Zachary Custom handcrafted guitars and Bass Guitar

COMMENTS about Zachary Guitars

You read what I have to say, now read what others have to say... fan mail and hate mail


I must say I was intrigued by your statements on guitar building, philosophy, and the general state of the guitar building industry. Being a fan of old Fender guitars, and an owner of some old beat-up examples, I have to say that I cannot bring myself to buy one of these new shiny objects, that are more examples of manufacturing, than instruments. I do love the classic shapes that Leo Fender designed and I still think that the Stratocaster is the perfect electric guitar shape. But maybe you are on to something. I know that when I play my old beat-up strat it's not the look of it, it's the feel, smell, and history of the guitar that inspires music out of it through me. Its nice to know that a modern guitar built in the same fashion as vintage guitars can duplicate that feel. I wonder what makes people cling to old guitars, as if they would somehow make the player produce the sounds they want to hear, instead of the player having ideas for music, and searching for a tool to create that music. I do like the old larger necks on the earlier guitars. Anyway, I like your philosophy.


I'm afraid my old Strat is going to turn into a pile of dust one of these days. Ha Ha. That is why I've been looking for something new, but different. But I don't want to pay $2500. for a guitar that is custom made, or one that is made on a machine. I like my old Strat too much to just buy a new version of it. I've seen some humbucker style guitars with coil taps that really impressed me as far as the sound goes, but the guitar itself was like Ethan Allen furniture, too shiny and plastic. (PRS, Gibson, Anderson, etc.). (I hope you don't have any Ethan Allen furniture). I mean for the kind of money some of these guys charge for a bolt-on neck guitar. Its crazy!

Finally the human factor is back in guitar building! Somehow with all this-high tech stuff the ART has been lost.

This is taken verbatum from a recent Frank Marino interview.I couldn't have said it better myself.(If you don't know who Frank Marino is, shame on you. Immediately buy his first live CD (the black one) recorded in the late seventies. Your in for a treat if you like great guitar playing. Frank plays Hendrix better than Hendrix.

Q...What's your impression of some of the guitars that have come out in the last few years, like the Paul Reed Smith, Parker Fly, etc?

Frank...I'm not impressed by them. It seems that they're all too heavy, too much lacquer, a lot of eye-candy and fancy electronics. If these guitars were really as good as some people would have us believe, there would be no market for the old ones. The fact that the old ones still command such prices today is a testament to the fact that they provide something unique and untouchable...a kind of intangible feel. Those instruments were built by people who simply wanted to build a better instrument, it seems. But today, builders are trying to build a more popular one, and somewhere along the line they either go too far on the features and not far enough on the simple feel. I've used some guitars from smaller companies with no name that virtually smoke the competition, but they don't get the ink...

Could you please send me a catalog of your beautiful guitars?

My wife is going to kill me when this baby shows up, Oh well!

Wow! This guitar is a piece of art! I am in awe of it's shere organic beauty. Who was that masked man who delivered it?

I just love this thing. I am going to play it this weekend, and showit to some people. Thanks again!

I just love the shape, design and the whole concept! To me it is sort of a strange contrast. I look at the guitar and I get this awesome organic wood feel, then when I feel the neck I feel like my hand glides effortlessly across the frets.

I like your guitar for it's non-mass produced feel, it's originality and beauty and I also like the sound of it too. Too many of the luthier built guitars today are either too derivative, or just plain ugly. Probably because guitar builders are not artists. It is a testimonial to the classic vintage shapes of Fender and Gibson that they still look right (although some people would argue we have just grown accustomed to these shapes). Since I make my living as an artist, that is very important to me. And your philosophy and work appealed to me for those reasons.

I will continue to be a Zachary evangelist, and I will let you know of comments and news periodically. Please let me know if your going to be in the area, so we can get together.

You were right about the guitar, the more I play it the more I like it. It really has a unique sound and further more it does seem to be changing my playing style somewhat. Very interesting. Did you ever sell that blue ash guitar? What do you have in the way of cool exotic grained wood to make a guitar out of. I'm thinking of two Zachary's now. Funny, I can't seem to get excited about the guitars in the local music stores anymore, See Ya.

What's new? How goes the guitar creation process? I have truly enjoyed playing my guitar. I've been playing it exclusively since I got it. I really like the way the tone changes when you back off a little on the volume. It's like getting three more sounds. Very nice feel to all the components. The positioning of all the controls really reflects your consideration. It's just little things that I seem to notice. This guitar is unique, no doubt! I I really like the holes. Don't know why? The different pickup combinations sound interesting. I was thinking about having you build one out of some wood that was unusual because of variation rather then consistency, unlike the those mass-produced "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" flame tops. Yechhh! Like a knotty pine, or knotty mahogany with weird burls and knots. If you used wood like that would it make it difficult to do holes?

Hi Alex, I just looked at your guitars. Mmmnnnnn.....nice......
What I like:
The body designs The tone hole options - yeah ! Like that a lot. Looks super cool. I bet it sounds good too.
Lack of flash inlays etc.... (why pay for looks when it's tone we're after)
Big, strong neck pocket (ever thought of any neck thru guitars ?)
Small control cavity Chunky frets - yeah, baby.
Oil finish. Excellent Prices.
Your philosophy.
What I don't like:
Sorry - but I don't like your headstock design. It's a little on the phallic side for me. That's about it.

You know - if I were anywhere near Ontario, CA. I'd be round like a shot to take a look at (and play) some of your guitars first hand. Keep the faith. Cheers, Al.

I really like your guitar designs. I am building a web site of different (anything other that a Strat and a Les Paul) guitars and I would like to include yours. I know you are on the right track with your use of different woods. I really like the holes also. Keep up the innovation. Jim, Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA

I checked out your guitars and they are really cool. You even built one just for me, but I can't afford it. For years I looked for shorter scale 24 fret guitar. I have beome used to the 25 1/2 inch scale lately, but the perfect guitar for me would probably be 24". But, I hope your guitars find homes in the hands of good players. Best wishes, Bob.

By the way let me tell you that yesterday we went to a Rock band contest and We "Tiempo Atrás" (This is my rock band) won the First prize!!! and we did it with my RGX 321 FP Yamaha guitar, imagine what we could have done with a Zachary Tone holed guitar... Rodrigo, Mexico

Your phylosophy brings to mind a company in England. They make guitars clearly patterned after various classic Gibsons at quite reasonable prices and are a fairly low-volume operation. One of the things they emphasize in their marketing (to the extent that they do any marketing) is that they *don't* strive for consistency other than when it comes to overall quality. So this means, for instance, you can have three examples of a particular model guitar hanging on the wall, each with a unique neck profile and body detailing. I don't own any of these but I like their attitude. The individuality of the old Fenders and Gibsons is a big part of what makes them such great instruments. -Dave-

I am intruiged to find out that you cut the raw shapes out by saw and the rest is all hand done, sanded, rubbed etc! This would explain the difference from one guitar to the next. They are VERY similar to vintage guitars which feel much more solid and sturdier without the bulky paint jobs of the new ones. Your guitars go for similar prices to korean jobs and are priced very fairly. Its a shame people get a false sense of quality just because some corporate assemblyline operation owns the rights to silkscreen the words "Gibson" or "Fender" and some dead fuckers name on the headstock. The real quality is out there made by people who love guitars and the rest is just polished turds.

Gibson and Fender make fine guitars but they aren't worth 1/3 of the exhorbitant BS-boutique price. I'm sticking with the smaller makers. I just hope you don't fall prey to the corporate rapists when people start catching on. I laugh when i see companies like say...Washburn following suit by screening someones name on the headstock and offering the same guitar for 100 bucks more than the standard fare. Hell maybe Dimebag Darrel will die, his family will sell the rights to use his name when they lose their lawsuit asking for publishing $$$, and Washburn's guitars will start costing 2500 dollars! some idiot is bound to believe price=quality.

"They are a state of the art musical instrument, perfect fit to human body & soul. Body for Ergonomics and soul for Feeling."
Rodrigo from Mexico, owner of 050599

My guitar continues to amaze me all the time. It seems like every time I take it out and play it I have a new appreciation of it's power. It seems like a living thing instead of an object. Does that make sense? Must be the wood. I don't think I'll ever buy a plastic coated guitar again.

Hi there, I'm considering building my own guitar in my woodshop at home and I've been doing a bit of research on the net regarding wood types and techniques etc. I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am with your philosophy and methods. I have seen so many 'custom' and 'handcrafted' websites that offer cookie-cutter Strats and Teles with shiny finishes for thousands of $$$; what's the point?!? Your guitars seem truly unique and inspiring, and your philosophy has provided much food for thought for my own project. I wish you much success! Adrian

I've spent the past 30 minutes checking out your web site. Very impressive. I also read many of your archived newsgroup posts, and I must admit that I pretty much agree with your general philosophy. That knotty pine ax looks awesome to me. First, I want you to know that I'm serious about this. I was going to buy a new Guild Bluesbird today, but I postponed my trip when I saw your guitars. Hell, I guess I'm just gonna have to buy the damn thing. Frankly, the thought of purchasing a handmade guitar had never entered my mind -- until I saw your work. John

I really enjoyed your web site! You've done a fantastic job with it. (I am located in the SF Bay area of California) I read one of your Usenet posts and followed the URL to view your page and the guitars for sale. I was immediately attracted to your Z1 body/headstock design and was even considering having a guitar custom made for me that matches your guitars in many ways. Needless to say, I am excited to have run across your web page! I am interested in the following guitars: 041198P, 220299P, 261288P, 060399P, and 140899. My largest concerns are common to most other players -- I don't particularly care about how a guitar looks but I highly value its sonic characteristics and playability. BTW, I *really* enjoy your home depot knotted pine instrument. That is a real work of art in my opinion - it is more beautiful to me than a "10 top" PRS for some reason I just can't identify. I definitely appreciate your work. .

I have just sold another guitar, and I will be out of town next week. I want to buy something new soon. The only other guitar I have been considering is a hard tail Anderson drop top classic but in all honesty, your guitars are much more interesting to me in many ways. I think this is a fantastic value, I think I would like to go with 070699 (mahogany neck, korina body, rosewood fretboard.) It will a difficult decision between the cherry and the basswood models, but I think I'd like the resonance of korina. Rich

Greetings! Thanks for the detailed response. I agree with your concept of guitar building, and I think it's great that you're willing to break out of the "norm" and do something different, in order to build a better guitar. This puts you right up there with guys like Ken Parker - love his "fly" or hate it, it's innovative in it's design. However, you're different in that you love simplicity, and the Parker Fly seems to be anything but simple. Even the controls are confusing, and if you hold the guitar like normal, you jab yourself in the ribs with it. I don't imagine I'd have to alter my playing style with one of your guitars.

Out of all the guitars on your site, I really like the "Home Depot dumpster guitar" the best. I just have to laugh when I see it, especially at the nail driven into it. Another thing that's cool is your choice of tuners - very appropriate. I've never seen knotty pine used on a guitar before! How does it sound? The Air Norton and Tone Zone are a good choice, and no doubt provide a pretty hot sound.
My second favorite would have to be a tie between your "Millenium" guitar, and the Korina D1 that you've got in Geranium Red. The D1 in particular looks like a lot of fun, and weighs in at only 5 lbs! The Millenium is a beauty, especially your finish job - very tasteful. I like how you use a piece of wood for the electronics cover, and in the case of the Home Depot dumpster guitar, the electronics cover wood looks like it was removed from that part of the guitar and placed right back where it belongs.

I greatly respect your attitude on this. It makes me sick that PRS would just cut up a guitar. Can't they just patch it, paint it a solid color, and sell it as a "standard"? Why would they cut it up for firewood? Do you happen to have a "firewood" D1 or a Z1 that you'd like to send me? Heh Heh! Never hurts to ask... Cheers! -=Cypher

Alex, I wanted to write to let you know that I have been really enjoying this guitar immensely. I can't seem to put it down all day! One thing that I found interesting is that I think this guitar was manufactured on my birthday! It's neat how those things work out. I will be writing an in-depth review of it shortly [after I spend a little more time with it] and posting it onto Usenet and Harmony Central because it seems that others want to know more about your instruments.

