays great and sounds big and resonant with some innovative features. How bout guitars that are completely hand made, very organic, ergonomic, and individually totally unique, yet cost less than machine mass-produced "boutique" guitars, that come off the cookie cutter and only vary in color? You will not find it at the NAMM show or at your local Music Superstore. You will find it however if you visit this website .
Was there anything that I liked at the show? Yes, by accident I came across the Pedulla booth. I talked to Mr. Pedulla himself and fond him to be so much different from all the big-shot, guitar/industrialists. Pedulla was not about bull shit or hype, just substance. A video was playing at his booth showing how his basses are made. I was impressed. Just as I suspected, entirely hand made. Every operation hand directed. They build guitars just like I do and it was a pleasant surprise to see that even a midsize company like Pedulla can do it. I got one of his videos and really gained a lot of incite. Yes, contrary to what some will tell you, it is possible to still build guitars by hand. I will be the first one to say that if you are looking for a quality bass, seriously consider Pedulla.
I drove to San Diego after the show and toured the Taylor factory. This is a very professional operation with what seems like tons of money behind it. CNC computerized machines everywhere, laser cutting of the tops and backs and countless other machines doing specific jobs. Completely opposite of Pedulla. I do respect Taylor for what they do. They want to build high quality guitars in very large numbers and this they achieve with success. There is no turning back for them however. For Taylor, its more and more programmable machines, and increasingly less human contact. Efficiency is the name of the game. Needless to say, Taylor was very interesting but other than some techniques for storing and drying wood, I didn't learn a thing. It was like going to a Cola bottling plant. Taylor guitars are flawless in workmanship and the tolerances are unreal in terms of precision, but as a player that is not what I look for in a guitar. In fact, I can't really play a guitar like that for long. I feel that it doesn't agree with a human viscerally. This is why most of us admire fine art. The human touch is about variability, imprecision and inconsistency and we unconsciously crave these qualities form anything we relate to on an emotional level. These are all virtues if they are a byproduct of skill.
On another topic, I have my new computer with the required editing software and I am working hard at learning how to edit my Video. I hope to be finished soon. It will not be slick and polished but it will be real. Thanks for all the request for the Video, I think you will like it.
January 31, 2001
I forgot to tell you that on my trip to California I bought some amazing wood from an exotic wood supplier. Some of these woods have never been used in guitar building before. I have Canarywood, Locust, Aromatic Cedar, Zebra, Santos, among others and some from the urban forest. As you know I use any wood that looks wild and interesting, since I feel that every wood is a "tone wood". The wilder the better. I even have some Aromatic Cedar, the stuff people build the inside of their closets from to give it a nice natural smell. I plan not to oil-finish these guitar bodies. I will leave them raw wood so that the scent is retained. These will be the sweetest smelling guitars in the world.
I also bought some other woods I have never heard of including some Urban Forest wood cut from the streets of LA. What a great idea. Lets celebrate what others call "trash wood". Some of this stuff is very unique and once in a lifetime find. Some of this wood is naturally blemished with knots, rot and wild grain. I love it. So if you want a great guitar that you will never find at your local Guitar Center, make sure you order one from me. I am ready to build many guitars and I hate my day job anyway.
February 15, 2001
I finally have the video finished. It was very tough to do since I had major compatibility problems between the hardware and the software. I know I should have bought a Mac. The Vid is now being duplicated. I will be sending them out early next week. If I missed anyone who requested a video, please let me know. My cost for each video including shipping in North America is $10 US. I don't even want to know what it will cost to ship to other continents. I will send out the first 100 videos free of charge and after that I may need to charge $10 just to cover my cost. I would rather not charge anything so I will do my best to keep it free.
February 22, 2001
Many videos have already been shipped out to you. You should be receiving them soon.
Many of you have been asking for a tremolo model Z2 and Z3. I will be starting on these soon.
March 5, 01
I have sent out most of the videos. The requests are still coming in and I have just about run out of my first batch. I know that many of you have not received them yet. This worries me somewhat. I sent them by Air Mail and I believe that when US customs sees that they are video tapes, they will think that I am shipping pornography. Why else would someone send a whole bunch of videos to people all over the USA? US Customs are probably watching my video right now. Little do they know that the hard-core stuff is hidden toward the middle of the tape just before my bass guitar demo. So if you receive a tape that is not rewound, let me know and I will complain to to US Customs. I hope you all get your videos soon. Hey, check out the new green Z2 guitar.
March 22, 01
Some of you have mentioned that the Video was not what you expected. Well, I apologize for the shitty quality and production of the tape. Some people expected it to be a fancy polished promotional video. That was not the purpose. Its just a cheap, low budget home video showing me jammin on my guitars. That's all and nothing more. The purpose is to show people how well the guitars play. These guitars really play well and they are meant to be played. Unfortunately, I could not capture the true tone of the guitars. The guitars sound a hundred times better than they do on the video. My amp was not the right one to use and my video equipment was not adequate. The amp is a Line 6 Spider and those things don't sound good clean. I find they sound good either distorted or processed with effects. Unfortunately the tone did not come through on the video. These digital amps also have another problem, they make all guitars sound somewhat the same. The switching between the different pickup positions was also not that noticeable. In real life, believe me, the switching is quite dramatic. You experience dramatic single coil as well as humbucking tones on the same guitar. I know I also look like I just got out of bed. This is how I always look. If you don't have a job to go to in the mornings like me, you kind of develop this look. I usually build guitars in my slippers. Some people said that I looked stoned but I don't do drugs. I was just sick with the flu during the whole thing and felt like shit and pissed off at the same time. Oh well, that's life.
I wanted the video to be real. I didn't want to misrepresent anything to entice people into buying my guitars. I wouldn't gain anything by doing that. I wanted people to have the same experience that they would if they visited my shop unannounced. Reality. What you see is what you get. No bull shit. Just think how helpful a video like this would have been to see of our spouses before we actually got married.
April 27, 01
Sorry for the delay to those of you who have ordered guitars. I know its taking a long time. I have the guitars partially made but I must wait for my new tooling and trussrods. I am making some serious changes in order to enable me to build guitars faster and with less headaches. I am having some custom made cutters manufactured that I use to cut out the body and neck shapes with. Also, a local shop is making new trussrods for me. I must wait for these items to be ready. Once everything is in place I will be able to make guitars in less time and in larger numbers and still stay with my hand-craftsmanship philosophy.
I just put together my latest guitar with a body and neck that I had already made before. After I built it I just felt like beating it up. Its a great guitar and my main guitar at the moment.
I will soon be releasing my own line of pickups called ZachAttack. They are built by one of the best pickup designer and maker in the world. Now you will have a handmade pickup in a handmade guitar. Stay tuned for the details.
May 10, 01
I have a great local machinist named Richard who is making me trussrods. He has made three samples to my specifications and they are great. I built two necks with it already. I am excited about this because I have control over the design and the manufacture of these new trussrods. I will also get more of the ZachAttack pickups which are made to my specs. Now I have absolute and complete control of these guitars from beginning to end and from tip to toe. This is exciting. It sure is better than buying a guitar from a store. I hope to have some very interesting guitars in the future. I have a large selection of very nice wood. Interesting wood that many have never seen on a guitar before. That's what its all about, Zachary guitars are the ultimate antiestablishment guitars for the non conformist. So be an original and play a Zachary guitar.
May 28, 01
Did you check out the latest guitar 260501 Its absolutely scary, even for me.
God had to have made this guitar for sure. Its tremendous. However I would not recommend that you buy it. It would disturb you psychologically beyond belief. You would have to forget everything you ever thought you know about guitars. Its like when you first found out there is no Santa Claus. Just a terrible shock to your entire existence. After playing this guitar you will never go to another music store again, you will sell your entire guitar collection, you will not buy any other brand of guitar again. This guitar will change your life and make your current life meaningless. It may just screw up your entire life completely. After the dust settles you will not even recognize who you are. You will become an entirely different being. In essence you will be reborn. It will be a revelation like no other that you have ever experienced.
Better not buy it, just play it safe, it may be more than you can handle.
Sep 15, 01
Its been a long and busy summer. I did not do much guitar building. I did do a lot of design work. I designed some templates, jigs and a new headstock shape for the upcoming basses. Unfortunately, I can not really use the Samurai head shape for the basses because its too tight of a fit with bass tuners. I stayed as close as possible to the Samurai shape and designed a larger bass head. This way I am able to build 4, 5 and 6 string basses and fit on all the tuners.
I am now gearing up to make a new batch of guitars and they will be hot.
Here is my next guitar being built now. Body: top - Canary wood, back - Basswood, Neck: Maple with a 26" scale Ebony fingerboard.
I just got a new digital camera. For the technically minded, its a Canon G2. They say its the best consumer camera on the market. I should be able to take sharper and better pics of my guitars in the future. I have to learn how to use it first. I wish it was as easy as building a guitar.
Oct. 8, 2001
I am working on my next guitar, a D1 made from a body blank that I already had glued and laminated and a neck that was already half made. I am waiting to finally receive my tremolo routing templates that I have been waiting forever to receive. This is what happens when you have to rely on someone else's work. Many have you asked when will a Z2 Tremolo guitar be ready. I am dying o make one myself as soon as I receive these templates.
Dummy ZachAttack pickups are also being made to serve as molds. I tweaked the pole piece spread so now it will perfectly match the string spacing of my guitars at moth pickup locations. There will be two different molds made for the ZachAttacks, one for the bridge and one fro the neck locations. In the meantime I still have a supply of DiMarzios I can use.
By the way, I can't put my latest guitar down (280901). I really nailed this one. If you want the ultimate guitar, you will not be disappointed.
I am not usually preoccupied with anal things as the tone difference between various woods. By accident I did strum two of my guitars side by side in my shop. Both guitars lay side by side on a table. The Canary when compared to an all Mahogany guitar sounds much more pure and defined with less overtones. The Mahogany sounds darker and less defined with a more muffled sound. Neither one of these is better or worse, they are just different. Its interesting what difference various woods make. I like the sound of the Canary better but Bob Migliardi (Fat Weasels) liked the darker tone of the Mahogany.
Nov. 9, 2001
With talent on loan from God or at least Rush Limbaugh, I finished building my first Z2 tremolo guitar. I have been playing it every night and the thing is hot. Perfect tuning and its a real firebreather. Its a trick guitar. I find it very hard to play any real tunes on it. I am constantly tempted to shred and tap and do dive bombs. The finish is mesmerizing. It kind of looks like a candy apple. I want to take a bite out of it. That would be a neat trick. Taking bites out of your guitar as you play it on stage. Well check out my latest creation and in a few days I will have some more text on that page.
Someone had the bright idea that I should sell my guitars through music stores. Do you think they would have anything to do with me? Its a scary thought seeing my guitars on display at a music store being fondled by every Tom, Dick and Harry. Kind of like seeing your daughter as a prostitute on a street corner. Do these guitars belong in music stores? What the hell, I may try it for a laugh. Guitar gurus will probably tell me they are unmarketable. What do you think?
Dec. 20, 2001
Well, the annual bull shit extravaganza called the NAMM show is coming up again and I will be there for only 2 days (as much as I can handle), not exhibiting anything but just walking around taking care of mostly non guitar related business. I will for sure stop by the RSP both to drool over those gorgeous works robot technology. I will be literally drooling over them, if you can visualize it.
The highlight of this otherwise stupid event and even better then the few remaining silicone breast implanted babes, will be a performance by Bobby Simcox playing his Zachary Guitar. I am really looking forward to meeting Bobby and seeing him play a guitar I made 260501 with my own two hands.
I encourage anyone in the area to come and see Bobby and his Baby. He will be playing Friday, January 18 at 10:00 PM at a place called Club Bravo just a few blocks away from the convention center.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Jan. 11, 2002
Well I finally have my ZachAttack pickup masters, all ready for Kent Armstrong to actually make these custom handmade pickups. I have several really cool guitars on order including a bass that is long overdue. After this bass I actually plan to also call myself a bass guitar maker. I will be picking up some bass bridges at NAMM and watching Bobby Simcox burn on the fingerboard.
I know what you are thinking. The Devil and his followers will be out in full force at NAMM. That is true, but I am strong enough to keep my distance. Condom covered figured wallpaper guitars will be everywhere, as artificial as silicone breast implants. Its like walking into a Guitar Center the size of 5 airplane hangars. Looking at things you have seen a thousand times before. Sort of like watching a porn movie for the 87th time. No turn on what so ever.
All right, off to California I go. I hope I make it. If I don't, I will be making my next guitar for Jimi Hendrix. Can you just see him playing a Z2 with tremolo? He would be amazed how his guitar stays in tune for the first time unlike his Strats.
Jan. 28, 2002 My trip to California
Well I survived NAMM because I only stayed there for two days. The attendance seemed really down. Usually, the first morning there is huge crowd in the lobby and outside the convention center. This year there was no crowd. There was nothing exciting to mention. Not even girls, except for the three at the Dean booth bored out of their minds with ugly guys sitting beside them having their pictures taken. How degrading for any woman to go through that shit eight hours a day for four days. I didn't really look at many guitar manufacturers but there was nothing to see. Just the same generic plastic covered crap. The game still seems to be, whoever can coat their guitars with thicker plastic wins and guitar Player Magazine will drool over it and tell you it has great tone. Tone my butt. There was one fancy booth which will remain nameless that had about fifteen identical plastic guitars displayed in a row, all the same ugly blue aqua color and the grossest quilted wallpaper tops you have ever seen.
I did stop by the Fodera both and talked with Fodera's partner, good guy and he said he heard of me. He told me they still cut the bodies out with a band saw and round the edges with a spindle sander. Can you believe it, another guitar builder? We are an endangered species, especially at NAMM. You can just tell the difference by looking at their basses. They start at close to $4000. It sounds like at Fodera they actually make $10 an hour, I am only at $3 myself. Maybe I should raise my prices. No, I want every player to play my guitars from rich baby boomers to poor musicians.
Speaking of poor bad-ass guitar players. It was a pleasure to see Bobby Simcox play live at a clubs near NAMM. Bobby's playing is mind-boggling He plays super fast, clean and you can tell that the guy is an absolute natural. He is truly a world class player. Bobby is the wild man of the Con-Panna band, an instrumental Latin fusion band out of SF. What really struck me is how good Bobby looked with his Z2. Click here for the pics of Bobby I took at the show. His Z2 guitar suits his body, playing, and personality perfectly. He looked great with it. He played the entire show with his Walnut Z2 Baby without ever tuning. What really struck me is how original Bobby looked instead of looking like so many Kenny Wayne Shepherd clones, all those guys are clones of a clone. That makes them third or fourth generation clones. Bobby is an original. Guitar Player Magazine seems to have run out of good players to put on their cover. Its not like it used to be in the seventies or eighties. They seem so desperate that they alternate between Hendrix and Britney Spears' mom with a guitar strapped on her. No offense to Britney's mom she probably plays guitar as well as Britney can sing but I would like to see some real players like Bobby mentioned. What a shame because this guy can really play. He belongs on the cover of any guitar magazine and I belong inside a magazine with Britney spears.
I also visited another Zachary Guitar player, Rich in San Jose. Rich is one of my first customers and a great supporter. I won't forget this easily when its time for him to order his second Zachary Guitar. This time make it a tremolo model Rich. I was amazed to see that two years later his Z1 Korina guitar has remained exactly like the day I built it. Nothing moved on this guitar. The action and neck relief was perfect. I was very pleased.
We drove from LA to San Francisco spending the nights in motels and even slept in the car in a sitting position at a grocery store parking lot in Santa Barbara. I could barely move in the morning my body hurt so much but there were no vacancies in any hotels and I saved a few bucks. Needless to say I was not well rested. I then took a detour to Lake Tahoe and encountered some real Canadian weather but the scenery was magnificent. I drove very slow not wanting to drive off the cliff, I want to build a few more guitars yet. Spent a few days in San Francisco and saw a guy with a sign "Homeless my ass, I just want to get high". What a huge city and so expensive. After two weeks of living there I would be walking around with a sign myself.
Lake Tahoe, CA
I even went to some music stores. This is not something I do any more, I really feel out of place in a music store. I fond out that MARS is closing 11 stores, what a shame. Guitar Center had the same morons working there who themselves even wondered what they were doing there. Its either flipping burgers or working at GC. I thought I stopped a guy from buying a $2700 Gibson Les Paul that was made to look old. You can guess, I am not the most popular guy at music stores.
All in all this was a great trip.
I came back inspired with some new ideas for the future. I found a manufacturer of a nice modern yet traditional Tele bridge that I would like to use to build a new Zacharized Tele guitar. I also would like to introduce a Zacharized Les Paul Junior body style. I purchased some 4, 5 and 6 string bass bridges form my German hardware maker to use on my future basses. I located some vintage-style, open-gear tuners that are very light. I also ran into a wood supplier out of WA that specializes in Spalted Maple. They had a very pretty girl helping them out who told me she didn't get turned on by any kind of wood but I would have married her in a flash anyway, she was very cute and I told her that. Much better than Britney because she was all natural, imperfections are a turn on for me because I am into natural things as you know.
I would like to make some more hollowbody Z1 guitars and an 8 string Z2 would be really cool. So much to do and so little time. With your support maybe these things can happen. There is no guitar like a Zachary guitar. I checked out the competition and it inspiers me to keep doing what I am doing.
Feb. 11, 2002
Well, I am happy about how 090202 had turned out. It was made for my good friend Rod in Mexico. He already owns a Zachary guitar 050599 and this will be his second one. Rod was one of my first customers. I don't go to much for quilted maple because its really been overdone by everyone. Its a nice piece of wood however and as long as its a naturally blemished piece and not one that looks artificially perfect like wall paper, I am OK with it.
As I was contemplating the reason behind Zachary guitars, I came to the realization that most of what I have done is to fix design problems found on commercially available guitars. These are details some minor and some quite major that I had a hard time living with and they were a constant source of frustration for me. I just never believed in giving the consumers what they want even if its flawed. Do consumers really want what they buy or is it possible that they are not given a choice so they settle with what is available?
An example of this is something that has bugged me for a long time, the polepiece height on vintage style Strat pickups. Leo Fender had perfectly designed these pickups for a wound third string, which is what they used in the 50s. The pole piece stagger on an original Strat pickup is correct for a string set that contains a wound third. The polepiece, which is the actual magnet on a Strat pickup is the highest in the third position since a wound third has a very thin steel core and less magnetic pull. We no longer use a wound third strings and consequently all vintage Strat pickups are inappropriate for modern strings with the plain 3rd. This results in an overly loud third string since a plain third is very thick and magnetic. Consequently the polepiece on a Strat pickup when using a plain third string should be very low ore even eliminated instead of being the highest on the pickup. You think that pickup companies would change it? NO, they reason that this is what people who don't have this basic understanding buy, so that is what they make. Who in their right mind would want to buy these Strat pickups with the wrong stagger? Well they have no choice. The pickup companies would tell you to take a hike saying that this is what people want to buy, wrong or not. What comes first the chicken or the egg?
