Given the simplicity of its design, it’s truly remarkable how much staying power the revolutionary Telecaster has exhibited in the half-century since its introduction. Especially for a slab of wood that only nods to the traditional profile of a guitar, a neck bolted on (no fingerboard, just pound the frets into the neck), with a couple of dinky pickups. Nevertheless, for about 50 years this guitar has been in production and ready to boogie, with legions of fans!
Along with the Mosrite Ventures and Gibson’s Les Paul and ES-335, the Tele was one of the earliest American guitars to be copied by Japanese makers at the end of the ’60s and beginning of the ’70s, though it was never the predominant shape. The early ’80s experienced a mild revival of the form, but it really remained a background mainstay popular with country pickers.
Then, somewhere in the early ’90s, vintage guitars became especially hot, and a minor trend erupted, with guitar companies reissuing copies of their older vintage models and introducing new designs with a kind of retro vintage cache. Perhaps as fallout from this rush to vintage values, there began an explosion of Telecaster-style guitars, mostly offered by individual luthiers, but even by larger companies. The ’90s has become a Golden Age of the Telecaster.
What follows is a survey of some of the Tele-style guitars offered by contemporary makers, meant to give just a flavor of the variety. Most of the guitars discussed here, especially those by individual luthiers, are pricey. Expect the floor to be around $2,000 on these beauties, less on those from larger manufacturers.
Most information was provided by the builders. You, gentle reader, can augment the survey by casting your gaze over the ads in this periodical where you will, no doubt, find further examples of the noble savage Telecaster!
Contact information is listed at the end.
While Carvin hardly qualifies as an individual luthier, it is based on a custom-order concept that recently turned to the Tele style with the turn to neo-vintage in the ’90s. Carvin was founded in ’46 by Lowell Kiesel in Los Angeles, where the family made Kiesel-cast Bakelite Hawaiian lap steels. In ’49, a distribution problem caused the name to become Carvin, a combination of the names of sons Carson and Gavin. Over the years Carvin guitars evolved from sticking pickups on Harmony and Kay archtops to relatively economical solidbodies, sometimes entirely made by the family, sometimes made of hybrid Japanese or (more often) German (Höfner) parts.
Pickups were always the mainstay of Carvin, and in the late ’70s it resumed making guitars. By the early ’80s it evolved to original shapes and heavy use of neck-through construction, including highly figured woods like koa and lacewood.
What distinguishes Carvin has always been a reliance on direct mail catalog sales, though as the ’90s dawned a couple retail outlets were opened. If you’re on the list, every few months you get a hefty color catalog chock full of guitars and basses made of gorgeous timbers, and you can customize the basic instrument with pickups, hardware, electronics (taps and phase switches), and finishes.
Currently Tele-style offerings include the AE185, AE185-12, AC175, AC275 Jumbo, AC275-12, and the Holds-worth H1, H1T, H2 and H2T.
The Carvin AE185 and AE 185-12 are semi-hollowbodies pretty close to a Tele shape with a more pointed horn, a guitar designed to switch between rock and a more acoustic sound. These have one f-hole on the bass side, a pair of active humbuckers and an acoustic-style glued-on bridge with an F60 transducer pickup. There are two jacks for separate electric and “acoustic” output simultaneously. These have mahogany neck-through body, three-and-three head (six-in-line optional), two-octave rosewood fretboards, and dots. Standard is an Engleman spruce top, with options to upgrade to flamed maple, quilted maple, koa, flamed koa, and tortoise binding.
The Carvin AC175 actually sort of takes up where Kramer’s Tele-shaped Ferrington’s left off in ’90. This is an acoustic/electric essentially the same shape as the AE185 with a hollowed-out mahogany body, neck-through construction and a round soundhole replacing the magnetic pickups. This comes with Engleman spruce top or optional flamed maple. The AC275 is the same but with a larger body and a rounded cutaway horn. The head is three-and-three, with optional in-line head, and flamed and quilted maple, koa and flamed koa top options.
Most interesting of Carvin’s contemporary Tele inspirations are the Alan Holdsworth-endorsed semi-solidbodies. These take a basic Tele shape, with rounded cutaway horn, and add a scallop to the bottom bout. Instead of neck-through, these offer a set neck with one or two humbuckers, stoptail or vibrato. Body and neck are of Alder, with graphite reinforcement in the neck, and a dot-inlaid ebony ‘board. The head is a short, pointy thing with a two-and-four tuner arrangement. Flamed or quilted maple are body options.