Comments: 1) My expectations were completely exceeded with the overall look/feel/tone of the guitar. The acoustic resonance is amazing - perhaps the loudest solid bodied guitars I've ever heard. 2) My biggest complaint about the guitar is the lack of access to upper frets on the fretting hand. It seems as if the highest frets are exclusively for picking hand tapping technique. In the real world, I don't hit many notes up there but it is an adjustment that I need to make. 3) The action is a touch higher than on my other instruments and the Fred pickup is very strange sounding to my ears, but these are minor nit-picks and I think you have a good point in your user manual to not expect perfection from any guitar.? 4) Excellent form-fitted case, nice electrical work, very high quality instrument! These guitars are fantastic value for the $, especially considering they're hand-made!! Thanks for everything, Rich

Hi Alex, The guitar just arrived. So much for UPS tracking numbers -- I just checked and it still shows the package in Syracuse. In any event, I'm very pleased. I gave it a quick try out, and I really like it. Great neck, great action, perfect intonation, and superb sound. And, of course, it's absolutely beautiful. More later. I gotta go play some more. Thanks! John

Hi! My name is Matthias and I'm from Singapore. I have been very impressed by your website since I discovered it in September '99. What really caught my attention most are your views on guitar-making. It's really hard to find a luthier like you nowadays who still believes in the old traditional method of guitar-making one at a time pain-stakingly instead of mass-produced guitar which sacrifice quality for quantity. And your guitars are real stunners too with its unique wood design that is made simply and beautifully.
I'm machinist by profession, but given a choice I would rather be in a guitar related business because of my passion for guitars and music. It's also my desire to own a guitarshop one day, but for the time being I am happy to be a part-time dealer working from home. Over here in Singapore, there are simply too many shops selling the same old popular boring brands that leave people with limited choices. I hope to promote your product to customers on a personal basis as to share to them my passion for this unique product. If I'm given the rights to promote your product, I will like to order these 3 models first (1)261298/Z1(p) (2)101099/Z1 (3)261299/Z1.
But I have a problem, due to funds holdup and I will not be getting the money until March '2000. I hope that you can reserve the guitars for me until I have the available funds to purchase. I'm thankful for your time and I look forward to hear from you. Sincerely yours, Matthias Au .

Hi all, I know that there has been some interest in and discussions about Zachary guitars in this newsgroup and I wanted to let everyone know that I have written a review of my Z1 model guitar to

(There are now two reviews of this model.) My hard tail Z1 has a korina wood body, mahogany set neck, slab rosewood fretboard, and dual DiMarzio humbuckers, and I've got to say that it's an unbelievable instrument. Alex is definitely on to something here. My Zachary guitar is easily the best sounding guitar that I've owned (roughly 3 dozen guitars over 13 years) and among the top-2 or 3 best sounding guitars that I've played. I was within a few virtual inches of buying myself a typical AAA quilt-top strat with a similar pickup, trem, and electronic configuration from a well known high-end guitar company before I decided to try a Zachary guitar, and I absolutely made the right decision. With this purchase, I have realized that what matters most to me (and what I believe should matter to most players) is not the brand name, glossy quilted maple "10" top, or the perfect CNC precision machined construction but the way the guitar feels, plays, and sounds. After buying this Z1, I don't think I will purchase a "plastic" semi-mass produced CNC manufactured guitar ever again. Please feel free to write me if you have questions about these instruments!

With this purchase, I have realized that what matters most to me (and what I believe should matter to most players) is not the brand name, glossy quilted maple "10" top, or the perfect CNC -precision machined construction but the way the guitar feels, plays, and sounds.

I do not believe that I expressed this conclusion in my original argument. I have owned CNC manufactured guitars that have played and sounded great (and many that were only fair or worse.)

I know that it might appear as if I've contradicted myself in this post by saying that I've owned great playing and sounding mass produced guitars and then later saying that I will probably never buy one again. I think most guitar players will acknowledge that there are differences between a guitar that is entirely hand made and one which was produced (at least partially) by a machine.

It would be wrong to say that workmanship is one area where the hand manufactured guitar is superior. There are minor faults on the body wood of my Zachary guitar that would NEVER be seen on a brand new Suhr or Anderson (but I have to believe that my guitar was manufactured with these faults in mind and I believe that they were intentional, this is a part of the statement that Alex is making.) Take a moment to consider the high-end manufacturing shops like Anderson that use CNC equipment. It can been said that some of these shops implement CNC equipment to maintain consistency and high quality. From a business perspective, it's clear that these shops make this investment to increase or maintain high(er) production levels while reducing significant (human) costs. Tom Anderson does not need to be involved with building each guitar, and a floor man working with a body hot off of a CNC router probably is not as expensive to employ as someone who's skilled enough to build the entire guitar at similar quality levels. [It is a well known fact that many large guitar companies employ very low skilled, low pay workers to build guitars, I've read a magazine article where the business folks that run Taylor and Martin guitars sadly brag about this fact.]

A significant difference between a hand-made guitar like my Zachary Z1 and a guitar that was at least partially made by a CNC router are the human elements that make a hand-made guitar special. Each guitar is imperfect in its own (minor) way, and these slight imperfections give these guitars a unique character. To me, this is like the difference between analog and digital music reproduction, or for us, digital and tube amps. Our brains appreciate these imperfections and I appreciate this aspect in a guitar. My guitar is not a mass produced instrument and will play and sound different than every Z1 that will ever be produced.

When compared to large production shops like Fender, Peavey, and Ibanez, I appreciate the fact that my guitar was not manufactured in an assembly line like a hunk of Detroit iron but was lovingly crafted by one person in his garage or basement with a single vision of how the guitar should play and sound when its done. Where's the art in a computer manufactured guitar with a sterile quilted maple top? I used to really love these pieces of eye candy but now I realize just how digital and sterile they really are. Why buy such an object unless it will only exist on your wall for people to look at? Sure, a maple cap affects the tonality of an instrument, but does a piece of highly quilted "10 top" maple make you play or sound better? Hell no.

The biggest reason that these guitars exist is to increase profit for guitars manufacturers that product instruments that have attractive (but functionally useless and relatively low-cost) features. Consider how much that piece of maple in a PRS 10-top costs PRS to purchase and manufacture. Very little at their qualtities but they sure soak the consumer. I really think that guitar players in generally really need to reconsider our needs to change the market so that we have greater access to lower cost, higher quality guitars with character. Otherwise, it must be clear to everyone that the craft of guitarmaking will largely continue to be driven by businessmen who care about nothing more than making a profit for company shareholders. Isn't it obvious that in the short future we will be almost entirely forced to buy cookie cutter production guitars from Guitar Center unless this trend stops? Finally, please take a moment to think about all of the GREAT electric guitars in history. Were they made by hand or by computer? Does the human element in these production make them great? I strongly believe so.

The simple irrefutable fact is that a CNC machine is a tool to build a stronger *business*. The reason that CNC assisted manufacturing has been introduced into the context of guitar building is to A. improve product consistency, B. reduce costs and increase profit by 1. increasing production efficency, 2. reducing waste due to human error, and 3. leveraging the CNC machine to hire lower cost builders that will not have the same skills as a master like John Suhr to build comparable guitars.

Based on my experience, I believe that a guitar that has been completely hand made by a master luthier will be better in most ways to one that has been produced with the assistance of a computer assisted manufacturing process. I do not believe that this is a subjective statement. Many people with much more experience in this than myself or Richard will agree with this statement. Again, I ask everyone to consider the most valuable production electric guitars in history. These guitars are valued for their playability, tone, and feel. Name one that has been cut by a CNC router. I just can't think of any.

I have tremendous respect for John Suhr, and I just checked his web site to read about his manufacturing process: "We design a hand built feel into designs produced with modern technology." ... "We cut our own necks, bodies, and pickguards on our state of the art CNC router." ... "Our fret slots are CNC cut" ... "each (guitar is) assembled by one builder." John Suhr himself clearly indicates that his goal is to produce a CNC manufactured guitar that has the same qualities as a hand-built instrument.

If you disagree with anything that I am saying, you must ask yourself: Why does he feel that a hand-built guitar is the benchmark?
Once you take the time to consider this, how can you argue that the resultant instruments are equivalent? Additionally, it can be argued that he doesn't really BUILD his guitars any more than someone ordering Warmoth parts does. He simply assembles components produced by his expensive machines.

There are many parallels between our discussion and the ongoing digital/solid state vs tube amp argument. Everyone acknowledges that all-tube amps are the benchmark tone for guitar players, but for as long as I can remember, the digital/solid state folks constantly claim that they've emulated or captured the feel of a real tube amp ... But we all know better!

My Line6 POD is a great tool and can get somewhat close to my Mesa Boogie, but they're absolutely not the same! Similarly, CNC manufactured guitars can capture the qualities that are present in a hand-built guitar? I know better than to believe this statement! I have played and/or owned many high-end guitars, including guitars that were made for and played by high-profile stars... Pensa/Suhr, Anderson, PRS, Gibson Custom Shop, Brian Moore, Fender Custom Shop, and other very nice guitars like Ernie Ball EVH (one of the best sounding guitars I've ever played was a friend's EVH), custom shop B.C. Rich and Jackson, Ibanez, and so on.

One fact that can not be disputed is that I purchased a *hand made* Zachary guitar that to my ears absolutely smokes most of these (largely CNC produced) instruments in tone at a significantly lower price point. 'Nuff said. I hope everyone has a happy and safe new year and that they're enjoying their instruments regardless if they're manufactured entirely by hand or with the assistance of a CNC router.

I'd like to say I saw the beauty in your work first! You're becoming famous! I think it's great. The guys I play with have actually told me to bring the guitar with holes now instead of my old stuff. And they're vintage freaks! Ha!

I'll have to say I have been playing mine ever since I first took it out of the case. It's totally unique. I love it's weight, perfect! The ultimate irony is that the guitar sounds like it was made for my new amp! The amp is sort of a cross between an AC30 and a plexi, sound wise. I play the Zachary in single coil mode most of the time!

Anyway I am glad to hear you're getting great response from the guitars, and I hope to get another soon. The hollow bodies sound very interesting. I'd love to keep the guitar weight close to mine, whatever I get because I'm so used to it's dynamics! It is just a perfect complement of size and weight. I really loved the sunburst one you did though! How much do the hollow guitars weigh? I guess they are more expensive too.

I have really grown into my Z1. I absolutely love the guitar. It is the ideal guitar for me and exactly what I was looking for. It hasn't left my house and I have spent many hours playing it!

I got the guitar tonight and I love it! It is just beautiful. It feels like owning an instrument that is a work of art. I just cannot believe how wonderful the guitar is. The action is perfect.
I was looking on the website and saw 2 others I would like prices on. I like 160699 as well as 040499. Please advise. After things settle I will go to Harmony Central and write a review. Thanks so much. Bruce

Hi, I'm a 38-year old guitar player from Belgium, Europe. I was surfing around (as usual via when I hit your web site. I was the shock of my musical life. I never saw such beautiful, masculine, sexy guitars in my whole life. My admiration grew by the second when I read through your philosophy pages. You really have the finger on the spot. That's why I would like to thank you for this nice moment, I know now that somewhere, someone has the same feelings about a guitar. I probably will never get to hear or play one of your beauties, but undoubtedly they sound and play great. Thanks for sharing your art on the Internet. Noël Henkens.
PS. Is anyone in Europe playing one of your guitars?

Alex, I think I really want the reddish beautiful guitar in your collection # 160699. It will take a week of 2 to get the money together and wife approval; that is the biggest problem but even she is impressed. Thanks. Bruce

The guitar arrived yesterday afternoon. Gives new meaning to the expression "if looks could kill". Talk about vintage. This guitar has more visual character than a whole store of new guitars. I really think this old wood distressed thing could be big. I mean the character of the wood is so interesting, that it almost seems like it's a bonus that you can play the darn thing! As always it has the "Zachary Acoustic Ring", but it's just MORE!!!

Hey, I put some new strings on my old strat last night, (the strings that were on there were about a year old) and even with the new strings I could not believe how dead, acoustically, that guitar sounds next to the Zach's.
Wow! The Strat still sounds good electrically, but I've become accustomed to the incredible acoustic ring of the Zach's! Hard to believe!

Hey Alex,
Can't force myself to send this guitar back. Can I just borrow it from you indefinitely?
Ha Ha. I guess I'll have to pay for it. I like the cap setup on the volume on the mahogany guitar, but that's probably because I'm used to it now. This guitar is sweet though. Truly one of a kind. Acoustic as hell too. I guess you can send me another contract I'm going to have to start selling stuff off to pay for these guitars!
See Ya!
I think you should do some more of the distressed guitars. They have a sort of character that makes them look and feel vintage, but they are so much more resonant and acoustic than most of the old guitars I have tried.
Keep up the good work!