Do consumers demand a flawed product or are they forced to buy a flawed product.
Well the moral of the story is that I don't care if anyone buys my stuff or not, I will make it right. It may be a small details that some people don't care about but it bothers me to know that someone is playing a big fat plain G string under an overly extended magnet. Yes I am talking about you KWS. I can hear how your G string is so much louder than all your other strings. Now you know why.
On an inspirational note, Steve in Columbus OH who owns the Canary guitar 280901 has just sent me the money for three more guitars that he is buying at all at the same time. What a great deal. Three handcrafted guitars for just a little more than a new Les Paul or Fender that is made to look old. He of course has received the 25% dealer discount. One of the guitars he is buying is the "Horror Show" guitar, which I kind of made my own personal guitar and will be sorry to see it go. Another one is the Walnut Tremolo guitar that I used in playing on my cheesy home video. Its a real kamikaze guitar that loves to perform dive bombs all day long. What fabulous guitars but I can't keep them all. I wish I had as many women as I have guitars. Or maybe not, guitars don't nag and call me selfish and insensitive.
March 3, 02
As you know I am going to be making another Demo Video. Bobby Simcox and his Baby will be one of the stars this time. I am also working on getting some other Zachary players to contribute. So if you can put two chords together you are welcome to send me a tape in MINI DV format. Just contact me for the details.
Bobby Simcox also needs another Zachary guitar. He needs to also have a tremolo model Z2 along with his fixed bridge Baby.
Here is his only requirement:
"Hell, If She breathes GODZILLA FIRE, She's Perfect!"
Now that's what I want to hear. It just happens that I specialize in making guitars that breathe GODZILLA FIRE. So it will not be a problem at all. One Godzilla Firebreathing Z2 tremolo guitar coming up. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I know exactly what Bobby's next guitar will be like but I will keep it a secret until it appears on this site. So check back in about a month.
Bobby did some recording and this is what he says: "Oh, Baby sounded AWESOME on the recording". No wonder, she is nothing short of a horny dark skinned exotic lady in the heat of passion. Don't hold back Bobby, give her all you got to give.
I am currently busy making a couple of orders. I will be sending 3 guitars to Steve in Columbus Ohio who already owns the Canary guitar and just bought 3 more guitars to display for sale at his new art gallery that he just opened with his wife who is an artist. So if you live in Ohio or anywhere close, make sure you visit this new establishment and you can play my guitars and even buy them from Steve if he is willing to part with them. I like this arrangement. My guitars belong in an art gallery, not so much because I consider them as fine art but just to keep them away form that god-awful plastic artificial crap and those obnoxious guitar store blowboys as well as the moronic guitar consumers which makes up about 90% of everyone who owns a guitar. If you are one of these people, leave immediately, you belong at Guitar Center not on this site. This site is for the other 10%.
1421 West 3rd Ave
Columbus, OH 43212.
March 16, 2002
Check out the new guitar 130302. Its my dream guitar and now I have to send it away but its going to a good home. I am depressed, such a great guitar and Guitar Player Magazine did not call to have it included in their "Dream Machines" special issue. I thought those nice folks were on a mission of bringing you any news that has to do with guitars. I thought they would look for any opportunity to spread the word about the uniqueness of Zachary guitars. I guess not. Could it be that Zachary guitars are not good enough. Oh well, I will just have to try harder next time.
I am waiting every day for Carlos Santana to call and offer to buy my business as a secret owner. He will move in the CNC luthiers and just keep me as a sales rep. You will then see Zachary guitars 90% covered with Godzilla inlays and sprayed over with thick car paint. Carlos will charge at least twenty five thousand dollars for one of these sea shell beauties. Guitar Center will order them by the thousands and Pop Stars everywhere will be endorsing them. This is when there will be a Zachary guitar in every successful baby boomer's home. Now that's what guitar building is all about but I can only dream. If anyone knows Carlos Santana personally, put in a good word for me, will you.
I bought three thousand dollars worth of heavy machinery. A big thickness planer that needed three guys and one woman to lift out of the van. A second band saw, just for cutting out bodies. I will use my other one for straight line re-sawing wood for tops. A large jointer, to get those joints even to be glued together nice and level and finally a dust collector. No longer will I use my lungs for dust collecting. I am now set up as a little one man factory.
You guessed it, I need a lot of powertools to make handcrafted guitars. As funny as it sounds, its not really true. The powertools are just for the rough machining of wood and these powertools are useless without the guidance of the hand. One wrong move and I either cut of the horn of a Z2 or I cut of my finger. Everything is hand guided. It is very different from the world of the CNC guitar builder of which we have too many these days. There are thousands of these CNC guitar builders in Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, India, China, Japan and quite a few in the USA, some of whom are highly respected in the guitar playing community. They are everywhere. Do you want to see their work? Actually, just open up any issue of Guitar Player Magazine and you will see it in all its glossy splendor. There is also a good chance that the guitar you are playing now is an example of their talent. For some reason they have no trouble even getting on the front cover of the annual Guitar Player Buyer's Guide. Like I said, I have to try harder.
Until next time.
March 21, 2002
Here is an email I just received.
I agree with your concept of not covering up guitars with paint, lacquer etc. I try to tell people that you have to hear the wood not the pile of lacquer that gibson uses. You may as well mold a guitar out of plastic, which has been done, as to use all the glue and lacquer as gibson and others use. I do use some light lacquer to keep the wood from getting too dirty but I have ordered wenge wood, zebra wood, etc. for my newest projects that will not use any lacquer or paint. As for declaring your guitars are the best in the world... that may be because mine are the best in the universe. Only kidding. I can appreciate your belief in your abilities but I have built enough guitars to know that you can be the best in skills and the wood has to decide whether it will warp or not after all your efforts. Wood can have a mind of it's own. It is shocking to see one of your designs is hauntingly similar to one I came up with. Your have good taste. I am Sherm at Lectrahors guitars of which are home built in my apartment. I don't even have a shop to spray them with lacquer or paint. I am glad that I came to a realization that I am finally free from feeling the necessity to cover the wood with toxic chemicals that hinder their voice. I can't wait to start my first naked guitar with new exotic wood that can be left that way. I am waiting on the wood now. I love your website and agree totally with your concepts of how to build a guitar. John Lennon had an old Epiphone he recorded with that he stripped and lightly lacquered that Epiphone recently reissued. That is where my concept has been for quite a while but now I am going totally finish free on my latest designs. Thank you for the inspiration. Sincerely, Sherm at Lectrahors Guitars (My apartment actually)
Hi and thanks for the email. I am happy you understand my feeling about guitar building. Actually Gibson is not the biggest sinner in the plastic finishing world. Gibson still uses lacquer on most of their stuff. Vintage type lacquer is still the best of the spray finishes. Its thin and hard. This is why it always cracks. Its the new Fender rip-off guitar building heroes and my personal hero who shall remain nameless who manufacturers plastic objects that only an 8 year old boy would find cool or a baby boomer with the mind of an eight year old. Of which there are thousands unfortunately. Walk into any music store in the world on a Saturday morning and you will see them there.
These are the ones who actually use the car paint. When I say car paint its no exaggeration, its the latest technology in plastic car paint, about twelve coats of the stuff. I once dropped the sharp edge of a tuning fork really hard on one of these guitars and if it was a Gibson or a vintage Fender that would have been it for the finish. I looked down and there was absolutely no damage other than a small white dot where the finish changed color form the impact. I had to look twice because I could not believe my eyes. They are sure durable, that paint has industrial strength.
If this is how they want to make their stuff, that is fine but just don't talk about tone, because there isn't any. They better have a good amp or they are in trouble. The way to tell good tone on an electric is plug it into a clean amp with just a little reverb and play a chord and let it ring. On my guitars the sound jumps out, on the plastic ones the sound is muffled and is kept in by the condom. Tone is nothing more than sound. Do you get a lot of sound or not much sound from your guitar when playing it clean? Strum it unplugged and see what it sounds like acoustically.
I may sound pompous when I say I make the best guitars in the world but its not hard, just take that crap off the wood for starters. All that garbage is there for either marketing or to hide flaws in the wood. I celebrate flaws in wood. Most of my guitars have flaws in the wood. The thick glossy paint and inlays are there to appeal to the juvenile minds of immature baby boomers. Over $30 fucking thousand dollars for one of these, I don't even know what to call them. Give me a break. With this type of non-competition you can build the best guitar too when compared to what these marketing geniuses produce. You know the devil is at work when you see this type of atrocity.
Here is what Bobby Simcox has to say. "Ya, I saw that thing and Man, what a waste of $$$$$$! I pity the poor rich bastard who buys it! Only in America, eh?
Keep up the good work and keep building the best guitars in the Universe. We'll beat their ass yet.
March 30, 2002
Well nothing is new, except for what my spiritual advisor Bob Migliardi told me. He says that I tend to offend people on this website and its not right. Well, maybe I do, just a bit, but its to get a message across and make people think. Since I have nothing new to say I thought I would include a picture of my sexy wife Susan. When I am not building guitars I just sit back and watch her do housework. Here is a treat for you. Enjoy.
April 7, 2002
Well I am pleasantly surprised. I thought I was the only brilliant one around but recently I received some truly brilliant emails. I am very impressed. I have faith in the world again. I thought we were doomed. Here they are:
Hi Zach, Your designs are wonderful! I never played one of your guitars but they look like they begged to be played. I'm glad someone finally had the guts to step out from the norm and make a guitar to FEEL and PLAY right and not to dazzle teenaged boys into blowing their parents money on a flashy piece of hyped crap. I really like the wine red finish on your Z1 model no. 160699. Again, congrats on the wonderful, inovative guitars and I hope there will be a Z1 in my future soon. Many thanks, Doug
I am so excited, Bobby Simcox will order another guitar. I always knew he was brilliant and I really like his way with words.
I want that Monster to sound as AWESOME as possible!!! Do whatever You need to do. Longer scale, shorter scale, larger frets, smaller frets, smaller radius, longer radius, ZachAttacks or DiMarzios, Bro, it don't matter to Me! I want this Baby to be the BEST You've ever made!!! I Want You to be the PROUDEST DADDY alive!!! I'm gonna call Her MAGGIE!!!! That's Female and Short for ARMAGEDDON!!! She's gonna be My ARMAGEDDON AXE!!!! I want guitar players 'round the world to See and Hear Her, and SHIT their pants, QUAKE in FEAR, and LOVE every DAMN FUCKING Minute of it!!! In other words, just do whatcha usually do! Sometimes the only way to deprogram the ignorant masses is a Swift Hard Kick in the Nuts! Hopefully We can accomplish this. Bobby
Just fell on your site. i dig your work, and (gasp!) attitude... looks good and respect what you're saying. Why build another Fender? Fender already did that. Here's to the day craftsmanship returns!
One thing i did learn quick tho - which is what made me pick you out from all the other "luthiers" with slick websites and snazzy designs - is not to fill in the wood's pores with plastic and crap. Doesn't matter if you have 20 lams of exotic wood if it's been entombed in plexiglass... My first bass had 8 million coats of laquer on it, my second had only a tung oil finish. Tim
Well I'm impressed, there are some brilliant people out there. If you are also this brilliant then send me an email. Just for that here is another pic of Susan sitting on the porch. She lost a lot of weight, she used to be 300 lb.
April 18, 02
Take a look at the bass I just finished 150402. I feel like I have achieved something. Its a new step forward. I am excited about basses actually. I can't wait to build a fretless, a 5 string and a 6 string. Being a guitar player, a 6 string will be interesting for me to play.
I was outside today taking pictures of the bass and I just couldn't resist taking a picture of my Suzy. It was such a nice day. People tell me this site is different from all other guitar sites. You bet!
If you're not a horny bastard, you shouldn't be playing a guitar or bass for that matter.
May 24, 02
I haven't had time to rant lately. I have been busy but not as productive as I would have liked. I am happy about some major advances in tooling and techniques that I have adopted. Zachary guitars will be produced faster then ever and more efficiently. I started building two guitars that I have to deliver as soon as I can and since I had everything all set up to do bodies, I ran off seven bodies. Then when it was time to do the necks I made a batch of seven necks. Considerable time can be saved by doing it this way. Here is a picture of all that work. These bodies and necks are only in their preliminary stage of completion. Much work still remains. There should be some nice guitars that will emerge from this pile of wood. Six Z2s and one Z3 with a flamed maple top. Truly high performance guitars.
I am looking forward to the Bobby Simcox signature model, Woody II, and my first 8 string. ZachAttack pickups will have to be made for the 8 string. I am getting a woody just thinking about it.
I have updated the "Demo Video" page with an important message for everyone. I will also update the "Comments" page in the next few days. Back to work on this pile of wood.
June 6, 2002
Recently I read in a music trade magazine that the guitar market had doubled since the late eighties. This is a huge increase. My question is, who is buying them and what guitars are they buying? If this is true why is there so little guitar playing on the radio. The little you do hear is overproduced and gets lost in the massive mix of digital tracks. We desperately need an Eddy VanHalen again. I find that guitar playing is not nearly as cool as it once was. The 40 and 50 year olds are playing guitar but what about teens. Do teens play guitar? I don't see any. What would they even listen to to get inspired? Are there any current guitar heroes? This gross over production of recordings these days has killed the music. Having an infinite number of guitar tracks on every song takes away from the real thing. Not to mention digital editing, sampling, etc. The video Bobby and I are making will be real. It will be filled with mistakes, imperfections, raw energy and natural brilliance. I will provide the mistakes and imperfections and Bobby will provide the raw energy and natural brilliance. It will be a real opportunity to see and hear real guitar playing. What a treat. You don't find Zachary guitars in music stores and you do not hear real guitar playing on the radio. To dangerous and threatening I think.
I just flipped through the latest issue of Guitar Player Magazine. Happy birthday to the Les Paul guitar by the way. My first electric was a $125 copy of a white Gibson Les Paul Custom and a $25 no-name amplifier. This was 1978.
Oh yes, check out my new guitar 050602 This guitar weighs in at 5.5 lb. A Les Paul weighs in at between 9 and 10 lb. I am not making a value judgment I just think its interesting. I guess pound for pound the Les Paul is twice the guitar for the money.
June 21. 2002
Well here it is finally. The Bobby Simcox signature model 200602 Go ahead and check it out. Unlike a computer, my brain advances with each guitar. I find new, more efficient and more clever ways of doing things. This guitar is a good example of this progress. I want to get to the point where I can build these guitars intuitively almost without effort. This process is dynamic and alive, unlike a lifeless computerized machines which makes lifeless guitars. I am having lots of fun with Maggie and the tremolo is a real neat toy because it really works, instead of an object of frustration, like on other guitars. Something new with this guitar is the use of smaller frets at the end of the neck to give more room for the fingers to the 27th fret. I have to give Bobby credit for this idea, although it was done before but never by a large guitar company. Maggie is a serious high performance machine. Not for the timid. And not for goofs looking for a status symbol. That's what a PMS is for. Busywood serves as a comic effect that is a parody of all those distasteful figured tops that adorn otherwise very mediocre guitars. Busywood ridicules that whole juvenile and shallow mentality. If you fit into this crowd, then sorry but I don't speak your language.
July 9, 2002
Someone sent me an email that stated "Finally a guitar maker with brains and balls". I don't know about the brains but I do have balls all right. Entering the guitar market sure takes balls. Bobby Simcox has also come up with something to do with balls. Here is what he said: HEY, Bro, Here's Yer New Slogan: " ZACHARY GUITARS!!! Have You Got The Balls?!!!
Well, now I have a new slogan for my guitars.
HAVE YOU GOT THE BALLS ?!!!
GUITARS WITH BALLS !!!
My spiritual advisor, Bob Migliardi even designed and printed me some cool cards with this slogan on it. Some Zachary guitar owners will be handing these cards out all over the place, so if you happen to get one, you know what its all about. I envision baseball caps and T-shirts with this slogan on it. I like the slogan since it really describes what Zachary Guitars is all about. A no bullshit, high performance guitar with lots of attitude.
Its time for me to go an a holiday to the ocean, so I will be back at the end of July, all rested and ready to build some more cool guitars. Z3s are coming up. Don't forget to enjoy your summer.
July 28, 2002
I am back from the beach and back to building guitars. I can not sit on the beach too long. I get too bored. Relaxation for me is working on a guitar with no one around. This is solitude.
I have just listed a guitar on eBay. I use eBay regularly for advertising. Its the only advertising I do. The main goal is not so much to sell any guitars on eBay, its to introduce my instruments to hundreds of new people that have not heard of Zachary guitars as of yet. At the same time you can get a good deal whenever I list something on eBay. I am definitely not giving away anything but I do discount some of my earlier guitars. The one I have up now is 160699 This is a very sweet guitar. Recently I converted it from the earlier 4-bolt neck joint to my current 5-bolt neck joint. I also set up the guitar very nicely and this thing is plays like a MF. So if you want a good deal on a great guitar then go for it. This is your chance.
I plan to crank out several Z3 guitars since I haven't made those for a while. My guitars are turning out better than ever so if you want a guitar with BALLS, then you better stay away from the music stores, because you will not find any there.
Aug. 16, 2002
I have many bodies and quite a few necks cut out and ready to be made into guitars. This is good, I save time by doing batches of similar tasks at one time. I will be concentrating on just building guitars from these partially finished necks and bodies. I am enjoying playing my latest guitar 130802, which is somewhat of a departure for me. Its a prototype finish I used and will do again in a variety of colors. I am offering this guitar at a great price since its a prototype.
Sept. 6, 2002
Well, do you have the Balls? You will need Balls if you want to play a guitar like my latest one 010902
I am getting ready to make my Zach Assault II video soon. It will be a lot of firebreathing, pyrotechnics and acrobatics, with some slow emotional stuff thrown in. I hope Bobby Simcox can do his part for the video. It may take a while to get this project just right.
