Gibson Guitars         170205    Namaste

Gibson Guitars

Body Style
Body Wood
Neck Wood
Fbd. Wood
Neck Joint

Top: one piece figured maple

Back: one piece Paduak




sealed, locking


6.3 lb

With this guitar I wanted something with no embellishments. Just simple and elegant. I wanted the color scheme to be that of contrast. The figured natural colored top and control cavity really contrast with the dark red back and dark neck.

It has some unique things about it. It's the very first guitar I made with a Rosewood neck. This is really great wood. Its so oily that it needs no finish at all, so its just raw wood. It also has a Gibson string spread at the bridge, which is a bit narrower than my other guitars. The body edge contouring is also different. The front of the guitar, including the horns are totally rounded but as you move back to the rear of the body, it gets progressively angular. The neck thickness is also considerably less than what you would usually find on a guitar. I noticed that I got some fatigue from playing fat necks, so I wanted to make a thin neck. The nicest Gibson necks were made in the years 60 - 63, they are wide and thin. The thinnest Gibson necks were about 20.3 mm at the 1st fret. This you will find on SGs from that period. I wanted to make something similar but I went too far and this neck is only 18.7 mm at the 1st fret. I believe, this neck is thinner than the neck of any other guitar past or present. I thought it would be unplayable but to my surprise its not bad. It makes for a very fast neck and you certainly don't have to fight it like some of those Gibson baseball bat necks from the mid to late 50s and early 50s Fenders. It just shows you that there was no thought put into the making of these vintage guitars. Its wherever they had their routers set or what their tooling was like at the time. Interestingly enough, they went from very thick necks to very thin necks within a very short time. I don't believe neck dimensions were of any concern to the manufacturers at the time. Now of course these vintage guitars are studied, researched and revered like the Shroud of Turin. They cost as much too.

Anyway, here is a guitar with a very thin but wide rosewood neck with Gibson string spacing at the nut, Gibson scale length and powerful pickups. The other interesting thing is the single piece top, single piece back and single piece neck. These new knobs you have noticed are feather light by the way, made of aluminum. Specifically made for me they are not the terrible heavy brass ones you find on all other guitars. I am just trying to give as much technical detail and specifications to all those wonderful aspiring and highly talented luthiers who are copying me every chance they get from many countries around the world. Good luck with your work guys, knock yourselves out.

Alex, My heart almost stopped when I saw those pics. I'm giving myself CPR while I type. ;-)

She's beautiful. More beautiful than anything I've ever seen. And hot! Man, I need to go and have a cold shower and lie down for a while. Sweeeeeeeeeet! I can't believe that a guitar like that could be mine. Words fail me. Let's see, girl analogy : this guitar is like a sexy black girl and a sexy blonde all in one. Playing that raw rosewood neck, that wonderful ebony fingerboard, must be like stroking some African princess' beautiful black legs, and that maple body...mmmm...creamy tight white little...urgh (tips bucket of ice water over head)...let's not go there. ;-)

That is the sweetest guitar ever. That thing is a work of art. I love the way those tiger-stripes on the maple interact with the other warbly figuring running through it. It gives a texture which is hard to define but so very esthetically pleasing and interesting. I could lose myself just looking at it. It feels like I'm falling in. The contrast with the ebony fingerboard is amazing. That must be the blackest piece of ebony I've ever seen. It is the kind of black you'd find in outer space, in between galaxies. Absolute black. That rosewood neck, man, that neck. The most interesting piece of rosewood I've ever seen. That piece of paduak for the back...I don't know what to say anymore.

The whole thing is extremely well-balanced. The whole contrast theme absolutely striking. Love the rounded horns and the gradually more angled back. It looks like the whole thing is accelerating up to warpspeed.

What does that thing sound like? It looks like it will jump right out of my computer screen. The dynamics are just astounding. It's alive, that's for sure. I probably should be asking you about that new string spacing, the angled neck (man that thing must sustain forever), the pickups (hot hotter hottest, right?), and so on, but I feel it does not really matter.Here's why :

1) It is a Zachary. Killer Mojo Guitars made by Voodoo Priest Alex. That is enough info for me.

2) I have lost my hart and soul to that thing and must have it. I am very sure about this. It is fate. Destiny. This is what my heart tells me. And check out the symbolics : this guitar was finished the day my little baby boy got a new face.

