Body Style
Body Wood
Neck Wood
Fbd. Wood
Neck Joint
Pau Ferro
Vintage Kluson-style
Zachary P90
single coils

6.0 lb

Eric Johnson Strat Stratocaster

I have been wanting to build this guitar for a very long time. I always had it in the back of my head to eventually create one. I love the simplicity, the tone, the light weight, the clean no-frills look. If you don't know what exact guitar inspired this new version of the Z2, you should get off this website immediately and learn something about guitars before you come back here.

The simple wrap-round bridge/tailpiece, P90 pickups, knobs, Kluson-style tuners with white plastic buttons, medium size frets, the Cherry finish, the 24.75" scale, the square jack plate, the Mahogany body and neck, the glued neck joint, the Rosewood (looking) fingerboard and even the Mission impossible nut in white. The nut had to be white. I stick to tradition. I really thing this guitar is cool. It makes me excited. It plays and sounds like a dream.
Robert Frankel will love this one.

Yes, I do love this guitar. If I did not have 2 babies to feed and a wife to consult on budgetary matters, I would send a hit man out to nail the guy who reserved it and direct our HR person to send you my next paycheck directly to pay for this guitar. Even though I explained to my wife why this Zachary is the exact guitar I have always wanted, she keeps telling me that since I got 290704 I have said 100 times how my search for the ultimate guitar is over. So I have screwed myself completely.

The perfect guitar for "power trio" playing, or for any application where the player needs every chord and note to have the most extreme presence. I shudder to think about the tone of this guitar into a non-master Marshall 1959 or 1987 or DR era Hiwatt, not that those amps are really practical for today's player.

This is likely the purest expression of the Z2 design that you will ever realize. Complete form following function. Bobby's latest guitar shows the extreme versatility of the design, and this guitar shows how you have come full circle and taken the original "Jr." or more specifically "Special" concept and brought it to it's knees. Peter Townshend would cry if he saw this guitar. My own 1965 SG Jr., which is probably the best SG I've ever played, is crying right now. Kluson's, white nut, P-90's and a bar bridge?

I never thought you would go all the way and do it like this, but I'm glad to be wrong. You really respected the integrity of the original, but it's still all Zach. My guess is that the intonation is probably perfect because you were able to spend the time to get the scale and bridge placement perfect in a way that the Gibson factory very rarely, if ever, did. My only question is, what does the 2nd toggle do? Did you make it humbucking (RW/RP) in the middle position? It was definitely the right choice to put a tone control on this guitar, the owner should be able to go direct into his amp and go from clean to dirty, whisper to a scream using only the volume and tone controls. The middle position on this design is a place you can LIVE, subtle volume and tone adjustments can completely alter the texture and sound of the instrument. A listen to the first 6 songs on "Live at Leeds" demonstrates Townshend on fire with an SG Special, your guitar will be significantly more capable of dynamics than the one he was using and the thought of it is just awesome.

This guitar must have stupefying resonance and sustain, the weight is perfect and the pickups are exactly right. In this type of instrument, you don't want super high output, because a P-90 at the bridge at 11k and neck at 8.2k will bring out the sound of the wood. Much more focus than a traditional "side-by-side" humbucker design. Whoever buys this guitar better have a very good sounding amp, definitely a simple tube circuit, preferably non-master where he can totally control dynamics and overdrive from the guitar's volume knob. Maybe a good old Fender or Marshall, or a newer rendition. My instant choice would be something like the Tweed Bandmaster, loud enough for a drummer but not deafening and with enough gain to really make the guitar sing. Then, again, it's not really my choice, now is it...

I'll bet this guitar has the "squawk," and if there are players out there who don't understand what that means then they have missed out on playing one of the greatest guitars ever. All 3 of the Gibson body styles were very cool on the model that inspired this guitar, you have just exceeded even what I believed you were capable of. Alex, this is an incredible guitar and you should be very proud. I know I'm proud to know you right about now.     Robert Frankel

I also had a look at the Z2-SP 090905. Mmmmmm ......
Just as the F1 is the guitar the Tele should have evolved into, the Z2-SP is what the LP Junior/SG Special should have evolved into, without the weak neck joint of the SG and its propensity to neck-dive. Incidentally, I'm fairly sure that that Pao Ferro IS actually a species of rosewood, so it's "authentic" in that detail, too. I love that 12th fret moon inlay. Just like on my Gothic Explorer!

