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Body Style
Body Wood
Neck Wood
Fbd. Wood
Neck Joint

Swamp Ash
One Piece

Dual Size
Zachary Custom
7.4 lb

This is another 1 piece solid Swamp Ash body. I did not want to make another natural (uncolored) Swamp Ash guitar. So I got a bit creative. Its actually a purple shade. Some may not realize how much in tune I am with tradition. The first Strats were made of Ash, like this one. In fact all 1954 first year Strats were Ash. They went to Alder after that in order to save money. Ash is expensive and almost impossible to find wide enough for one piece bodies like this guitar. So consider yourself fortunate if you end up with it. After the first year, Fender then went to 3 piece Alder Strat bodies. As cheap as they could get away with, without going to plywood.

This is the first 3 pickup Stratocaster arrangement I have done. I wanted to do away with the traditional lever switch. Instead I used 3 on/off switches. Now I can get all pickup combinations. 1 master volume and 1 master tone is more logical than the ridiculous 1 volume and 2 tone arrangement on the Strat.

The fingerboard is so nice on this neck that I didn't want to put dots on it. Scale is the correct 25.5".
I also got the pickup pole stagger correct for perfect balance. Unless you are using flatwounds and a wound third on your Strat, your magnet stagger is all wrong and volume of the strings is unbalanced. Hear me Eric Johnson? You should be old enough to know this.
Tuners also are the correct Kluson-style, yet even lighter with the plastic buttons. I hate a neck heavy guitar. Putting 6 ton Grover Tunomatics or Schallers on an SG is the ultimate sin and should be punishable by death but its done all the time by companies and by individuals alike. Again, they think nobody would care and not many do. Not many understand that putting the heaviest tuners on an already heavy guitar may not be good. Of course there are a lot of ignorant fools out there who should never be permitted to even own a guitar. I really mean that. Guitars are not for casual playing. You either dedicate your life to it or you should not be part of it.

The important thing here is the pickup mounting plates. You can't buy these plates anywhere. I looked at the ones that are available to purchase for backyard guitar builders and they must have been designed by someone who was on drugs or was actually a bassoon player and not a guitar player. Actually, there seems to be thousands of bassoon players in the guitar industry, its overrun by them. For someone like me who is obsessive with detail, its torture.

The available pickup mouthing plates have sloppy fit, off center mounting holes and weigh a ton. So I was forced to design my own. Unlike the the plates one can buy, which are heavy, these are made from Aluminum and are feather light. They are also dimensioned perfectly with a tight fit. When I approach a company to make me some custom parts, its a real nuisance for them, so they retaliate by going extreme with the price. I think they should make them for almost nothing really, it should be their duty just because of the improvement these parts offer guitar players everywhere. However, These companies can't imagine why anyone would care. What is the difference if the plates are heavy metal or light aluminum? What does it matter if the plates are only available in chrome and not nickel? Does anyone care if chrome and nickel parts are mixed on the same guitar? Chrome is not vintage correct but who cares. It also does not matter if there is a big gap between the pickups and the plate, there is nothing wrong with having an oversized opening that gives universal fit. It also does not matter if the mounting holes are placed in the wrong position and are drilled the wrong size. Who cares if the parts are wrong as long as they sort of work? Well I care about all this stuff. So they punish me by charging me an arm and a leg to make these items and they will only make a huge quantity as well.

I still do it because I care. It bugs me. If I am going to do it, I will do it right or not at all. This is why I have not made this type of guitar before with the Strat pickup arrangement. Its because I did not have the correct hardware. These are only the prototype mounting plates and production will now begin for these parts. Thousands of dollars in investment, just in start pickup mouthing plates. I do it for you. So you can be sure that all the details are taken care of when you have a Zachary guitar.

Logically, one would say, have the parts made and then sell them to others. Well, I don't want to do that. I think and work too hard for that. I don't want to make these things available to others who will be indiscriminately putting it on any atrocity. These parts are sacred and proprietary to Zachary guitars. So if you want these features, you need to get the entire package and experience the Zach experience.

This website gives you a shocking education in guitars and its done in sledgehammer style, which may be offensive to the infidels. Like being hit over the head with a blunt weapon. Its a brutal assault that some try to fight against. I know its a shock but its for your own good. You will thank me later. Its all about guitars. If you are not obsessed with guitars and playing then you should not even be here. Take up another hobby.


Sound file              111006             Z3T - with 3-pickup Strat configuration
                             0:00 - neck,   1:15 - neck + middle,   3:40 - middle,   4:30 - middle + bridge,   5:15 - bridge,   6:37 - bridge + neck

Alex, I'm sitting at my desk, chewing some jerky and sipping a glass of Vernor's Ginger Ale and having a look at your latest Z3. 111006 is so ugly, she looks like an old, worn out cowboy boot. You see an old, faithful pair of worn out boots sitting in the corner and you don't think much of them... until you pull them on your feet. At that moment the old, familiar perfection, function and form comes to life. This guitar is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I love that guitar. I call her, Boots.