Only downside is I'll never lust after another guitar again. Ever. Well, maybe a 3 pickup 26" Z3 with a mono trem and dusty frets. ;-) Later, much later. When I'll be able to play like Bobby. No, that'd be never. Later will do. When I grow up and learn how to shred.

Still in shock. Took me 2 hours to write this. I had to stop from time to time to cool off. I think this may be your best guitar so far. Then again, I always say that about each of your guitars. That's because every time again they are.    David (Belgium)

Hi Alex, Things seem to happen for a reason's, your late guitar 170205 neck configuration is out of this world judging from the pictures and your specs is everything I want. Please Alex, is it possible that 170205 neck will be all right on my Z3? Please let me know. The Z3 we talk about before Xmas was between 261003 and 201104 maple bolt neck ebony FB wood, dot markers, soft maple top tremolo and 170205 neck. What I need now is the account number you want me to wire the money too Many Thanks Rickey (UK)

Young Uncle Fester's vulgar display of his weapons...check out that strap, he has no mercy for living things.

Zach, Just a quick note to tell you how amazing and beautiful the newest Z-2(170205) is! It's interesting to see how you do variations on the theme, and how subtle things like the rounded edge on the body makes such a dramatic difference in the overall look. I love the idea of a rosewood neck. Beautiful stuff you do. BT                                                         Gibson Guitars

Hi Alex, I've just been admiring 170205. Another classic.

The rounding on the front horns changes it subtly but significantly - and suits the Z2 shape much more than it did the Z3 Green Monster, IMHO. This baby looks very much the cool, understated beauty - the classic "English Rose" - from the front, and the wild party thing from behind. Interesting comments about neck profiles.

Incidentally, I followed the link to Bobby Simcox's website - and noticed he's got 050602. I'd always wondered who got that one, as to my way of thinking, 050602 is the sister to Gaia. I'm so glad she's in the best possible hands!    Ludwik (UK)

170205 is a magnificent statement, she shows a balance I have never seen in any guitar other than a Zachary. Each new instrument shows your evolution and massive ability to express yourself through your work. You have achieved light weight with what would be "Heavier" woods in the hands of a lesser being or mass manufacturer (everybody but you). The contouring helps make her another in a series of astonishingly unique guitars. Nobody else could choose these woods and marry them into an instrument as exquisite as this one. Being the partner of a Z2 (owner is not a strong enough word for your guitars, you become partners when you get a "Z" just as if you were entering into a personal relationship with your wife or girlfriend (hopefully without the sex &;>), then it'd be a bit weird...), I know she speaks with a sonorous voice and hope that her new partner will realize what he has in his hands.

I've been waiting to see if you would make a Rosewood neck, this one looks good enough to eat and combines with the other elements of this instrument to make a stunning visual testimonial to your craft. It just goes to show that when the person building the guitars really cares about the materials he selects and is guided by them in return, the results will always be devastating.

This guitar illustrates a point of contention I've had for some time - the marketing of "weight relieved" guitars by certain manufacturers. Companies clearly have to do so because their guitars (usually rehashes or "exact" reissues of old guitars) weigh so much more than the originals. You'd think that at least in the case of "exacting" reissues or signature models (selling for $4,000+ street) the materials chosen for these instruments would enable consistent production weights under 9 Lb/guitar. Not on SOME guitars, given to select dealers, but ALL of the ones that you let leave the production line to be sold.

Your instruments have consistently proven that superior, hand built guitars of even the densest woods virtually always fall below this weight ceiling and are usually much lighter. My Z2 at 6 pounds has low end comparable to any LP Standard or Custom, but without feeling like an anvil around my neck. Later for now.   Rob from DC

I've been playing the hell out of this thing for the last hour or so, and I must say I'm really deeply impressed. It is totally different from Simba (171103), but every bit as good, if not better. The strange thing is, when I play Simba later, I will think that Simba is the best again. Both of the guitars are the best. They are both better than each other. Weird. I love it.

It has such warm tone, and at the same time so much "pop" and edge, it's just insane. Single coil gives an incredible Tele-like twang, only better, and humbuckers sound like a Les Paul or SG would want to sound like when they grow up. The single coil out of phase sound is the best I've ever heard in any guitar. And it is LOUD. Man, is it loud.