If Carvin’s Teles offer fancy wood options, Conklin guitars and basses take this notion to the extreme. Based in Springfield, Missouri, Conklins are essentially custom-made instruments built under the aegis of Bill Conklin, who began building guitars in ’84. Basically, you can get anything you want, but there are a number of standard models, including one contemporary take on the Telecaster dubbed the Crossover 101, introduced in ’95.
The Crossover can be had any way you like, but it basically combines a Tele-style body with two concepts; flexibility to take Tele, Strat, or Les Paul-style pickup layouts, and Conklin’s exclusive “melted top.” The body is unmistakably Tele, but with a narrower waist and sleeker profile. Backs are contoured for comfort on the upper waist. Necks are laminated with an integral three-and-three headstock (looking sort of like a PRS), bolted on with a tapered heel joint. Fingerboards can be maple, rosewood, or ebony, hardware is gold, chrome, or black. Any marker layout can be done, but Conklin prefers small dots along the top edge of the board, with one center dot at the octave. Bodies can be made of anything you want, but Conklin prefers cherry.
Essentially, the pickup and bridge system you want is installed on the Crossover (the idea behind the name), including traditional Tele single-coils, back mounted in a bridge/tailpiece assembly, three Strat single-coils, or twin humbuckers. You pick the brand.
One of Conklin’s specialties is making custom-carved tops, so you can get various carves and scallops on top of the basic Crossover shape. However, the neatest cosmetic feature is Conklin’s “melted top,” an original innovation that involves taking various exotic figured woods such as lacewood, mahogany, and koa, and piecing them together in “organic” patterns, often set off with wenge accent strips.
Another characteristic feature is what the company calls “Extended Range,” which simply means adding extra strings, usually to seven or eight. The 8-string option puts one string above and one below the usual range. These can be exquisite works of art.
If you’re a banjophile, one name you know is Deering, the high-class outfit run by Greg and Janet Deering that’s been making banjos since ’75 in Lemon Grove, California. Among their many specialty banjos are several with guitar necks (for you old fogeys who don’t want to learn new chords). In ’89, Deering entered the guitar biz, and for three years produced eight models including four Teles (the GD 200-T Wave, GD 400-T Flor-De-Lee, GD 600-T New-Vo, and GD 800-T Tree-of-Life) and four Strats with the same appointments (GD 200-S Wave, GD 400-S Flor-De-Lee, GD 600-S New-Vo, and GD 800-S Tree-of-Life).
One of the hallmarks of Deering banjos is their fancy pearl and abalone inlay work employed liberally on its guitars. Descriptions of the GD 400-T Flor-De-Lee and GD 600-T New-Vo are not available, but we can probably guess some of the details. Presumably these were Teles with fleur-de-lis inlays, and some sort of Art Nouveau inlays. Both the GD 200-T and GD 800-T featured traditional Tele body shapes with bolt-on maple necks. The heads were a svelte streamlined cross between Tele and Strat six-in-line. The 200-T featured triple black/white/black binding on the body and fingerboard. The ebony board sported snazzy wave inlays along the bottom, looking like a line of shark fins. Pickups were typical Tele, with a Seymour Duncan Blade stacked humbucker at the neck and a Duncan Vintage mounted in the bridge/tailpiece. The tone pot was push/pull offering series/parallel switching. Colors were brown mahogany, dark walnut, blond maple, cremona sunburst, tobacco sunburst, jet black, royal blue, white, red, electric blue, and electric green, though custom colors (as if) were available, too.
No specific details are available on the GD 800-T except it had elaborate floral vine inlay on the bound board, plus a figured top of unknown timber, abalone top inlays, and a painted floral design on the lower bout. Electronics appear to be identical to the 200-T.
Deering’s takes on the Tele lasted only through ’91, but enough are interested, maybe they’ll come back!
Harperz Guitarz are the brainchild of luthier Jon Harper, Apple Valley, California, who specializes in custom-made guitars, many of traditional design, with the majority based on a profile inspired by the Tele.
