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Considering this latest Z guitar, 191109, it struck me that it must be hard NOT to have to live with OCD. I encounter people, almost everyone, who simply cannot do anything with any amount of obsession. Not only am I baffled by these individuals but they actually anger me. How can "good enough" be good enough? How can anyone not truly connect to the nature of materials or the "precise" working of objects? Needless to say, I am an irritant to these people as well, who look upon me as somewhat of a "nutjob" and totally fail to realize the roots of my inspiration and yes, my powers. Any achievement they witness is attributed to some learned procedures available to anyone. Nothing can be more erroneous. Many abilities are simply not learnable. Or another way to put it, exceptionalism is not learnable Sorry to disappoint.

One must realize what possibilities and abilities that handicaps offer those who are afflicted. Handicaps enable one to do things, which others are not able to do. Those, which are labeled as antisocial behavior, give one a real heightened perception, insight and ability to do things, which the "well adjusted" cannot.

I also realize that being the best at anything in the world must be constantly maintained. Its never just a matter of a single achievement. Achievements are fleeting and their impact may be forgotten moments after they are noticed. This maintenance of high performance is such a burden and exhausting that I really do envy all those who do not aspire to be the best at anything. You can truly be happy, put your feet up, have a beer and enjoy life. There is nothing to be proven. Nothing is driving you to do anything. Enjoying life is something that I have never been fully able to do. The constant instinctual drive to not only maintain but outdo an idealized self image is a perpetually relentless burden. In the end, this is not about building guitars but building of the self and the building process is never completed. On to the next Z.

Players Wanted!

 

Body Style
Body Wood
Neck Wood
Fbd. Wood
Scale
Frets
Pickups
Wiring Neck Joint
Weight
Price
G4-SP

Walnut
(one piece)

Indian
Rosewood
Ebony
624 mm

26
Large/Medium
*Dual Size

Radius
10"

Custom P90

Neck:
8.5 K
Bridge:
11 K

6-way rotary sellctor

Master Volume, Master Tone

Glued
7.8 lb
$2900

 

Switch Positions:     middle knob is the switch

1 - neck only,   2 - neck + bridge in parallel,   3 - bridge only,    
4 - neck + bridge in series,    5 - neck + bridge parallel out of phase   6 - neck + bridge series out of phase

You were probably busy finishing up the latest Z. I always love the Zs with the rosewood necks. No idea why. Just something about playing on that dark piece of wood is very enticing. I really like the all in one rotary switch. It eliminates the two switches. I love watching you build because I see real evolution in your delivery. No more electronics cover or cavity. Just not needed or important. (except maybe if you accidentally leave your guitar on the beach overnight) I can't stop thinking that this guitar should be named "Chocolate Gumby" Peace, Z. Fenner

Alex, I cannot help but think that if this guitar was shown in guitar magazines, it would reduce the value of stock for all major guitar producers. Maybe even destroy them. Who would then advertise? Well... maybe not. There are unfortunately too many with low intellect who buy guitars and then hang out in guitar forums, where they can whack off with other douchebags, cause that's all they are able to do. As we know, its a lot easier to talk than to play or to create masterpieces like this.  Some may say you are whacking off yourself on your website but the difference is that this type of whaking actually takes talent. So keep on whakin'.  Adam

The modern Moderne

Hi Alex I've not commented on your recent guitars because they are just what I'd expect - typical Zachs. Each a superb instrument, but nothing that you hadn't done before. The exception is the hollowbody, but somehow to me, that's not what I think of when I think of a Zach.

The new G4 breaks the mould. Aesthetically, it's simply fantastic. The beauty and simplicity is breathtaking. It's a bold statement of the luthier's art with no distractions, not even fretboard markers. Even the Zachary logo is discretely on the side. The elegant curve of the Samurai headstock complements the elegant curve of the bottom of the body perfectly. The hideous Gibson headstock that made the original Moderne so ugly here is resolved perfectly.

I love the way the grain pattern of the walnut body echoes the shape, and the way the control knobs and the jack socket flow along the bottom bout and enhance the curve. The walnut, rosewood and ebony complement perfectly, each wood picking out the colours of the others, all punctuated by the startling gold hardware. I've never much cared for gold hardware before, but in this case, I could not imagine a better choice.