I applaud your stance on building and think your site is great. I have similar views and hope guys like us can change the way people think about guitars and "Name Brand Mania" as I call it. Cool guitars. My site is being updated & I'm changing servers, so not all the pics are there right now. How long have you been on the web and how has it been? Again, great stuff and rock on! Scott (Scott Guitars)

I went to a couple of music stores recently and nothing comes close to my Z1. A local shop had an Ibanez Petrucci model that I was going to buy and store to collect but it sounded like absolute crap - definitely not worth the $1200 they were asking for it.

Dude your doing a good thing here you know what would be cool if you had a headstock in the shape of a flame, but keep the placement of the turn keys, man

I recently took my first look at the guitar section of your website, and I'm impressed. You were right in your guess: I am a professional, and I spend my working hours at a desk around other people who do the same thing. I've never known anyone who possessed the kind and degree of craftsmanship you employ in making your guitars. It must be a great feeling to be able to make such a fine item by hand--especially a musical instrument. Also, I was intrigued by your philosophy on handcrafted versus machine made.

Alex- I must say that the Z1 Hollowbody sounds absolutely incredible. I really wish I could reach those upper frets. It has such a crystal clear tone, and Whomever gets this guitar will be very, very happy (assuming they don't use the upper frets too often. The body shape isn't for me, but the tone and feel sure is! Congrats on a successful guitar design. Try and consider making a bigger cutaway, or reducing the number of frets to 22. I couldn't be any more impressed with your guitar. It's beautiful, and sounds full and ripe.

Initial impression: beautiful. I love the natural smell. The Birdseye looks great, and the unfinished wood feels great. I really like the sound of the pickups, especially in split mode. There is little to no buzz when splitting the coils, which is good. Overall, wonderful craftsmanship.

PRS are for yuppie collectors who are buying them for wall decorations, the pipedreamers who'll buy them to pull out of the closet once a month to play with, and the newbie rich kids aren't going to know or even care about such things for the uses they're buying them for - ego-trophies. But the working musicians out there and collectors of higher-end guitars do care. These wall decorations are nothing more than mediocre and are practically useless for serious hard real-world working-musician playing. It's more of a fashion decoration than a real guitar. Your guitars are for playing, plain and simple.

Why? This is a completely handmade instrument. I am very impressed with this guy's innovative approach, design, and (based on the pictures) construction.
I'd say the $5000-ish list price for a production Les Paul or dinged-up "sorta-kinda-vintage 'cause we hit it with a hammer a few times" Fender or Gibson is outrageous. (I just saw an ad for a "newly dinged" Les Paul in Vintage Guitar and I could hardly believe my eyes. I thought Fender was out of their minds to put forth this concept but apparently there is an audience for this kind of thing.)

You want $500, buy an Epiphone repro (I have one, it's merely OK). For $750 you can get a Fender American Standard Stratocaster, which in my experience all seem to be made on a Monday after the builder had a few (10? 20?) too many Budweisers the previous night. $1000-1500 will buy a quality production-line instrument such as a Godin. $1500 for a handmade instrument sounds like a bargain in this context. $2000 will buy you a semi-mass-produced dinged up "just like the old days" repro Strat with buzzy electronics. You choose... I'll take the Godin, PRS, or Zachary (Ikea) end-table model.

My .02, as provided above, and a quarter will buy you a cup of coffee -the Zach is a heck of a deal.
Dave Blevins

Just my ignorant opinion but, you have never played the shitty PRS guitars I owned then! First was a bolt on and the neck creaked every time you'd do a bend, then I took it back and ordered a custom 22 which was better {at least the neck didn't creak}. It didn't stay in tune well either. I hear people talk about how great they stay in tune with the whammy, but my experience differed. I also never see artists use a trem alot when they are playing a PMS. Now give me an old strat and I'll set it up to dive bomb all day and stay in. The PRS has that gigantic clunky nut which could definitely affect the tuning, and I don't care for the funky tuners either.

I couldn't get a nice chunk out of either guitar. Isn't that a big reason we buy double humbucker guitars? I also couldn't get a nice strat quack, which is understandable since it doesn't have 'singles. It was middle of the road on all tones. Kinda like fat free food, close but I'll take the real deal.

Maybe I got some bad ones. This experience was about five years ago, and maybe they are better now. I don't like those fancy birds and all, but some people sure do. They sure look pretty, though. I don't know how to spell his name but I think of  Liberace when I see them, and some guy standing in a rhinestone suit playing a PRS. I'll pass. later Jeff

I own a Zachary guitar and was the one that started the "Zachary Guitar Review" thread several months ago. In retrospect, I probably should have stuck with analysis of the Z1 instead of attacking other manufacturers methods of producing guitars. I apologize if that thread continues to influence the public discussion of Alex's instruments. I have probably spent hundreds of hours playing my Zachary Z1 (korina body, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard) since I posted the review. I stand by my original comments: It is a fantastic instrument and one of the best sounding electrics that I have played.

My Z1 is now becoming very nicely broken in. For me, one positive side-effect to the lack of a hard finish on a Z1 is that these guitars break-in quickly. I know that not everyone will appreciate this, but there is an area of wear on the body around the high 'E' string where my fingernails make contact when I pick. I have played my Z1 enough that the darker stain/finish has worn off in some areas. The worn areas feel very nice to my fingers ... I can't exactly describe how it feels, but it's kind of like the feeling of wearing comfortable worn-in clothing (like a leather jacket.) My other guitars have a thick polyurethane finish or a plastic pickguard in this area and I now notice that they feel sticky and seem to slow my picking movement.

Since my Z1 purchase I was in the market for something that will nail a (vintage) Strat tone and have purchased two well regarded Strat clones (one from a seller on the net, one from a Guitar Center.) They are both really fine guitars but don't sound as resonant or dynamic as the Z1. Through an amp, they sound more like a Strat than my Z1 so I will keep them.

I shopped at several local music stores when searching for a Strat-like guitar and played around two dozen guitars during this process. This is the first time in my experience as a guitar player that I can go into a music store, play their inventory, and feel absolutely confident knowing that I already own a guitar that is clearly better than anything they have on the floor. It has ended all of my impulsive urges to buy guitars. I don't even need to A/B compare the guitars to make an objective evaluation on which sounds better. The only thing that came close to the Z1 was a beautiful $2800 swamp ash/flamed maple top carved top Fender Custom Shop. One store had a neat looking camouflage Ibanez JPM-04 (Petrucci signature model) that I was considered buying to add to my collection because I knew they were discontinued but it was the worst guitar that I played recently. The $1200 cost was clearly for the neat camo finish as it had unusually high action and sounded completely flat and dead.

You have a good point about upper fret access. Anything above the 21st fret is unreachable for me unless I take my fretting hand out of its typical playing position (and I don't like to do this.) But, I usually don't go up there unless I'm playing a slower melodic line and want to add some tension by bending a note in that region. I can successfully access those frets when I perform sweep picked arpeggios and hammer a note on the fretboard with the middle finger of my picking hand. I think the large area of body/neck contact is an important key of the Z1's strong tone and resonance, and since I rarely play on the higher frets, the neck joint is something I can easily live with. I have to admit that I *was* concerned about this initially, but I think almost all players will agree with me once they use the Z1 to make music.

I have exchanged E-Mail with three Zachary guitar owners privately and they all are what I consider to be experienced and knowledgeable players. I am almost certain that they have been playing longer than I (14 years) and they all agree that these guitars sound wonderful. My experiences with Zachary guitars are not unique. I hope this helps people understand these guitars. Peace to all of you! Rich

Hi my name is Andreas and a play in a band when I saw your guitares I lost my mind, I haven´t seen anything like that before. I wonder if you could send me some pictures and prices of the guitares.

I have 2 PRS and I like them. One is a McCarty that is quite beautiful. It is light and plays very well. The other PRS is a limited edition signed guitar but I am just not comfortable with it. I love the PRS McCarty. There is no doubt it is a quality instrument. It is a close third of my favorite instruments. Your 2 guitars are first and second. The first one plays just right for me and the hollow body is so unique I love it. Bruce

I too have a signed PRS with a Rosewood fretboard that is a collector's item and it is not close to your guitars. There is really nothing like a hand made instrument.

I am really really picky about my guitars. I have 34 in my collection. As I stated on the review I have a Suhr, 2 PRS guitars but I did not say I had several LP Customs, a 335, 347, 355, a Brian Moore Custom with gold, several gretschs, a music man Steve Morse, a couple G & L's including a prototype. I have played most guitars on the market. I really love your guitars. They are great! The action is the best of any instrument I have ever owned. So the criticism is just wrong and disconnected to reality. I love my Suhr and he is building a special guitar just for me. But I have not been really impressed with the PRS except my hollowbody McCarty. But your guitars are better. I believe this is one of those things that out of adversity will come triumph. Respectfully, Bruce

Dear Zachary(?)
Is this your first, last, or not even your name? I could not figure out how to properly address you. Anyway I just want to say that after reading your design philosophy...aka.."Why you build them like you do"...I just want to say one big "AMEN" to you. As I was reading your prose, I was thinking "this guy and I think alike...I could have written it for him".

Congratulations to you for your thoughts and desire to make what you want using what you want, not giving in to the "what's cool from all the big guys mentality" of what a guitar has to be just because some ridiculous advertising budget and a nice royalty check made it so.
I have built two bass guitars for myself and one electric for a friend...totally from scratch. I look forward to corresponding with you but today my time is limited. I am looking to start building for people who, like your philosophy, will appreciate the instrument and the wood for the beauty that God put into it. Playability is an absolute first consideration.

May God bless you endeavor as well as mine!!!!
Sincerely, Mike Mankel Lexington, KY
p.s. Where are you located? I haven't looked through your entire site yet so forgive my ignorance.

PRS owners can be very vicious and some are rather uncivilized and unintelligent with very poor guitar knowledge, but they sure like those fancy maple tops. I got a kick out of this one:

Don't insult shit by comparing it to your guitars.

You are so poor that you cant afford proper machines to make your guitars (if you call them guitars) - instead you make up some bullshit that it is better hand made.
The truth is you are a poor fucked up loner who makes 'guitars' in his mums flower shed.
Sometimes if a tree dies, you use its wood to make your 'guitars'.
You then con some poor beginner into buying it for 50p and 8 tokens from corn flakes.

Good evening Alex.
Well, it's evening here in Arizona anyway. Tomorrow is my birthday, April 30th, and what better way to celebrate it than, you guessed it. Buying another guitar!! But not just another guitar. I want something exquisite. I was surfin' the web for different axes and stumbled onto your web site. WOW!!! Everything about this guitar is purfekt. Small joke, as you stated in your web site, these are hand made and not perfect. Also, I never thought I'd even dream of buying without trying, but seeing the pictures, and reading the specs, well ,what can I say? Also, having a one of a kind in all the world, will be quite the treat. Not to mention a great collectors item.

At any rate, I am so interested in serial # 140100.Guessing that you finished making it on January 14, 2000. Just beautiful! These are beautiful axes. Would like to order ASAP. E-MAIL ME ASAP.
Thank you so much.
Dave (Arizona)

Well my friend, and I do mean my friend.
I can't thank you enough for making such a beautiful well crafted instrument. I also would like to thank you for the expedient manner in sending it. I was really tired and was just about to take a little snooze when I heard the UPS truck pulling up and honking it's horn. Well it was right then I knew that it was here. I looked out the window and saw the guy carrying a large box and said to myself, happy birthday! It got here at 3:00 P.M. on Friday. Way fast!