I haven't built a Z1 for a while, so I think I will start on one tomorrow. My favorite thing about building guitars the way I do it, is that nothing is really pre-planned. It can't be. Whatever God guides me to make is what I end up with. They call it creativity but its just a higher power being in control. If I am not up to God's expectations, I fuck up. If I am compitant, then my work turns out brilliant and I am surprised the most. It makes me realize that we can not take credit for any success we achieve. Success is just a gift from the Lord. If you got what it takes, you will handle what he throws at you. If you are not ready for it or if you don't want it bad enough, you will get nowhere. I say this not to sound religious. Its just a realization of how little control we have in life. None. I realize this from guitar building. One minute I can make something wonderful and the next minute I can loose all my fingers in on of the machines. I am in his hands. He will do whatever he wishes. So just be grateful you are alive. Many are not so lucky. Life is a gift not a privilege. It can be taken away in a flash. On the aniversarry of 9/11.
Oct. 5, 2002
I hope you have a high speed Internet connection because there are a lot of pictures of the new guitar 031002.
I get a many emails from other guitar builders, aspiring guitar builders and hobbyist. Let me tell you something you will find interesting.
In the last few weeks I had called about 10 so called "guitar specialty shops". These stores range from being almost pawn shops to quite larger and well known stores that do several million dollars worth of sales each year. I have always approached the idea of having dealers with much trepidation for several reasons. I don't really think its workable for someone like myself. I make one, maybe two guitars a month so I don't have the numbers to stock any dealers. Prices would have to be reduced to sell at wholesale and this would pay me the wage of a Mexican worker (which would be fine if I lived in Mexico). Most importantly, a dealer would not be able to promote or represent my guitars with any skill and dedication. Any new or lesser known product must be promoted skillfully and with passion. Dealers, as far as I can see, are set up for the mass-produced instruments, which they can order by stock number and will get an identical product each time. The product is pre-sold by the advertising the manufacturer does, so all the dealer has to do is to hang the guitars up in a row and put a price tag on them, endorsers and magazines will do the selling.. This system works out just fine for music stores since it is very rare that you will find a person working at a music store who has any skills at salesmanship or mental maturity above the level of a 14 year old. Most products to be successful these days must be handled by the unskilled at close to minimum wage.
So I called about 10 stores intending to ask them if they would be interested in being dealers for Zachary Guitars. Guitar shop owners of the smaller "pawn shop" style stores are very busy people so it seems. I guess there are a lot of you out there buying guitars and you keep them very busy. The owners of the larger more successful enterprises are even busier, to the extent that they are rarely found in their own stores. They may show up once a week, so these guys can not be reached at all. They usually have a whole army of blowboys and blowgirls, with no decision making power, who run their businesses and make the owners rich and successful. I found that the more successful they are and the larger their store, the more out of touch and disinterested they are with guitars. I guess they are not guitar enthusiasts, they are business owners who owe much of their success to the very fact that they are not guitar enthusiasts. I don't think that a true guitar enthusiast could run a successful retail store. You can't do the things you need to do in a modern, North American style business if you are in love with your products. You could try it to some extent but the other guys would run you down sooner or later. Just look at what Guitar Center did and will do in the future.
Anyway, I did get a hold of some of these guitar shop owners and invited them to check out my website. Most of them really do not have the time and do not really care about some website on the Internet. Some do not even know how to work the Internet. Remember, they are very busy with you guys in their stores. Why would they want to serf the Internet for interesting guitars when they really don't care about guitars.
Of the few that I did manage to convince to check out my website, none of them really looked at it with any depth or interest. They certainly did not indicate any level of excitement about it. Maybe they went to someone else's website by mistake, who knows. Who knows? I would like to think that my work does arouse some kind of an emotional response. Either positive or negative, it does not matter. When I called them back, they said that they were not interested in adding any new lines to their inventory, or that my guitars are too strange to appeal to any of their customers. They did not explain and I did not have the chance to ask them which guitars are the strange ones, the Z1, Z2, Z3, or the D1.
So the common consensus is that there is NO MARKET for Zachary Guitars. Guitar shop owners have decided that you the average guitar enthusiast would have absolutely NO INTEREST in anything I make. Guitar shop owners know exactly what you want. You want either a Gibson, Fender, PRS or their various look-alikes They also know that you would definitely not like anything handcrafted. One of the guitar shop owners thought he would impress me to tell me that he is a very important dealer for Gibson, Fender and that he is the worlds biggest Anderson dealer. Another guitar shop owner told me he is the worlds largest PRS dealer.
So there you have it. Sure it would be nice for you to at least be able to walk into a store in your area and try out a Zachary guitar and to see what all the fuss is about. You never know, you may even like it. You may even like it more than anything in that store. You may even like it better than anything you have ever played but you will not be able to see it at your favorite neighborhood guitar shop. This is just because the smart people who own guitar shops have decided that a Zachary guitar is not for you. Maybe I should print the names an phone numbers of these shops so that you may call them up and ask to see a Zachary guitar. I wonder what their reaction will be.
Until next time.
October 26, 2002
I wet to a music store a few days ago and this does not happen very often because I hate music stores. I had a reason because I am looking for a digital keyboard. Anyway, I took a peak at the guitars hanging. The funny thing is, why even go into more than one music store because the merchandise is all the same. Mostly, I did not get aroused in the least. All the stuff is the same old crap that you have seen thousands of times before at every other music store or guitar shop. The guitar magazines are full of their ads and the stuff is virtually identical from store to store and even from manufacturer to manufacturer. All these mainstream manufacturers have the same philosophy, manufacture guitars the same way and are going after the same consumers. Nothing really stands out as special, innovative, unique or imaginative. The sad thing is that a $300 guitar looks and plays the same as a $2000 guitar. I acknowledge that the general quality of low-end and mid-priced guitars has risen several hundred percent when compared to 20 or 30 years ago. You guessed it, this is due to technology, namely CNC computer programmed milling machines. No longer does anyone have to know anything about guitars or guitar building. They can send the program to any factory in the world and you will end up with the exact same product. The only difference is that the finish sanding and the handling of the parts will be done by either white skinned, yellow skinned or olive skinned workers. What difference does that make? I do agree that there is real need for CNC machines in the low end market. The general quality of these budget guitars is quite good and they are a good value. I have no problem with this. I however do have a problem, so let me explain.
I picked up some of the guitars and played them a bit. All the guitars looked well made at first glance, some even had figured wood and impressive paintjobs. Of course, that's what sells the guitar. I played the cheap ones and I also played some high end Fender, PRS and who knows what else (does it really matter). Here is where the problem and the rip-off lies. Every guitar I played felt the same. They all played and sounded absolutely crap. Now this may not be evident to the average consumer/guitar player but to me it was very blatant since I play Zachary guitars exclusively every day. I could not believe how crappy the stuff felt and sounded. Regardless of the price, it was pure SHIT!
I even picked up a Custom Shop Fender Strat Closet Classic. They artificially made the paint crack nicely. It looked nice, my opinion is that the Stratocaster is still one of the most beautiful guitars made. When I strummed it, the thing sounded like a "pondshop special". It sounded like a toy from Toys R Us. I tried to play a few things on it and I was appalled. How can anyone even play this thing? It physically played terrible and it sounded awful. How can you compare this to a Zachary guitar? The tremolo would go out of tune even if you looked at it. Aside from all the inherent flaws of a Stratocaster, this thing was not inviting in the least. How can this guitar speak to anyone. What kind of an idiot would pay the equivalent of $2000 US for this abomination. I guess it would look nice if you hung it on your wall, but that's about it. Most of the cheapo guitars were better than this thing. Please understand, I really wanted this reissue Stratocaster to be good.
I don't even want to mention the PRS's.
It got me thinking. The reason is this. These high end guitars are all made the exact same way with the same technology and the same CNC machines as the cheap guitars. Of course they will not be any different. Only the hype and the image is different. You poor fools are brainwashed into spending 10 times more for a high end guitar which is made the exact same way, thus feels and sounds the same. Even if you add the cost of fancy wood, it should only cost about $300 more. This is where the unfortunate rip-off is. Would I buy a CNC made guitar for $300. Of course I would. It only makes sense. But why would anyone buy virtually the same guitar for $2000 or $3000 thousand dollars? Carlos Santana is laughing at you and all the way to the bank.
The other reason these guitars felt so bad is because they are designed (programmed) and handled through production by people who do not play guitar. The odd worker may play a little guitar but not to the extent that they would have any real ideas how to create a real players guitars. A real solid tool that also functions as a guitar, not just looks like one.
This is the secret of Zachary Guitars. They are made by hand and they are made by someone who plays and knows guitars intimately, not as a collector, a salesperson, a consumer or an enthusiast but as a demanding player. A commercial product does not have to be functional, it just has to look like the image in someone's head which has been shaped by propaganda. A Zachary guitar must be of substance, the real thing, not an image.
There have been new additions to the site. Check out the new guitar 231002 the "Advertisements" page and the "Better Than Sex" page.
December 6, 02
No I haven't quite building guitars. I am just busy working on a non-guitar related project that that came up and I must do. I will not be able to build any new guitars until sometime in February.
I did run into an unfortunate situation a few weeks ago that I would like to share with you.
A long time observer of this site and one who likes my work had emailed me after reading my disappointment with music store owners and suggested that I look up an acquaintance of his. I was told that Dave of Dave's Guitars in La Crosse WI is a music store owner like no other and really understands guitars and would relate favorably to my work. I was happy and encouraged to hear that there may be a music store owner that is not a Moron, so without hesitation I did call to talk with him. A minimum wage guy answered the phone at Dave's guitars and told me that his boss was out of town on a trip to Philadelphia. I asked if he was attending the annual guitar show there but was told that he was not. "Where did he go", I asked. "He went to the PRS factory on business"
I thought I would loose my breakfast and my dinner form the night before even. I felt like someone had just belted me in the gut with full force. I felt like a suicide bomber must feel when the fuse goes off.
You see, I really had hope for Dave at Dave's Guitars and my hopes were shattered. Dave was supposed to be different.
I was beside myself for days and I could not even function. After several days of trying to come to terms with this tragedy, I just could not help but call Dave. I was just so curious what he was like. I wanted to give him an overdose of the Zachary Philosophy but at the same time I was hoping that there was a perfectly good explanation for what I heard and everything would be all right and Dave and I would be the best of friends and will maybe do business.
I called Dave and he was extremely busy as real music store owners are. This was not a good sign. Remember, my search is for a music store owner who is different. One that does not come form the same mold as the rest of them. After several interruptions while he put me on hold I attempted to explain to Dave the Zachary philosophy He really did not know what to make of me. I swear he did not understand one word I was saying. I must have been talking Greek to him.
Dave being a "guitar expert" had never heard of the things that make a Zachary guitar what it is. Dave sells PRS guitars after all. He also sells other brands that are made according the PRS philosophy. It became apparent that this is what Dave knows and is very good at it. Who was I to tell him all this nonsense about some other way of making guitars, guitars that look, feel and sound different, maybe even better, maybe a lot better. Dave after all sells the BEST guitars. The guitars that everyone wants and pays big bucks for. Dave finally said something to the effect that "obviously most people must not agree with my philosophy because that is why PRS is so successful."
What can I say to that comment. I was speechless and deep inside I agreed with Dave. I knew he was right. The numbers were against me and not by a small margin either. Everyone is right and I am wrong. After all, I am the fool and Dave is the successful guitar store owner who knows where guitars are at and is loved by everyone. I was defeated.
I know when I am licked.........all over.
Sadly, I knew that Dave could never be a dealer for Zachary Guitars. He is too smart for Zachary Guitars, after all he had just returned from the PRS factory and is on his way to becoming the biggest PRS dealer in America. Isn't that the best goal anyone can have?
I then told Dave that if he had a Zachary guitar in his store it would be the best guitar in his store and the best guitar he will ever play. This almost sounded like a joke to Dave. Remember Dave sells PRS and everyone knows that PRS is the best. How can some fool who calls out of the blue make such a ridiculous claim?
Now I must add that Dave is a very polite individual and I am grateful that he even took 10 minutes out of his very busy schedule to listen to my gibberish. Throughout this whole ordeal, Dave just did not get anything I said. Not a thing. We were talking two different languages. We were definitely not on the same level. I knew that all I could do was to at least invite him to check out this website. I knew deep inside that I really didn't want him to be a dealer for my guitars simply because he would not be able to represent them at all. I told him that I sort of was looking for dealers but not really. I felt like hanging up the phone because there was no point to the conversation. Dave would never make a Zachary Dealer. I offered that he take 5 minutes of his very busy schedule and take a look at my site because it may entertain him at the least. I then said that he can email me if he is interested in anything he sees. Yah, right. As if Dave was interested even. Why would he be? He sells PRS among other great guitars.
I never heard from Dave, but why would I? We are on different planets.
I will never know if he even looked at this website or if he even has seen any of my guitars. It will be a mystery. Only Dave knows.
Anyway, my never-ending search is still continuing for a Zachary Guitar dealer. There must be one out there, anywhere, who speaks my language.
In the meantime, I do want to give Dave a plug. If you are ever in the market for a new guitar with a killer top and finish, you should give Dave a call because he has lots of them in stock. Dave sells all the fancy and popular guitars that you see in guitar magazines and the ones that rock stars play. Dave sells the best guitars and he knows it..
If anyone knows of a dealer who is different from Dave, please contact me immediately. You may even get discount on your next purchase of a Zachary guitar. Its now a challenge to find that elusive dealer.
Until next time.
Some have already contacted Dave to ask him where his head is at. If you want to do the same then here is Dave's contact information. Meanwhile I will be working hard to make guitars that will be worthy of being displayed beside Dave's PRS guitars. It will not be easy, but I will try. Either that, or Dave desperately needs an education.
1227 South 3rd Street
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
February 1. 2003
Patrick from Sweden writes: Z2 = an object of SEX
"Dear Alex. I'm a huge fan of your work and, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm going to get me one of them hot guitars as soon as I've saved up the dinero. That Z2 is a must have and I have to admit that I've visited a whole lotta other luthier websites, but no one seems to be in your league as far as the design goes (they're not even close). There's no doubt in my mind that the quality of a Zachary is superior as well, but what the fuck's up with that damn demo video? I wanna see a Z2 being jerked off (by either you or Simcox) so hard that the guys at Gay-Mart ejaculate in their pants. I didn't mean to be impolite. I know that you're busy giving your assistant rectal stimu... vagin... oral... a whole lotta hugs all day as well as taking care of business. By the way, is this just a hobby of yours or do you work full time in your store? The reason I ask is because I haven't seen a new guitar for months on your site. Anyway, I hope you're doing fine both financially and physically. I think you're fuckin' brilliant." Sincerely, Patrick (Sweden)
To answer some of your questions. I have been extremely busy with my move and the purchase of a new house. To my regret, I did not the time to build any new guitars. I am now moved into my new home in a new city, although I am more fucked up than usual with so many things to take care of. I finally took the plunge after wishing for many years to move. I have been involved in a very difficult move 1000 km (600 miles) from where I used to live. It took a whole semitrailer and a second truck to move me and all my tools, wood, inventory, machines, etc. I am now in Windsor ON, Canada. As close to the USA as I can possibly get. My entire market is in the US so its a lot more convenient in every way. I also badly needed a new house and shop. I was very cramped in the old shop and could barely move. I don't know how I could even build guitars under those conditions. I now have a new house and that's cool but I now need to turn it into a shop that I feel at home in. There is much work to be done. I plan to do it very quickly however because I am really itching to get back into building guitars. Its one of these things that I have to do to keep sane. I also have to do it so that I don't forget how to do it. It must build guitars on a regular basis or I get rusty. Its like if you stop playing, you loose your chops.
In my new shop I hope to increase my efficiency and productivity. I have many interesting projects in my head. I have some interesting commissions to build some cool and challenging instruments. I will be posting the information on one of these projects shortly. I think you'll find it interesting.
For now, I am going to be concentrating on building my shop and setting everything up as quickly as possible. I am really pissed off at some of the workmanship I find in my new house. Some of these construction guys are like fucking butchers and barbarians. Most of them should work in destruction not construction. By building guitars, I have become neurotically detail oriented and very exacting. I have to be to compete with CNC machines. I cannot bare to see the workmanship of the construction trade. I deal in millimeters, where being a half a millimeter off is disastrous, so its excruciatingly painful and torturous to witnessing the work of others. Can you imagine if one of these construction guys built your guitar? Thank the DEVIL for CNC machines. No longer must guitar manufacturers be at the mercy of unskilled workers who don't even give a shit and have no pride in their work.
Well I sure do give a shit and I hope to outdo myself as soon as I am back in the saddle again. So I have to put up with a few more construction workers and then I don't want to see another one again. Get ready to be amazed after everything is set up in my new shop.
March 19, 2003
Well here we are at the end of March and I am still not building guitars. I feel like someone has pulled the rug out form under me. Many have written to ask if I quite guitar building. Its been so long since I built a guitar that I am not even sure if I remember how to do it. I had to build a new shop under impossible conditions. I am gaining some ground but there is still much to do. Everything just piled up all at the same time.
On a happier note. Bobby Simcox visited me in Windsor. We had a great time. We really kicked ass on my guitars. Bobby is a great player, as you may have guessed and had we filmed or recorded our little get together, everyone would have been blown away. Bobby also bought another guitar, my Z1 Busywood, which I will be shipping him soon but will take better pictures of it first. Bobby is really the ultimate Zachary customer. He is a great player, knows guitars, believes in Jesus, and a super honest guy and generally a great human being. He plays his Zachary guitars to their fullest, knows how to use them, gets great use out of them and loves Zachary guitars. I did have thoughts and doubts about the purpose of what I do. If every guitar consumer was like Bobby I would never have to ask that question.
One thing I am proud of is that everyone pays for a Zachary guitar. I do not do endorsements to fool your impressionable minds into believing that some jackass third-rate pro player plays my guitars so they must be great. I hope you do realize that all that is bull shit and a fraud. All companies do it but SRP again is the most disgraceful, paying off anyone who has some kind of a name to play their brand. If you ever wonder why everyone and their dog Rover plays a particular brand, just remember that this is how pro musicians make a large chunk of their income and its all done to fool you the consumer. Kick yourself right now if you were stupid enough to fall for this scam. I don't pay anyone to play a Zachary guitar you can be sure of that. I don't think I would get any satisfaction knowing that I have to pay someone to play my guitars. Its like going to a prostitute, it sort of leaves you emotionally empty inside.
Bobby told me that when he attended this year's NAMM show he picked up other guitars and they felt "disgusting". Well I have always felt the same way about most other guitars. It is definitely true that playing a Zachary is like having "condomless" intercourse compared to other guitars.
So many people are contacting me wanting a free Zachary guitar for every reason under the sun that I finally set up some conditions on how you can get a free guitar. So don't ask unless you meet these conditions first. I set up a page just for you free guitar seekers. Free Guitar Giveaway
When will there be new Zachary guitars??? Just hang in there, when God is ready he will let me know.
