Paul Reed Smith Guitars
A first experience with Zachary Guitars.
If you have ever wondered what your first experience would be with a Zachary Guitar, you may want to read this guitar player's account. He lives in Arizona and just recently bought not one but two Zachary guitars. These are his email messages sent to me. They are an account of his first experience with his Zachary Guitars. His name is Quang and he lives with his family in Arizona.
Just as a side note, God is the greatest craftsman of all to create beautiful bodies like this. I am in awe of his work. I am serious. No one should be ashamed at admiring natural beauty, which is his work. So much for Atheism.
I asked him to tell me a few things about himself and why he wants to buy two Zachary Guitars. As you know I will not sell a guitar unless its going to the right person.
Forgive me if I get lengthy, because I am usually a guy with few words, but you asked.
Well, I am interested in the Z2 because of its 26" scale length. I have never had a guitar with a 26" scale length. I have had some chances to play (though not currently own) a few great guitars in my life, and tons of good/mediocre ones, and can imagine what a difference of 1" in scale length do to the sound. Why the Pier 1 instead of, say, the 050602 Z2? My reasoning tells me the 050602 has your latest pickup, but somehow Pier 1 speaks to me. And that part of it, I cannot explain to you. I feel at home looking at it, and hopefully when I play it. And yes, I do admit that I think it is one heck of a gorgeous guitar too!!!
Why the 160699 Z1? Again, I feel like the guitar speaks to me. It looks like something I look forward to pulling out of the case and play everyday when I get home at night. I feel like 160699 would be a good friend, and playing 160699 would be like talking to a friend, something personal, while Pier 2 seems to define my relationship with other people, musically. (Yes, it's only a hunch, because I don't how they sound or feel yet.
Why your guitars?
I have been looking, looking, looking, and looking.
I have owned my share of guitars, but eventually sold them because they weren't mine to keep. I have owned ES-347, ES-335's, Yamaha SG-2000, a few Ibanez's, B.C. Rich, G&L, and they were good guitars, but they weren't mine, so I eventually got rid of them. I finally took the dive charging on my credit card a PRS Custom-24. It sat in the guitar case for two years, I almost didn't play for two years. Got rid of it. So, I now currently own a Carvin and Lado. They're fine guitars too, but they're mine either, and I'll keep them until I find "the ones". Now, really, why I do think those two guitars are the ones?
I can't explain it. I can only have a hunch deep down. And I hope my gut is right, since I have been looking for a loooooong time. I don't know how else to say it. It's something that if you get it, then I don't have to explain to you. And if you don't get it, no amount of explanations will make you get it. And if you don't get it, I don't want your guitars either.
Why both of them? In my past, while looking, I've happened through guitars that spoke to me, but my reasoning stopped me from buying them (I didn't have extra money, and I've already owned a nice guitar). And I regretted those decisions. And I don't want to sit around a couple of years from now wondering what it would be like to own the Pier 1 or the 160699. I don't have extra money for either of them (which is why I'll be using a credit card), but I rather pack my own lunch for the next couple of years and have them both than wondering what having one or the other would be. I have three kids (I'm 42), and they're all unique, and I would want all three of them. That's why I'm doing something stupid like trying to get both of those guitars. Who knows, by the time I have the money, perhaps none of the other guitars you will build would speak to me.
My background? Solid -body-electric-guitar wise, I'm the type who go into a guitar store, ask to try a guitar, then after the sales guy gives me a quick demo through a loud amp and hand me the guitar, I turn off the amp and play the guitar for a while before deciding if I want to go on trying it. Musically, Patricia Barber's CD Verses gave me a kick... Anyway, that's enough. Quang
Yes, I do realize that only the Pier 1 is 26". That's one reason I would like to get both guitars, then I would have a 25" and a 26". From a technique perspective, on pieces that I can't stretch my fingers far enough on the fingerboard, I would use the 25". On pieces that I can't cramp my fingers between two frets, the 26" would help. But most of the time, I probably would use one or the other for its tonal characteristics.
Yes, I reviewed the specifications, and the wider neck is another feature that appeals to me, as I play acoustic guitars also (both classical and steel strings).
In regard to the paragraph that you asked for further explanation, I guess I was trying to say that for me, when it comes to finding the right guitar or guitars, it's more than just specifications and aesthetic appeals, but it involves the "whole", which include tones, actions, feels, and the whole philosophy of creation, of chance, what and how the instrument invokes certain feelings in oneself, etc... And I have not found the right instruments or luthier until I found your website. I think your whole approach, attitude, and temperament, and your guitars, everything somehow fit with what I have been looking for all these years: unpretense, realistic, devotion, passion... Everything about you and the instruments you built seem to reflect... Life. I think you're one of the few who "get" it. And I'm excited that you wrote and want to know more about me and my needs.
Please believe me, I was so intrigued when I found your website, I actually even read everything in What's New With Zach.
I didn't know that I can qualify as a dealer if I order three guitars from you. May I order one more guitar from you, the 050602, and getting the 25% discount on all three guitars? I know a small guitar store's owner personally and will show him your guitars once they come in. I'm sure I can sell 050602 on consignment at his store.