It's a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I took it out of the case and gave it a strum, and to my surprise, it was in perfect tune. Amazing! I hit the whammy bar and wow, what a great tremolo system. I put on some new Fender silver bullets. .042-.009's. I love the locking tuners. I changed out strings in about ten minutes, and tuned it twice, hit the tremolo down hard, and tuned once again, and done. I can't believe how light this thing is. A true pleasure to play and own. Paul Reed Smith eat your heart out! I would buy another one for my next guitar for sure. Maybe the hollow body! Oh yes, before I forget. Why are they called Zachary guitars? Middle name? Real first name? I've been so jazzed about this thing that I didn't even think of it until I was putting on the new strings. Go figure! Well, e-mail me when you get the time.
Talk to you later Alex.
Dave (Arizona)

hello, my name is neill and i am broke.i want one of your guitars but i can't afford one!is there possibly a guitar you could spare?would it really hurt your company to give to a charity of sorts.i would never forget it!thanks for your time!please e-mail me back, because this was very humiliating for me! John (Canada)

How are you doing? I check your site from time to time. I really like the Orange/Blue D1 Ikea guitar, and the "Busy Wood" instrument is outstanding! I still love my Z1 as much as the day I first played it. I'm certain that I'll never own anything that can match its tone. Rich (California)

Zachary- Hi. I'm a 16 year old guitar player. I play decently, not great, but I've grown up around guitars. My dad plays handcrafted classical guitars and he has since before I was born. Unlike most of my friends who are interested in starting bands, etc, I am not interested in such things. Instead, I want to build guitars for a living. I was searching for "handcrafted guitars" just for fun and came across your page. I was curious and continued on to look through the descriptions. I clicked on the Z1 style 041198, and upon seeing it I thought it was, eerily, the best looking guitar I had ever seen. It was so perfect in it's slight imperfections and unique style. I can only IMAGINE what it sounds like. Upon seeing this unusual but amazing instrument, I read your philosophy on building guitars. I think what I read is probably one of the greatest things I'd ever read in my life! It's like you took the words right out of my brain!!! I couldn't believe it. Someone actually understood the hollowness of a machine-made guitar, whereas most people I talk to don't understand why I am not "DYING" for a les paul elegant. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to make such wonderful instruments. Hopefully, at some point, I'll actually save up enough money to own and be able to create sounds from one of your amazing guitars! Thanks for the inspiration!!!! -Emilia

Thank you so much for the kind words in reply of my letter!!! I didn't even expect a reply! LOL. I really appreciate it! Everything is just so genuine about what you are doing! You've given me hope in my future endevors. I was surfing around yor site again and came across what Frank Marino said. I love it. I've owned Full Circle for awhile now but I don't know much about him. Anyways, thanks again for taking the time to read my letter. I'm convinced I'll own one of your guitars someday! LOL.... Well realistically maybe in 30 years.... ;-) -    Emilia

I really love my Zachary, It really kicks ass!!!! I'm in love with her, I hope that the next time we play on a bar or other event, I have a picture taken wit her so I can send it to you via e-mail, so you can see your baby on action. Regards.       Rodrigo (Mexico)

dear zach, i come across your site and i admit you`re good...real good. Andres

Dear Zach I think it's a blessing finding someone who still believes in Art. My name is Andrés Segura Castillo,I'm 19 years old and I'm a bass player. By the way, I'm writing from San José, Costa Rica, Centralamerica. I'm very impressed by your designs and I totally agree with your Philosophy. I think it is really a shame the way humans forgot their humanity. At this age I am faced with the problem of making music that does not exactly fit into the market and making a living out of it, but seing your page has really inspired me.I will do what I love.It's terrible the way lots of talented people gets caught by the stream, don't you think? I also wanted to ask about basses, because I could not find any picture at your webside and it will be great to see a design of yours at the web.        Thanks! Andres (Costa Rica)

I was going to write to you. I did get the guitar 2 days ago. It is absolutely wonderful. I showed it off to my older son tonight who said it was awesome. I love it. It is beautiful, it plays really well and has a very rich sound. It is an indescribable feeling having a guitar that doubles as a piece of art. I like the extende neck to play chords and individual notes at the high end.
I played it through two different PV amps. Both sounded great. Any amps that you recommend for your guitars? I am practicing every day now since my older son Brent is getting married on September 23rd and I am playing music while people cogregate prior to the ceremony. This is a big deal for me since I have refused to play in front of people for many years. The purpleheart is guitar number 1 for my performance. So bravo again. Now I keep thinking I should have another Zachary. There will be lots of musicians at the wedding so I can show off yoru guitars.
Thanks for your incredible gift as a master craftsman.
Regards, Bruce (California)

dear zach, i come across your site and i admit you`re good...real good. Andres (Costa Rica)

On vacation in Cape Cod a week ago, I came across the live album of Frank Marino's you siggested and bought it on a whim. IT IS AMAZING to say the least. Thanks so much for the recommendation!!!!!!!!! :) -Emilia

Wow, the Zack 2 kills! It looks ultra sexy. I can't quite put my finger on it but it totally feels to me like I would completely get comfortable with my own Z2. I can just tell by the pics. The way it curves I am way into oiled wood bodies that are fat in some spots and then concave and come into your hip area like its part of your skeletal zone . What i am looking for in a guitar looks very much like your designs,and concepts. Lou

Hi everybody I am calling you from Croatia, Europe - adriatic sea is bridge to Italy. I like your instrument. I have never seen something like this before. There is cosmic beauty smileing from the instrument. My admiration to the creator and handmaster Alex for making such beauty. There are no words to describe what I feel right now. I am a liric guitar player who never atended any music school but playing for 15 years or more on various industrial instruments - feeling sad cause unsatisfaction of nonability to enjoy to play and express the way i feel. I think I have finaly found my instrument. Denis (Croatia)

Alex, Words are never enough ...really. Your guitar is large picture on my screen too. I am happy enough to jump out of my skin.

I like to use tremolo but  I like the holes eather cause there is magical beauty in it. Don"t know how to explain in words but that guitar looks out of time. I could put that guitar in time of Jesus also as it is in present now. Do you make acoustic guitars? I"d love to see one. Many greetings from Croatia Denis

I am grateful. I am going to spill my guts to have that guitar. I will be able to buy it in 11 month from now. (September-October 2001) Yes. I want to by that instrument and If you make it I will buy it. 7 month before instrument comes I'll order one German stand. That would be a sign that my Visa or Master card is ready. I want to thank you for your great will I believe in you and your work. Denis

Dear Sir,
I'm myself an electric guitar and bass maker living in Switzerland near Montreux. I just went to visit your wonderfull web site and I totally agree on what you mention in it. I'm currently changing the neck on a Fender and man does it suck, the guitar is horrible, I wonder why people buy those factory discusting guitars. I really like your design idea, I'm myself into 100% ergonomic guitars and I make guitars with beautiful wood, not only expensive 100% grain straight wood, all handmade! Good luck for your very nice beautiful instruents, best wishes. (Switzerland)

Hey Alex!!!

How you doing man? I was surfing at you website and finally I saw your new Z2 Model... Let me tell you ... It REALLY KICKS ASS!!!! I am Completely sure that you are a Born Artist and a genius!!!!!! Please Keep that excellent Job, I want to see what other Z2 models you are going to build... and I hope that you build the Z2 model "Rod's Edition" and send me pictures when you finish it so I can be the firs to see them. I hope I can have a little of time and take a plane to Canada so I can meet you and your wife personally. Rodrigo (Mexico)

Good work, man!
I'm impressed. As one who has put together some "unconventional" instruments, you are a man after my own musical heart. You understand the "form follows function" philosophy. I wish you all good things with your endeavor. Steve (USA)

Dear Alex,
I can appreciate well-founded arrogance. Your guitars are beautiful.
Dave (California)


I am amazed at your guitars, or at least your description & pictures when I compare them to the prices. They are beautiful. Some are very unique. The close-up pictures show great detail work. Thanks. It is obvious you love what you do. Danny (NC)


One of my admirers and supporter from one of the newsgroups.

Hey Asswhipe those guitars you make are the ugliest pieces of shit I've ever seen. You like to slam other brands but you make the lousiest crap around. Later loser.
(didn't leave his name or location)

I was impressed by what I saw on your site, in particular by the hollowbody you built. I like your Z1 design. I don't use the upper frets very much so access is not much of an issue for me compared to the sustain and tone benefits. Would you be interested in discussing possible materials and ideas for building a guitar designed to get a big, fat tone? Are there other ideas or things that you are thinking about that might be of interest to you. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing if there might be a common interest. Ted (PA)

Hello, You're right, nice match on the front. I can't really see the seam in the photos. I can see a color difference on the back, but it almost looks like it follows a curve. I can't see the other join at all. Well, the Zircote is a darn nice guitar. I do like your building philosophy (I visited your site). Nothing beats a completely handmade instrument. I'll keep an eye on your guitars. I particularly like the Z1. Great design on that and the Z2! Thanks for the info.
Tom (NJ)

Hi, By the way, the bass is beautiful. If I had the money, it would be mine now and probably a matching fretless besides.. Once again, thanks for the inspirtion. I love the Home Depot Dumpster guitar and the table top guitars. Later, Matt (Idaho)

I purchased my Zachary Z1 last December. My Z1 has a fixed bridge, korina body, set mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, Dimarzio Fred in bridge and PAF Pro in the neck. My guitar is still listed on his site ( as serial number 070699. I've spent many, many hours playing my Z1 since buying it. I also enjoy collecting so I've purchased about, uhh, 4-5 guitars during this period. I will most likely purchase a Zachary D1 and Z2 in this coming year. I still feel that my Z1 is the best sounding guitar that I've owned. It is also one of the top two best sounding guitars that I've played. I've played dozens of guitars in the past year and found nothing that comes close. The best qualities of my Z1 is that it's extremely resonant with long sustain and a very warm, dynamic tone. It has a organic feel and is very touch sensitive. As I've said before I believe this unique sound is due to the neck and body woods, bridge, finish, and unique deep set neck pocket. This is why the Z1 sounds different. I don't know of any other production guitar with a similar configuration. I also think that the Z1 has a unique voice. I realize that this is a big claim, but I think that many would be able to identify a Z1 on a recording. My Z1 has aged well, if this is important to anyone. As some might know, there is no plastic finish on Zachary guitars. After a couple of months of heavy playing, a patch of wear appeared on the body where my picking hand makes contact during playing. It was worn through the oil stain and now looks like bare wood w/o any finish. It feels like a broken in vintage strat or a new relic. The guitar has held up very well. The frets are still very clean and I've not needed to perform any adjustments to it in any area. I can say from experience that he is very proud of his instruments and stands by them 100%. He might come off otherwise, but he's a very friendly and nice guy, just very confident about his instruments. I think that most of his critics silently appreciate him for at least trying something different. I realize that Zachary guitars aren't for everyone, but if you're looking for an amazing sounding instrument, this should be near the top of your list. Good luck! Rich (CA)

Please send me one of your new video's. I think your guitars are extremely beautiful, and you philosophies are very close to mine. I've been searching for a new guitar, but in the past, I haven't been able to find exactly what I want. You're right, everything that's mass manufactured out there, to me, looks or plays cheap. I want a sensuous instrument, one that I can feel and get excited about. Mike (MD)

I am really impressed by your workmanship and philosophy of guitarmaking. The guitars are just beautiful, and I love how you let the woods show themselves off, rather than cluttering the guitar with needless coats and finishes. Avi (CA)

I need a good solid body. But I don't want the average production model piece of crap. When I found your website, I was blown away. Your guitar making philosophy is everything that I had been thinking about in what I wanted out of a guitar. I want a guitar that embraces the fact that it is made out of wood, and doesn't hide behind tons of paint and lacquer. I want something that is handmade, and personal. I'm also pretty impressed by the innovations that you've made on the concept, with the new nut material, the headstock, the neck pickup placement. AVI (CA)

I can't believe that I have finally run accross a maker of handmade guitars that shares my philosophies, i.e., wider spaced fretboard at the nut, HUGE frets (I always wanted railroad tracks on my fretboard), naturally sealed and oiled wood (man, there just isn't anything prettier than seeing a piece of wood in all of its splendor, showing the different grain, etc...), just a volume knob (I hardly ever, if ever use the stupid tone control, rolling that thing down just makes the guitar sound hollow). There's more similarities but these were the main ones that I saw right off the bat. I just don't want to buy a guitar anymore, and then have to spend a lot of $$ to get it refretted to my specs, etc... ya know? The thought of having a beautiful handmade guitar, that's one of a kind, with no others like it in the world is extremely exciting. I'm glad I found your site. I'll email you after watching the video. Thanks again for the speedy reply. Mikey (MD)

Hi Alex. Few days ago I managed to open market place as I told I will. It is very small but simpatico. I do delivery mainly. I belive I'll have money for the guitar in time predicted. Last five years I did many diferent jobs just to get of the fishermans boat. Very hard to be on the start of the new thing year after year.I am tired litle bit. With this *market* I belive I put the end on fact *never have enough money*. Finaly it is time to start living better. It is very beautiful nature here.Combination of sea, small hills with pine and olive trees on it and above all mountin (1400m). In opposite people are strange..... too strange for me, or mabe I am strange. I do not seem to fit in here. I always felt this way but never new exactly what it is all about. Three years ago I asked for help cause my mind was very critical and I met someone I thought I will but that *will* was many years before when I was as a child. That man is fakir by ocupation and I will never now who he realy is. He has a family and he lives *normal* life but totaly spiritual and also great practical mind. A kind of healer-teacher. He told me that the place I live in is dead and I am like ruined empty bottle. I was supprised with that. It was not only thing he told me. I was two years in contact with him. We split as he wanted. He is every day in my mind and probably will be ten more years to come if I live. Why am I talking this? I dont now. One day I was sitting on the kauch visualising what guitar could be and your Samurai stock appiered. Some time later I found your web site thriled by what you make. I have no idea what will look like your Z3 but I hope in better aproach to the higher freets than Z1 at least one more freet for the tomb. I am going to bed. I*am up at six. Now is three in the morning. Denis (Croatia)