April 23, 2003
Well, I am happy because I can still build guitars. Here is the first guitar from my new shop and the first guitar from the year 2003. After 6 moths. WoW, has it been 6 months? That's a hell of along time not to build a guitar. I was a bit rusty but I did it. Check out the new guitar 190403
Coming up will be the ANA project (details will come soon). There is a special someone, somewhere, who has no knowledge that a guitar will be built in her spirit and honor. Symbolically this guitar will represent a her body and soul. I am giving away too much already.
Its late and I don't have the strength to bitch and complain about the world. Next time for sure, I promise.
May 8, 2003
I am now working on the special ANA guitar project. Take a look why this is such a difficult challenge. I usually don't do this sort of thing because I don't build custom guitars, however the "Moose" made an impression on me. I have a real weakness when it comes to pretty women. I think they are a gift from God just like Zachary guitars. Playing a Zachary guitar is very much like making love to one of these women.
On another topic, I received this interesting email a few days ago. Make of it what you will.
Is he right? Could I be absolutely full of shit? Have I been totally wrong all along? My guitars are certainly not for everyone.
For some strange reason Zachary guitars offends a lot of people and polarized the world. One thing for sure, these guitars arouse strong emotions of love and hate. This was my goal all along. I certainly don't want to build just another guitar. I want to get into your mind and soul (if you have one) and want to make you think and feel in ways you have never done before. Strong emotion is what I am after, something you will no longer get by going to a music store.
"God, are you a dope! I have never heard more bull-oney in my life than in your page where you claim to have the best guitars in the world. Pa-leese! You obviously have no real experience (or none that is valuable) in guitar lutherie. I saw that joke of a guitar with the AAAA topped "Knotty Pine" body. Knotty Pine? You MUST be kidding. How on earth did you get the idea that a pine guitar, and one with knots, no less would make a good instrument?
Hey Zach, NOBODY makes a guitar out of PINE! Know why? PINE has no business (tone-wise) being on a guitar. And how many pieces in that body, 15 or 20? I thought Ed Roman was an idiot, but you have topped him by a long shot.
Good luck dummy! " Hemleben, Scott (IndSys, GEFanuc, VMIC) Scott.Hemleben@gefanuc.com
May 31, 1003
I am as "dumb as a stump".
Well the hatemail is coming in like wildfire. I am loved and hated at the same time and nothing in between, all over the world . I have been called the worst names imaginable but never "dumb", so I asked curt to explain what exactly is it that I do that is dumb so that I may imporve in those areas. What is it that I do that has people so upset. I don't even harbour any weapos of mass destruction. Here is Curt's message:
I've spent a few minutes looking over your site. It only took me a few minutes to be convinced that you're a mental case. Truthfully, my advice to you is to take any profits that you're making from your guitars and consider spending them on therapy. Please, I'm not saying that because I dislike or like your guitars. I have no opinion on them at actually. I do however think that you're an idiot. Tonight, the sales department and customers at the music store want to thank you. We pulled up your web site to show the customers in the store. It was unanimous......you're dumb as a stump. Curt firstname.lastname@example.org
I am busy working on Ana 2. I decided to make "Three Down" Dave as happy as I can since him and his brother Craig "the Moose" have made me their honorary brother. Dave will now be able to chose from two different versions of my depiction of Ana.
June 16, 03
I was at the Ford 100 Year Anniversary exhibition all weekend. The simplicity of that Model T has always been a source of fascination for me. Henry Ford once said something about how important it is to save a step and how simplicity was the goal. I don't have that exact quote but it left a lasting impression on me a few years ago. Zachary guitars are based on this principle. Simplicity is the key. Nothing more than you need. Clean, straightforward, honest design which really works. A guitar that really works is not easy to find. A guitar designed and made by a guitar player is not easy to find. I like high performance playing and this is what I expect from a Zachary guitar, its what its made to do.
The two Ana guitars are finished. Take a look 240503 and 120603. They are two different guitars. One is a heavier guitar made of heavy and hard wood, hard maple neck, and its a bolt on. The other one is the opposite, made of very soft and light woods, with a softer and lighter mahogany neck and its a glued in neck. They both have the same scale.
I wonder which one Dave will choose?
July 24, 2003
In case you are thinking that I am a slouch, you are wrong. I have been doing a lot of work, including one new completed guitar. I however can not post it yet because my customer after paying a generous deposit is waiting to get the money for the balance. He wants the guitar to be a surprise so I will not post it until he takes delivery of it.
Recently I received this amazing review. I like it so much not because its glowingly positive, which is nice but is not what I am really after, but because its dead accurate and full of substance. Its nice to see that someone really understands what I am doing. Ludwik has dissected my work, analyzed it and identified everything about it in a detailed and accurate way. Some people would be unable to see and recognize the things he sees. Most people will see the superficial things and stop at that. The depth of his analysis points to his experience and understanding of guitars. One does not necessarily have to be a great guitar player to have a real good understanding of guitars and what they should be. What amazes me is that he totally gets what I am doing. Some people just don't comprehend it and actually become hostile and offended. This I think is mostly due to a lack of experience and sometimes lack of intelligence. The same way that I don't comprehend too much about sewing machines, I don't even know what to look for in a sewing machine. I believe most guitar players are on the same level about guitars as I am regarding sewing machines. Unfortunately this guides their purchasing decisions and gives an advantage to some guitar companies which can and choose to speak their language. Ludwik has an understanding of my work as much as I do, even more so in some ways. Its almost frightening in fact. I only remembered later after reading his review that he is a scientist. That explains his insight and understanding. Reviews
August 4, 2003
Can you believe its August already? I just returned from summer vacation. I went to the Ocean but it was too cold and rainy this year, so I packed up the tent and headed for NYC. The intensity of that city always excites me. I always try to make every vacation productive so I stopped by Ken Smith Basses in PA. What do you know? Hand made instruments for a change. I bought some very good body wood from Ken, which he did not want. I got some soft, slightly figured maple with some blemishes (I love blemishes) and a new wood called Avodire, which I have never heard of before. This stuff is even wider than I need to make single-piece bodies from. I bought enough wood to make about 25 bodies from. Ken was kind enough to spend his time with me without an appointment and he cut the wood for me himself. I toured quite a few guitar factories but never learned a thing because they were mass-producers using CNC machines. The Devil was at work. When Martin uses CNC to make necks, you know the world is in big trouble and the end is near. Anyway, at the Smith shop I could learn something from every single operation. I found it fascinating. Its the same feeling I get every time I enter a place of erotic pleasures. I am fascinated by it and get turned on by it. Seeing instruments hand built is very sensual. They build instruments very much the way I do but in less cramped and in a much better equipped atmosphere. With your support maybe I can get to that point some day.
I am now building a guitar for someone who writes:
"I'm still in shock that a beautiful handmade guitar with an ebony board can be mine for $1500. You obviously want people who actually play to own your guitars. I know no one who plays professionally who has $3000 to spend on a guitar."
I sure like it when people get what I am doing. That is really satisfying. You got to be smart to figure out what I am doing but some can do it and those are my customers. There are some disturbing things that go on in the guitar business. You can be sure to never see a Dragon Zachary for $25000. I think that's disrespectful toward anyone who actually plays guitar and it really makes a statement about the producer. Ouch, there is even an Internet forum worshiping this.
I always live in this state of confusion. I get mixed messages all the time. Am I on the right track or am I totally fucked and in trouble with God? I am never sure. Take these two emails I received on the same day no less. Now who should I believe?
i am not offended by your site, as we all fall short of the glory, but don't you think you're sending out a bad message by having scantily clad women all over your website and swearing like a sailor? you claim to be a devout christian and you seem pretty radical about it (what with calling machines satan's work, a luddite are we?), but it just seems a bit weird with the content of your website. i myself am a lutheran, son of a preacher man, but i just cant see myself agreeing with your philosophies. theres a lot to be said for making a statement (especially for God) and theres a lot to be said for making quality guitars, but it just seems like you don't really know what you're saying or doing. Your theology strikes me as a bit strange. pray about it and i'll pray for you too.-tim
Alex, Your web site is a God send! I've been playing guitar for over 30 years and agree with your philosophy to guitar building 100%. I've been fortunate enough to have played some old classics, (60's V, 56 Strat,) not mine of course, but I did own a 67 Strat at one time. I have been looking into purchasing a new instrument, but have been so disappointed by the quality and price of brand names that I've virtually given up. $ 2 - $3,000 pieces of toneless, lifeless and shoddy hunks of crap, IMHO. After stumbling across reviews in Harmony Central, I decided to check out your site. Finding your site just reinforces my belief in a loving and benevolent Creator. Tracy
Strangely the first message is full of spelling errors and the second one is perfectly written.
So what do you think? Why do Zachary guitars get people so upset and raise so much emotion? At least half of the world hates me and the other half loves me. Where do you fit in?
August 7, 2003
Someone told me that this site is very exhibitionist. It was stated that its like I am dropping my drawers. I thought it was so accurate. Well, I just could not hold out any longer, I had to expose myself once again. I feel the need to do this about every two weeks.
The economy may be bad and SteVan could not pay me in full yet, but he did give me a large deposit. I was going to hold out and surprise him but I just did not have the strength to wait any longer. This surprise thing is interesting. Its like a lovely lady coming to your door and she will be all yours to fulfill your wildest dreams. I am not really a guitar builder, I am vicariously creating women to satisfy my sexual pleasures. So here she is 010703. I envision her as a blond with a slim and tall body (26" scale), firm breasts, long legs and shaved in all the right places. She has high heels and is wearing lingerie, may even have a foreign accent. I had her done for over a month and it was torture not to show her in all her sensual glory. Enjoy, its better than pornography.
I am off to create another beauty.
September 21, 03
I am have been busy making new guitars and basses. I hope you checked out the latest pics. Also check out the new Video Files page. I am now finally putting up video files of Zachary guitars in action. I hope to put up lots more videos in the near future. Check it out! It should be interesting. If you want to send me any video or sound files of you playing your Zachary guitar, I will be happy to upload them to the site.
October 10, 03
This is what I do for amusement whenever I need some diversion from the nerve wracking work of guitar creation. I do this every so often and it shocks me, depresses me and amuses me all at the same time.
I called a guitar shop run by a guy who some may say has an impressive store stocked with literally hundreds of the usual plastic condom-covered guitars hanging on his walls. You know what I am talking about. You have seen many stores like this I am sure. I was inquiring about a particular vintage reissue guitar that I want to Zacharize in the future and actually make it work as a guitar for the first time in history.
I certainly can not build any more guitars and I almost scream in terror at the thought of having one of my guitars in a music store surrounded by all that fake plastic and handled by any moron that walks in off the street, so just for fun I asked him if he ever considered selling another brand of guitar. I asked him if he ever heard of me and he said that he has not, even though he searches the Internet all the time for anything interesting relating to guitars. Strange that he did not find me. I kind of stick out like a sore thumb, at least I thought. Anyway, he said that he is the biggest Anderson, Grosh, Suhr, etc. dealer in the world and if all else fails he has several walls covered with PRS AAAAA wallpaper tops among the usual Gibson and Fender offerings and everything else you see in guitar magazines. Heaven on earth, right?
His rhetoric made me cringe because I heard it 1001 times before. They must make these guitar shop owners in a mold, they seem all the same to me. His vacuous banter made me sick and really bugged me, so I told him straight out that "I MAKE THE BEST GUITARS IN THE WORLD" and all the stuff he has in his store is junk and I am in a different world from what he has known so far. This never fails to get a guitar store owners attention. I told him that he should forget everything he thinks he knows about guitars and put the light on in his brain. He said that he is actually a guitar player and those are pretty strong statements coming from someone he has never heard of and probably does not even exist.
He stated things to this effect. To say that there is actually a better guitar than an Anderson, who "only only make 800 guitars a year", is ludicrous and preposterous in his opinion and in the opinion of most guitar enthusiasts. Everyone knows that Anderson are the best and highest quality guitars. He has never seen anything better since nothing even comes close, unless of course its a Grosh or a Suhr and lets not forget the AAAAA top private stock PRS with the dragon inlays dipped in plastic. I am sure that he thought that he never heard such garbage in his life. I really had shocked him. It was worse than someone removing the BMW paint from a PRS. I actually broke into his mind and assaulted his religious beliefs. It was like I had punched him in the gut by surprise when he wasn't expecting it and knocked the wind out of him. When he got a bit of his strength back he got angry and wanted to either kill me or dismiss me as an idiot mental case. I told him I can back up my statement and I even have a website for him to look at.
He did not know what to make of me and thought I was either crazy or someone who should be killed on the spot. He became angry. He immediately went to my website even while we were on the phone but did not seem that he got anything from it. He said that my guitars "better be totally freaky for him to believe any of the crap I was telling him". I am sure that once he sees my bug infested guitars it would change his mind and he will change religions. I also told him to check out my video files when he has more time. He promised that he will and I can call him back at any time, probably to tell me in no uncertain words that his mind had not changed and he would never put any of my guitars into his store, the bugs may come out of the wood and chew away at all the other guitars.
I don't think he got it at all. I admit that my assault was unexpected and quite brutal on my part. Although, I don't expect him to digest all this new information in a short time. He did promise to check it all out thoroughly. He certainly would not believe anyone calling his stuff inferior and for implying that some "nobody" can make better guitars then what's in his reputable guitar shop coming from highly respected manufacturers. After all he has the best guitars in the world, so he thought and was socialized to think. Those are the gods he worships and I had just told him there was no god or at least he was worshipping false gods. Boy did he ever get a shocker. It was really hilarious but also brutal at the same time. If he did take the time to look at my site carefully, he would now be quite confused and freaked out even more. I would think that his experience would be not unlike a young kid seeing a hard-core porn movie for the first time. Information overload and disgust, with permanent life shattering traumatic effects which will never be reversible. I am actually doing an important humanitarian service by freeing people from oppression. Opression from all the brainwashing and fraud that they have been indoctrinated with. Its just that I am doing it with a sledgehammer. I love guitar shop owners.
Eli, my good customer has this to say:
About that guitar store guy. It's hopeless, man. Very few people who own stores will look at your site carefully enough to even consider stocking your guitars. They are not selling instruments. They are selling tops, image, nostalgia, etc. hopefully some true musicians will get their hands on your guitars and spread the word. That's what I'm doing. Eli
Changing subjects, I have been going crazy for the past month building my first 32" scale bass. This was not a pleasant experience. The first neck after being completed did not work out and had to be trashed. I then had to make an identical neck for an already finished body. This is working backwards for me. I always make the body fit the neck, not the other way around. After a lot of tooth grinding, I did it and she is a killer instrument 091003. I am now a better guitar creator for it. Check her out in all her bug infested glory, not to be seen at any guitar store near you any time soon.
I have lots of work ahead of me. I was fortunate to have been contacted by some very knowledgeable customers lately. People who really get what I am doing and truly deserve a Zachary guitar. For the rest of you, go visit this guitar shop, it could be in your neighborhood and the owner speaks your language.
Oct 26, 03
One of my customers recently wrote:
"I went to the G3 show the other night (Vai, Satriani, and Malmsteen) and while I really dug it, I couldn't help but think how sad it was that none of those dudes play a Zachary. Yngwie's guitar wouldn't stay in tune for more than thirty seconds. He finally got so frustrated that he ripped out all his strings and grabbed another guitar. Although Steve Vai really played phenomenally, his tone sounded like what his guitar is made of: plastic. It's too bad, cause those guys have some real potential. Ha ha!"
It certainly is sad isn't it. Either these professional players play a certain brand purely for the money or they simply act like most other guitar players and deliberately want to play a bad guitar. No other musician will act as a guitar player would. Musicians who play other instruments tend to all want the best instrument they can find. They are searching for any instrument that will make it the easiest for them to play and would make them sound the best. Trumpet players will pay thousands of dollars for a handmade, custom-designed trumpet that will make them better players. Not guitar players. Give me junk, is what they say. My hero played junk and that is what I will play. I really don't care what is available out there. I want the wood to be as fancy as possible but it really does not matter if the guitar has no sound, the pickups are dead, the neck is too narrow and unplayable, the instrument is unbalanced or too heavy. As long as its the brand that I am expected to have. Performance of the instrument really matter nothing. Why should it? Most guitar consumers really can't play much guitar anyway. They play with their eyes, so its more like they are buying furniture. Top professionals like the G3 need money first and foremost. Yngwie Malmsteen and I have some things in common, we both like Ferraris. He can afford a collection of them and I was surprised they even let me into a Ferrari dealership to brows a few days ago in Toronto. Yngwie and the other two play what they play for the money. I suppose its hard to resist but to the expense of their performance? However its not just the money for Malmsteen. I think he plays a 70's Stratocaster because he is stuck with the idea that this is what his hero played and this is what he as well should play. The sad thing is that even great guitar players think just like the juveniles who frequent music stores. You would think they would have more maturity.
I would really like to help Yngwie out. If anyone knows Yngwie Malmsteen tell him to contact me and I will make him a wonderful guitar he never even dreamed of. I would have told him this myself but I missed the G3 in Detroit since I was out of town.
On a brighter note, take a look at the two new guitars, 100903 and 261003.
Just think, Yngwie could play 261003 the whole concert and never have to change guitars or tune up. That's enough for anyone to flush a Fender endorsement contract down the toilet. What's so good about a Ferrari anway when you can have a Zachary guitar.
Nov. 25, 03
I received an interesting email from someone who owns two Zachary guitars among many vintage instruments.
I was reading your thread on 031002 (I have 191198 and 071199-the Home Depot) and I have one other small consideration to add. Recently I've developed a fascination with the late 50s Gibsons, particularily Les Pauls. One of the things that's not obvious from pictures is the extreme difference in wood figure between these and the modern Paul Reed Smiths, Peaveys and even most Gibsons. Nowdays, the manufacturers double dye the tops, to more or less fix the flame in the most extreme cosmetic contrast. In the 50s, it was clear laquer with no stain at all. This means that even a highly figured piece of maple will flicker from no apparent flame to it's more garish appearance and back, depending on lighting and positioning. To me this is a much more honest beauty and should be respected. It's almost like flamed maple is a butterfly, and double dying is like killing, fixing and mounting that butterfly. I'm glad you're working with more figured wood, and I hope you're able to continue letting the wood speak for itself!
Anyway, 191198 is an incredible guitar, and I thank you. It's the youngest guitar I currently own (mostly 50s Gibson and Fender, a few from the 60s and early 70s and 3 custom guitars from the late 80s). Thanks again and take care... Bob
Here is my response.