The majority of the Harperz line consists of very wide-bodied, tubby solidbodies with variants of Tele features, including the humped upper shoulder and a wide, rounded cutaway horn. Even when they deepen the cutaway on the upper shoulder, the shape is an exaggerated Tele rather than Strat. Again, with custom makers just about anything goes.
Harperz Tele-inspired models include the Mojave, Sierra, Custom Sierra, Monterey, Eric Bloom Signature, Phoenix, and Marin Models. All except Custom models appear (based on company literature) to have bolt-neck construction, with a kind of truncated triangular three-and-three head with a little dip on the snout. DiMarzio humbuckers were standard. Tuners were generally locking Sperzels.
Depending on the standard timbers, options include tops made of lacewood, zebra, flamed or quilted maple, purpleheart, black walnut, or koa. Standard necks are maple, with optional cocobolo, birdseye maple, or mahogany. Except for the Bloom Signature, tops are flat and bound. Optional fingerboards include ebony, rosewood, purpleheart, quilted maple, birdseye maple, flamed maple, and cocobolo. Solid finish options include black, red, canary yellow, bright blue, turquoise, ivory, white, seafoam green, lavender, pink, and orange. Translucent finishes for bookmatched tops and optional body woods include (all transluscent) red, green, blue, yellow, amber, purple, aqua, brown, and natural. Bridge options include Schaller Floyd Rose, Original Floyd Rose, Gotoh Floyd Rose, vintage-style, and 2TEK. Black or gold hardware is also optional.
The Mojave features a large Tele hump with an almost perpendicular cutaway, with ash or mahogany body, 2TEK bridge/tailpiece, maple fingerboard with black dots, graphite nut, three-way select, and a volume control. The lower bout has a bit of contour, a la Strat. Finish could be oil or translucent. The Sierra was similar, with a slightly deeper cutaway on the hump and more extension on the horn, with a Schaller finetune bridge/tail assembly, three-way, and volume and tone. This has a basswood, poplar, or alder body and a more rounded lower bout. The Custom Sierra has neck-through construction and locking vibrato. The Monterey was between the Mojave and Sierra in body styling, with the same timbers plus one volume knob, three-way, and vibrato.
The Eric Bloom Signature has basically the same body shape as the Sierra but with a slightly more extended cutaway horn. Unlike other Harperz, it features rounded edges on the alder body. This comes with a pau ferro fingerboard with Blue Oyster Cult logo inlay at the octave, plus an airbrushed version on the face of the body. This has only one bridge DiMarzio with volume and vibrato. Eric’s signature is reproduced on the headstock.
The Phoenix is basically the Sierra with more of a Strat contour to the lower bout. This comes with a bridge/tailpiece assembly incorporating piezo pickups for an acoustic sound. The Marin is the most angular interpretation of the Tele, with contours stretched forward and back. This comes standard with a mahogany body, figured maple top, maple neck, pau ferro fingerboard, twin humbuckers, bridge/tailpiece, and strings through body. Three-way and volume complete the package.
The Marin is arguably the most interesting of Harperz’ Tele-style designs, but with the many options, anything is possible with any of them.
Peavey Electronics Corporation
There’s no way Hartley Peavey’s company belongs on a list of small custom makers, but we control this reality and his guitars make the cut. Peavey began making amps in the mid ’60s using a philosophy of providing musicians with great value for the price. His first guitar was the revolutionary T-60 (in ’78), the first modern solidbody made using numerically controlled carving machines, now standard practice. Partly due to his value philosophy and (we suspect) due to his strong opinions, Peaveys have never fully gotten the respect they deserve, but the problem is with those who withhold due respect. There are incredibly good Peavey guitars out there for great prices.
Just to give you a flavor of Peavey’s personality, when I requested pictures he disagreed that the Wolfgang belonged with a Tele article and then suggested most of our readers think the only good guitars were made in the past and he believes we are only just beginning to make good ones. Even with promised publicity he couldn’t resist a jab at the status quo. Thanks. We may agree, as evidenced by the subjects covered here.
Anyhow, as mentioned last month, Peavey began his interest in the Tele form with the ’80s Generation guitars. By ’98 the company was offering six guitars which fall into a Tele category; the Reactor, Reactor AX, Steve Cropper Classic, and three Eddie Van Halen-endorsed EVH Wolfgangs.