Alex, I got the guitar yesterday, and it played incredibly right out of the case. I'm really impressed by the range of usable tones on that thing- every sound is practical and usable, and they all sound good. I'm not typically a big fan of the bridge pickup when playing clean, but this bridge pickup is well balanced and not too brittle. Sounds great. The setup is also great, and I love the feel of the wood, rather than a plasticky laminated feel. It feels really natural. This guitar is definitely a keeper, and I'll definitely reccomend your guitars to others. Thanks alot for a great guitar, AVI (CA)

Hello, my name is Zachary (no joke, I am not just trying to be an ass). well I just wanted to say that your guitars are the best looking things I have ever seen since the first time I saw a women naked. I know that I can safely say that when I get the money I will for surely pay a visit to your website. I was extremely impressed with what you had to offer. I have a question though, maybe I am an idiot and just read over it but do you make any acoustic guitars or perhaps an acoustic/electric. The reason I ask is I am not a huge fan of eletrics but I think your guitars would be the first to change me from that opinion. I would like to request a video if you still offer that I would like to hear the way that they sound. I wish you all the luck in the world and never turn to the devil, always remember that God is the light of the world. Thank you for being who you are and not being an ass of the guitar world.       Zachary P. (MI)

Anyway, your axe needs advertising, I stumbled across it by mistake and gotta say its probably the only axe I have lusted after since I was 16...20 yrs ago. Martin (Seattle)

OK, so he's only made 1 bass, but he has made a splash on this forum. I have spent much time reading his web pages and viewing his creations. I like what he does. I'm miffed that the Home Depot dumpster guitar is sold. But according to his last entry on his web site he has plenty of new urban trash wood for building new guitars. Yay!

I think this guy has talent and a funny sense of humor. He *is* arrogant, like PD, but he does have product to back up his boasting. I don't see the need to attack another manufacturer, but artists are strange anyway. (from a Newsgroup)

I just came from the bass newsgroup to check out your website. I am sick to my stomach. Every word you've printed on your website is in some way putting down everyone else who makes instruments in a different way than your own. Your business sense is non-existant. No real business would print the language you use on your "business website." I figured people in the NG were just giving you a hard time, but after seeing for myself the work you do and the way in which you demean the work of others, I can say I will NEVER have a desire to play one of your "superior" hand-crafted instruments and I will make sure that no players close to me ever do either. Tim (from a newsgroup)

Please excuse me if this point has already been made in this thread, but has anyone yet mentioned that this guy Zachary's stuff is FUCKING UGLY?????

I don't care if it sounds like Godhead, I wouldn't be seen within ten feet of one on stage. Jeeeezus. Douchebag (from a Newsgroup)

LOL...I totaly agree! But you never know.... some guys like ugly. Aloha, Jerry (from a Newsgroup)

I'm in love with your Z2 design;beautiful,efficient,modern.Could you send a tape so I can hear these things? Sounds like you've got great spirit. Thanks for your time, and your art. Chris,PA

I truly appreciate what you're doing and want to support the effort, and if your guitar is as good as you say it is, I'll be cremated with it. Redwood is near and dear to me, and when I leave California in the near future, this will be my only hunk of it, it'll never got sold to anyone else, and I would never dab it with ANY alcohol of ANY sort. It's going to a VERY good, loving home. :-) David (San Francisco)

Alex, that is cool to hear I'll be the first to receive a video. I am totally pumped up! Cuz you know what the next logical step would be after that. To answer your question about the discussion groups, I went into a chat but it was a VH room other than that I haven't done it. I really don't know exactly where to go to get into these discussions. I would definitely be in there rooting for EL ZACKARY GUITARS!!!!! The other thing is I already spend to much time on the computer according to my wife and kids. But anyhow I need to sneak into one of these diss groups to tell some of these punks out there that hand built guits are still better than any robot made paddles. This might sound strange but I feel like I have already played one of your guitars. I can totally envision what the feel is like, really ergonomic and alive but I think the way these babies sound is gonna blow me away! Well gotta go play my guitar for a bit. Lou MD

I am currently buried in your web page- I am interested, inspired, & still sifting thru it all. The purist emotional connection with emphasis on creativity is most appealing. I agree, I agree, I agree; etc.--I, myself, have always strived to think, & live, "outside the box". I will continue to search out your I am one who is not satisfied with the fine guitars I already own; Murphy

It has recently come to my attention (and surprise), that many so-called 'custom' builders actually use bodies and necks that are manufactured for them by a production company. So in the end they are 'custom assemblers' , not makers. This, in my humble opinion, makes their product no different than any other factory made product...(many of which are very nice). I am happy to say that here at the wee shop of Timtone we build each and every single (wood) component by hand...from scratch. In most cases, from rough sawn boards...and in some cases from standing trees. Tim Diebert, Timtone Custom Guitars (BC, Canada)

Hi Alex, Just to let you know the guitar arrived today in great shape. Thanks for the prompt shipment. I have been playing the guitar tonight, and I like it very much. I have been doing side-by-side comparisons with my PRS single cut, and I think you have a winner. I am looking forward to making other Zachary investments in the future. Thanks again. Patrick (California)

Hi. I'm a 16 year old guitar player. I play decently, not great, but I've grown up around guitars. My dad plays handcrafted classical guitars and he has since before I was born. Unlike most of my friends who are interested in starting bands, etc, I am not interested in such things. Instead, I want to build guitars for a living. I was searching for "handcrafted guitars" just for fun and came across your page. I was curious and continued on to look through the descriptions. I clicked on the Z1 style 041198, and upon seeing it I thought it was, easily, the best looking guitar I had ever seen. It was so perfect in it's slight imperfections and unique style. I can only IMAGINE what it sounds like. Upon seeing this unusual but amazing instrument, I read your philosophy on building guitars. I think what I read is probably one of the greatest things I'd ever read in my life! It's like you took the words right out of my brain!!! I couldn't believe it. Someone actually understood the hollowness of a machine-made guitar, whereas most people I talk to don't understand why I am not "DYING" for a Les Paul Elegant. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to make such wonderful instruments. Hopefully, at some point, I'll actually save up enough money to own and be able to create sounds from one of your amazing guitars! Thanks for the inspiration!!!! -Emilia

I purchased my Zachary Z1 last December. My Z1 has a fixed bridge, korina body, set mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, Dimarzio Fred in bridge and PAF Pro in the neck. My guitar is still listed on his site ( as serial number 070699. I've spent many, many hours playing my Z1 since buying it. I also enjoy collecting so I've purchased about, uhh, 4-5 guitars during this period. I will most likely purchase a Zachary D1 and Z2 in this coming year. I still feel that my Z1 is the best sounding guitar that I've owned. It is also one of the top two best sounding guitars that I've played. I've played dozens of guitars in the past year and found nothing that comes close. The best qualities of my Z1 is that it's extremely resonant with long sustain and a very warm, dynamic tone. It has a organic feel and is very touch sensitive. As I've said before I believe this unique sound is due to the neck and body woods, bridge, finish, and unique deep set neck pocket. This is why the Z1 sounds different. I don't know of any other production guitar with a similar configuration. I also think that the Z1 has a unique voice. I realize that this is a big claim, but I think that many would be able to identify a Z1 on a recording. My Z1 has aged well, if this is important to anyone. As some might know, there is no plastic finish on Zachary guitars. After a couple of months of heavy playing, a patch of wear appeared on the body where my picking hand makes contact during playing. It was worn through the oil stain and now looks like bare wood w/o any finish. It feels like a broken in vintage strat or a new relic. The guitar has held up very well. The frets are still very clean and I've not needed to perform any adjustments to it in any area. I can say from experience that he is very proud of his instruments and stands by them 100%. He might come off otherwise, but he's a very friendly and nice guy, just very confident about his instruments. I realize that Zachary guitars aren't for everyone, but if you're looking for an amazing sounding instrument, this should be near the top of your list. Good luck! Rich (CA)

Hello, my name is Zachary (no joke, I am not just trying to be an ass). well I just wanted to say that your guitars are the best looking things I have ever seen since the first time I saw a women naked. I know that I can safely say that when I get the money I will for surely pay a visit to your website. I was extremely impressed with what you had to offer. I have a question though, maybe I am an idiot and just read over it but do you make any acoustic guitars or perhaps an acoustic/electric. The reason I ask is I am not a huge fan of eletrics but I think your guitars would be the first to change me from that opinion. I would like to request a video if you still offer that I would like to hear the way that they sound. I wish you all the luck in the world and never turn to the devil, always remember that God is the light of the world. Thank you for being who you are and not being an ass of the guitar world.      Zachary P. (MI)

Let me first say, great guitars! Keep up the fine art!
Guitar #120300 (Ikea) is simply the ugliest guitar I've ever seen. That being said, I wish I had the cash to buy it! I'm a huge lover of buttugly guitars. If I ever make the bigtime, I'll give you a call and take that beast off your hands! If you ever want to sponsor a player in sunny California, I'm your man!

Alex, Take that as a compliment! It actually is very pretty! I hate that flametop AAAA bullshit! I've been using a crappy tele for years. I could never tell the difference from a fender made in mexico to a fender custom shop anyway. I'll ask the question even though I'm sure the answer is greater than I can afford: How much is it? Thanks, John (California)

I thought I had seen it all. But your creations are without doubt the most original and strangely alluring guitars I have ever seen. Likedwise, your philosophy is refreshingly empirical and utilitarian. I must know more. Please send me a copy of your video when it is finally made. Yours in lutherie, Tim

I saw the guitars on your website and am very interested in several; your ideas are inspiring. Please send a video, and if possible, perhaps something more informative on the process you use to make the guitars than appears on the website.

I came across your site by accident cruising around all the Canadian guitar stuff of which there's very little. I give you credit for taking on the big guys and doing your own thing and doing it damned well as far as I can see. I only wish I found it earlier as I certainly would rather have given you the money for a work of art than to Steve's or Lauzon's or St. John's Music here in Ottawa - I've bought guitars from all of them (Gibsons and Fender Strats) over the past 20 years or so. I fell in lust for the Ikea D1 which is not not not not an ugly guitar by any stretch of the imagination - I'd buy it tomorrow if I could afford it (even though it is more conservative in style - I'm old so what can I say..52 eh..) I'd love to see it and some of your other fine instruments sometime. Great stuff!! Regards, Craig (Barrhaven) now Ottawa I guess.

WOW! Great guitars -- really interesting. 26" scale, dyes, korina wood, GREAT designs. Stuff I've been wondering about (why doesn't anyone do this -- we've got too many Strat/Tele knock-offs). I'm saving my money. The next guitar I buy will be from you. Thanks for making such interesting guitars! Chris

Thanks, Alex.
You know, I still can't quite get over what I saw on your website today -- "Mimi" with the blue-dyed maple neck, "Bloody Red," the bug-damaged Korina wood Z1 -- truly great stuff. I love wood and I love guitars. I've made a few guitars from Warmoth body parts, all them with analine dyes and a hand-applied oil finish, buffed and waxed, and I still am amazed at the beautiful glow of those finishes and, more importantly, at the incredible resonance of those guitars. Now, it's hard for me to play a guitar with 16 coats of plastic sprayed on it. It seems sonically dead. And I want to see and FEEL the wood. So, I am really looking forward to owning one of your guitars. I'm sure they are wonderful to play. They are also beautiful and they are a terrific value too. I'm going home to figure out just how soon I can do that. Would you consider building something like this: a Z1 or Z3 in bloody red-dyed mahogany or natural korina with a 26" scale neck and a "Mimi" fingerboard (blue-dyed maple). Also, I love to have it with Bill Lawrence's humbucking pickups (lots of clarity, wide frequency response, not overly hot). Would you make a guitar like this for me? About how much would it cost? Thanks! Chris

Hello Alex,
Great philosophy, great website! Seems to me that you have captured the zen guitar approach in guitar making. I have a few "rock" guitars acquired before you helped lift the "veil of ignorance" for me, which at least have in common my preference for lightly-finished necks and clear finishes. While your volume is not imposing a burden on forests, you are already very environmentally sound making instruments from IKEA furniture, Home Depot's dumpster and other "junk wood" sources. Finally, if the prototype bass is still available - why? I don't play bass and I'm thinking about it! Best regards! - Mark

Who is this Zachary clown, anyway?