Good to hear from you again. I am glad to hear that your two Zach guitars are still doing fine. Some of my guitars, as you know, were done as a backlash against all that artificial stuff out there you find in music stores and what people seem to mindlessly purchase. I think the look and feel of most guitars that have been on the market the last 15 years is phony and sterile. You are absolutely correct, the look of the wood used in PRS and almost every other company now that had jumped on the bandwagon, is not anything that nature produces. Yes, I know of the process of dying the wood, sanding it, then dying it again to exaggerate the grain and then dipping it in plastic. I have never done this and will never do it. It goes against my values. My values are different and deeper than just a superficial display of exaggerated aesthetics to impress the eyes of the non-player guitar consumer. Anything which is not real or natural I want nothing to do with.
What you are talking about is the missing "flicker effect" (there is a term for it which escapes me) of the wood figure. Its very much like those pictures which change into something else depending what angle you are looking at it from. Curly, flame, quilt and some other figure have this incredible effect naturally. My guitars with this type of wood were mainly photographed on an angle at which the figure jumped out but if you move the guitar to a different angle the figure will become less pronounce in some parts and increase in other parts of the guitar. With the modern PRS-type of dying and finishing techniques you loose their flicker phenomena of the wood. This is why the tops look like what I call "wallpaper", which is like someone had simply painted on the figure. Might as well go for a photoflame top because the action of the figure in the wood is eliminated by the processing. Naturally figured wood looks like it moves and all my figured guitars have this inherent quality preserved. Its quite interesting to see and so natural looking.
I consciously stayed away from figured wood for most of my guitar building but now I am getting more into it. However, the way I get the wood is the way you see it on the finished guitar. I also do not look for absolutely perfect pieces. Natural blemishes are what I like to see. Flaws are common in wood and I don't discard a nice piece if the grain is not 100% perfect. My wood suppliers know that I look for blemished yet unique wood that other instrument makers will always overlook. How shallow these people must be, their myopic vision and ignorance will not enable them to go beyond the expected and the conventional. They have no imagination and thus no creativity. I guess that's why they don't build Zachary guitars.
People know by now that I have some great Korina which happens to have bug holes in it. I find these bug holes captivating and interesting in knowing that a living thing was working the wood before I was. I share some sort of a bond with those bugs. I absolutely look forward to making guitars from wood with natural blemishes of any kind. I feel the need to have a connection with that piece of wood from the time its a tree, to the finished guitar. Individuals as players should share the same need in relating to their guitars. This is actually rare these days and consequently people are very detached from their instruments.
The look of a guitar proves what is important to a particular manufacturer or builder. With PRS making a good guitar is really not even the goal. It really has no importance and its not valued by their customer base. The visual impact is what they are after. Trouble is that their style and purpose has been so overdone that it is now nauseating. It speaks volumes about what they put the most importance on. This is why much of my respect is lost for anyone like that.
You are correct that the look of Gibson guitars of the golden age have a much different look and thus a different feel to them. The wood was not artificially processed for grain enhancement and it was only sprayed with a thin yet very hard coat of true lacquer. This was a time when mass produced guitars were not very different from hand-made guitars. Even in the factory every operation was done by hand. It had to be. Sure there was considerable variability between instruments but that is one of the appealing characteristics about musical instruments made by humans as opposed to machines. Anyone who does not understand this is missing the point.
I remember reading somewhere that when the new Gibson company decided to reissue their own historic vintage instruments, they could not get consistent measurements between vintage instrument samples. I suppose they averaged the data when programming their computers to produce the reissues. This is some contradiction.
I have been fortunate recently to make guitars for some very good players who put playability, feel and tone above everything else. What the wood of the guitar looks like does not mean much to them. I am always uncomfortable making guitars for anyone who can only judge a guitar visually, especially by exaggerated and artificially processed aesthetics. Alex
Check out the latest guitar 171103 and the video files. I hope to make some more video files before I ship it off to Belgium.
The theme here was to make it purposeful looking, kind of the ultimate Jimi Hendrix guitar with the dark body and all maple neck (maple neck/f.board, 25.5 scale, non locking whammy bar). I even left the dots off the maple fingerboard. I wanted that very clean look. I received the first Super Distortion pickup that Kent Armstrong and I had worked on after the guitar was already completed. So, I pulled the original pickup out to install the ZachAttack SD. It has power like you would not believe and in a crunch setting it is very thick. Not the tone that Hendrix had at his disposal however. Of course you can just switch it into single coil mode and it sounds very different. The SD pickup has tremendous bottom end and it lacks that harshness in clean settings that you usually get from a bridge mounted pickup.
Feb. 14, 04
I haven't written anything here for a long time. Way too busy with many things and always behind in my work.
I went on a trip to California. I went to the NAMM show in January and took care of some business and I hooked up with Bobby Simcox who brought two of his Zachary guitars and I brought my video camera. I had a great time hanging out with Bobby. I usually don't like the NAMM show but this one was a particularly good one. What made it good is not the products, in fact I don't even know what they had there, but the great players at various booths and the concerts at night in the various hotels. Bobby and I saw some amazing bass players. These guys can sure play. I also saw various blues players who can also really play and made blues interesting. The highlight was Bobby's playing that I video recorded at a cheap hotel room with moaning and groaning in the background. Stay tuned for this amazing video as soon as as I get some free time to edit and uploaded it to this website. Viewer discression will be advised and you must be over 21 to see it. I was amazed to see two of my guitars which Bobby brought and played. They were in perfect condition and stayed perfectly set up after all this time he played them and he does not hold back. The guitars only darkened somewhat with age.
Another highlight was seeing Muiel Anderson's All Star Guitar Night. If you ever have a chance to check this one out, make sure you do. It was amazing. If you think you are not a bad player, well think again because if you see these guys play, you will be shocked and realize how crappy you really are. Its not a very uplifting event, if you know what I mean. It was Muriel Anderson, Pierre Bensusan, Laurence Juber, Monte Montgomery, Michael Hewett, John Jorgenson, Steve Bailey (on solo 6-string bass) and some others. These guys were all phenomenal, or should I say, out of this world, freaks of nature. John Jorgenson played a Maccaferri with his band and can do anything not only on guitar but many other instruments. When God handed out talent this guy got up early and was at the front of the line. Steve Bailey on solo 6-string bass was playing it like a guitar. Laurence Juber played his version of Layla, fingerpicking style. Muriel Anderson is an absolute turn on for me. You would never expect a woman to play better than any guy. She was totally amazing playing a bluegrass tune where she made her acoustic sound like all the instruments in a bluegrass band. What's more sexier than a chick being a killer guitar player and looking like a fox at the same time? I hope to meet her some day. Muriel, can I build you any guitar you want? I have to tell you that you do qualify but the question is, do I qualify?
After the NAMM we rented a car and drove around CA visiting a friend in Santa Cruz who set up a time that I could visit Jeff Traugott, the acoustic guitar builder. I was not that familiar with him, probably not that many are but my friend told me he makes acoustic flat tops and sells them for around $30,000. I did not take it seriously at first but when I found out its true, I got really upset and thought it was really wrong what he did and who the hell are these morons who pay that money for any guitar. What guitar is worth that amount of money anyway? We got into some heated discussions with my friend who feels its perfectly fine for Jeff to do this and said I must be jealous. That has nothing to do with it. Its more like I am offended as a guitar player myself. I actually feel really sorry for the guy because he got himself into a corner he cannot get out of. He can no longer build a guitar for regular players. I could never have any regular customers that way. I have no idea who he sells his guitars to. It must be to people in Hollywood. None of the hottest acoustic players at NAMM played his guitars. Those guys and girl don't buy guitars, they are paid to play a certain brand, which I have trouble with as well but that's another discussion. So anyway, we were late getting back from Pebble Beach and I was an hour late for my appointment to meet Jeff so he he said he did not have time to meet any longer. I would have been interested to find out how he markets his guitars and who actually buys them. Anyway, you can imagine how our philosophies are worlds apart. I will tell you this much, if you ever offer me $30,000 for a guitars, I will kick your ass and kick you out the door. I only sell to players, no matter how poor you are, and I will even wait for you to save up your $1500.
This from Jeff's website. "For the curious, guitars in 2004 have sold for $22,855. Orders taken for 2006 have sold for $26,500." Apparently he has a 6 year waiting list and people are selling their spots on the waiting list for profit to others who are dying to get on the waiting list so they can sell their spots as well. You can understand how I thought this was a joke at first. I never heard anything like it.
It was a great trip, seen a lot a nice places, met some interesting people. Thanks for coming out Bobby. I hope I can get those videos up and I don't screw them up somehow. For the last month I spent making a batch of necks. I have a whole bunch of bodies and now I also have necks which can all be matched up with the bodies and made into guitars. I need to build a guitar for Charles, a second one for Eli and a wicked Z3-T for Bobby, after which I would like to get a chance to make some more basses and finally the 8 string for Bobby. If you make guitars by hand, things go slow and you either charge $30,000 for them or you stay poor.
March 20, 04
ARE YOU READY FOR BOBBY !?!? He KICKS ASS? A player with BALLS playing the ultimate guitar with BALLS.
Bobby said something which really touched me. He said "these are the guitars I will be playing for the rest of my life". Now that makes it all worth while.
Malmsteen, Satriani, Vai and the rest of them, YOU POOR BASTARD DUMB FUCKS. I truly and sincerely feel that. I would never give them a free guitar or pay them a penny. Yngwie will not buy another Ferrari from my money. Bobby pays for all of his guitars. You blow them all away Bobby! They have nothing on you man. And you have the tools to do it with.
Go to the Video Files page and see the new videos that I shot in January 04, in LA. Bobby knows how to use a Zachary Guitar and its a pleasure making his guitars.
I am getting ready to make him a killer 3 pickup Z3, like you have never seen before. That will be his 6th Zachary guitar.
August 25, 04
Wow, I haven't been around here since the end of March. Things have been hectic and busy. A lot of distractions, not all positive. The more successful I am at my day job, the less time I have to build guitars. I am not happy about barely being able to make one guitar a month. That certainly will not make me rich or famous and without those two things I have no chance to ever be invited to the Playboy mansion, nor will I ever be able to marry someone like Heather Locklear. Now you know where my values really are.
People are copying me all over the world. I am being alerted by my fans that they have been spotting FrankenZachs in various other countries via the net. I don't know what to make of this. Should I be honored or should I be pissed off? Even a large bass manufacturer has a new bass model which looks very much like a Z2. They even beat me to it. They have a Z2 bass before I have a Z2 bass. Some of this stuff is nasty, with Strat necks, crapy neck joints, stupid hardware, etc. As long as they cut out a shape which sort of looks like a Z2, they have a Z2, right?
Well, I have the secret and they have no imagination or originality. They lack the personality to piss on the world and ignore what its telling them they should do. They don't have the courage to look icons in the face and spit at them. They actually revere and are intimidated by the people who have created and are a part of the establishment. They want to fit in and be liked by everyone. They idolize and surrender to the work of others. They worship the stature of the commercially successful and look upon them as heroes. This is no way to build a Zachary guitar. It will never happen with that attitude. The Zachary guitar did not ask permission or even earn its right to exist. It came barging in and said "you all suck you bunch of pathetic losers". You build guitars for the wrong reason and it shows. Your products are disgusting and your followers are morons. You are such a disgrace that you are the same with the Devil. If someone can make a better and more honest guitar on their kitchen table you should have the dignity to call it quits immediately and shoot yourself in the head at the same time.
If you don't possess this attitude you will never be able to make a Zachary guitar. Because its not a guitar, its a philosophy as religion. It exposes not what is right but what is wrong. By example it exposes the false prophets of the guitar industry and also their misguided and ignorant followers.
So tracing the outline of a guitar from my nice picture collection and cutting a piece of wood in the shape of a Zachary will not make a Zachary guitar. Because a Zachary is not really a guitar, its a philosophy. The guitar is merely a means to an end.
Also, every part which goes into my guitars is custom modified to work with my own unique design. Its all linked together. This is why I tell all the dumb SOBs that if you monkey with my guitar, you will wreck it and there is no turning back.
People are always asking how they should go about ordering a guitar. Just do it the way Bobby does, as simple as that. Here is how he ordered his latest guitar. He sure knows how to put things into words, doesn't he?
Oh Yeah, I remember the Busywood top!!! I think it would look great on the 8 string!!! I just thought I'd throw that idea at Ya for shits and grins!!! I just don't want Ya to feel like Your hands are tied on the Simcox Z3T (Jesse)!!! You Have Total Freedom to make the most Awesome Ball Busting Skull Crushing Ear Splitting Guitar Abomination that You can imagine!!! Simply put, BLOW MY ASS AWAY, BRO!!!! Challenge Yerself!!! Take The Risk!!! Piss Off The Whole Damn Guitar World!!! Yer the only one who can do it, Bro!!! I Believe in YOU!!!
I spoke to a boutique amp manufacturer recently. He has many stores as dealers and they build a relatively large number of units for a "small company", all sorced out and made by Mexicans. What would America do without Mexicans. Slavery was never abolished. Keep them fearful and illegal and they will work for peanuts. I digress.
We were talking about the guitar industry in general with this successful boutique amp manufacturer and I was implying that I thought all this boutique stuff is pathetic and who the hell buys that stuff anyway at the disgusting prices they charge for it. He did not actually know who buys his stuff, all he knows is that he has the stuff assembled, advertises the shit out of it in the magazines and then sends it to the boutique guitar stores. The way it works is if you establish a presence and spend some money with the magazines then they will do a positive review of the product. The stores then order the stuff after there is already a demand, never before because stores don't want to ever support a new product. It is too difficult to promote a new unheard of product. It takes time, competence and an effort has to be made. Only after the product gets exposed in the magazines, they put it in their store. Stores don't like to actually sell anything because they don't know how to promote or support a product, that takes guts and ability. Its the magazines who sell the stuff and bring the people into the store. So who the hell buys this stuff? The amp manufacturer does not know, he just gets the orders from the stores and gets the Mexicans to put it all together for him. This way he can charge big prices, which the average guy cannot afford. He tells me that high prices are essential because without it he would not be able to sell his stuff. If its too inexpensive, nobody will want it. Its the price what sells, not low price but high price.
So then I thought its a good time to break the news to him. I told him that I don't sell a product... I sell a philosophy.
He had no idea what the heck I was taking about. He lives in a different world, or rather he lives in this world and I live in another. See, in my confused mind I would tend to think that the real challenge and accomplishment is to offer a great product which blows away everything else and at the same time I make it affordable to everyone at an unprecedented low price. Does the world need another high priced boutique amp or guitar? That whole concept just bores me to death. I really can't imagine myself being boutique guitar maker number 2478, with the mandatory grossly flamed maple top and thick translucent plastic covering. I heard that one such guy has now a base price of $4500. He must hang out with that acoustic guitar maker in Santa Cruz who sells for $30,000. Again, the question is, who the hell buys this stuff, it disgusts me? Certainly not people who can play the guitar. If you can't play the guitar, don't call me, contact these other guys, they speak your language.
I have a lot on my plate now and some of it is quite difficult. I have to use my brains and creativity which make work very inefficient. I could never use Mexicans, I got to do it all myself. I have to be fully involved every minute in an emotional and artistic way. I guess this is the only reason I do this but at the same time its a tremendous amount of work and effort from beginning to end. The result, no Playboy mansion, no Hollywood chicks, no living in California, no glossy magazine ads, and virtual anonymity for all the Guitar Center customers or the boutique stores and their clients. Does anyone out there hate boutique stores as much as I do, or is it just me.
This is interesting, check out the Ianeke project (spelled with an "I", is Janet in Hawaiian)
The latest Harmony Central review is out. Robert is very appreciative and perceptive of my work. He is an encyclopedia of knowledgeable about vintage guitars and players. I learn a lot from him.
However, a few details were pointed out by Eli, which sort of illustrate that what I do is hard to comprehend for even the experienced. Or at least it takes time. Regardless, I learn so much from Zach players who point out things about these guitars which I don't even know myself.
Glad the new lucky player gets you. Good review! Only quibble I would have is that your guitars are not "as good" or "in the same league" as vintage 50s and 60s Gibsons, etc. they are both 1) really different in many many ways and 2) better I know it's blasphemy blah blah but these vintage guitars, although built by hand have insecure neck joints, bad intonation, too small frets, too narrow necks.... I have played nice vintage guitars, some were nice, many had a nice feel. Some were 10k and were kind of terrible. None were as good as either of my Zachs.
Rob does know his Z2 is better than his vintage guitars, he's just not quite ready to say so in so many words. He gets the awesomeness of your design, I can tell. It must be tough to spend 10k on a vintage guitar and then get one for $1550 that is simply better in every way. He'll get over it.
I could tell him that actually the ebony is really not the reason for the feel. My Zach bass has that same smooth feel. It's the design and craftsmanship. He's right about the pups. PAFs like Page's w/ more definition and rock. Exactly what I thought. So funny, people are totally obsessed w/ the late 50s original PAFs from Gibson guitars. They are good, as heard on Van Halen 1, 2 but ZachAttacks sound better.
Fonally, Sam has this to say, which is kind of interesting.
Hey Alex, I still continue to keep up with your site regularly and continue to look forward to seeing your new creations take shape. It's close to 1 year since I've purchased my Z2 "Lucy" (named after Lucy from Charlie Brown who I've always had a thing for). Since then, Lucy has seen a couple dozen re-strings, about 20 live performances, 2 studio recordings, and a couple hundred hours of practicing. In that time, I've had no need to have repairs made, action adjusted, or any modifications of any kind (aside from cleaning the pot with contact cleaner). While playing live, I do not need to tune between songs EVER!! My backup guitar sits idly and collects dust. I have not broken a single string on this guitar, EVER. This is simply the finest instrument I have ever played, and now it's the only guitar I play. Just thought you should know. Keep up the great work Sam Myers
September 15, 04
I received this friendly suggestion from Carey recently. However, it did not help my dreadful insecurity problems. What's with all these angry and frustrated people in the UK? All right Carey, you have figured me out, what I do is nothing hard and anyone can do it but that does not mean that you should tell the whole world about it. What's that going to do to my business. Now nobody will want a Zachary guitar, once they know how disgustingly easy it is to make one. As I mentioned before some are actually doing just that, making their own Zachary guitars. Yes its my little scam but I don't appreciate you bringing it to everyone's attention. Some are not as bright as you are and actually think I am on to something here.
I am sure that God will speak to me when the time comes and he will tell me to make acoustics if that's what he wishes. Until then he put some ideas in my head, ability to use my hands and the will power to keep going. He does not want me to keep it a secret either.
