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Body Style
Body Wood
Neck Wood
Fbd. Wood
Neck Joint
One Piece
624 mm
Dual Size
Zach Alnico

Zach Alnico
7.9 lb


Here is a guitar I wanted to build for a long time. Its one of my favorite guitars. Again, I wanted to keep its tradition and only change it where it needed to be changed for better playability. I was very careful to stay accurate with all the key, defining and historic features. Exact body shape is a start, correct bridge and made of Aluminum, correct scale length, correct fingerboard radius of 9.5", correct pearl dots, correct pickguard, correct body thickness, correct tuners and correct pickups.

Well in case you have not noticed or you don't know your guitar history, the pickups are not correct for this model. If you thought these were P90s then hit yourself over the head right now. These are not P90s, even though they look like them and are the same size and shape. They are historic however. Its a new pickups that I developed based on the vintage Gibson Alnico pickups found on the 1954 Les Paul Custom actually, before they went to those muddy humbuckers. The neck pickup on that Les Paul Custom is very desirable and has a thick round tone, with all the warmth you will ever want. They are constructed very differently from a P90. While the P90 has a bar magnet underneath the coil and has screws as the pole pieces directing the magnetism up to the strings. The Alnico pickup does not have a magnet under the coil. The magnets are the pole pieces themselves. Similar in construction and theory to Fender pickups but not thin sounding like Fender since the coil winding is much larger. The poles are not adjustable, but I placed the magnets at precisely the right height for perfect volume balance.

I spent a whole day calculating the bridge placement. If you care to look and measure the bridge location on the reissue Gibson Special/Junior and I am sure on the vintage specimens as well, the bridge is in the wrong spot and the two intonation screws really need to be used to place the bridge in the right spot. To intonate these guitars properly sometimes means that the bridge is moved way back on the anchor bolts. I don't like that at all.
I could have really messed the bridge placement up and I had no idea I would get it so dead on. I did many calculations and basically predictions as to where the bridge will sit on the finished intonated guitar. When it came to intonate this guitar with my strobe tuner I was shocked to find that I did not have to move that bridge at all. I was amazed. So the ugly intonation screws are not needed and I removed them. This way the bridge also sits all the way forward on the anchor bolts, giving it the most surface area and stability.

The pickguard was made by hand without a template and took me a day to make. Again, most mortals or guitar builder frauds would make a mess out of it but my guardian angel was with me all the way and she helped me do it. Again, the good fit surprised me. Remember people, this is the world of hand craftsmanship, better known as "one needs to pray constantly for two weeks while a guitar is being created". One wrong move and its tragedy. This is not the world of unskilled assemblers working for one dollar per hour, who have no idea what they are even making and are forced to do it just to eat. Just to satisfy the almighty American consumer. Oh, what have you let your world become? Shit will hit the fan people and it will not be pretty. Mark my words. By the way, I looked at a package of the most expensive Fender Custom Shop pickups and the sticker said Made In Mexico. What a disgrace. I didn't know the famous Fender Custom Shop was in Mexico, but I digress.

So, do you share my commitment, my passion, my neurotic fixation with doing things RIGHT? One small example. You ever wonder about those oversize tuner mounting screws? You know what their significance is? Did you even know that the lame, undersized, soft meta,l shit screws supplied with tuners are not acceptable to me. They strip as soon as you put a screwdriver to them. I hate stripped soft metal screws. Then the unthreaded part of the screw is longer than the it needs to be and must be forced into the wood unthreaded, this is also why the head strips. They are also undersized in the tuner hole and the tuner will move around or will not mount accurately. Does the manufacturer care. Not at all because they know that you don't care. So you get shit, but you accept shit, so you buy your guitars at Guitar Center and destroy your world in the process. Ignorance is deadly. Well I know you really care and this is why I threw those screws in the garbage where they belong and spent a lot of money buying these special super hard screws. Do you care? I really hope you do. I have faith in you.

The tone of these pickups are frightening. They are shocking. Its impossible to describe really. You need to experience it. Its like describing the taste of some good food you never eaten before. They are both warm and biting at the same time, they are not subtle, they are not thin, they are highly defined. When both pickups are used together, all I can say is the tone is like you have Wah Wah pedal on in one position. Its a totally scooped, out of phase sound, begging to be played. Its addictive. Its different however from what you would hear from a Strat or Tele. Its a different sound, even though these are single coils as well. Its totally musical and individualistic. Plug this into a tube amp and you have just died and gone to heaven. Remember it was all new tome as well. Plugging a new guitar in for the first time is both an exciting and scary experience. Like going bungee jumping, or skydiving for the first time. You never know what to expect.

The finish is also something new. Its quite appropriate for a new finish to make its debut on a new model Zach. It is not an oil finish. No, it is not a spray-on finish either. I will not say what it is, too many tinkerers watching. I will just say that I relly like this finish and will do it again.

I hope there are enough pictures for you. I hope you have a high speed connection. And for all the budding guitar makers around the world, if you are a real no talent losers, I have again provided super close-ups in order to help you make your own Zachary guitars. Just remember that if you cannot come up with your own shit, you simply don't have it and never will. Anything you steal, you will never enjoy and will simply end up more miserable than you already are.