I am deeply in love with this guitar. But it's not for me. If it were mine, I'd hang it over the fireplace in the living room against a background of white satin silk, with a row of spotlights trained on it. I wouldn't dare play it. And that's plain wrong - a Zach, above all, is made to be played.   Best, Ludwik

G4-SP - she is very nice. I love the dark ones. One of these days I need to get one of those short scale beauties. Again the nice switching. I imagine a world of crunch. Kind of a dark chocolate crunch with a smooth creamy center. Frank B.

Very Cool! If I am not mistaken, that is the identical pup set up as my Hollow. Great stuff. It is also the same radius. That guitar needs to be on stage in front of an audience. Nothing else will do. That wild shape needs to rock in public. It is so silly. That guitar begs to be front and center on stage. It is not right for sitting in the bedroom. A power punk pop band would be perfect with that guitar. Just a three piece with the guitarist singer in the center of the stage with that guitar. That would look perfect.
On another note...the third paragraph of your essay on the page with the new guitar is quite heavy. Impressive. That is some deep insight into the whole Z thing. Eli

Now that's more like it! - now I know the recession is over. Very Be-Bop Deluxe - would suit Bill Nelson.

In keeping with my previous comments - they are brief, totally spontaneous, synaptic and reflect the thoughts the guitar immediately triggers in my mind. Remember - Brighton Rock (031107)! After the appropriate austerity of the R480 when the banks were on the brink and Iceland went bankrupt.... .....that's more like it comes from the lift I got from seeing (this)191109, a guitar which makes me feel optimistic about the future .....single piece walnut - pure luxury - one of the most expensive woods - particularly that piece - hence now I know the recession is over ..... moderne - Modern Music - an album by Be Bop Deluxe (the band) founded by Bill Nelson another innovative British guitarist (not well known outside the UK) - I will have to figure out a way of getting some tracks off my vinyl's and sending them to you. Blimey, Alex! - as you can see from my earlier messages - I am not normally one for using so many words! I hope 191109 goes to a good home.

I am in no doubt that you are doing the right thing by ensuring that your work gets into the right hands and I agree that the pool of players is getting smaller. In the seventies making music, practicing on your guitar etc was what kids did - no computers and stupid computer games. You had to save really hard to buy a guitar or even try and build your own. Money was tight and there was no way any dad in the '70's was going to buy one for you, because of their views on rock and roll behaviour. But there were lots of people playing or trying to play. For most of us it was for fun but from that pool of players there were a few with prodigious talent - particularly the blues guitarists like Pete Green, often coming out of our poorer areas. They changed our world with their music, influencing us and making us all want to play better. It will never be like that again - so its just as well you don't build that many guitars - you will run out of players you think are good enough first! But you must not stop building even if that happened. You have an undeniable talent and you have to suffer for it. Best JR

Congrats on 191109. Incredible. Gibson has some very cool designs. They should have taken their designs and gone into building automobiles or airplanes or something like that with them however, because they sure as hell can't build guitars. Ted

Alex, Wow, I made that much of an impression? Damn! I suppose that I am fairly reserved (not that you could tell if you had ever seen me onstage) and thats probably why I am now facing this little crisis with my own music. I nitpick everything. You know, I see the tiny spot that was missed when the living room was painted. Well, as always, I have great respect for your talent and outlook which made it difficult to write the email about thie guitar. It did have a huge impression on me though. I shouldn't have liked it (I'm not a fan of V shapes), but I did. The colours got to me, definately and it is striking. Hey! I wish you lived in Calgary, then I could pester the hell out of you so that I could see your new guitars first! I might actually learn a thing or two from someone that has some experience not only in building but playing. Jeff

Hey Alex That new G-4 is a beauty! You must have seen the grain in the fab walnut and immediatly said "Moderne!" Totally beautiful guitar. Awesome rosewood neck. Woowie! I really love P-90's now that I have them. This things set up like an SP. Lots of sounds. A slightly shorter scale than my G-4 and 2 more frets. Great job. I used to hope that mine would be the only G-4 but I'm glad you built this. I mean, with that grain, you almost had to. Peace Tony