You know, I own two Zachary guitars. You would think the excitement should have toned down by now, but it never does. In fact it gets more intense as time goes on. Every day I find myself wildly excited to plug in and play my Zz. Every day I have to stop in at zacharyguitars.com and see what's new. I knew that buying one of your guitars was the right thing to do long before I even tried one of them. I am still drawn to Zachary guitars in that way. Every time I see one of your creations - I feel like I have to have it. I feel like the instrument was meant for me. I feel like it was something I have been waiting to arrive for all of my life. The wait is over. Every single one of your guitars gives me this kind of thrill.

I love maple necks, though I don't believe I have ever owned a pau ferro fretboard in my life. I love the Z3 body design not only for looking great, but for the easy access to all twenty four frets. Of course your neck and body cuts are ergonomic perfection. The Zachary Custom pickups will undoubtedly produce some of the most wicked and unique tones ever heard from a solid body electric guitar. I can feel that guitar in my hands... you've done it again, Alex.

Your work is tooth, fang and claw, blood, gore and guts reality. This is the kind of work hearts, souls, minds and hands were truly meant to do. Think how much better off the world and everyone in it would be if they only had the courage to follow a path of truth, like you have chosen. Your work is the stuff nature itself is made of. That's the way it might be and that's the way it ought to be. You keep on rockin' and knock all the motherfuckers dead - all of them - every single one of them. Leave no stone unturned. Raze the ground the liars, thieves and phonies walk on. Cut their throats and leave them all for dead. They aren't much good for anything else.  Ted Noiz

The latest guitar looks cool. Gives the impression of an old guitar that you rescued from the attic and restored or an old piece of wood you found floating in the swamp and decided it would make a great guitar. The pups go with this guitars theme perfectly as well as the hardware. She's made to play and looks like she's ready for anything. Bet she gave you a hard on when you first played with her. You must make some recordings of this beauty. I think I'm in love.  Eagle

Hi Alex, Just gotta say, that latest Z3 is unreal. Very nice work, it almost looks alive. I can only imagine the tones coming from that swamp ash and those single-coils. The lower cutaway looks like the sculpting is a little deeper than the other Z3's. I like the look. I check the website daily and look forward to each new one you've made. The anticipation is good whenever I see a new number come up and there's no pictures yet. Chili Pepper (030706) is another favorite of mine. Looks like its on fire in some of those photos. These Z3's are almost enough to pull me away from wanting a Z2. Anyway, congrats on another fine instrument. They just keep getting better and better.  Bruce

Alex, Nice looking Z3-T! Looks like something Stevie Ray should have been playing. I do like the pickup mounting plates - very nice. They blow away those wavy plastic things. Appears to be some pretty tight tolerances there as well - there is NO gap at all. I can only imagine how much they cost - especially if you ordered less than a million of them. And how do you keep coming up with these substantial chunks of swamp ash?? Nice work.   Mark (Taipei)

Hey Alex! I don't talk to much man, but i have been watching your guitars every single day for the last 6 months or so, and when i feelt it was time to speak out, that new Z3-TS appeared leaving me speeachless again. Thanks for your art Alex.   Cesar

Love that guitar man. Boots is just right for it. It looks exactly like an old pair of nicely worn in boots.

I love the fingerboard. It looks really smooth and inviting. Love the swamp ash. I bet Fender (in the old days) would have gone with one of those nitro sunbursts on a piece of wood this nice. No telling what the mooks would get up to now of course. Maybe a 24k$ copy of Blackie...

One other detail I've noticed is the gold trem arm on the chrome bridge. The oldest guitar I own, my second electric and basically the guitar I learned to play on, used to have a gold trem arm stuck into a vintage style chrome strat bridge. I played the shit out of that thing for years until the trem broke. For the second time. I really should get that fixed sometime. Not that I really use it anymore but there are a lot of memories. And my kid might like it later. He likes it now, but it's a lot of guitar for a two-year old. I saw the video. Love the tone. I'd love to give that thing a twirl. Great, now I want another guitar. I'll add that up to my Z2 SP and recent Flying V GAS... Talk to you later,   David. (Belgium)

I've just seen The Zach UltraStrat (111006). I'm sure the bassoon players of this world won't remotely appreciate it, but I think it's stupendous. It's exactly what the Strat should have become. Swamp Ash. Lightweight components. 24 frets with improved access. Properly fitted p/ups. Sorted controls (as you say, the stock Fender arrangement is just daft). Ultra-tight neck pocket. The DNA is instantly recognisable, but it's evolved from a dinosaur into an advanced mammal - something altogether superior in every respect. I notice you've even got the stagger on the p/ups correct for a plain 3rd string. I assume the middle p/up is reverse-polarity/reverse wound to give it the "strat quack"?   Ludwik (UK)

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