Guitars is a little one man shop operating out of Escondido,
California. I specialize in handmade electric
guitars featuring rock solid design and Bare Bones
Tone. I use the best materials I can find but
also try to keep it simple and keep the price
The first and still primary guitar I make is the Poorboy.
It is stripped done to the essentials,
which allows me as a builder and you as a player to
focus on what really matters, the sound and the
The pickup is wired directly to the end pin output
jack. There is no volume or tone control.
For me, these things were always somewhere between a
distraction and an annoyance. Once I
started building my own guitars, they were the first
thing to go.
The Standard Pickup is my PF2, which is electricly similar to a mini humbucker. There are a few differences.
There are no adjustable pole pieces, instead there
are steel bars inside each coil. The magnet is usually
AlNiCo 5, although I am still experimenting.
There is no back plate, and instead everything is
wrapped in copper foil, which grounds and shields the
steel bars. The whole assembly is then encased in
The other pickup I use quite a bit is the Bill Lawernce L45S. Humbucking and slightly lower output, it's a great option if you prefer a single coil sound. I will consider other pickup options if they are compatible
with my mounting system.
I route the pickup cavity very tight to the body of
the pickup. The pickup is pressed into the body
with a fair amount of force, and is extremely
solid. I want the pickup to move as little as
possible, with no motion relative to the
strings. This allows the pickup to most clearly
sense the vibrations of the strings. It's one
part of the rock solid design. There are a
couple of set screws installed from the back which sit
under the pickup and allow you to set and change the
closeness to the strings.
The bridge is another part of the rock solid
design. I use a Dead Stop Tail Piece which is a
big chunk of aluminum screwed down directly to the
body. The bridge is a specially milled piece of
Aluminum or Corian which sits on a hardwood bridge
ramp. I usually usually match the neck wood.
Remember, this is an electric guitar,
not an acoustic. The sound comes from the
vibrating strings interacting with the pickup, not
from the top of the guitar. We want to keep as
much energy as we can in the strings. The solid
bridge sitting on the solid hardwood ramp is much
better at keeping the energy in the strings than all
those little screws and things you find in a typical
electric guitar bridge.
The bridge is cut in the Z or lightning bolt shape to
properly intonate the strings. It is reversible
for sets with wound or unwound G strings. It
works very well for most normal sets. If you
have a very unusual set, say 8/52, it may require some
modification. Action height is set by moving the
bridge up or down the ramp, and intonation is set by
moving the ramp assembly forward or backward.
The next innovation which contributes to rock solid
design is the neck joint. The neck pocket is a
trapezoid, cut slightly smaller than the neck
itself. The neck is installed by positioning it
an inch or so toward the bridge, where it can start to
drop in. It is then pushed away from the bridge
until the heel clears, and then forced down into the
pocket. Once in place, then body and neck are
pushing against each other on four sides. This
is compared to a typical bolt on neck, which has
pressure on two sides, and a glued on neck, which I
don't think has any mating pressure
anywhere. The result of this "Bare Trap"
neck joint is superior resistance to string
dampening. I believe it provides better sustain
than any other system, including "neck
The neck itself, including the fret board, is made of
one solid piece of hardwood. Some of the woods I
like are Maple, Ipe, Merbau, and Baked MAple, and Goncalo Alves
. Maple is the easiest to obtain and is an
excellent, traditional wood for guitar necks. It
is not too expensive, is very hard and smooth, and
still machines and sands fairly easily. Baked
Maple is a little more stable , and a little
darker. Merbau and Ovangkol are harder,
Merbau is open grain which makes it feel
very fast. Ipe is incredible hard and stiff, and
is very hard to work with. But it does make for
a very beautiful, great sounding neck.
I use a zero fret and an inverted Nickel Silver string
guide. This arrangement allows me to use a flat
headstock, and I can make the neck and headstock out
of one piece of wood with very little waste. The
zero fret provides for excellent low action, and
consistent intonation. I'm using Grover Sta-Tite
open back tuners because they work well, they match
the bare bones style of the guitar, and are reasonably
The truss rod is installed into a hole drilled from
the heel up the center of the neck to the zero
fret. It can be adjusted at the heel by
turning a set screw which forces the rod to
So far I am able to make the bodies one piece
also. I much prefer this to glue ups, and will
continue to build them this way as long as I can get
boards wide enough. I am not too particular to
any one type of body wood. Poplar, Alder, Ash and African Mahogany are all medium weight with great rock and roll tone. Pine and Parota are wonderful light weight options, and heavier woods like Walnut and Meranti have incredible richness and sustain.
I'm now also offering the Conspirator Short Scale Base, and the Side Kick Travel Guitar. These two new model are still evolving a bit, but have the same basic construction as the Poorboy.
As far as production goes, I make these by hand, one
at a time. I use a band saw, a couple different
belt sanders, and a hand held router. I'm not
opposed to CNC machines, I just don't have one.
I love building them and think I make a
great product that would become one of your most
cherished possessions. I don't think of myself
as a "Custom Builder". I try to keep it simple with just a few
options. I have trouble keeping any in stock, so
most wind up being built to order.
Thank you for taking the time to let me tell you about
my guitars. I hope some of you will consider
becoming an investor
.084"x.039" Nickel alloy
Grover Sta-Tite V98N
varies slightly, generally
about 1 11/16" to 1.3/4"
True Tapered Oval (about .8" at the nut, .9" at the neck joint
Bare Trap bolt in.
Neck joins body at the 16th fret. Standard neck plate.
One piece 1/8"" x 1/4"
double folded steel rod, with adjustment screw
Aluminum or Corian Z Bridge with
Aluminum Dead Stop
Nickel or Chrome End Pin
Standard Pickups Weir PF2
Neck / Fret Board* Maple, Merbau, Ipe,
Lyptus, Cumaru, Goncalo Alves, Wenge
Alder, African Mahogany, Meranti, Walnut, Poplar, Parota, Ash, Pine
*subject to availability
firstname.lastname@example.org 760 734 5019