The Reactor is the most typical Tele, looking basically like its Fender counterpart except for the standard Peavey six-in-line head. It has the same pickguard, the pickup in the bridge/tailpiece assembly, even the volume, tone and three-way on a metal plate. The Reactor comes with a poplar body, bolt-on maple neck, 22-fret maple fingerboard, a couple classic single-coils, in gloss black, gloss white, and gloss red. The Reactor AX is similar except for having an alder or swamp ash body, rosewood fingerboard, and two Db2 Blade hum-cancelling “single-coils.” The alder AX comes in Gloss Black, Power Blue, and Sea Green, whereas the ash AX comes in blond or sunburst.
The Steve Cropper Classic, endorsed by the studio ace, is an upscale Tele with a flamed maple top and mahogany body – no pickguard. It has a rosewood board, a Db2 Blade pickup at the neck and a Db4 Quad Blade Humbucker in the bridge. Controls are mounted on top. Colors include Onion Green (think Booker T & the MGs), Black, Rhythm Blue, and Memphis Sun.
The Wolfgangs include the EVH Wolfgang, EVH Wolfgang with stoptail, and the EVH Wolfgang Special. All have birdseye maple necks with graphite reinforced sculpted joint. The head is a truncated three-and-three with a little hook on the snout. All have two humbuckers designed to Van Halen’s specs. The two regular Wolfgangs have basswood bodies and either a basswood or figured maple top, birdseye maple fingerboard, three-way select, and volume and tone controls. The EVH Wolfgang has a Floyd Rose locking vibrato system with a D-tuner device, the EVH Wolfgang with Stoptail has a finetune bridge and stoptail. The Wolfgang Special is essentially the same as the basswood Wolfgang with a hard rock maple fingerboard, the Floyd, and just one volume control. The basswood versions are available in Gloss Black, Ivory and Vintage Gold (Special only). The maple-topped versions come in Vintage Gold, and transluscent Amber, Red, and Sunburst.
Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
Roger Sadowsky of New York City is best known for his custom-made solidbody basses, but he also makes a line of custom guitars. All his designs employ Fender inspiration, and his guitars are based on the Strat or Tele.
Sadowsky’s reliance on Fender designs has an interesting etiology. He got into the business making acoustic guitars in ’72 and spent years doing repairs in Philly. In ’79 he transplanted to the Big Apple and decided to begin building his own electric instruments in around ’80 or ’81. At that time (pre-synth) the main market was for studio players doing jingles, and the studio engineers didn’t want to see anything but Fender instruments, with which they were most comfortable. Sadowsky perceived this prejudice and decided refining Fender-style instruments would get him the greatest uptake. The ploy worked and his instruments have been Fender-style ever since.
Sadowsky selects timbers with a good acoustic sound, then uses either his own or Joe Barden pickups played through a patented onboard preamp that allows midrange and gain boost. All have maple necks with optional morado (Bolivian rosewood) or maple. The standard Sadowsky Tele-style looks pretty much like a regulation Tele except for the six-in-line head, which looks like a hawk beak. A maple board is standard, and the body is made of swamp ash. Pickups are Barden blades in a single-coil size, the bridge mounted in a Tele-style bridge/tailpiece assembly. Controls are mounted on the de rigeur metal plate. It comes in a natural or transparent white finish.
Sadowsky gets more adventuresome with his Sadowsky Electric Nylon Guitar, which is a solidbody Tele designed for use with nylon strings. This is basically another Tele but with an alder body topped in quilted maple. A large, triangular fixed bridge, similar an old Gibson Mark acoustic, is glued onto the top and contains a transducer pickup. Volume and tone controls are mounted on the top below the bridge. This guitar is really designed for an acoustic sound for electric players; players who use one include Earl Klugh, Pat Metheny, Lee Rittenour, Gilberto Gil, John Abercrombie, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Mick Goodrick, and Keith Richards. Some endorsement!
Stark Custom Made Guitars are built by David B. Stark of Bakersfield, California, and are squarely in a Telecaster mode. David Stark began building guitars in ’82, after studying the art with Bill Gruggett, one of the principal luthiers at the original Bakersfield Mosrite factory. As a result, some of his instruments combine interesting proprietary features with Fender and Mosrite characteristics. Few details are available on Starks, but there appear to be two basic models, both Teles.