You have done it again. This thing looks like a rock machine. Great luck/skill with the bridge placement. Maximum surface area contact all the way!!

The pups? Just your description makes a very positive and intriguing impression.

It is extremely interesting how the F1, G1, and "Strat" are all perfect combinations of the traditional and the Zach. I used to think these guitars were basically Zachs with cosmetic augmentation. But close examination reveals that they are in fact what these older classics could have evolved into, retaining the good of the original, discarding the bad, and keeping all the things that make a zach so phenominal. Evolution at it's best.

This last one is very exciting because of the meat and potatoes nature of just the 2 single coil pups and hard tail. Like I said, a rock machine. The whole rap about the thought that went into the G1 pups makes me very optimistic about what pups you will put on the Hollow Zach. You obviously put as much obsessive thought into pup choice as you do with every other element. Perhaps that will be the G3-H? Who knows.... Curious about the new finish as well. Congrats on another step forward.    Eli

Man, man, man!! Alex what you've done here is inspiring and just an outstanding effort. The work in the back of the guitar is something I've never seen, how a subtle and irregular curve starts from the middle and then again it drowns in to the next more prominent but still smooth curve, looks like it made you seat a thousand times just to get it that way, beautiful and so organic. And the neck... my God your fingers are printed in there, how it starts getting thinner in the back as it progresses throw it's length, so natural, so individual, so chaotically harmonized, like it was created by nature it self. She looks Perfect for getting involved in those slow n' fast blues lying on a tree with a small tube m', first exploring the dark tone of the long coil in the middle, then slashing the glassy tone a little higher in the neck, with just bare fingers... perfect. Man and that finish... makes my think of an ancient technic were they used abrasive mixed with natural oil to sand it, it's incredible how the color manifests sow regular and strong without losing the striations in the wood. This guitar left's me crying 'til I hear it, but then, it will probably make me cry some more. Thanks again Alex.    Cesar

The new G1 is spectacular! Another masterpiece with the Walnut neck that I love so much and finally some single coil pickups that don't make my bowels clinch. It's funny that you would do all this work perfecting this model while at the same time Gibson's best contribution was to raise the price and rename it the BJ Armstrong model.

Ironically, because of your work in fixing these models I have gained a new respect for vintage guitars, in the same way a Boyd's hotrod makes me excited about classic cars. You bring out the best in guitar designs that for 50 years have never realized their full potential. The genius of Alex works as good here as it does with the ground up original Zachary models.

It is like at some point that everyone just agreed that guitar evolution should just stop. The only new things would be allowed are the cheap gimmicks that just disappear in six months after something else came out. All the most basic improvements that should have been there never happened. I don't understand how Zachary guitars haven't already revolutionized the entire industry. Since this guitar has always been so heavily favored by punk rock guitarists I would name her "Anarchy." James

I had a look at the new G1. Yawn.

A Les Paul Special/Junior improved in the usual Zachary ways. So predictable. Evolving classic guitars in many subtle but important ways while keeping the essentials exact to the final millimetre is getting boring.

Who wants perfect intonation? Why bother developing a new finish? What's the point of right-sized hard-metal screws? All it does is to put guitar techs out of a job. The p/ups probably ARE a real improvement on P90's, but so what? Where would the p/up replacement companies be if everyone made superb p/ups in the first place? Waste of time in my opinion.

Just plug the damn thing into a POD and no-one will know the difference.

Damn! Alex, The shit you are building is fucking unbelievable! What's going on buddy? How have you been? I haven't spoken to ya in a long time but I have been checking in to see what you have been up to lately and I can't believe the beautiful baby's you've been building lately!

The G1 is such an understated guitar. It's so crazy, with your guitars even looking at them on the Internet you can still get such emotional connection with them, it really is sick! I can totally tell how that guitar feels and sounds. Does this make any sense to anyone- Hell no!

You truly have mastered the art of hand building. Man, it's good to see you still are doing this. It is so fucking refreshing to see a real guitar builder these days, seems like everyone is so busy being a robot programmer.

My life is finally starting to become a little more organized. I am doing well and ready to fucking Rock Out on a Zachary! I want to make a loud and obnoxious video for you but don't worry it will be a scream-in,rock-n, kick-ass video. Are you ready to build me the ultimate Zach? Hope you still got some Black Limba left in your stash-LOL     Lou

Hey, Alex, Just got myself knocked out by your 241006. Love that guitar big time. Reminds me a lot of Chinta. Any stupid mofo who would go out and buy a Les Paul after seeing 241006 - deserves it. I am floored. It was a very powerful spiritual experience for me that nearly reduced me to tears.   Ted Noiz

Hi Alex, G1 - fantastic. I'm glad someone reserved that one quickly - My "never play anything besides a Z2 ever again" rule was almost at breaking point with that beauty..!!!...!!!!! I'm starting to get a feeling that you seem to really like the 624mm scale with 24 frets (Dual size Large/Medium). Is it just my imagination or are you developing a preference in that direction? Cheers Peter (Australia)

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