040705  8-string guitar       Owned by Bobby Simcox

 The Subterranean   Clobberin' Time!       

Body Style
Body Wood
Neck Wood
Fbd. Wood
Neck Joint


Hard Maple


Pau Ferro


Gotoh Sealed




8.5 lb


www.zacharyguitars.com                                                Gibson Les Paul Historic

Yo Alex!!! Hey Hey,Bro!!! Thx for getting back to me!!! Just send me that Puppy,Bro!!! The more i think about it, the more excited i get!!! The possibilities that are going through my head right now are giving me goose bumps!!! With all the possibilities that she presents, it may be a while before i actually record anything w/ her, but believe me, i'm gonna be kicking my ass learning to tame that beast!!! i can't wait to get her, Bro!!! i'm gonna be using her w/ ALL the bands!!! If i'm not careful, people are gonna be falling all over the place at shows!!! Now That would be hilarious!!! Thx for everything!!! Love Ya!!! Bobby

I played a few gigs over the wknd and am doing my homework conserning the 8-string!!! This Beast is gonna be FUN!!!>:D i'm just Itching to get my hands on Her!!! Let me know how Yer doing!!! Love Ya!!! Bobby

Honestly, i'm just chomping at the bit to play that Puppy!!! i might be able to use it on a recording session, so it could be cool if Ya get her to me as soon as Ya can!!! i plan on sinking some SERIOUS shed time into her cause i really wanna do her major justice!!!>:D This Beast could turn out to be the next Ulti mate Funk Guitar!!!>:P*** i'm sure gonna find out!!!>:D


Yup yup yup, send her to me when Yer happy w/ her and it would be an honor to whip some major funky ass!!! i can't wait till she get's here,Bro!!! i'm totally STOKED!!!

Right On,Bro, Monday is the BIG DAY!!! i'm chomppin' at the bit to get Gally!!!>:D This is gonna be an adventure!!! i'll let Ya know when she arrives!!! Love Ya!!! Bobby!!!>:D

Yo,Alex!!! Hey Hey,Bro!!! She Arrived TODAY!!! YIPPIEEEEEEE!!! Holy Geez,Bro, She's Frigging MAGNIFICENT!!! She Feels AWESOME!!! Damn,Bro, i Knew She was gonna be GREAT, but DAMN!!! i know Ya made Her for solo jazz, but She Just Screams!!! Oh, and of course, Everything Else i want Her to do, too!!! i ran Her through the paces tonite at Sapo rehearsal and She performed Brilliantly!!! She's soooooo balanced!!! Honestly, i was somewhat conserned that She might be a bit neck heavy w/ the new headstock, but that's not even an issue!!! The neck feels WONDERFUL!!! The Bass String Ferrules look Great, Bro!!! i was wonderin' how the hell You were gonna make 'em fit!!! Yer Always thinkin' outside the Axe, oooops, i mean the "Box"!!! Now all i gotta do is learn how to play Her!!! i'm gonna be spending almost every waking hour for the next several days just getting accustomed to Her cause i plan on using Her at 2 gigs that i got this wknd!!! if i'm lucky, i'll have some pix for Ya next wk!!! Damn,Bro, Yer The Genius!!! i NEVER doubted You could pull this off!!! Don't EVER Doubt Yerself, Alex!!! You have a Gift fr God!!! NEVER GIVE UP,BRO!!! Yer The ULTIMATE!!! Love Ya!!! Bobby

Here is an instrument which was a real challenge and took me over a year form conception to finished instrument. It is a regular guitar with two added bass strings. That is easier said than done. Basically, its a full guitar with half of a bass all in one instrument. It is 26" scale, which is long for a guitar but very short for a bass. So the short scale had to be compensated by using much fatter than normal bass strings. Physics dictates that the shorter the scale the thicker the strings must be to achieve the same string tension and acceptable tone quality. This is why the strings in an upright piano are so much thicker than the same strings in a concert grand. A lot of experimentation went into this guitar, much of it by trial and error and aggravation. I eventually arrived at the correct string gauges for it but custom strings must be made for this instrument since the large ball ends do not fit into the guitar string ferrules and I also had to remove the windings at the end of the bass strings to make them fit this instrument. I am currently negotiating with a sting manufacturer to do this for me. Lots of work and thinking went into making this instrument a reality and to make it functional It works very well I am happy to say. Better than I thought it would. It has fantastic tone and it really gets down there into the subterranean sonic world. The tone is thick and full as you would expect.