Build acoustics. Build in your own tone. Become a guitar builder instead of a wood shaper. Anyone can learn to shape a slab of wood, route some holes, carve a neck, dress some frets, wire up a couple of pick-ups and sand or scrape out the scratches. Learn to French polish. Anyone can cut corners by slapping on some Danish oil. Stop congratulating yourself; if your’e really making guitars for God he won’t appreciate you bragging about it.
Carey, (Wales) Carey_Seaton@macs.rhondda.sch.uk
Please check out the new guitar 130904 You may think it took me a long time and that it was a lot of work but it was actually really easy to do.
October 16, 04
Well as you know by now, I get some strange emails. Some love me, some hate me and some are just totally out of it. They are not necessarily bad people, they just have not seen anything like this before. They really don't know what to make of it. When I get such emails, I get somewhat of a shock and I really don't know how to reply. I actually don't even know what to say. How do I respond?
Here are some of the recent ones I got. I provided their email addresses so people out there who are more articulate then I can help them out if they wish.
Powerchord Chugging Jackson
man i gotta say those are some of the coolest most original guitars ive even seen, they totally totally rock expeically all the woods u use and stuff, ive been thinkin of attemptin a guitar, mayb i shud try pine. only 1 thing tho. no tone control?! how can u claim to have great tonal variation without a tone control? i almost drops ur guitars to the level of a nice powerchord chugging jackson or bc rich or something. they may not get used often... but all the same... Joel email@example.com
What is it with that headstock?
Hi, Zach! Great web site. Love the bodies of your guitars and the woods you use, but what is it with that headstock? I read the letter from that depressed guy who asked you for a free guitar. Don't do it. I am a Christian, too, and I don't buy his story. A "real" Christian would not be praying for God to give him a specific guitar but would be content with what he has. Keep making those guitars! They look great. (Except that head stock................) -Bill
I may sniff all this stuff but I wouldn't put them on my guitars
I was wondering what brand(s) and type(s) of primers, paints, dyes, and clear coats you use on your guitars? Thanks for you time, Ryan
Career, Schooling and Revenue? ... You got to be kidding
I am a guitarist that is extremely interested in this career. I was wondering what schooling had to be done and about how much revenue is pulled in yearly from this career. Thanks, Holly
Did not escape unscathed, Canuk yes but holes look like shit
Just lost my guitar in a plane crash but I survived. You got any way to zip file an audio on the sound of your guitars? I would be interested in the more traditional shape. I don't know what those holes do but they look like shit on that z1. By the way, are you SF, canuk or what. ? Hope to here. Ben
Can you blame me? What do I say to these confused folks. I can't help them all. I am not trained for it. It would be considered malpractice.
Before you jump to any conclusions and think that these people are just young. Read this one I received from a 15 year old kid.
You can tell he is no spelling champion but he has one hell of a brain. I have some hope for the world again and I feel like I want to build him a guitar.
First ill let me tell you that im 15. all those prs dinks seriously are lost. they have no doubt been brain washed. i did laugh up a storm when reading all the stuff they said to you like calling you jealous of prs and their sucess. it makes sence why they are mad at you, because they are the jealous ones. they want to buy a handcrafted peice of work for a forth of the price but they already spent 6000 dollars on a freakin cnc made guitar. so in short just to let you know not all teenagers of this nation pee their pants when they see or touch a prs. -Sean
Anyway....take a look at the new guitar 101004 I don't want to send it. Do I have to?
January 01, 05
Well I am back from my trip to California. I met up with Bobby and had an eventful 2 weeks. I am proud of myself for finishing up the first F1 before my trip so take a look at it if you hadn't already 090105 I am currently working on my next order.
I have to make lots of guitars, so time is very limited. I am always trying new things, so it takes time. Thanks for the patience of all those who have guitars on order. Its a slow process but the only way to go. Send me an email to keep in touch every now and then and I will give you an update. I also have a new page up about my NAMM 05 experience.
Ludwik from the UK, owner of Gaia and future owner of his second Zachary, has written a good explanation of the Guitar Industry as we currently know it and this is actually what is presented at NAMM each year.
I received a couple of very intelligent emails from some brilliant individuals and have posted their messages on the Comments page. (the last two on the page)
It looks like I am still "full of shit". No matter how much people try to set me straight, I just don't know any better, so I will just keep doing what I am doing, if that's OK. Don't give up on me however, I am willing to learn.
February 20, 05
I want to thank all of you, who have ordered a guitar, for your patience. There are 13 people who have paid either deposits or in full and are waiting. There will be several more still in the next few days. As you may not know, this is not really a money maker. Considering my cost and the time I put into each guitar, its purely a labor of love, even though its exhausting, stressful and difficult work. Its not just making trinkets out of wood. These things must also function as instruments and they must be better than any other guitar. So the bar is set quite high.
I will now stop taking orders for a while, so I can catch up. I am doing the best I can and did not forget about anyone. You will get your guitar, don't worry. I must go at my own pace to do things right. The more unique and demanding the instrument you want, the longer it will take me. Bobby Simcox has waited the longest for his 8 string and there is a lot of planning and design that needs to take place but its coming.
I was told about a used Z1 which was for sale on eBay last week. It never sold. So if there is anyone who can help out this poor SOB to get rid of his Zachary, go ahead and help him out. If you think you are more deserving of it than he is, then buy it. Its an early one, the first trem guitar in fact and it does not have some of my design elements. It has an unmodified trem and only a 4 bolt neck joint. He is the second owner I understand. I feel sorry for him because the wrath of God will descend on him for selling a Zach, as it will for anyone who does the same. So please be aware of this when ordering a Zachary guitar. Item number: 3782054708
John, a pro musician from Austin TX follows my work and keeps in touch regularly and gives me some good insider info to the music biz and players. He knows how to seperate the BS, which is always welcome around here. He sent me an informative response to my NAMM 05 Report as well as starting a Bobby Simcox fan page. There is not too much there just yet but he hopes to develop it further http://www.angelfire.com/rock3/amazingbobbysimcox/index.html
John tells me: "Eventually I'll have links to Tsunami and whatever else he's involved with, and maybe a composite of his Zach collection (like on an "equipment" page) if you talk to him anytime soon let him know there's a Texas fan who's doing his best to spread the word about the amazing Bobby Simcox!"
I finally got the latest guitar up 170205
April 10, 05
I really like the way the new F1 model has turned out. I think there is a real need for this guitar. The Telecaster is a very important guitar and it had to be reworked to be a better an more playable instrument. Of course since most people are not looking for a better guitar it will not matter to them but for serious accomplished players the virtues of the F1 will be quite evident and long overdue.
I thought I would include this email I received from an upset potential customer. I really can't go on loosing customers this way. I will pay special attention to drill the string ferrules spaced evenly or should I make the crooked ferrule spacing one of my trademarks?
Hi there! I went to your webpage to check it out and I was greeted with possibly the most unprofessional website I've ever seen in my life. I actually was appalled by the language used and your attacks on other manufacturers, luthiers and designs in general. Based on your website alone, I would not consider buying one of your guitars. I also checked the gallery and noticed that one of your guitars has completely screwed up ferrules - they're all over the place. Don't knock other manufacturers quality when you can't even make one that an beginner guitar builder can pick out from a photo on the internet.
Brian Bowes firstname.lastname@example.org
In my search of certain vintage archtops in preparation of making the future Hollowbodies, I talked to some boutique guitar store owners. I always get a kick out of this. I tell them that I make the best electric guitars in the world. Interestingly I don't get any reaction from them. They just ignore me like someone would ignore a visibly mentally handicapped individual who makes outrageous dilution claims. None have heard of me and they seem to be mired in their world of Gibson and Fender custom shop, Art and Historic reissue, AAAAA top collecting oblivion. Most are not really guitar players, so that may have something to do with it. When I mention my website and ask that they visit it, they never do. Those who do, get totally confused and don't know what to make of all this. Its just confusing and unintelligible for anyone form that world. Like the aliens have landed and put up the Zachary Guitars website. I am not from their world and I don't speak their language. Its still sad to see the ignorance out there. Strange phenomena indeed.
Selling guitars is also a strange concept to me. How can anyone sell a guitar? I find it hard to sell any guitar I make but I have to. Otherwise, I would only sell a guitar if I hated it. Yet there is a whole army of these Internet trolls on eBay who literally buy guitars daily and sell them all a short time later, just to buy more of them. Guitars are treated as a commodity with no emotional attachment or bonding involved. The boutique store owners are the central part of this subculture and feed the addiction. Remember this has nothing to do with guitar playing. Its some sick materialism created by the powerful hype and marketing machine. Why would these people spend so much time buying expensive PRS or whatever and selling them a week later to buy even more of the same thing and then repeating the process over and over again. Buying numerous guitars to play is one thing but selling them almost as quickly as you buy them is repulsive to me. Interestingly, many of these guitars are virtually brand new by the way. I suppose playing them is NOT what its about.
I will be updating this site in various places. One of them are the new pics I received from a customer of Bobby Simcox playing at the Zucchini Festival and some more pics that Bobby sent me of him playing with Tsunami in San Jose, CA in March of this year. I will be uploading other new pics and information on a regular basis but will not have the time to announce it. I will add to the Comments page as well as time permits. So look through the entire site periodically for the new stuff. I should also add a few more Vids of myself and some which other have sent me. There is so much material I could add to this site but its so time consuming at the same time. I have to make the decision to either add to the website or to build guitars. I really need to build guitars right now.
I would not send RH the first F1 which was built for him, until I made a second one. I was not sure if I could duplicate the first one. Now the second F1 is finished and its GREAT. I remember someone wanting an F1 with a humbucker but I forget who that was. So please come forward at this time, the guitar is ready. If my memory is failing me then the guitar is available for sale to anyone who knows how to use her.
Finally, a real treat for you. RH has wasted no time in recording the new F1. I am blown away at how good it sounds. So go to the Video Files page and have a listen. The songwriting is top notch as well. He even promised to send me more recordings of his three Zachary instruments.
April 27, 2005
I have to practically redisign every piece of hardware in order to make Zachary guitars do what they do and be what they are. You may not know it but I have a real battle with my suppliers. The parts manufacturers and wholesalers hate me. They can't figure out what kind of a freak I am. Their line of defense to make me look like I am the weirdo and trouble maker is to say "nobody has ever asked us for that part" or "nobody will want it" or "nobody will buy it".
I wanted black plastic tuner knobs, can you imagine? Black knobs will match any colored guitar and plastic takes a tone of weight off the headstock.Why would anyone want that they said? We will not do it becaused nobody has ever asked for it before. This also did not occur to them. Cutting the sidewalls off Tele bridges? Why on earth would anyone want that? Shaving away the tremelo block so it will have more travel. Who needs that? Larger neck screws and make them plack with small countersunk washers? Not needed becasue respected builders use the Fender plate! Pickup pole pieces which actually line up with the string? That's a strange concept. Eric Clapton did need have that, why should anyone else? Parts nickel plated so they match all other parts on a guitar which are nickel plated? Why do that? Why does it matter if a Tele neck pickup is chrome but the bridge is nickel and the control plate is also chrome but the tuners are nickel. You have to be crazy to bother obout that. A wider neck at the nut? That is a crazy idea that will never fly, people with small hands will not be able to play it. SRV had a narrow neck at the nut and did quite well. How about having ample space at the endge of the fingerboard, so the strings don't fly off the board? Unlike on your favorite Fender, which you love so much. Total lunacy. Light weight metal knobs made of aluminum? Everyone makes them out of brass and that is the way it will stay. Fender did not need light weight knobs. Heavy brass knobs add mass and tone to a guitar, everyone knows that.
I find there is so little interest in doing anything better that they literally hate me when I ask them to do these things. Some will not even deal with me. I in turn totally hate their disinterest and their lack of any connection with guitar playing. When I try to consult them, give them free information, they simply don't get any of it. Its just a job to them. Then, when I force them to do it, they get nasty and charge me a huge amount of money for anything I ask. "To cut that tremelo block down will cost a million dollars to make it worth our while since we really don't care about guitars, its just the business we are in". This is their way of retaliating. Or they say I must buy five hundred thousand pieces of each part.
This is all distasteful for me because I think they should do these things out of love and passion and do it affordably. They should work with me. I have very important info to share with them. No, this is not how they see it. I am just a pain in the ass for them. I guess its too much to ask.
Sure, if I had the resources I would burry them underground and build a skyscraper over them, but for now I just have to fight them, bug them, insult them and try to force them to do it. They have the power however, since most guitar manufacturers don't care about any of these things, they buy the same old tired designs and keep these parts manufacturers in business and this is why when I come along they view me as trouble.
I just want you to know that I am here fighting for all serious guitar players and trying to get all the details right and doing it better.
It looks like I made another fan. More to be found on the "Idiot" page.
I just wanted to let you know that i think it is pretty much sleezeball marketing that on your website in plain view for anyone to see, you have the names of many other guitar makers (All of which are better and more highly renowned than YOU) embedded in so that Google searching Fender Guitar or Suhr Guitars doesnt get you a Fender or a Suhr, you get a Zachary or whatever. You ought to be ashamed of yourself to have to be a leech on to someone elses name to try to forward your product. Please do feel free to E-mail me back at this address with any rebuttle or justification for this.
Collin McDougall email@example.com
Well, check out the new guitar 250405. What are you waiting for?
June 18, 2005
Well... just when I was starting to think I was on the right track, I get these messages. It totally shook my self confidence. Now I really don't know what to do. Should I even bother continuing? What for? With fans like these who needs detractors? I do appreciate all the suggestions and constructive criticism. I have learned a lot of things and promise to change my path for the better. I hope everyone enjoys these suggestions as well as I did.
Hey Zack, I have been a fan since the 1831st visitor to your site. Personally, I do agree that you bash prs guitars a lot, sometimes too much but I must admit, I liked playing schecter MUCH more than a flippin PRS, regardless on whether or not PRS are good guitars they are overpriced. Well basically the reason I e-mailed is because I've noticed that you keeping making the same guitars just with different colors(Z2), or that you have been starting to copy other guitar styles like the telecaster (F1). I think that you need to spend a couple more days coming up with a new one, one that will completely blow away people's minds when they see it...a thing of absolute beauty, with purple and green which is a good mix if you'd like the suggestion. Maybe have a cut off on the body to carry it with? almost like steve vai's guitar. Or how about a new cover for the pickups, such as a really soft almost rounded plastic to make dumb people think it will sound better cuz it looks cool. And this one may sound weird but I would really like my guitar to have a convenient place or a slit in the neck or body to store one or two picks and easily grab them if i drop one or something. Maybe make the guitar shine so much you can almost perfectly see your reflection in it? How about the edges of the guitar, where it curves, are a different color than the body, like gold. Basically the same thing as sunburst color guitars but with a different style to it. And what if you added a button or something for a "quick-release" to the strap? These are simple suggestions which may not be the best, but i'm simply requesting that you create once again more original styles with astounding colors like your first guitars, which i don't get why you removed from the buy page. The ones with the holes in the sides and such. Basically the ones at the top on your homepage. Thanks for reading, I hope you take my interests into consideration.
-A true fan Ivan firstname.lastname@example.org
Zach, Dont own one of your guitars do to th fact that I make my own also. I do have to question one thing. You make your own necks, what I question is why there is no truss rod in them. From the hardest woods, to how they are cut, wood has a natural tendancy to warp. And obviously if the neck warps it throws the intonation out the window. I am curious as to what your long term expectations of your product is. Without some sort of adjustment available, the neck will either twist and/or bow over time GUARANTEED!! Thats a given do to the nature of wood. I am not trying to insult your knowledge, or ability as a craftsman, but you stated that you like the feel of the original hand made clasics, I would venture to say that there is not an original hand made clasic still in circullation (ones made without the truss rod) that has its original neck, and if there are they dont tune worth a shit.
The term, "Job Security" comes to mind. The guitars' warranty runs out, the neck twists and guess what, you want it fixed, (to coin another fraze) Show me the money. I am in agreement with alot of your opinions on recent technology, but as far as making a product, and charging custom prices for it but leaving out a key piece of stone age technology I dont understand. A guitar with a warped neck is as useful as a screen door in a submarine. Please explain your theory on this. I'm 41 years old and have been working with wood almost all my life, sort of a generation handed down thing, and I dont claim to know all there is about wood/raw lumber, but one of the basics to wood working/crafting, is that when wood is put under a combination of stress, and air conditions it will fail in one way of another. Stress being the string pressure, and air conditons are self explanitory, which is the reason they developed the many variations of the truss rod to begin with. It seems, by the pictures and the comments that you make a quality guitar, my concern would be do I want to spend a $1000.00+ on a guitar that in as short as a few years isnt worth $0000.10+ because I cant tune it? Bryon Thomas email@example.com
Don't forget to check out the new mp3s Young Uncle Fester sent me of his new Zachary guitar 170301. He rescued it from a gay midget who did not know what to do with it except clean all the wax finish off of it with a solvent, even though he printed out the owner's manual. Scary shit what hands these guitars can get into. I am trying to be careful but sometimes they slip through. If I had it my way, most people would not be permitted to even own a guitar. A serious intelligence test would have to be passed. Not a playing test, and intelligence test. People under a certain level would not be permitted to buy any guitar.
Don't fear, this guitar is now in competent hands and you can just hear how happy it is from what it sounds like.
Check out all the great new pics of Bobby Simcox in action on his own dedicated page.
Also check out the little composition by Charles Altura, owner of 250204. This young kid can plan and makes good use of the Zachary tremolo. You can hear a very different character of these guitars. Anything you want... these guitars will give you. From country pickin to soaring melodic leads to heavy new metal.
I have also updated some of the guitar picture pages with comments and many other areas I forget now. This site is getting way too big. I have no desire to compete against Ed Roman and his "worlds biggest guitar site". I am no megalomaniac but I still have so much wild material to post that this site would make Ed whimper with envy. But who's got time to post here. I need to get my act together, build a handle on my guitars and maybe even think about including a truss rod, whatever that is.
July 19, 2005
I try to take the best pictures possible, specifically at the right angels so others can make Zachary guitars too. If you can't get one, then just make one, as simple as that. Less work for me, right?
Robert Frankel received this innocent request.
Robert, I found the Zachery Z2 by accident one day surfing on the net and really liked the Z2 a lot. I emailed Zachary and he told me he was too swamped to take another order so I decided to build one myself. I have taken the best picture I could find from his site and scaled it to proper size-I think. I want to ask a favor of you-would you be willing to trace it on paper and send it to me. I have no intention of selling or stealing this guitar design, I just liked it so much I want one and the only way that is going to happen is to build one. If this is something you don't feel comfortable doing I understand and you don't know me from adam but I am harmless, I just want to build one of these beautiful guitars. Regards, Burnie Metzen (Bend, Oregon)
How many fruitcakes like this guy are out there? Do they bother you every week? I guess the more there are, the more successful you’ve become so there’s some silver lining.
