Welcome to the Custom Guitar Design page. By scrolling down you will come to a set of selection forms where you will be able to choose some basic settings so we can get a rough idea of what you might like. We can then really start to pin point what it is you are really looking for and then form a quote and begin the work.
We understand that most people are not sure where to start when they want a custom guitar. We often find people have a rough idea, however choosing the right woods in terms of tonal quality and simply for their beauty can be very overwhelming. For this reason we have given you some information on common guitar woods below that we hope might help you select your tone wood.
Where do I start?
Lets begin by explaining the properties of tonewood with some simple examples. Then you will be able to apply that understanding to different tonewoods to help make your selection.
Try to imagine strumming a guitar in a small room. The guitar will sound very clear and crisp, however there is not much space for the sound to bounce around in and therefore the sound will die down quicker. Now imagine the opposite situation where a guitar has been strummed in a large room. You may find that there is slightly less clarity in the sound that has been produced however as there is more space, the sound will bounce around and echo more, giving more sustain. Now apply this example to the grains of wood, imagining the spaces within the grains of the wood a bit like the rooms in the example above. A denser wood will give a bright clarity in sound and a quick attack as there is less space for the sound to move around in. Contrary to this, a wood that is less dense will give a warmer and darker resonance, with a longer sustain.
Mix these factors with your choice of pickups and what amp you play through to create a cocktail of parameters that will give a sound truly unique to you!
Originally used in Fenders in the 50's. Swamp Ash in Southern USA in the swampland where its roots are covered by water. This leads to a large open grain that is visually stunning and makes for a very light weight wood. Swamp Ash generally performs well across all tonal frequencies and performs well with single coil pickups. Take a look at our Bellatrix Telecaster here for an idea of how Swamp Ash can look.
Mahogany (Honduras and Sapele)
Mahogany ranges in colour depending on its age and the region it is from. We use Sapele Mahogany (the chocolatey brown) as well as Honduras Mahogany (amber tinted yellow) as they are in rich supply as well as farmed sustainably. Mahogany is a much heavier wood than Swamp Ash and you will notice the weight difference in comparison. Due to its fairly high density, the mahogany excels at low frequencies and lower end mid tones, with a warmer sounding high end tone. This wood has proven to be versatile for many genres making it a suitable choice for some punchy rock riffs as well as some mellow warm clean sounds.
Walnut is a personal favourite for use in guitar builds. Walnut is extremely dense and therefore can give some really clear bright tones that are punchy and full of attack, perfect for some choppy metal riffs or some lovely bright clean tones. Once Walnut has been sanded up and a finish applied to it, the quality and beauty of the grain structure really starts to show. Our Orion and Marauder builds both use Walnut.
Fretboards also contribute to tonal quality of the guitar. Again the same rules apply as discussed earlier with the density of the wood chosen. However in the case of the fretboard, we tend to prefer to make all of our guitars with dense woods. Dense woods are better suited to a neck where there is a lot of tension being held due to the truss trod and strings, added to this the frets often tend to be seated better in harder woods. Over all, hard woods are preferred to softer woods on the neck as the neck becomes much more stable and less prone to micro movements. Below are a few examples of the types of woods we use, remember you can always choose your own wood for any custom order!
Time to select your custom options...
You can download either a PDF or Microsoft Word version of the custom guitar order form. How you edit the form is up to you. You can either print it off, fill the form out by hand and scan it to your PC then upload it, or just edit it on your PC using the word document version.
Now you have filled out the order form, you can attach it to the drop box app below. Along with the form feel free to attach as much additional info as possible such as colours, your own drawings and sketches and even pictures of other guitars that may have inspired you. Remember, we wont be able to copy a guitar exactly as that will infringe on copyright! Next we will contact you with a price for the build and discuss the payment options as well as furthering the design process. You will then receive a quote for the build and then a sketched and measured rendition of your dream guitar.
We are happy to ship to anywhere around the world