I'm normally pretty evenheaded, but this guy's attitude has me REALLY steamed. For all I know he makes a fine instrument. It's his total lack of sense on several issues that has me all twisted up.

1.) His contention that flaws are what make his instruments better - What does this mean?
Would I feel annoying bumps and divots on the back of the neck of one of his guitars? Would the frets be improperly spaced, so that notes aren't quite in tune? Would there be ripples in the surface of the guitar, making it look like a bad bondo job on a car by a cut rate body shop?

2.) His contention that flaws equate to "Old World quality". This concept of flaws equating to better quality was a reaction by hand artisans to the threat of machinery.

3.) His contention that his instruments are truly hand made - His photos of his shop shows him rounding a lot of edges, but I don't see how he actually cuts the boards. Does he use jigs? If so, then is this really his highly skilled hand cutting the wood? Or is it really just an analog computer, instead of a digital computer guiding the tool? And his arms supplying the push, rather than the machine table? Further, Zac has only spoken about the guitar. Does he wind his own pickup coils? Hand solder his own circuit cards? Machine his own bridges and tuners? Extrude the wire and wind his own strings? Are any of these items even custom made to his specs?

4.) His contention that hand made is automatically better. One of the worst basses I've played was a hand made instrument, made by someone who only makes a couple instruments a year. Beautiful solid mahogany, but sounded like someone layed the amp face down on the ground. So what? I agree that there is something admirable about something that was made using unique methods, as a novelty. However, if it doesn't do the job any better than a machine made, it is not a better instrument, just a better collectible item or museum piece, perhaps.

I'm sure there were a few other things I had to say, but I've calmed down now.
From: (MichaelCoak) >Date: 2/3/01

I just checked out your guitar web site. It is fantastic. Especially the part about how the devil builds guitars. I loved the paragraph before all the pictures. I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time...but you know, the more I thought about it I figured, "You know, he might be right!" :-) So annyway, I just thought I'd drop you a line and tell you I appreciated your website and to keep up the good work. Thanks, ===== Chuck - Psalm 150!

Your philosophy has opened my eyes to this aspect of music. All the bands I admire are do it yourselfers, why not the instrument makers too? So, please send one of your shitty videos. I'm saving up now. I want a dark green one like the 041198 (Purple Beauty) model. If you don't have one when I'm ready, I'll wait. What kind of wait time is involved? thanks greg

Hello, Let me first start by saying that your guitars are absolutely incredible. I was brousing the net looking for a new guitar and after going to many many many site's I happened to stumble upon yours. I started to meander through your selection of guitars and came across your custom handcrafted "bug infested" guitar (220400). I am absolutely in love with it and I would greatfully give up either of my eyeball's for it. Now here's the point: Even though I would greatfully give up 1600$ for the guitar, I, as I'm sure you can understand can't afford it. Now since it could sell at any second I figured I better try to do something. I was hoping that maybe we could work something out. Maybe payments? Maybe you could hold it for me? If everything worked out I could put a link to your site on our web site, I could put your web address on our cd booklet, I could endorse your products, I would pretty much do anything. By now I'm pretty sure I've scared you and you will block me from sending you messages. But even if just for one second please consider my proposition. Well thank you very much for your time, and I hope to be hearing from you soon (even if it's just to tell me that I'm a idiot or that there is no such deal possible). Rafael

I can't believe you build instruments out of pine. I built one in high school and have been telling people that pine is a great tone wood for years. I am in Calgary and there is a guy here that is very much like you in attitude and values (though he does put fairly thick finishes on his stuff. I like your philosophy, and your guitars look of luck.

dear Alex, i love your guitars (haven't played one but somtimes you can just tell) but even more i love your guitar making ideals i have a cookie cutter p-bass copy and know the feeling i have always known that i was geting a machine made instrument but i'm only 15 so i couldn't afford more i really hate the thick plastic britle finishes that these companys are using they give me the feeling that they covering somthing up i going to reshape my copy and get rid of the finish i just wanted to know if i wanted to become a luthier what i should do and how did you gain all your knowledge i love carl thompson and cort basses bye edgar australia

I saw this on one of the guitar newsgroups
(Hacks and hobbyists please ignore)
I think he, Zach, was raving, but I don't think it's a put on...I think he's egotistical and insecure at the same time. (Egomania combined with an inferiority complex) I think we all juggle with that aspect of the business. There are a lot of fakes out there. All ego and attitude and no substance. It's the odds against the players. You can't educate, the non-playing masses who wish to feel like they are someone, if they don't have any real clues about what they are trying to embrace, and you can't beat them because their numbers are endless and they'll just keep coming as fast as you can knock em down. Zach, like other people, just got his first experience with the vulgar mob, and up until that point he probably thought that he was going to be amongst peers within his professional class. (Was he in for a surprise.) I thought that once... I found a small number of players here....but, I know far more in the real world already than I'll ever encounter here.

In reply to someone wanting to learn guitar building

My name is Alex. I am the one who builds Zachary Guitars. You are very perceptive for a 15-year-old. I am amazed. Most baby boomers in their forties and fifties who make up the bulk of the guitar buying population are still stuck in a juvenile state of famous brand-name worship. This is why many mediocre and poor instruments sell by the thousands and at high prices. Most baby boomers lack the insight about guitars and what makes a quality guitar that you seem to posses. Color, wood figure and brand-name is what they judge a guitar on. Consider yourself 30 years ahead of them in terms of guitar knowledge and intelligence. I am completely self taught as a guitar maker. I did it by reading everything I could, asking many questions and generally learning as much as I could from what was around me. I then consciously made myself forget everything I ever learned and started making Zachary Guitars. The key is that I do not just make guitars, I make Zachary Guitars. This is the key element to what I do. You have to be an original and if you are an original you do not need to care about how others do things. You just invent your own ways. I invented my own methods, philosophy and I reinvented the guitar and called it a Zachary. This way of thinking gives you tremendous freedom. There should not be any rules in guitar building, you can do whatever comes to mind. This is what Leo Fender did to the horror of traditional guitar makers. It actually really helps to be ignorant about what you are doing because your mind is not programmed in any way of thinking and your creativity is unbridled.

(Hacks and hobbyists please ignore)
I think he, Zach, was raving, but I don't think it's a put on...I think he's egotistical and insecure at the same time. (Egomania combined with an inferiority complex) I think we all juggle with that aspect of the business. There are a lot of fakes out there. All ego and attitude and no substance. It's the odds against the players. You can't educate, the non-playing masses who wish to feel like they are someone, if they don't have any real clues about what they are trying to embrace, and you can't beat them because their numbers are endless and they'll just keep coming as fast as you can knock em down. Zach, like other people, just got his first experience with the vulgar mob, and up until that point he probably thought that he was going to be amongst peers within his professional class. (Was he in for a surprise.) I thought that once... I found a small number of players here....but, I know far more in the real world already than I'll ever encounter here.
(As found on the internet)

I'm not sure exactly how I ended up at your Zachary Custom Guitar web site, but I did and I'm actually smiling for the first time in ages. Perhaps there is hope afterall... Anyway, your guitars, particularly the more bug-infested and otherwise sorry-looking things, are a wonder to behold. And your explanations are even better! I want to buy one, but right now I have a Reverend Slingshot Custom guitar on order (which, if you know anything about them, gives you an idea of where I stand when it comes to your usual flamed-and-figured-birdseye-soup guitar maker's voodoo-mumbojumbo nonsense.) But then again, I actually built a coffee table out of some half-rotten barnwood boards back around 1968 or thereabouts (I had totally forgotten about that, but the pictures of your guitars brought it all back for some strange reason.) I didn't even cut the boards to the same length. It drove most people absolutely crazy! They hated it with a passion that's hard to describe. It was great! (Of course, people started thinking I was a bit crazy) (and still do, mostly, as hard as that might be to believe.) Hmmmm... And speaking of crazy... Keep you eye out for old wooden pallets. I know that many of them used to be made out of oak and other interesting woods and might still be. Also, the planks that have been on the floor of horse trailers for five or ten years and are due for replacing have been known to have developed a fair amount of character (and tone) for reasons that should be obvious. Be good! :) db in Wyoming

I found your site via the guitar on ebay and I must say I am intriqued by your designs and choices of woods. Of the ones I saw on your site, my top two favorites are the Busywood guitar and the Purplewood guitar (in that order). If I had the money to spend on myself, I would definitely get the Busywood guitar. Carl

Hi Alex, A friend of mine has one of your guitars which he loves very much. He turned me on to your site. Taking a look I was surprized to see your Pier 1 guitar. I actually have that dining set that you mentioned as inspiration for that color. Do you still have that guitar (260201) ? Thanks, I really like what you are doing. Don't let the bastards get you down. -- Marc (Chicago)

Hey, I stumbled onto your sight a few days ago and must say I'm very impressed. It's refreshing to see a guitar builder who isn't trying to re-invent the Strat for the billionth time, and most of the few other guitar builders who actually try something different end up with some ridiculous results. Oh well, I give them credit for trying. And I agree very much with your building philosophies. After looking in to some reviews and references, you got me pretty interested in a Z2. But being just another working man like so many others, I think I might have a hard time coming up with the 1500 all at once. Would you be interested in negociating a layaway plan? Thanks for your time, best wishes. Sam

I love your concept and your designs. I have built some quite similar and one of these days I will team up with a fellow guitar building genius such as myself. Not so much to get rich but to enjoy seeing musician's playing my unique instruments. Sherm at Lectrahors Guitars

I just visited your site from the link on ebay. What fabulous guitars! My favorite by far is the busywood Z1. (I think the redwood/maple Z2 is a close second because of that beatiful top as well as being the best guitar body design I have ever seen.) Unfortunately I am a very poor newlywed and couldn't get a purchase like that approved right now even if I had the resources. (Maybe I'll start saving now).
I just wanted to write and tell you I think what you are doing is wonderful and to keep up the great work! Nate

Scott (Still have my sights set on the walnut Z2, hope I get to it before another. My 13 year old son saw the pic of it on my screen saver and asked about it, then proceeded to tell me it is too cool for me, or that I'm not cool enough for it. Little does he know....)

Hi, I just found your web site. The guitars you're making are amazing! Wow! Didn't know that you exist- maybe you need to advertise a little more. André (Ottawa, Canada)

I find your web-site to be very helpful towards many aspects of the industry. By reading your info from this site I am now almost convinced to set myself up with my own site, although I am old fashioned in a sense. Would love to try out some of your guitars sometime. Brad (Kelvington, Saskatchewan)

Yo Alex! Hey,Bro, Bobby here. You,Sir, just blow me away! So, You're willing to bestow this Beauty on my person for $1400.00. Hmmm..... The only reason I ask is that I'm a poor guitar player(financially-challenged.....actually I was a grand finalist in Guitar Center's Guitarmageddon kidding,Bro!) and every little bit helps....then again I'm sure You're not really "rollin' in it" either,considering how You do business....which, by the way, I highly commend! Actually, I read Your e-mail last night at 12:00am after rehearsal, and I've spent the better part of 6 hrs. parusing Your web site searching desperately for a reason NOT to buy Your guitar. No luck, Bro, Your site is awesome! Everything on it is telling Me to buy Her! OK,Bro, I'm gonna trust Ya...despite the fact that I'm not sure if My puny hands can handle the 26" scale,and that I vowed a long time ago to NEVER spend more than $1000.00 for an axe....Let's do it!!!! I'M DEFINITELY INTERESTED!!!!!! I'd like to use my credit card, so please let Me know how this can work. THX for taking the time to read this mess! I'm gonna go to sleep now. I look forward to hearing from Ya, Alex!!!!! Bobby (Ventura, California)

From the internet
Why talk shit about the man? Sure, maybe you feel his ego was a little out of hand, but you all went beyond ethical and civil boundaries to elect yourselves as the newsgroup ego checkers. The fact is, you guys are nothing but shit where music, and it's making, are concerned. You can't actually play the guitar well enough to draw an audience in without the bar being opened or as a side show to a major, (compared to whatever you think you and your music is), event, that people came to see, and can actually enjoy. In fact, bars with less people than would be there on a night without music, are always what you play to. I don't know if the guy can actually play, I have a feeling he is at least plays better than you guys. But how much better...who knows? Most guitar, and effects, builders cannot play anywhere near the level of professional guitar players. Paul Reed Smith is an excellent example of this. I see no reason to believe Zach's talents are any different.