Hi Alex, is very glad, as behind ocean such wise and cynical people live. I for a long time suspected, the expert will force a stool to sing. For the life I too collided with misunderstanding in the field of construction of guitars. Now all errors behind. Continue to send all on /////// and give the God you of health. With Hi from Russia. Viktor

I am not sure what this comment above means but I think it may be complimentary and something really profound. Maybe someone can translate. Alex

Browsing your catalog of instruments, I found the walnut G4 and immediately fell for her. This guitar is dark, fierce, and elegant. It's funny you mention your drive toward an ideal self. I'm plagued and blessed with the same need for constant improvement and refinement. I want to make this guitar mine. Let's talk about it. Mike S.

Hi Alex Your 19112009 is truli HA-HA guitar. First thing that came to my mind when I saw it is HA-HA Bill Gibons from zz-top would be extremly happy if he could get his hands on it. And I would be amased to see it happen. Ahhh I wish he shows up for this one and make some examples from Texas. Yeah , this guitar is perfect match for Bill Gibbons Great work and especialy considering these ugly non-creative times. You always supprise. Congratualtions, Denis-Croatia

I was very impressed when first saw you website and especially your attitude. There are much useful information for guitarists who are interested in instruments they play but not for the bastards and guitar forums users. Once I tried to post info about your site on one of the russian guitar forums. I hoped this would be interesting for people who talk day and night about guitars and stuff but I faced with misunderstanding and denial of the evidence. People just don't try to understand cause you way of thinking is beyond their minds))).

You say much about the situation in the american guitar world but in Russia there is far more worse... But not all russians are like chinese and most of all love their mothers and money isn't their goal. More to say, Russians whose goal is money don't play or build guitars, they don't even know that there's music exists in the world... As for me I'm not worth to have one of your guitars but I'd like to have ZOG strings as small part of your innovation. For payments I prefer to use PayPal. Sorry for my english. Best wishes.   Ilya   - Russia

I just had to write this. (somthing I never do) I have been a fan of your guitars for a few years now. Constantly watching the youtube clips, and always checking back to your site (love the Zach Perspective as much as the guitars themself) Up until now I thought there could be none sexier than the Z-2 design (esp -w- trem) but the NEW G4-SP is just as visually stimulating! Amazing work as always. I am an HVAC tech by day, and local gigging musician by night (here in southern NH) hopefully , one day I hope to see one of your guitars in person, and hopefully at some point own one. At any rate, hope this did not waste to much of your time. Enjoy the Holidays, and Keep the amazing gear coming.

Sincerely, Dave B

P.S. In a day where the Mom n Pop store's of all sorts, seem to be sadly fading away, and true innovation seems a thing of the past. It's great to see the few people left who don't mind to go against the grain.

Alex,
Regarding your latest guitar:

At first glance I think, "what the hell is Alex doing making a boat oar?" Twenty minutes later I have just torn myself away from looking at the pictures. I can't pinpoint this one. I don't like the body shape, but it moves better than the Moderne it was modelled after. Perhaps its the bevelled lower edge? The colour contrast is wicked, like coffee with a bit of creamer in it spilled on mom's gold jewelry. The neck is perfect even with the offset tuners. I like that all the controls and tuners are open, makes one have to want to take care of the instrument. But that goes with your rant on this one. Perhaps this is what is striking me most about it. I spent several of the last years doing 'good enough' with regards to my own music. I wanted everyone else to be happy and I suffered for it. No more, I've become rather uptight with what I put to song in the last two years. I have to feel it before it goes anywhere. If others dig it, then great. But its for me.
Alright, thats enough out of me in the peanut gallery. I'm actually thinking twice here about sending this one. I've gushed and raved in other mail to you regarding your guitars but I haven't ever really given up anything about myself. I feel strange about that but I was honestly taken with what you said about this guitar and your process and inspiration toward it. So here it is, I'm sending it.      Jeff (Calgary, Canada)

 

 

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Gibson Moderne