If this goes well, who knows, I may get into promoting Zachary guitars more actively. I don't have a lot of money, but I sure have enough credit cards to order your guitars three at a time, then try to sell them, then order another three. There are some nice small guitar stores around here and I know the owners. Not that I care about trying to make money, but I'm so tired of going into guitar stores without anything to get excited about. And I'm also tired of seeing Guitar Center squashing the small stores, and the smaller stores don't have any good guitars to fight back.
Please let me know I can get 050602 and get 25% discount on all three. Quang
Alex, Sir, I got the guitars! I've played both of them, enough to be... TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! For a quiet guy with few words, ADRENALINE IS RUSHING IN ME LIKE CRAZY!!!!!!
I can't even describe it!!! Man, the world has ABSOLUTELY no idea what a GREAT GUITAR is until they play these guitars! I'm so glad I could get in at the ground floor before these guitars start to go for $5,000 - $6,000, or even $15,000 like those Benedetto and Andersen archtops.
This is it! The quest for the electric guitars that I'll keep for life ends right HERE and NOW! I'm selling all of my other electrics so they can get into other homes where they will get played.
I definitely want to be a Zachary dealer. It's a sin players don't get to try these guitars. I've never been this excited about electric guitars, or anything else (yes, sex is over-rated compared to these guitars!!!)
If 050602 is available, please send the fax form for it. I would like to buy it right away. Quang
After playing your guitars, I completely understand your feeling of not ready to sell 050602, and fully respect your decision. Have you ever been in a room with a great person, and can just feel his/her presence? Each of these guitars truly commands certain presence, and your attachment to all of them is totally warranted. I did not fully comprehend when I read your description of these guitars being "live" until I got them in my home and started to play them. About fifteen seconds into playing them and dialing in the right tones, etc..., I began to leave my old licks behind and started to play things I have never played before. Interestingly enough, I started to play different things on the Z1 than on the Z2.
I have been gradually overcome with a sense of awe and respect for these two guitars, and for you. I'm excited to envision where I would end up musically a couple of years from now with these two different "prophets" of mine.
I was planning to get 050602 and ask Cave Creek Guitar Co., a local store here, to showcase it. The store carries nice acoustics such as Collings, Legend, and Martin, etc... and also carries a wide collection of... uhhh... PRS's. I thought I would ask Paul (no, he is not Paul Reed Smith), the owner, to put it next to the PRS's, and have his customers try them side by side to see how they react. And if the response is positive, perhaps Paul can work directly with you in introducing Zachary Guitars to his customers.
On the other hand, perhaps there are certain issues that need to be mulled over before deciding to have your guitar in a store anyway. One issue is that you price your guitars ridiculously low. Something is just wrong to have a $1500-$1700 Zachary guitar next to a $4000 PRS. It does not do justice to Zachary guitars. I do, however, appreciate the fact that you want to make them available to players who appreciate great guitars, even if these players are not loaded. For that, I truly respect you. Perhaps, going through the internet is still the best way, because it requires an element of chance, and a leap of faith on the guitarist side. And this leap of faith required on the guitarist side is very much fair to get the chance to own these incredible instruments.
Another guitar that draws me is 220400, the Bug Infested Zachary. I did not inquire on this guitar before because I thought the middle pickup would get into my picking when I play. But now that I have a chance to play them, I realize the ergonomy of the guitars allow my right hand to play right on the fingerboard if I want to. By the way, I think these guitars's ergonomy is great in that they allow the neck to slant at 45 degrees, right in front of you instead of way out to the left. This is the first time that I can play guitar with both of my shoulders totally relaxed. Over the years, I have developed a stiff left shoulder/neck from carrying heavy guitars with the guitar's neck sticking out way to the left. Anyway, if I get the Bug Infested Zachary, it would be for me personally, but then, I don't want to be too greedy and not play these guitars enough. Yet, the fact that I come up with different things musically on the current two guitars keep me wondering. Please allow me to mull this over for the next few days. Would you be willing to part with the Bug Infested Zachary should I ask for it?
Again, I feel so fortunate to find out about Zachary Guitars.
Yours truly, Quang
p.s. By the way, if you ever visit the Phoenix metropolitan, may I invite you to stay at my place.
I noticed that you moved the post Not For Sale sign to 050602. And 010902 seems to be available. Will you sell me 010902?
By the way, I played the Z1 160699 unplugged just now, and noticed the voice cracked up when I played hard, especially hitting a chord. It's like getting a crunched distortion unplugged. Cool!!! I guess it's from the combination of the extremely well resonant body, low action setup, screwed-in neck, whatever... Call me a moron if you will, but I loved it. Quang
I've had some time to think over, and I think two Zachary's will be amply enough for me for now. I think I got carried away because these guitars are so unique and great and I want to promote them, but also honestly, because I got greedy, trying to get the 25% discount. Someday, I'll get a third Zachary, because the thought of giving a Zachary to each of my three kids seems like a sweet idea, but then I'd want to pay full price for it. Who knows, by then, you may have come up with new ideas that would make these guitars even sooo much better, and I may have become a famous guitarist endorsing Zachary guitars not because you pay me money, but because I have turned into a much better player playing on these guitars all these years. Good luck with your endeavor. Quang