This next guy is a psychic. How did he know that I am a used car saleman and a con artist. I tell people that I am an artist but little do the know that what I really mean is a "con artist".
Your words: THE BEST ELECTIRIC GUITARS IN THE WORLD!
How can someone make this arrogant claim? Its easy, you just have to be an arrogant guy.
"YOU CAN'T BUY A BETTER FUCKING GUITAR THAN A ZACHARY!!!"
Someone wrote a song about you: "Hard to be Humble." From your webpage I can only deduce you must have been a used car saleman or perhaps a con artist somewhere along the line.
Do us all a favor and
2) stop bragging, and
3) be the craftsman you claim to be. Let your products do the advertising, not your mouth.
Oh, and by the way, there is no such thing as "best" of anything. firstname.lastname@example.org
I added some shop pics to the shop page. Take a look. You can tell I am going mass production now. My goal is to make guitars for everyone who shops at Guitar Center. They have the best customers. People I would be honored to make guitars for.
August 8, 2005
Bobby Simcox went to France to play with a band, sounds like he enjoyed it. This is what he tells me:
Yo, Alex!!! Hey, Bro, good to hear that things are going well w/ Ya!!! I'm still adjusting to American life again!!! Geez, I get used to people speaking French and now I gotta get used to Spanish all over again!!! I find that I'm waking up earlier now, but that could be a good thing!!! We'll see!!! Hmmmmmm, so the 8-string turned out different, eh? I'm interested to hear how it turned out!!! Are Ya happy w/ it? I bet it Majorly Kicks Ass!!! France was a Great time!!! We played a bunch of concerts for McDonald's and played a place called Charlie Birdie's in Paris just off the Champs Elysee!!! That's one of the main streets in Paris that goes by the Arch des Triumph!!! Charie Birdie's used to be called the House Of Live, and is a pretty popular spot!!! Played a few other places for kicks and did a major Festival in Chalom Champaigne to several thousand people!!! They really dug it!!! The group I was over there w/ is called Bray!!! The music is groove pop that's influenced by Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Michael Jackson, and Bowie!!! I really like the material and hope things can happen w/ that band!!! We did a bunch of recording and came up w/ a new song for the upcoming album so I'll keep Ya informed w/ what's happening w/ that!!! Basically, I took Maggie, and Jess Jess w/ me, and I carried them on the plane in a 2 guitar gig bag!!!
I have a great spyshot of Bobby at one of these concerts in France. He looks great, Take a look at it here.
I also have a good pic of the Tuz with his student Greg Howe. Look at it here
I finally posted my complete Summer NAMM 05 report, you'll find it interesting. Click here
Oh, yah, take a look at the new 280705 gutiar and the new 8-string Z2.
I have also posted the pics of two very early guitars and have one more to post. I decided to sell these gutiars at a bargain price. I just don't have room to store them.
That's it for now I think. Back to work for me.
September 14, 05
The two last messages I added to the Idiot Page, have no problem qualifying to be there.
My reply to these are as follows.
We all need more pussy, who doesn't, but with this many guitars to build, who has the time for it. Also, I will let my loser friend Bobby Simcox know that he needs to brush up on his playing. He is doing just that right now, learning how to play his new Subterranean beast. Lord help him.
The other guy wants to challenge me to the "worlds best guitar building contest". Strange stuff folks. I must get some of the most eerie messages from the estranges characters. What is it about these guitars which brings the freaks out of the closet or their padded cells. I decided to let him have free advertising on my site. Why not, I couldn't pay for this kind of quality content. I guess there is no hiding that I used to travel around with the circus at one time, maybe that's why this site is a like a freaking side show.
Without these folks and the content they provide, this would be just another boring and bland guitar site and nobody would want that. Isn't that right?
There is much excitement happening around here. Check out the new videos I made on the VideoFiles page. Here you will hear the new upcoming Zachary super Amplifier, yet to be named. I need suggestions from everyone out there what to name this little MF. Any ideas?.
Finally there will be an amp which will do justice to the guitars I create. I simply wanted an amp with the fantasy tone I had in my head for so long. A very musical amp. I wanted an amp which would be an extension of my guitar. An amp which would be an instrument in itself, yet not clash with the guitar or one's playing. An amp which would highlight the guitar and its expressiveness. An amp which would be totally touch sensitive to the fingers. A very expressive and sensitive amp. A highly responsive amp that will work with my playing and do what I want it to do. An amp which will sing. An amp which will sample or emulate nothing but simply give me the true voice of my guitar and most importantly my true voice. This is all I can say at the moment. More about it soon.
Check out specifically 280705 guitar and the Subterranean 040705, which I am pretending to know how to play. Bobby will take over from here.
Thre are updates to the site everywhere, including the last few guitars, etc.
Almost forgot. This guitar is so cool it should be illegal. 090905 I hope there are enough pictures for you.
Oct 10, 05
Not too much to report. I am just trying to make progress with the orders. I put a lot of pressure on myself to always surpass the previous guitar I made. People ask me which is the favorite guitar I ever made. My favorite is always the latest one and you will understand why.
I have a great customer and friend in England. His name is Ludwik. He has been a big supporter of my work for a number of years. He lovingly owns 010902 Gaia. He had ordered a second Zachary guitar a few months ago and told me he wants the works and for me not to hold back in any way. This gave me the opportunity to make him something very special. Not just a regular old, boring, lame-ass Zachary guitar but something truly special. Something that would be a landmark instrument not only for me but for all of guitar making. You know sort of "one giant step for mankind" sort of statement and work of art. I usually keep these things secret but I just cannot contain myself and at this time I feel that I must share my excitement with everyone. I really dug deep into my soul and used every bit of talent I was blessed with. So take a look, its code named Frank . It is not fully completed yet and I am somewhat ashamed to admit that it is not a totally original idea. However, its the best I have ever done and I regret to disappoint the owners of my past work. I believe I will be taking this direction in the future. I really hope Ludwik likes it.
Oh yeah, I did a new video clip of 090905, with the new Zachary Amp and my very own designed string set. The standard string sets you buy at the store are so wrong for both playability and tone that I had to step in and save the world. I just put on my suit when I feel like I am needed. It has a big Z on my chest and I have a cape as well. I descend on guitar shops unexpectedly and remove guitars from the hands of mindless guitar consumers and transplant them into Wal-Mart stores, where they really belong.
October 23, 05
I am very excited about the first Zachary Amp model being officially released now. Its up on the website now and it has been priced. I gave it a really low and affordable introductory price, so its a great opportunity as we get rolling here in producing these amps. Its the only amp I personally play now. I hope to make some more videos of it, demonstrating some of the clean tones as well. I will be adding more info to the amp section as my time permits.
The next challenge is to have my custom pedals reproduced and manufactured and to make them available for sale. I am still tracking down possible manufacturers.
I will also have my own strings very shortly. Take your regular 10-46 strings sets off and never use those gauges again. Its all wrong. If you don't know why, I will explain soon in a separate STRINGS page I will post on this site. I hate getting into selling strings but I have to. In order to have proper strings I have to order custom gauges and to do this one has to order a huge amount. I also want to make them available to anyone with a brain who wants to play the proper gauges because the string companies will not provide you with this, so I will have to do it.
These are exciting times for tone but all this stuff takes so much work and time and let's not forget Money. Its a huge financial investment every time one wants to launch a new product. Its cash up front and huge production runs if you ever want anything made to your specifications.
I will appreciate your support in ordering these new products and all the money will go back into developing and ordering more product and most importantly designing new improved products that nobody in the industry seems to care about. Attention to the actual playing and the small details is not something the guitar industry is good at. Keeping it all the same and never changing terrible designs is the constant goal. Playing the same guitar Buddy Holly played is where its at. They figure this is the way you guitar players want it and you will not buy their product if it was improved in any way. Actually the manufacturers are right, the knowledge level of your typical adult guitar consumer is that of a little kid. Most of the time Manufacturers are not even aware of how terrible their products are or how little it would take to improve them greatly. Who cares, detail is not something they care about and guitar consumers don't notice anything anyway, its all in the image, packaging and looks. Yes I agree that most guitar consumers are total idiots but its from total lack of knowledge. The guitar media is not providing the education since it wants to keep them stupid. The more stupid the consumer the easier it is for the manufacturers.
Anyway, just as I am getting rolling here a smart guy out there wants me to quit and instead show people how to make Zachary Guitars for themselves. Well I am not quitting just yet and the secret about making these guitars is all mine. You can read his comments on the Idiot Page where they belong. What is it about this website which brings idiots out of the woodwork like nothing I have ever seen? Once the idiots come forward, they should all be trapped and taken to an island with a huge Guitar Center store in the center of it.
November 11, 05
It has come to the point that now whenever you see something which looks like a Zachary guitar you should find out if its a real Zachary or if its a "Sham". It turns out that Zachary look-alikes are popping up from third world countries. I will continue to take good pics at just the right angles so that these flattering emulators can have an easier time tracing the Zach shapes. So far they can't even get that right and are lopsided.
I have been criticized by several people recently and these are Zachary players. They are saying:
"Are you getting fancy on me??" A little fancier than usual but still all function...
Does it make me "bad" if I still prefer my humble little Korina on the aesthetics front? Should I have become a monk instead of a guitar player?"
" I have to say that as of late I have noticed that almost all the guitars you are building are Z2. I am looking forward to seeing other Z body styles in the future, but at the same time, it does say something about the Z2 style, doesn't it? Yeah, it says it ROCKS and EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!"
What I say is that it all depends what the theme is. I try to make a different statement with each piece. Its a new canvas every time. I start with a blank canvas and then it all falls into place. Whatever is needed to give it a specific and unique personality. But the bottom line is that I only make ONE guitar.
If you haven't done so already, then check out the Ianeke guitar on both the 141005 page, the Ianeke Project page and also the VideoFiles page.
The newest guitar will also be posted in a few days, 111105 Just finished today.
The latest offering to the Idiot Page is a particularly good one. Its the second time for this individual and this time his statement is profound.
Unfortunately, I don't have the answer to his question. I am just a mere mortal and this stuff is out of my control. I am basically only a bystander in all of this.
I decided I was not going to sell most of the earliest guitars. I will however sell the D1 181097. So if you want a great guitar, an early one, for less, then this is it.
If you can play worth two shits, then I wish some of you would send me your MP3s and Videos playing your Zachs. I need a veriety of different players and styles to showcase. No digital amps or processors please!
Can you believe it? Some of us are contemplating the start up of a Zachary Guitar Forum. That should be fun.
Eli makes a prediction: "It will be chaos with “the converted”, the “wanting to own” and the "haters", who have never played one ...Zachary style!"
June 01, 2006
Wow! I haven't been here for a very long time.
As you know, I have been distracted greatly the last few months. All good things must come to an end it's the same with the Forum. Many have mentioned that it was like no other forum, very intelligent and informative. I certainly agree with that. I sure learned a lot. Let's see what I have learned. I will try to make a short summery of it.
I learned that surprisingly only one person on the forum could actually play the guitar, the only one who actually "made it" and is a professional player and the only one who could actually demonstrate my incredible instruments.. I was not aware of this before. I will have to keep this in mind.
I learned that I am perhaps the least capable of all at demonstrating my own guitars. That could be true but I will continue to try anyway.
An open-chord player even told me that if I was worth the effort and not a waste of time, he would smoke my sorry dysfunctional ass to kingdom come. Sounds like fun.
I learned that using unbalanced strings is the way to go and that its actually better if the strings all have inconsistent tension and the low E actually has less tension than most of the other strings. What was I thinking before?
I also learned that tone is in the hands, and to get the best tone you should totally obscure what your hands are doing with digital devices. This makes perfect sense to me for sure. It looks like I will have to give my head a shake and rethink everything I thought so far. I was truly going down the wrong path. Especially when at least one person says they value the opinion of a digital amp user over anyone else's when it comes to gear. Ouch!
I was told that guitars, amps, strings, effects are all silly petty little things nobody should bother with. As long as you shred, tap and slap, nothing else matters, beginners will always be impressed.
Ultimately, I have learned something I actually knew all along. As the same open-chord player put it, I am a social reject with a massive inferiority complex, a laughable player and a despicable man. I couldn't agree more and so would my wife.
Like I say, I learned a lot and I am really sad to see the Forum go. Just devastated over it. What will I now do in my spare time? It was such a worthwhile effort. It gave me the opportunity in providing a stage for some very unique individuals who now will have to display their genius elsewhere.
The way I see it, the Forum was made up of 3 kinds of people.
1. The Zach Minions, who mindlessly snap up anything I produce.
2. The Heretics who own Zach guitars but will "not take my crap anymore" or put up with my "God Complex". They love their Z guitars but hate me personally.
3. The Random Trolls who will never own a Zachary guitar, know nothing of what I do, understand nothing, care nothing, yet feel it is their duty to give their opinions and views on everything Zach. Even they agree that they belong on the Idiot Page but to me they actually serve a very valuable purpose.
I am so proud of myself having completed two guitars in May, despite this massive amount of baby-sitting time I had to spend on the Forum, which I am so sorry to see end. I don't even know how I managed to make two guitars. So, have a peek at 290506. For a few moments I actually thought that this may be the best guitar I built so far, however that feeling did not last very long. My inferiority complex quickly took hold of me again and I now feel totally worthless again. I need to build another guitar very quickly, which must be even better than the last. If it isn't, I will feel like a total failure again. So this is what drives me. Regardless of what I do, I will still hate myself and will need to repeat the cycle all over again and again, endlessly, needing to make each guitar better than the last. The bar gets higher each time. It's a very unhappy and miserable existence but I know some mean spirited individuals are actually happy I have this condition.
Remember… I am not here to Bless, I am here to Impress.
June 17, 2006
I made a goal to complete one guitar in 2 weeks, or 2 guitars per month. This effectively doubles my production. I am quite happy about this and it will make others happy as well who don't want to wait a long time for a guitar. I am not saying that I can build 2 guitars every single month. However, I did it last month and will do it again this month. This is only for guitars that are not really out of the ordinary. Obviously new models, new additions to existing models, fancier more complicated examples will take longer than 2 weeks. To make a guitar in 2 weeks, I also must be set up and prepared beforehand.
Take a look at the newest guitar. Finally a Z3 again. It felt good.
Recently I came upon a person's front yard where he had a motorcycle for sale. There was a "For Sale" sign on it and it also read "call to place your bid". I was confused, if he is selling his bike, why the bids? Is this an auction?
I realized that what he was doing was to set a time limit by which everyone interested would call him and tell him what they were willing to pay for the bike. This was the highest amount a person was willing to pay for the motorcycle in order to own it. This kind of made sense to me. Kind of like eBay but on eBay the biggest problem is that one cannot chose the purchaser. This is very dangerous for some items which carry emotional value, like a Zachary guitar.
So I was thinking, what if people could acquire a Zachary guitar the same way. I would set a starting price for it and then wait a certain amount of time, like 2 weeks for example and sell it to whoever 1) first qualified to own it and 2) whoever also was prepared to pay the highest amount. Everything would be out in the open and disclosed on this website. The key here is that 1) I would be able to qualify and approve the potential purchasers and 2) whoever wanted a particular guitar bad enough could get it right away after its completion. The idea is sort of exciting and does have some potential.
This would solve several issues.
1) I would no longer have the burden or restraint of building guitars for any particular person and could just be totally creative and let inspiration take over 100%. I am doing this to a large extent now but with the bidding process I could take it even further. Its hard not to keep a person in mind when building a guitar and concentrating and putting pressure on myself to make that guitar into something that I think they might like. The idea is not to have anyone in mind when creating something. True art is when concentration is totally focused on the thing being created for its own sake. Building for specific individuals does thwart creativity and sometimes does not result in the very best piece of work. Its also never an accurate way of doing things because ultimately no creator knows what an individual will like, in most cases not even the individuals ordering the guitar. To remove total reference to any individual throughout the building process would be very beneficial in terms of artistry.
2) You will no longer have to take a guitar which was made for you, you could take any guitar which speaks to you the most. This is different for each person.
People who would really want a guitar would be able to get it immediately, without waiting, all based on how badly they want that guitar.
People with deposits somehow should get priority at purchasing these guitars.
So at this point, its just an idea and may never be implemented. However, I would like to hear your opinions and comments. Speak up now and tell me what you think and if you agree with it and how this could be done. This may be a totally stupid idea, I don't know. Let me know the details and mechanics of such a system if you come up with it on how this could be executed, so that its beneficial for everyone involved.
Let me know if you think this is logical and practical or even ethical.
Its just an idea at this point.
On another topic.
The pedals have only gone out to two people yet but they are both thrilled. You can read the extensive comments on the Pedals page. There will be 3 more pedals shipped in about a week and then we anticipate steady and efficient production in the future.
The amps will also be efficiently produced with minimal waiting period right after I have the metal chassis remade. The metal fabricating company goofed, as I knew they would and this delayed the process, since they need to be redone. Of course I have to pay for their mistake in full.
Once we have the new chassis, the amps will be made quite fast.
So hang in there, I will not let you down.
Remember digital sucks. After you play through Zach gear you will not only agree, you will go to your favorite music store and puke all over their digital equipment. Do it all organic if you are a real player. Keep it real make it your own tone. Good or bad, its yours.
July 10, 2006
I received a lot of responses about the idea of auctioning off these guitars to the highest qualified bidder and everyone was against it. I wasn't comfortable with the idea either but thought I would put it out there for some discussion. The bottom line is that money should never be the final deciding factor as to who gets these guitars. This would be a serious flaw, even if everyone was equally qualified.
I dedicate the latest guitar 0300706 to all those fans I have out there, many of them aspiring guitar builders. They look at this site religiously and I am totally honored by their interested and admiration.
Like this person, who writes: "231002 is amazing. I build guitars, but not like you. I'm just learning. You are an inspiration to me. You rock. TS (Brisbane Australia)"
There are literally hundreds of these Zach watchers out there, all over the world, maybe even thousands. Some are however not very happy with me. I feel their pain. I don't really know why Me, Bobby Simcox and Rush Limbaugh have received an inordinate amount of talent. I know its totally unfair and an insult to others but I recall that even in the Bible it states that, ...let me think..."Not all men are created equal" or something like that, if I remember correctly. I am not sure why its like this. So its not our fault dudes. What can I do about it? We just use what was given to us. You were late to get in line or something like that. Next time, get your act together, so you don't miss out and don't blame me for it. If I have to apologize I will but its the big guy in the sky who decides these things. He is the boss as you know and I am just his servant.