The Stark catalog shows two models; a Tele thinline copy, pretty much spot-on except for top-grade materials, including a birdseye maple neck (frets inlaid into neck material), and an ash body with tiger maple top. The model shown includes a red/yellow sunburst finish and a crushed plastic pickguard.
The other is more in a Mosrite hybrid vein. It features a walnut body cut in a Tele shape, but with many other features. The bound top is made of quilted maple, trimmed with a Mosrite/Rossmeisl German carve. The neck is flamed maple (possibly neck-through, perhaps glued). This has a three-and-three head with a three-part Mosrite-style castle top. The board is bound ebony, with 21 frets and dots. Pickups are P-90 copies with a simple bridge/tailpiece assembly with individual saddles and strings through the body. Controls are three-way with volume and tone. Mosrite fans take note – very cool.
Timtone Custom Guitars
Timtone guitars are from yet another small shop, operated by Tim Diebert and his family in Danville, Washington, just south of the Canadian border. Timtone offers three basic shapes, including a jazz box and a sorta Strat, but the original Timtone guitar was the MK Series body, a sort of pudgy Telecaster shape, which is why they’re included here. Since these are custom-made, there are few standard features and many options.
The Timtone MK Series was designed in conjunction with guitarist Miles Kennedy, hence the name. As mentioned, the basic shape of the MK is a wide Tele body, with a bolt-on maple neck custom-sized to the buyer’s preference, and narrowly tapered three-and-three headstock. Necks are figured maple, mahogany, or cherry. The neck joint is a six-bolt affair with a large cutaway scallop to facilitate high note access. Fingerboards are bookmatched pau ferro or ebony in three scale lengths with a variety of inlay options, mostly dots or one fancy octave shape. Neck binding is optional. Flamed maple tops are flat, and except in special cases, escew binding in favor of the common trick of leaving an edge unfinished to look like binding. Bodies can be chambered, with catseye soundholes, or solid. Bodies are mahogany. On the solids, the backs are a little concave to give your tummy a little extra room. Generally strings go over a bridge/tailpiece assembly (2TEK optional) and pass through the body to ferrule anchors in back. Timtone offers a proprietary bone bridge option. All guitars feature two-end strap buttons to give balance, and they double as a more secure “stand” if you lean your axe against the amp. Hardware is usually Gotoh and chrome, but you can pay extra for Steinberger gear and different plating.
Since Timtones are custom, there is a variety of electronics options. Basically, you can specify any brand you like, choose recommended Bardens, or opt for Timtone’s own hand-wound units. Switching harnesses are custom designed according to your tastes, and output can range from simple one-jack lines to multiple outputs and switching options if you want to go crazy. A six-position rotary varitone control option is also available.
Timtone recently added the MK7 Seven String guitar to the series, with an extra bass string. They’ll also build you a baritone-sized guitar with a 28″ scale.
In ’98 Timtone added a Q Series budget-priced version, which allow fewer customizations. The Q Series MK is a solid with an alder body or alder with plainer maple top, color or sunburst finish, plain maple neck, pau ferro fingerboard, clay dots, Gotohs, no sculpted heel, chrome hardware, and a stoptail.
ToneSmith guitars are built by luthier Kevin Smith in Rogers, Minnesota, and feature four basic guitar body stylings, one of which is straight Tele Thinline inspired, while another – the 316 Special (guitar and bass) – is a hybrid Strat/Tele. Smith began making guitars in 1984, when he opened GLF guitars. The designs in the ToneSmith catalog were introduced under that brand name in ’97.
ToneSmith’s Tele guitar is the 510 and J510 Bass. This is essentially an upscale thinline semi-hollowbody with a Tele shape and slightly more hooked Strat-style six-in-line headstock. A modified lightning soundhole graces the top near the waist, with a second little leg at the bottom. The neck is bolt-on maple. The fingerboard has a nifty little wave design on bottom edge. A distinctive laminated pearloid pickguard is screwed onto the lower part of the guitar. Guitar and bass are stoptails, with a Bigsby option for the guitar. Pickup options include mini-humbuckers, P-90s, or mini-lipstick, in any configuration, but Smith seems to prefer three for the guitars and two on the bass. Manufacturer is not specified, but these look like Chandlers. Selection can be either a five-way rotary or sliding switch.
