Fender Vintage Amplifiers

Body Style
Body Wood
Neck Wood
Fbd. Wood
Neck Joint

One Piece Mahogany

Neck-A5 7.9
Bridge-A5 15.5
6 lbs.

The idea behind this guitar was to make it in the spirit of the vintage Les Paul Special and Junior. Simplicity and clean lines was the goal incorporating the one piece Mahogany body and neck as well as a 24" scale.

Just dropping a line to tell you that 290704 is blossoming into her own beautifully. Lately I have been playing her clean through my '63 Fender Tube Reverb Unit into the "Mic" channel on my Kendrick amp. The single coil settings are just magical, I've been really inspired and am actively writing music again for the first time in a while. My appreciation for my guitar just continues to grow every day and I am so grateful for your hard work in bringing her to life for me.

It is amazing what you have achieved here, it's truly the first time I've played a guitar where the pickups can be split that I refuse to think of or describe to other players as merely a "Coil-Tap" option. On other guitars, tapping the coils has always implied sacrifice if not gimmickry to me. Tons of manufacturers tried to do it in the 70's and it sounded shitty then, and it still sounds shitty on the "modern" Guitars that offer it now. Too many switches and each one made the guitar sound worse. Ever played a BC Shit Mockingbird or Bich from the 70's? Oh my god, not only did they weigh 25 pounds but I once saw a Bich with 4 mini switches and a Varitone in addition to the 3-way toggle and 4 knobs. Can you imagine having to deal with all that crap when all you want to do is kick back and kick out the jams? Hell, look at all the switching Page used to do and at least his were push pull pots. The guy had to take his right hand off the strings every four bars!!! He sounded great, but still what a pain in the ass.

Anyway, with other guitars it's always that ice-pick in your ear treble thing at the bridge and a thin, reedy tone at the neck. Not with the Z2. My guitar has so much bottom end and is so perfectly balanced that even in the middle setting, it doesn't necessarily Quack like a Strat so much as respond dynamically and percussively when snapping the strings. The Z2 really has its' own thing with that single-coil middle position there, and I've found that the most naked clean tube sound brings it out best and let's it show itself off much more than it can with pre-amp gain or pedals interfering. Once again, this guitar's voice is quite distinct and the less circuitry between it and the speakers, the better. That middle single coil setting is the perfect counterpoint to the chord melody based power pop stuff that I've been writing over at the bridge and on the neck.

I'm still amazed at how fluid playing the Zachary is with the minimalist switching system you have devised. The switches are right where you need them to be and the volume control shouldn't even say "Volume." Remember how Eddie VH used to have a "Tone" knob on his volume pot? Yours should just say "Dynamics" because of how many shadings are available with the one knob. It's like a synergy of volume and tone together, allowing insanely simple but complete control over the "shape" of what is being played. Sort of like an extension of what Danny Gatton and Roy Buchanan used to do with their pinkys on the Tele to get wah and volume swells with the knobs while still picking. I have been "pinkying" that knob almost subconsciously from the first day I got my guitar. A little nudge down while I'm playing a verse subtly takes the edge off, and then I can really ram home the hook when I get to the chorus or bridge by bringing her back up to full.

People need to understand that playing your guitars allows incredibly complex expression with almost no visceral effort in terms of switching on the part of the player. It's completely intuitive if you have any talent at all. The next time someone calls you or E-mails bugging you about this stuff, refer them to the Led Zeppelin DVD that came out last year and tell them to watch Page play "Since I've Been Loving You" and pay real close attention to his right hand. All they need to know is that if they get a Zachary, they won't be doing THAT. If they don't get your point, they don't deserve your time because they'll never understand what you've accomplished here or just how great your guitars play and sound.

Have a very Merry Christmas.     Robert S. Frankel       gretschman@starpower.net