The tone is to die for. I've tried it through my BJ and my Marshall, and it has killer tone on both amps. It's got balls. There is not one guitar I've ever played that even comes close to having that tone. Except for Simba, of course, though Simba has more of a midrange roar. This thing is WILD. The bottom end is huge and the top end sizzles. The sound sparkles.

The guitar vibrates. It doesn't need .11's. I noticed this immediately. Strum it and the whole thing vibrates. It's like a cat. Purrs when you stroke it. There is no breaking in period. I picked that thing up, played it, and it felt like it had been mine for ages.

I have trouble playing slowly. The neck is so fast. As I said before, the thinness is no problem. No cramps, nothing. It fits like a glove. My big hand wraps right around the neck in a very comfortable way, and even with my paw wrapped around it, I can still move my fingers at high speed. I don't know how you do it, but you certainly did it again. That wood is gorgeous. I could spend days just looking at it.    David (Belgium)

The guitar is fantastic. It's the ONLY guitar I've ever heard that could push out-of-phase sounds through my Marshall. The "quack" is very pronounced, and very very nice. The twang on this thing is incredible. It has more twang than a tele. I was able to get great country music sounds out of my JCM800 with it. Not exactly what that amp was designed for, now is it? It is also great for surf. Works really well with my Little Lanilei pedal. Works great with my Crybaby Wah.

Using Simba (171103) with the Marshall, you get a major Hendrix vibe. With THIS guitar : Shaft, Enter the Dragon, etc... Really fat and sexy Wah sound. Love it.
It is also great distorted. I haven't been able to try it really loud yet. It looks as if it might be at least as big a monster as Simba is, but very different. It's hard to explain.

I think the action is a little lower than on Simba. This thing is FAST. I love the 24.75" scale. I can do fingertapping runs I had trouble with on Simba before. Now its easier because the span required is shorter due to the shorter scale. With the tapping practice on this "new guitar" (I haven't found a name yet), I can now do stuff I couldn't before on Simba too. This is too cool. The one guitar teaches me how to play better on the other.    David (Belgium)

Very warm and harmonic sound.  Love it.  My fingertipss no longer hurt. Maybe I terminally damaged the nerves. ;-)   David

Glad that cool new z2 (rosewood neck) went to a previous and appreciative customer who knows what he has. -Eli   (NYC)

I'm having fun playing the guitar. Her name is Namaste. It's a Sanskrit word, used as a Hindu/Buddhist greeting. Gentle and elegant and meaningful, like the guitar. I wasn't wrong about how she sounds with some distortion btw. She's an even bigger monster than Simba.171103. I went apeshit last night playing heavy metal licks (through my little Blues Junior no less). "Wheeeeee! Look Ma, I'm Eddie Van Halen! " ;-)   David


I was early for rehearsal so decide to go and bug a local guitarstore to either try out a handwired Marshall or a cool pedal. The minute I took Namaste out of her case half the store was on it's ass. They'd never seen anything like it. and when I plugged her in (into a cheap-ass Peavey Delta-Blues) it was clear they hadn't heard anything like it either. The guys running the store were all drooling over that guitar.

Namaste sounds incredible through my Blues Junior. The guitar is amazing. It is very warm sounding and at the same time has a lot of high-end. I don't get it. It may be the shorter scale. The guys in the band were thrilled. The BJ is a pretty nasty amp when turned up loud, and they'd come to fear it. I am extremely happy with the guitar. It is the most natural feeling guitar I've ever played. The 24.75" scale fits my hands perfectly. I still love to play Simba though. Both guitars are side by side on my Rockstand, and I can't stop playing either of them. They are very different but both perfect.   David

Just got back from rehearsal. Namaste has more bite than Simba through the Marshall, which is strange because she's more mellow through the Fender. I had to change the settings somewhat, and played most of the songs with the volume rolled back a little. Sweet sound. A lot like a plexi (my amp is basically a plexi with a master volume).   David

The guitar has a BIG sound. Playing at bedroom volumes through my little BJ it's got the vibe you get using 3 dimed 100Watt Marshall stacks in a stadium or something. Distorted it is just frightening. Like a very big angry cat, a sabretooth tiger or one of those huge prehistoric cave lions.   David

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