On the other hand, you guys are not even involved in the music industry,(except as consumers), and you don't play in working bands that people really would want to hear, and what you think you know about guitars and playing them is mostly "hear-say" that you have picked up by talking to other idiots equally (un)aware as you are. You guys have such low opinions of yourselves, that you are mortified by the idea of someone who has a strong sense of pride and accomplishment about his craft, and doesn't wish to cater to complete hacks such as you are. I have to respect that. It's very commendable that he should feel that way about his guitars. There are times when it appeared Zach had his head up his ass, I'll admit, yes, I'll admit that. He was wrong to bad mouth his competition, or his competition as he saw it. Hey, but it's a tough world and people crack. I'm sure he realizes what assholes you all are, and what a real waste of time, considering his ideals, it is to present, to a bunch of hobby wankers, a guitar he believes should be in the hands of those players people want to hear. (Of course, he's going to starve. Most all pros already have enough guitars, and they want to work with what they know works.) So, instead of trying to wash yourselves clean of all your self loathing and guilt, and feelings of failure and impotence, by picking on him, why is it so impossible for you fine gentlemen, (as I am sure you would like to someday feel you are), just ignore the man, if you can't show something to humanity that reflects ideally, on the cumulative result of 10,000 years advancement, towards the refinement of civilized culture.

yo im thinking of learning the guitar, your guitars seems expensive, how much are regular guitars , but aren't as good as yours? u have a hot assistant, how much u pay her, got ne more pics of her? your 45 righ? u look young, y?

Yo Alex! She's Here, Bro!!! Yippieeeee!!!!! She got here while I was out auditioning bass players. What a RUSH! Found the perfect bassist, and got the perfect Guitar! Damn, Bro, this neck really does make Ya want to run the whole fretboard. What a trip. And these p-us, Man , they sing, scream, cry, whisper, and everything in between. The sound is so crisp! Damn, now I'm really gonna scare the shit out of other guitar players. The articulation of my picking is so prevalent, and with only the smallest particle of pick noise. I've NEVER been able to accomplish that on any other guitar, and I'm talking clean and distorted. I mean it's almost all note! SCARY! And I'm talkin' scales, blues licks, six string arpeggios, the works. This Axe is FUCKING AWSOME!!!! You're the MASTER, Bro!!! There's so much life in this thing! It screams "PLAY ME!!!!!!" I've been playing Her for 5 hrs. straight and had to tear Myself away to write to Ya. I was exhausted when I got home but 5 hrs. later, I can still keep goin'. Anyhow, Bro, I'll letcha go now. I'm desperately in need of sleep. THX so much for this AWESOME LADY!!! She's A -#1 in my book. I can't wait to really cut loose on Sunday! Take care, Bro, I'll be in touch! Bobby

Yo Alex! Hey Bro How Ya doin'? I used My Z-2 at a rehearsal yesterday, and the guys were totally BLOWN-AWAY!!! I let Ray play it and now He wants to get one. It might take a while for Him to get up the bucks, but I must say, He was extreamly impressed. Just thought I'd share that w/ Ya. Bro. I'll be in touch!!! Take care!!! Bobby

Yo Alex! I played Her for the first time tonite w/ Rene Escovedo's group and Man, the Guys were floored!!! They just LOVE the tone of that thing! She is PERFECT for Heavy Metal, Latin Rock, Funk, Fusion Jazz, Country, Damn, You name it!! Alex, Bro., PLEASE, DON'T EVER QUIT MAKING GUITARS IF YOU CAN HELP IT!!! These Babies are just too damn good to give up on!! Tell Ya what, If Ya EVER think You'll need to stop, Make Me a Z-2 w/ a Trem before Ya quit! I wanna play these til I die!! Anyway, more people are gonna be hearin' bout Yer work so let's see what happens. You take care, Bro!!! I'll be in touch! Bobby

A big HELLO to Alex Zachary
Hi Alex, I just discovered your site yesterday and I'm blown away by your designs, esspecially the Z1. when I ever get the money together I'm sure to order one! I've got just one question: 'you make statements on your site about the deeper and wider neck pocket on the body for a better connection. Why is it that you make such a big improvement and at the same time don't screw the pickups directly into the body?' I'm sure this will make the soul of the instrument even deeper, longer (sustain), more alive, all in all 'fuller'! Ever since I'm playing guitars with the pickups screwed into the body I never wanna go back. This could be a final touch to your guitars and to your design filosophy that is still missing. Hey, should I not be rewarded for such great idea, mmmmmmmmm, lets see, maybe a Z1 with koa body and pau ferro neck & fingerboard, or walnut body and neck with bois de rose, or korina body with mahogany neck and pau ferro or................ While I keep on dreaming................. greetings and keep up the art, Paul (a dutch guitar player)

Hey Alex, Just wanted to send you a quick note. I'm loving the guitar and have been playing the hell out of it. The only bad thing about it is that it's so easy to play that I end up wanking off on it instead of actually playing songs. I ended up being out of town when Frank came to town, which is a bummer. Next time I'll catch him though. Anyway, great guitar, I'm totally happy. Keep it up (shouldn't be hard with that assistant)! -- Marc (Chicago)

I like your guitar design, especially the holes. The holes give it an industrial look, yet the woods keeps the guitar looking very natural and warm. I've decided that the look, if categorized, is transitional. I decided I would buy this guitar when I first saw the design with the holes. The Busywood simply put me over the top. Please let me know where to send the money. Bill (MI)

I'd just like to know how you made your first guitars i.e. without the aid of heavy machinery. Were you a particularly good craftsman at all or is it simple enough? & also, how can you make the guitar sound better? your work fascinates me & I am envious of your skills, but were they a talent which was already in your blood? what does it take to make a guitar look & sound so good? Joe (Keighley, England)

Many thanks for the quick reply. I must say you have some quality ideas, that according to the reviews show your philosophy to be spot on despite the opposition not advancing their designs and manufacture much in the last 50 years. Show them the way despite their opposition. Mike (UK)

Well Alex, I'm done here, thanks for your video and all the quick and very clear replies to my emails. A only missed one thing though on your video............ and that is a shot of your Sting-Ray bicycle and how your lovely assistant puts just enough pressure into the tires!!!

Man, I am an artist, and connoisseur of fine art work of sorts, and I seriously think that you should have some of these guitars in an art gallery... I really mean it man, these are beautiful instruments, and if I could afford it, I would buy one. It appears that one or three of these really were made by God! James A.

Just got home from work and found your video in the mail. I loved it, especially the sound of the maple body Z2 and the cream of the crop was the Z3. What a great guitar. I also loved hearing the difference between humbucking and single-coil settings. All the sounds I could possibly need are already covered in you switching system. I really liked the fact that the middle position in single-coil mode was out of phase. Stratty enough to cover that base to. Paul (the Netherlands)

I do really commend your approach and iconoclasm. Not that you need my approval. I've read every word of your site, and looked at every guitar. I hope it really takes off for you. Maybe someday you'll be like TV Jones or Benedetto and have a corporate guitar company build guitars that resemble the guitars you've designed. Oh wait, probably not. Kelly, MN

I'm kind of afraid of what you're going to say... ...but it's e-mail, so what the heck. I really like your approach and attitude. (Which is why I'm afraid.)

Yo Alex! Hey, Bro, how Ya doin'! Hey, Your new D-1 looks WAY COOL!!! Man, imagine shredding on one o' those... Oh,BTW, the shows in early Oct. went very well. The vid shoot was only OK. The performance was decent but the quality of the shooting was questionable in my eyes. Baby performed Magnificently as always, and I received quite a few compliments about my playing and of course the Guitar! I've also been posting Your web address wherever I can on the Guitar War Site, so hopefully Your web traffic's been picking up. Anyway, Bro, let Me know how Yer doin'. I'm chomppin' at the bit to see that Z-2 W/ the trem unit! TAKE CARE, I'll be in touch!!!! Bobby Simcox

Hi Alex The quote is something that stuck in my mind. Oddly it was from a book on programming; "Perfection is only achieved on the point of collapse" I added don't collapse just yet beautiful guitars :) I just like talented guitarists/musicians. My first love is Blues guys like Clarence Spady something about it's rough edges. Jesse Cook is another guy who I listen too a lot. Also Tommy Emmanuel who breezes through here very once in a while. I guess it is easier to define what I dislike, drum machines rap et al. As to your guitars I have been trying to find a genuinely hand made guitar for a while. It started when I decide to buy a new guitar. The local music stores were so depressing that I went online. It didn't improve much. Every time I searched for guitar, quality or luthier Ed Roman kept popping up (which drove me nuts). So I read his comments on the big makers which I agreed with (although it led to the inevitable sales pitch) and then started looking at some of the alternative products.The more I read the more I realized I couldn't find anything that I even liked the look of. All the online dealers sites were offering the same thing at outrageous prices. The guitar magazines keep touting the same old brands. They can't even review a guitar without comparing it to a Les Paul, PRS or a Strat. I knew that the moment I had it in my hand it would be a let down. Just another used domestic appliance in the guise of a musical instrument and I would gradually lose interest in it. So; I spent about 2 weeks searching websites for what I wanted. I found you on Google under "hand made electric guitars, the second pic I clicked on was the first Z3. Read the reviews at Harmony Central and bingo! Best wishes Richard In the end I guess companies get hijacked by the money making machine. The salesmen, writers and manufactures lose sight of what it was they fell in love with as kids. I can still recall the smell of the first guitar I owned and the visceral pleasure, the gut feeling that it gave me. Last night I went to watch a local Jazz guitarist play. I kept looking at his tobacco sunburst 335 and thinking how ugly it was. It looked so out of place. I sat there all evening hoping the Z3 was available and not really listening. Thanks, Richard (Hong Kong)

I wish everyone were as easy to do business with as you. I'll let you know when she arrives. I was browsing ebay yesterday and saw your birdseye maple guitar. That looks a really beautiful instrument too. Richard

Alex, I just wanted to thank you for the guitar. I have just unpacked her and played for half an hour. I am lost for words it is absolutely beautiful in every regard. There is really nothing more I can say except: Thank you again. Very best wishes Richard
ps I loved the irony of it being delivered in a Gibson box. "Only a Ginson is Good Enough" emblazoned on the side or some such wildley inventive marketting jingle.

Hi Alex, I will write a review as soon as I can get my thoughts together. The more I play the guitar the more I realize how good it is. It almost plays me. It feels like liquid glass and has a purity in it's tone that sends shivers down my spine. It is an act of faith buying a guitar long range and I am very very happy with the outcome.. My wife refused to believe me when I told he the Z3 was 1500U$ she went off to check the paperwork! Quote "Come on how much was it really?" It really is perfection, there is nothing about the guitar that I don't love. Richard

I am very very happy with the guitar it's fluid and has a purity I love. A living thing, it sounds just as it looks. Simply beautiful. Richard

Alex I have submitted a review to Harmony Central. I haven't used this address as I don't wish to be flamed by the PRS/Gibson/Fender fundamentalists. I have tried to keep the review as concise as possible. When I was a kid I used to dream of owning a Les Paul or Strat. In the end I did and it wasn't how I had imagined. This is the guitar I have been looking for since I first started playing. All the best Richard

Yes...he posted on RMMG newsgroup that he makes his guitars from such household items as $15 IKEA tabletops. No joke.

He used to post on the Fender Forum, he made up names and supported his arguments with imaginary friends. Al the guy does is slag others opinions and disregard them as useless (he says anyone that is interested in a guitar for aesthetic purposes can't play..he calls them "freds") Big time jerk, he was booted out of the group.

I believe without a doubt you are a fanatic.Taking into consideration the claims you make, the shots you take at other companies, and the blatent bad mouthing at can't think of anything else to call you other than a fanatic. And damit its about time some came out and said it. As a fellow luthier I'm sick and tired of having eyes rolled at me and teeth clicked by "musicians" who suffer from headstock envy when I tell them their are other companies mking guitars as good as Gibson for a hell of a lot less. Or if I mention that even though Fender has a clever design it could still take a little tweaking. If people knew as much about guitar design as they act like they do they wouldnt be getting reamed in the ass by production companies. Now I admit I dont agree with EVERYTHING you say, but its about damn time some radical, fanaticle luthier said it. I like alot of your theories about design and have adopted one on a one off I did(with an explination to the owner of the design AND the designer) Alls I gots to say is...... Preach on brother man.        Izzy custom instruments

This was devastating but what can I do. "A great guitar for much cheaper". Wow, this guy may be onto something great and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I hear back from him. Yah, right!. Here I thought I was onto something special, I guess I am not. There always seems to be someone who sets me straight.