ToneSmith guitars come in three basic versions, the Special, Custom and Deluxe, with different appointments for each. The Special has unbound rounded edges, solid color, natural maple neck and headstock, unbound maple or rosewood fingerboard, dots, three pickups, roller bridge and stoptail. The Custom adds a bound birdseye or quilted maple top, with other exotic woods available, including flamed oak and paroba. The Custom neck is birdseye quilted maple with single-bound Brazilian rosewood or bubinga fingerboard with diamond inlays with two extra “wings.” The Deluxe option adds extra figure to the timbers, triple binding on ebony fingerboard, and a Bigsby.
Zion Guitar Technology
Zion guitars are the brainchild of Ken Hoover and are built in Greensboro, North Carolina. Zion began when Hoover started doing repairs in ’74, although he didn’t begin making Zion guitars until ’80. Zion got an early boost through a relationship with guitar ace Phil Keaggy. Zion is a bit larger than a one-man custom luthier shop, offering at least nine standard models, but still a low-production, high-quality maker offering at least two Tele-style guitars, the Fifty and the Ninety, both introduced in ’94.
The Zion Fifty is your basic Tele-style guitar with a number of upmarket refinements. The body is swamp ash, the bolt-on neck maple, with a sort of simplified Tele-style six-in-line headstock. Fingerboards are 22-fret birdseye maple, rosewood, or ebony, with a bone nut. The Fifty uses Sperzel Trim-Lok tuners, has a Tele-style pickguard, bridge/tailpiece assembly with the bridge pickup, and typical Tele controls on the chrome plate, three-way, volume and tone. Pickups are Seymour Duncan vintage replicas. Among the cool refinements are the pickguard, which is made of black Bakelite. Also, the bridge consists of patented Zion saddles called Tune-rites. These eliminate the six-saddle design in favor of a modified vintage idea in which there are three saddles again, like on old Teles, but the threaded holes are drilled at an angle so the saddles are slanted to allow for better intonation. Clever! Colors include butterscotch, Mary Kay, honeyburst, and 6120 orange.
The Zion Ninety is basically a slightly hotrodded Tele Thinline, a semi-hollowbody with two sound chambers, Fender-style soundhole, but no pickguard. The Ninety body is swamp ash with a figured maple top. The neck is the same as the Fifty, but with gold hardware. Pickups are now Barden Deluxe hum-cancelling units. Controls are still mounted on a plate, and the bridge/tailpiece unit has the Tune-rites. Colors include honeyburst, tobaccoburst, teal, Vintage Yellow, and transblue. Subtle and nice.
As mentioned at the outset, these guitars are but a few of the fancy options out there. At last month’s Philly show I encountered some well-made guitars by G.L. Jacobs of Chestertown, Maryland, including the Model R, a Tele-style with carved flame maple top, mahogany back, maple/mahogany/maple neck-through construction, three-and-three head, rosewood board, dots, stoptail, and twin Kent Armstrong humbuckers. In ’84, G.H. Reno began offering the Hideaway and The Rebel Tele-style guitars. In ’92, Don Grosh began offering the Hollow Custom Model HC and Hollow Silver Sparkle Model HSS. Tom Anderson Guitarworks began offering a number of Teles starting in ’93, including the Cobra, Drop Top T, Hollow Cobra, Hollow T, Hollow T Classic, Hollow T Contoured, and Hollow T Classic Contoured.
Since the mid ’90s, much of the Canadian built/American assembled Godin line has been based directly or closely on a Telecaster model, including its swell synth guitars. In ’96 our old friend Framus resurfaced with a Tele-style Panthera Custom. In ’97 things exploded with B.C. Rich introducing four Tele-inspired models – the Blaster, Outlaw Blaster, Robert Conti 8-string, and Robert Conti 6-string. DeMarino offered its deluxe Black Guard, Kelly introduced the Kellycaster Three, Levinson of Switzerland brought out its Blade Delta and Blade Thinline, Pat Wilkins his Studio, Rarebird its Telehawk, Jonathon Rose his Custom, and Rustler its TL Model 4022, to mention just a few.
This almost ubiquitous fascination with the Telecaster, about as basic an electric guitar as you can imagine, is an amazing tribute to Leo Fender’s creative genius as we head toward the new Millennium! Go Tele it on the mountain!
A more svelt, Conklin Crossover 101 with a “melted top” of lacewood, wenge, mahogany, and koa.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Dec. ’98 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.