A couple of questions. How do you get it to intonate with a simple wrap-over bridge? My Gordon Smith ("the British Gibson") - basically, a copy of a double-cut LP Junior - came with a wrap-over bar bridge and it simply would not intonate correctly, making it virtually unusable above the 12th fret. After a couple of weeks of frustration, I swapped the bar for a fully-adjustable Schaller, which cured the problem. I know the wrap-over bar bridge is historically the right thing to use, but .... Like the 2nd F2, you also used medium frets. Again, that's historically more acurate, but in a way, that surprises me, as the huge frets are one of the defining things that make a Zachary (to my way of thinking). It took me a while to get used to them, but I now positively HATE low-wide frets. So I'm dead curious as to what do you call "medium" frets, and how they affect the tone/playability?    Ludwik (UK)

Questions, Questions, form Zachary collectors.
What a total insult. I only said that as a joke. Is there such a thing as a Zachary collector? I hope not.
Here are the questions they all asked:

What is the second switch for?
I already had the body drilled for two switches for my usual humbucking wiring setup, so I needed a way to figure out how to wire this and not have to plug any holes, which would have been unsightly. So quite simply I gave it two ON/OFF switches, one for each pickup. It works great and I like it because you can turn the guitar off completely when you want to mute it.

Why are these pickups further apart from each other or why there less of an overhang after the 24th fret?
First off, this guitar was an exercise at maintaining some traditional styling and functional characteristics of the vintage Les Paul Junior/Special. Even though I still went for a 24 fret board, I needed to get that pickup close to the last fret. Also for tonal reasons the pickups sacrifice some of the frequency cancellations but the guitar gains that smoky dark sound of the neck pup being further from the bridge. Also, even though many of these Z2 guitars look superficially as following the exactly same design pattern, with some of the variable things there is experimentation going on with each guitar. I am always discovering and testing out new things.

How do you intonate that bridge and is it even possible?
The wrap over bridge intonates perfectly or almost perfectly. I don't know what Gibson does but I have seen the reissue LP Specials and they place the bridge in a different location and angle the studs more. Go figure. I don't know why. I simply really measured it out and thought it out. I have absolutely no complaints about that bridge. I am ordering a whole bunch of them and will be using them on many future guitars. I love the simplicity. It is very well intonated up high. I am surprised myself. The bridge is also aluminum and feather light.
This bridge is also so easy to intonate. All I do is intonate the low and high E strings perfectly with my strobe tuner. You just move the bridge slightly closer or further from the nut using the two adjusting screws in the back of the bridge. After these two outside strings are intonated, the rest just fall into place with nearly perfect intonation. Simple is where its at folks.

Dear Alex,
090905 received safe and sound.You will have to forgive me for saying this but I never realised that the guitar was going to be so good. What I mean is that I knew it was going to be good but this is way beyond my expectation. This guitar is organic. It is amazing - the tone, sustain and the speed of the neck etc. Everything you say is true. I would go as far as to say that you understate the qualities of your guitars. Oh and the pick-ups are just awesome. Somebody said they thought that single coil P90's were anaemic. Anaemic!! - these are polycythemic!!! Who needs Humbuckers - humschmukers! This guitar is the "box deluxe" (Cockney rhyming slang again - only the Limey's will get that one) Can't thank you enough. The Gibson and the GS aren't going to get played at all now!   Best wishes    JR (UK)

Dear Alex I am completely delighted with the guitar it really is 'special'. It is clear to see and hear that you put you heart and soul into this guitar. It was fortunate as it was inspired to accept (without knowing what was in your mind) the offer of purchasing a guitar that "you wanted to make for a long time". Many of your customers will want to specify what they want in their guitars, which understandable. They will probably want all the trimmings in respect of all the advances you have made over the years in the design of the Zachary guitar. I will go as far as to say that in my opinion the best Zachary guitar that I or any of your customers can have is the one that you were inspired to make. After all it is you that has the knowledge and the experience and the knack of knowing what is right for a particular guitar. I believe that I will never need another guitar. I do not want to play anything else other than 090905.

If I ever needed another it would be a Zachary but only one which you were inspired to make and "wanted to make for a long time" with no input from me. Sometime in the future, no doubt you will have built a number of guitars to customers specifications and be a bit fed up. Then you will build another "inspiration". If that time comes and you are not going to keep it for yourself, please offer it to me first if only for the reason that I was smart enough to realise that if it inspires you it will inspire me also. Best regards JR (UK)