I am so happy I heard back from a certain doorman in NYC who always has a smile on his face because he is constantly thinking about getting laid. He stands by the door of a high class apartment building complex for the ultra rich, where the billionaires look down on the millionaires with disgust. He has worked on this composition for a long time and it really rocks. Although I don't usually post things played through digital amps, I think he did a very good job of this. The playing, the melody, the composition, drum programming and arrangement are all great. Its quite a complex piece and despite the shortcomings of digital amplification and recording, through the proper analog equipment, like expensive preamps, he did a very good job of it. You can hear 250405 on all the electric guitar parts Beauty of the Time mp3.
The TUZ has this to say:
I agree with Eli, these guitars are for heavyweight guitar players and anyone that just falls in love with the design and really don't know how to play well, should follow up on a production model guitar. I've been playing guitar for years and recording as well, and the Z2 is my top dog guitar.. So people, make quality friend's with your guitar playing and learn all your 7 modes, then get your Zachary!! The TUZ!!
The Z pedals are rolling off the line and 3 more are being shipped this week, more to come very soon. You are an idiot if you don't get one. Once tried people cannot live without it.
The production amps as you know have been finalized and as soon as the flaky metal shop guy gets me those aluminum chassis the amps will be started and once we get going, the work will be quite fast. Thanks for all your patience. Hope you are having a good summer.
September 12, 06
This must me confusing for anyone thinking of ordering a Zachary guitar.
Over the last year I have been looking for an SG that fits my high level of expectation. None have so far. I will know it is the right one when I find it (or collect it if it is to be made for me).
I am sorry but I can not subscribe to the thought process which says that you know better than I about what I want - especially when you do not even know what it is you are making and offer only "what turns out". Perhaps your customers need to do a little thinking and a lot more playing before they simply accept whatever they are offered by someone who I assume has not spent much time actually listening to them play.
The above sounds overly harsh, I 'm just amazed people will part with their money so easily. On the plus side, and I trust you are able to take a compliment, I was looking for an excellent guitar maker, and you are obviously all of that. Best of luck with all your endeavours Justin
Zachary owner and future 2 Zach owner, Eagle says;
I know it bothers you to have the pressure of trying to please a customer while creating one of your guitars. You do however make it quite clear what your philosophy is, so I don't understand it when someone gets irritated if they cannot design their own guitar and have you build it. You create it from the depths of your soul, that they happened to offer to buy which you agreed to sell them with certain conditions. You build it the way you see it, period.
Sure it's really hard from the buyers perspective to order a guitar from you with no idea what it's going to look like other than the basic shape, but as I said, we know this up front. We order a guitar from you we just have to take a leap of faith that you don't start getting visions of pink hello kitty's.
When your ready, you build my next guitar the way you envision it. Don't think about me - don't try to please me, build it like you were building it just for you. As you put it "just be totally creative and let inspiration take over 100%". Eagle
I just returned from the Chicago Guitar Show. These shows are really going down in popularity, it was small and everyone there was old. I must have been one of the youngest there. Looked like a weekend event organized by the local old age homes. Sixty year old guys with pony tails. I am telling you people, I have been saying this for years, the guitar is dying and fading fast. It will never be as dead as the accordion, the previously most popular instrument in the world but it will be nothing as we knew it in the past.
I saw and played lots of vintage guitars. It sure is hard to find one of these that are healthy and playable. This has to be the biggest scam in history. It is claimed that people are paying $10K and up for a warn-out warped piece of nothing. $30K for a used-up Strat with a tiny neck. $45K for an unplayable Les Paul. $4.5K for a 50s ES 175 with a sunken top and a hump in the neck, that is damaged beyond repair and makes the guitar totally unplayable.
I have a theory, these former used car salesmen who deal in vintage guitars, sell these things mostly among themselves. They artificially raise the prices and make themselves believe their own BS. Prices are going up because each time a dealer buys a vintage guitar from another dealer he pays more and then sells it for a little more to another dealer 6 months later. Amazingly, in this way the prices are climbing. I certainly did not see any lines forming to purchase or even look at any of these sad looking things.
Another sad encounter was seeing grown men, who have been playing guitar for some 30 years, spend an hour drooling over PRS tops. Then they went over and looked at identical Suhr tops. Those Suhr things feel just like $300 imports, it was a real shocker. An award for marketing genius should be given however. Who buys this stuff?
Notice how every company has their own PRS? For the last 15 years it has been a prerequisite in the guitar world. Everyone must have their own PRS or you cannot call yourself a guitar company. You know the overly exaggerated flamed, quilted, intestine-looking, vomit-inducing, unnatural atrocities with the inch thick plastic condom over it and made by high-tech robotics. Apparently those guys said their PRS guitars sound magnificent because they own several of them and love them. So you may want to check them out. When I still see this happening, I loose all hope. Sad situation.
I came to the realization that these guys have admittedly owned and sold a hundred guitars so far. Many of them live permanently on eBay, yet they really have no clue about guitars. Its like they are 14 years old. This is because they have owned the same guitars over and over again. They have never been exposed to anything else and the current guitar marketing works wonders on them. Its meant for them and speaks to them, in their language.
Some of the world famous guitar boutiques were present displaying their stuff. Have you experienced the "Radio Shack manager" attitude these characters have. These people have a way of acting and a certain extreme arrogance about them that is totally irritating because it is so obvious they know nothing about guitars. The question I ask is how can they be so dumb? Why do they know so little? I came to the same conclusion. Their world is extremely limited. They sell the same guitars over and over and over again. They know nothing else. They also deal with the same types of customers. They sell the same guitars to the same types of people. What irritated me all these years about these guitar boutiques is the ignorance when walking in. Just realizing that you have entered a really stupid place, with stupid products and with very stupid people, who have no clue about anything and who try to make you think how smart they are. You enter a place where music does not exist, only this thick pollution of materialism and ignorance. Its as shallow as a figured veneer top. The store is filled with stuff yet its totally empty at the same time. Empty of substance. You may feel leaving these places like you have just spent 8 hours watching the Osbornes and actually lost a few thousand brain cells in the process. You are now stupider then when you walked in. Its not a good feeling. You may not have realized this because the more you know about guitars the more offensive these places are.
The bottom line is that the show was dead and in the next 20 years it will all be over my friends. When the 60 year olds who witnessed the arrival of the Beatles, are gone, the guitar will be just one of the many instruments, which was basically a cultural fad due to the overwhelming number of kids of the baby boom generation. For those of us still kicking around in a few years, we should be able to buy vintage guitars real cheap, if that's what you want to do.
Just to prove that my "playing is laughable and I have no tone, sitting on my bed as an eternal teenager", I made three more recordings of the Redneck F1 through the Zachary Pedal and Amp. Also take a look at my newest guitar with fatter strings this time..
I am also in the process of adding material all over the site, on the Idiot page and guitar pages. You will find these if you are clever. It sure takes a lot of time managing a website like this. Time I don't have.
October 10, 2006
If you haven't heard the latest recordings sent to me, you really should have a listen. VideoFiles.htm Ted Noize and Mark Miller do a fine demonstration of what Zachary guitars can do. These sound files are important for several reasons. You will hear some more Zachary guitar tones and you will also hear the Zachary Pedal in action.
Mark Miller offers very good recording quality, something I am still not set up for. So you will clearly hear a guitar, which is very close to my heart, the F1. The body shape is not my own, its the ultimate Telecaster. However this is precisely why the F1 is so important. It was a crucial challenge to take something, which is quite flawed and make it into something magical. Everything from the custom pickups, neck dimensions, modified bridge, Stainless saddles, switching combinations, ZOG string gauges, Aluminum knobs, one piece Swamp Ash and many other details, have made the F1 something I am proud of. I am also happy about keeping all the essentials of the desing very much intact. It stays very much a vintage Telecaster, only on Steroids. I felt something had to be done to the Telecaster, which was long overdue. In fact, Mark Miller told me that a while ago he was seriously in the market for a Telecaster. He walked into a major music store and tried many different Telecasters but could not walk out with any of them. That's how bad they were. If you are a real player and want to do some real playing like Mark, then the F1 is the only guitar made for you.
Now for your viewing pleasure. The Russian Mafia has been at it again making some Zachary Guitars. This dumbass from Finland, for who I would not make anything, had turned to them for help and this is what they came up with. Its all a "Sham".
Zpedal production is going good. I may actually do some advertising to let all the fools, who have never heard of Zachary Guitars, know about it. There is a whole army of 40 and 50 year olds out there, who are drooling to buy their first or 5th PRS. These people may be saved, or maybe its too late for them. Come to think of it there are some Zachary players who do not own a Zpedal yet. I am not sure what to make of that. You better have a good reason or I will wonder if you have recently experienced either a lobotomy, serious brain damage or some kind of emotional catastrophe. Call me paranoid but what if some are plugging Zachary guitars into Digital amps. That would be too horrible to even imagine and it gives me shivers. I have nightmares of this They buy a Zachary guitar and then end up sounding like a POD. In that case the infidels must convert or die. So if you have no good reason for not owning a Zpedal, you should just check yourself into some kind of a hospital. You can plead insanity and be excused.
The huge order of ZOG Strings has arrived. Check them out on the Strings Page. I now have 3 different sets with full packaging, graphics and bar codes, ready to be sold in stores if you can believe it. It would be sacrilege to find Zachary guitars in stores but these strings may do just fine in a store and I could live with it. They would be a real eye opener for those who chose to want to see. ZOG may just change some people's lives. So if your favorite local guitar boutique does not have Zachary Strings, tell them to wake up, get their heads out of the big companies asses and order ZOG strings in bulk. ZOG strings should become their best selling strings, or do I again overestimate people's intelligence? Don't you just hate guitar stores? I do with a passion. No true Zachary player ever needs to go into a guitar store again. I think this is all for now.
November 22, 2006
Finally after many months I edited and uploaded the Mark Miller videos. It took me two whole days to do it. I really like them. Take a look and a listen. Its impressive. VideoFiles
Since the ZOG strings have been made available the idiots have been coming out of the woodwork in droves. Why is it that every time I present something new to them they get into a panic and why is it that most of the idiots in the world gravitate toward guitars. This is truly unfair because the non-idiots must suffer. I just had to increased the size of the NOT FOR IDIOTS! message on top of the Strings page. I hope this will help. For some reason it seems that the simple Optimization concept is very difficult for the average guitar consumer to comprehend and they become agitated. They are uneasy about anything which is not advertised heavily, mentioned by a shitmag or endorsed by Steve Vai, businessman and guitar products salesman extraordinaire. If Steve or his bud Joe don't tell the idiots its good, they are afraid of ZOG and use terms like "I will try it". ZOG are not something you try. ZOG are something you must use, you have no choice. Its dictated by the laws of nature. Regular strings are wrong and obsolete and should not be on any guitar. This is not because of my inventive genius, this is purely the laws of physics and simple logic. I did not invent the laws of physics, although sometimes it feels like I did, since others don't use those laws. It makes me laugh to see all the 10-46 and 9-42 sets all these string sellers offer. Then they try to desperately differentiate themselves with BS, while all their strings are equally flawed because the gauges are incorrect. They all offer the same wrong gauges which people consider as being the norm. The only reason not to use ZOG tension-optimized string sets is if you are a pedestrian no talent, intellectually challenged or if you are some kind of a passive aggressive with a revolt against anything Z, which makes you the ultimate Idiot and your wife should be kicking you in the balls. So if you have not been gifted with at least average intelligence then just keep using the strings you always have and stay off this website. It will corrupt your thinking.
That brings me to the disgusting topic of endorsements. Instead of giving you perfectly designed and thought out products, they simply have their shit endorsed by someone they think you will be impressed by. They throw a lot of money at this and it works. Endorsement is a big topic and quite repulsive, so I think I will leave it for a future rant. When you truly analyze it, is it not amazing how the guitar world attracts the most idiots? Why is this? Tremendous ignorance all mixed up with some profit seekers, who are idiots themselves but are manipulative enough to take advantage of the consumer idiot so they can take their money. Add to this some performer frauds who live to endorse anything they can and it makes for a severely cheesy situation. At least in the 60s and 70s we had good music to go along with it all, which made the frustration all worth while. Not any more.
I will not take any more of your time. I know you are in a hurry to get down to Guitar Center, to stand in line and pick up your $24K "Blacky" reissue to match your $14K Clapton 335 reissue. EC is laughing his head off and agrees with everything I am saying but is smart enough to keep his mouth shut and profit from it all.
April 26, 2007
I haven't been here for a long time. Too busy developing new models and everything else. Here are a few things to report.
I started the Zach Perspective, in case you have not noticed. Check out the article in Esquire.com aptly titled "Everything You Know About Guitars Is Wrong". They spotted the Ikea guitar on the Internet and wanted to do an article on me. Pass this along.
I will be adding more stuff to the Zach Perspective and I hope as many of you as possible will contribute. There is so much guitar related stuff out there (mostly stupid stuff as expected) that I could be spending the entire day, every day, posting things to this site, however no guitars would be created.
Check out the Idiot page with some new stuff. Whenever I stop receiving hate mail I kind of feel there is something wrong and I am not doing it right. So its always reassuring to get that stuff.
I am trying to get to everyone's guitar, with another difficult new guitar coming up after the Z-bird.
More of the string sets have been packaged with labels. I have been shipping these strings all over the world but still the word has to get out more. These will be the standard string sets in the future. The strings that are currently available in stores should be eliminated because they are wrong. I now have three killer acoustic sets and the roundwound 4 string bass set. More finalized ZOG packaged sets on the way.
Check out the new finalized engraved look of the Z-pedal, you will also see it advertised in Vintage Guitar Magazine, along with ads for the strings (in this month's issue), and amps. Speaking of amps, get ready for some more Zachary Amps arriving shortly. Besides the SuperNatural there will be the Hussy and the Xfactor models in head and combo formats
I will be posting some vids or soundfiles of the new Z-bird and I will also post a killer track by Mark Miller playing his Roy B. through his tube amp. As good as it gets. I keep feeling sorry for guitar players without Z-stuff, they are sure missing out.
If there is anything else I forgot, I will get back to you.
April 30, 2007
Just a quick note to check out the update on the first G3 230407.
Also check out the two new vids of the the G3 230407 and the two new vids of Z3-TS 111006
May 5, 2007
On the VideoFiles page, check out the new recording by Mark Miller playing his Roy B. Just go to Mark's section and click on the last link on his list.
Also check out Christopher Trull playing his Mimi on the new solo recording. Go to the Mimi page 240500 (also an IKEA gutiar) for the link info.
Also check the updated Owners Manual page with the Ted Noiz rules on how to take care of your Zach. As well as the new Repair Horrors link.
July 4, 2007
I brought the 7 string down to the store where JD works, to show it to them. These guys are all cool and real musicians, including the owner. Not too many stores like this one. They flipped out over it and a small crowd gathered. The owner of the store said "its not really a guitar". He said its more like on of those Stik things. I agree, its like reaching in and plucking the string of a grand piano. The ZOG 11-7 string set is unquestionable. Lenny Breau comes to mind. He needed this guitar badly. I mean badly. If he was alive I would just give it to him and not for any reasons of endorsement but just because he must have it.
Come to think of it. Andy Summers got a few lessons from Lenny before he died and Andy is really into Jazz actually, so if any of you know how I can get a hold of him let me know. It woudl be worth a shot since I think if Andy ever got out of his cocoon he would really dig this gutiar or any other Z for that matter, also the Z pedal, which he needs badly as well.
About the 7-string, people at the store said how good the pickups were, but we Z players know that is not where the core of the sound is coming from. One person who works there said he does not want to add any overdrive to the Matchless amp they plugged it into because the guitar sounded so good clean. Huge sound clean. Hearing others play it, I was impressed myself. Funny thing was JD was not there. It was his day off. I will try to get him to demo the guitar before I ship it off in a few days. Its truly a special piece.
November 11, 2007
I just realized that I did not upload the previous entry from July 4th. Read it, its just immediately above, even though it seems a long time ago now.
There is a new development in the Z world it seems. Its good news actually for many because now you don't need to deal with an SOB like me, you can buy a Z2 guitar from many different sources. It seems like Z2s are being made everywhere. Everything from a cheap Chinese mass-produced bass with the exact Z2 body, to numerous tinkerer projects, to heavily figured boutique masterpieces. This is all so weird. Many who send me hate mail are desperate in steeling my Z2 at the same time, they love it so much.
A strange continuation to a very weird story is that one guy who sent a deposit for a Z2 and then backed out of it after the guitar was finished, letting me keep the deposit but saying that the finished guitar was not to his aesthetic liking, now has his own Z guitar, which he claims he has built himself and people on guitar forums everywhere are congratulating him for his tremendous creativity and innovation in guitar design.
Right: Here is another tinkerer, who spends most of his day in guitar chat rooms, with an amazingly similar, maybe superior Z2 that I am sure he is in business of selling to anyone with the cash. The more I look at it, the more I am tempted in stealing his ideas to improve my own Z2 work. Thanks guy, I am in awe. I think I will go in this direction. Its funny how he never told me about it first. I have to find out from others about all this amazing work.
Below: Then there are these triplets made in Russia, of all places. This was the brainchild of a wonderful guy in Finland, who wanted a Z2 very badly but I didn't think that my Z2 was good enough for him, so he commissioned some Russians to make him some Z2s. The Russians are like the Chinese, they will put a hole in their own mother's kneecaps if the money is right. I know one of these beauties actually sold on eBay for about $1000 a short time after it was made. I am not sure why it was sold but it must have made someone very happy.
When I really knew I hit the big time was recently when I was contacted by a regular Z watcher who had this shocking discovery to tell me about.
Here is what he said.
Even Warmoth did it! Not an exact copy but it still obvious. Hell, they even call it a Z body style. Dude, you should light some fires. Regards, Jeff
Ted Noiz says "You don't talk much about how you do things...all the mystery surrounding your work".
I wish I could share more but as you can see, there is a reason I cannot say much. I reveal too much as it is. An army of tinkerers, exploiters and snakes are watching and listening as they don't believe that it is vile and repugnant to steel another man's passions.
November 18, 2007
I am introducing 2 new ZOG string sets. The Bass 5 string from Low E to High C and the ZOG 10+, extra optimized guitar nickel roundwound set. Go to the STRINGS PRODUCTS page to check them out.
Also check out Jay's little tapping composition played on his Z1 bass with ZOG strings.
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