My original concept was to create an 8 string by adding an extra high string and a low string. However, I found out the hard way that steel strings cannot be tuned to pitch above the normal high E. It is just physically impossible. There needed to be an instant change of plans since the my original conception would not work out. The original pickups, made to balance with the original design, had to be scrapped and a new set of pickups made, specifically voiced and balanced for the two new monster bass strings.

It is tuned from high to low (E, B, G, D, A, E, B, F#). Corresponding string Gauges are Zachary Optimized . This was extremely important to do to even make this instrument work with this relatively short scale length of 26". This is where its so very evident how important string gauge optimization is for any instrument. As you can see, there is a huge difference in the thickness of the strings from high to low. I specifically decided to use a low F# to make it a perfect 5th. I learned a lot about string gauges and what works best on guitars and how a perfect string set should be created. I also learned something, which I suspected, most string sets you buy are not matched correctly with any logic. The string to string gauge relationship is wrong. The balance of tension among strings is wrong. I have known this for a long time already and have been specifying certain custom gauges for my basses. Is it time for Zachary custom string sets? Maybe it is.

I want to thank my good friend Bob Migliardi for drawing up the neck blueprint on his computer CAD software and designing and making everything fit just right. It was very important for me to be able to see the complete layout, instead of guessing at it. This made my job so much easier and also enabled me to make the neck template..

This is definitely an instrument for an accomplished and experienced player. Talent will not hurt either.

Alex - That is an impressive creation. I wasn't sure how to react because I haven't seen anything like it. I could then almost envision all the Trial and Error "moments" that you must have gone through without actually witnessing them. I was staring at this marvel in slow motion, inch by inch. That's best way to describe my initial reaction. Next was the "what I could do with this Demon"...my mind picturing the fret board pyrotechnics that this baby requires. The Mad Master has struck again. It would be great if you could put a video of you playing her to show the depth of sounds attainable. Ed

Who says I can play this monster. I am scared shitless of it. I won't go near it. I created a monster and now it will devour me. Alex

Yowza. Look at that thing. What is it like to play that? makes me think of a tank or something. All utility, no flash. I think I prefer the look of your super stripped down instruments like Korina or my Zach bass. Just pure craftsmanship and function w/ no BS the scale (of the instrument as a whole, not just the 26" scale length of the neck) really magnifies that special Zach impression and you can really check out the solidity of the construction, elegance and simplicity of the design. That headstock is cool! and the choice of how to tune it is really interesting and has lots of musical possibilities. Either way, congrats on your accomplishment. I know it was a bitch.   Eli

Just saw your 8-string. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! It's a 26" and looks like a short scale because it's so wide.
I'm a bit scared to think of what Bobby could do with that thing. Maybe he'll blow that Line 6 amp up and be forced to go analog tube tone. ;-)
The Subterranean is a cool name btw. Really fits that monster. Love the headstock.      David (Belgium)

Hey, Alex, Just downloaded the 040705-01 video. Looks like a lot of fun to play that big, bazzy, bluezy, beefy, ballzy Z machine. I could see it as a great Bluez/Jazz guitar. Of course, it could work in any kind of music, but as long as I am on the Bluez/Jazz subjects: a player could crank the piss out of the high end while the low end keeps the ryhthm and the player shouts Blues over the Z Guitar Orchestra. It would work. It is a beautiful thing. It is something I would take to heaven with me, and when I got there I would find Billie Holiday and ask her to sing some songs for me while I play rhythm with the drummer and pianist. I'd get Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman to double along with all of us. What a great time that would be! We'd take turns hammering out the Whompin', Stompin', Jazzin' Rhythm and Bluez. I'd throw in a few chops of my own - and we'd be in Heaven's Heaven. God would absolutely love it. I love that guitar! It is so wonderful, I think that if you threw it up into the air it would turn into sunshine. I call her: Lady Day.    Ted

The 8 string is sick. Bobby is going to have a funk fest on that sucker! It sounds incredible, and completely retains it's Z2 character even with the significantly differing neck dimensions and peghead. Are the pickups regular Zach Attacks extended to cover 2 extra strings, or did you have to come up with specially voiced units using what you've learned making both bass and guitar pickups? Did Kent make them - cause they're GREAT!   Robert Frankel

Yes Kent Armstrong made these pickups and they are basically regular ZachAttacks but with an internal bar, instead of the adjustable pole screws. This needed some engineering in order to grind that bar inside to shape, taking account of the huge range between the strings and make them balance in terms of volume.
Much experimentation also went on to find just the right string gauges and as you know I had to unwind them to size to make them fit..