"Hi, Sorry it too so long to get back to you, but I have decided against getting the guitar for now. I really am interested in getting one, but my friend has convinced me that he can build me a great guitar for much cheaper, so I promised him I'd let him have a try first before buying a guitar from you.....if his guitar doesn't work you'll definitely be hearing back from me :)   Thanks for your time, Dan"  

Zachary Guitar owner David K. from Belgium responds:
About that dumbass with his great guitar for much cheaper : I know where he's buying, it's at Toy's R US. A nice dayglo plastic one with shiny yellow and pink buttons and inbuilt waterpistol, at 9.99$. Now isn't that a great deal? You have to admit that is a great guitar for much cheaper.

Dan Responds: Hi again, I am sorry that you took my email so personally. I would love to have one of your guitars, but $1800 is just a lot of money. You may think that is cheap, but I do not. If your guitars were "much cheaper" I would gladly get one instead of having my friend build me one. But I guess I will have to stick with guitars that I can afford, and you can continue to build your Bobby Simcox guitars. Dan

alex. you fucking kick ass man! Your guitars are georgeous and good for you telling htese fuckin morons the error of their pitiful money grubing paint slobbering ways. I have played on and off for about 18 out of my 32 yrs. I suck but I love to play. I am going to go to roberto venne school of luthiery here in phoenix.. Unless of course you have a sugestion as to where to go to learn the basics=)??? I was told by one of the teachers there that I emailed, that I had orignal and innovative ideas in conceptual instrument building. I want to do it as a hobby and business that's not stuck on making money.

you are right alex these curt's and scott's of the world are pompous, assinine, moronic butt sniffers who have less knowledge of "true instuments" than the average orangutan has poop on his butt poking finger. I will build good proper instruments, but when I want to buy I will only buy from you. Keep on forming those masterpieces alex. you are phenominal!!!!!
Oh yeah by the way: the comment you made about yur playing on the 12.5 minute video? the comment about not being a good player? Not true man you are good. thanks for the opportunity to comment to you. if I saw this posted I think Ide have a coronary. ahahahaha thanks again alex and god be with you brother.
sincerely Kenneth wiley

I appreciate your kick ass response man. I look forward to seeing the mail on the page. ( 15 minutes of fame) hahaha.
I see some places on the net but they are arrogant fools and half the time don't even know what they are selling. I am quickly losing faith in the vast majority of retailers in this world. these people are most of the time too stupid to be breathing my air.
NOw I am going to build a futuristic guitar just to have one. I am building it out of carbon fiber. I have a friend with a mill lathe setup and I am going to use one slab of carbon fiber to make the body in neck in one piece. I am going to use the mill to carve out the frets so I don't have to lay them in manualy. I want it purely for show.
So don't hate me alex, just a curiousity to see if I can do it. I was also wondering if the zac attacks are for sale seperate from the guitars you build? After seeing the 12.5 minute vid clip I cannot get my mind off of them. they make seymor's and all the other cookie cutter pickups sound like an arangatans ass after a filiberto's burrito! hehehe. I would definately like to have one in the carbon fiber guitar, simply because despite being a shallow unfeeling instrument at least with a zac attack it would "almost" sound like a real instrument. From time to time I will send you pics of my desings for critique since you are one of a very select few who are knowledgable enough to give me a real appraisle of designs flaws and plus's. I am going to design a programs to pull up basic standard bodies and then allow me to alter thenm to what I want or envision. so I will send the pics to you. thanks again zac! and stay real!   ken

I saw the link on your page as to why you hate handcrafted custom guitars and I too, a guitar builder, understand that concept without your spelling it out for me. In a sentence, it's exactly why I hate your guitars.

More clearly, here's my opinion. Every honest guitar maker will admit that even with the finest craftmanship and expensive materials one cannot predict the sound of a guitar before it is strung up. It is impossible to create a sound in your head, then build a guitar to sound that way unless your 'sound-vision' is of low fidelity or flexible to interpretation.

I read of your innovations and they are stupid. The reason a neck SHOULD be thinner at the nut-end and thicker by the body is because your hand is extended when out at the end of the neck. Ergonomics dictates that you should compensate for the player's shoulder-wrist angle-which does not move in a hydralic-jack type motion, but rather changes to a less efficient position of leverage as the hand gets further from the body.

The bolt-neck joint with threads into the body is also retarded--not an innovation on the fender design, especially if your neck joint is as tight as you say it is.

Oh, and that 'busywood' top. You've got to be kidding if you're going to give me some purist-tone attitude about that piece of shit. It looks kind of cool and I'm sure it sounds ok (as basically any well built guitar would). But if you are going to rant about a plastic finish, you got to consider phase relationships and glue joints too.

You are full of shit. Maybe you need your psychotic psychobable to sell your guitars. It seems to be working for you, but just so you know, there are those of us out there that know you are full of shit. There is no perfect guitar. Aside from straight-string pull, tight neck joint, accurate fretting, secure bridge mounting, quality materials/electronics, perfect fretting/setup, and thin glue joints--there are no innovations which one electric guitar apart from another, handmade or not. Getting the right resonant/phase relationships between neck and body is intuitive guesswork--at best. On a classical guitar, one can make modifications to the bracing dimensions to account for flaws, but on a solid body, it's luck of the draw-unless you go around trying 10 different necks with each body.

Human touch, if it is a factor, is present in all handmade guitars. I've heard factory made guitars-- carvins, fenders, and gibsons that sound as good as any handmade guitar after a good fretdressing. Oh, and your maintenance/owners manual--you are such a tool .... Jason
jason wehr        

When R U gonna' get ya'self a CNC machine?
Woops! Guess U should throw away your saws, sandpaper, chissels and all the rest as well - you know those are products of technology too! Hey, if you want this 'full human contact with the wood', U need to start sanding them down with your teeth and nails I guess LOL I have been seeking lately a US CNC place (or other precission type) maker for a guitar I model to be marketed, in a variety of scale lengths and so on - based on the Kramer SG copy (they call them the Kramer Special). I modified a coupple and they surpass the SG, and I wanted to change a few things. Check out my site for an example of how to organize yours. Yours is a mess.
By the way, nobody cares about your girlfriend or 'assistant' LOL But yes since the market is all guys, cheesecake is helpful :) My industrial site has no pictures of people on it - it's more 'devil's work' as you might call it LOL
By the way, your stuff is realy wacky looking and not comfortable - that upper horn has gotta hurt, and your tuners ??? I mean come on man - saying something is great and sounds the best does not make it so. You gotta use a lot of mahogany for starters. Maybe alder over ash for bases (sandwich) would be nice. Mahogany is far and away the best for guitars - no comparrison. Best regards, Peter

Alex, I LOVE your comments pages! I've rarely had such a good laugh. I'd almost accuse you of making some of these up - except that I don't believe even you at your most inventive could come up with this sort of fermemeted feacal matter.  Ludwik (UK)

OH, btw, those 2 new "comments" pukes were a riot!!! What a bunch of pretentious yokles!!! Those jokers don't desereve to even look at a Zachary, let alone touch or even play one!!! i've never even heard sooooo much horseshit in all my life!!! You are Very Gracious to even print their Blather!!! if Ya get the chance, tell them that the owner of all the busywoods thinks they're arrogant Philistines!!!>:P >:D Actually, those guys' oppinions ain't worth the sweat under my balls, or should i say, my busywood Zacharys' balls!!! uh..........
Bobby Simcox

It's only right to raise your base price to $2000. I still play Korina and think I'm some kind of criminal for having gotten it for $1500. Eli

These are the different impressions I had with mine :
-Simba is the one it took the longest for me to get used to, because it was the first and I didn't really understand what I had. I had to grow into that guitar a bit, because of having played McGuitars for so long. When the bonding happened it was very sudden. I remember it distinctly. It felt like my left hand suddenly physically blended with the neck. A very strange sensation.

-Namaste felt like I'd owned her for years the minute I took her out of the case. Instant bonding. Instant shredding mayhem. Yeah!

-Bloody Red was a bit reticent the first few days but felt really familiar to me from the first second. It's almost as if she was thinking "I hope this isn't another idiot I'm stuck with". I'd swear she opened up and started singing to me more after a few days. In case this has made you think I am some kind of New-Age goofball : no, I do not believe I am a reincarnation of an inhabitant from Atlantis, Lemuria, or the lost continent of Mu. I am not possessed by the spirit of the Luthier Prince of Ee, nor am I in any way associated with the sex maniac cult of the isle of Porn. Oh, wait a minute, scratch that last one. ;-) YUF

Hey Man...I agree with you about the PRS machined turds. I used to want a PRS...I know, I know, but i woke up and realised that I didn't want a cookie cutter guitar that anyone could go buy so i decided to design and build my own. And now I am talking people out of buying expencive masproduced crap and talking them into buying one of kind 3R Guitars. See ya, Ryan

I wanted to say that you are a magician because no one can make these beautiful guitars ..and you wanted to know about me I am 22 male dentist ... I started to play guitars since 3 months but I need a special guitar to motivate me and to push me to the right direction and you are my rescuer that's all about me I wait for your reply byyyyyyyyyyyyyyye (Turkey)

Hello! I stumbled across your site during a Google search he other day. I looked through your serial number page and was really taken with your designs. Upon reading about your philosophies and "no custom" remarks, I found myself even more interested in your guitars. I REALLY think you are doing something special. I think I feel or should I say share very similar feeling towards music and the music industry as it stands today. It is a "state of the arts" depression that I feel often and the only way that I can combat these evil doings is to make outrageously great music for musics sake alone. I feel as though your guitar making is coming from a similar expression. It is to be admired in the highest respect in my opinion; to make art for arts sake. Because we can be compelled to do nothing else, because we know nothing else. You are rare breed and show no sign of letting up, thank you. Jason

Alex, I think you have fire, which is rare in this world of vanilla flavored sissies. I'll figure out what I need to figure out, and if I don't, it's because I'm not committed enough to the craft. I think I'll do fine. What your philosophy is doing is freeing me from the media hype crap world that has let me down so many times and crushed my wallet and creativity. Everything I've touched has been 3/4 crap, made by machines and with no real feel. I'm puting every curve, cut and cavity on mine, so if nothing else, It'll have some of me in it. Thanks for the reply, and maybe one day my broke ass will be able to play one of your guitars. Steve

Alex, I've been working on my first guitar project and am researching everything I can. Then I got to your website and it turned me on my ear. There's a lot of information you give that's mirrored my questions about moderm guitar design, such as neck width and body design, headstock tilt, the works. So far nobody's given me any real answers as to why the conventions are used. Your commitment to your design has helped me firm up my resolve to build the guitar. I'm working on in the manner I see fit, not what I've seen. Thanks for that. Thanks for your time and for opening my eyes to something I had rattling around in my head for a while: Mass produced instruments have no soul, and music is the language OF the soul. Steve

Zach, Just checkin in to let you know how fine the new Z2 is looking. Love that walnut and the spalted maple is beautiful as well.. Every one you build just ruins my day 'cause I want one like it!

Indeed that is one lucky cat to have such a fine instrument laying around to strum! No wonder my cats don't play-all my guitars are kinda boring! (although my calico cat Monday will occasionally wail some way-out jazz or modernist classical sounds on the piano when she wants some attention).

Not that my guitars suck, they just let me down. I've been playing over 25 years and I'm just tired of stuff like: *pickups suspended over the wood on plastic pickguards (strats and flying Vs) allowing me the thrill of a distinctly non-musical howl when I crank the big amps, (this has got to be the stupidest design flaw EVER in an electric instrument)
*necks that shift or don't fit well in their pockets (strats and teles)
*guitars that weigh a ton (les pauls)
*guitars that don't stay in tune

Sure, I can (and have, and will probably continue to) modify these instruments, but the problem is, I don't WANT to have to do this. personally, I don't even like changing strings! I know a lot of guys get off on the ritual of constantly fussing with their gear, but for me it's a pain in the ass. And in fact, I do most of my own work, including set-ups, mechanical, and electronic repairs/mods. I've even built some of my own amps! But I don't ENJOY doing any of this stuff. I'd rather just play, so i'm usually back here in the office picking on my unplugged $20 pawnshop Harmony Rocket rather than sitting in my studio with one of my "nice" guitars.

Funny thing is, (and ALL of my guitar playing friends will attest to this): the $20 Harmony plays as well or better than any of my lovely Fenders or Gibsons! (good set-up, huh?)

So what does that tell me? a $20 harmony is as good or better than a $2000 Fender?

Sorry, I'm off on a tangent/rant!

So I'm still waiting, saving, anticipating the day when I get to do the Zachary thing! it's gonna happen, and then I can start really playing again! Seriously, I don't play that much these days (when I'm not working that is) because the guitar just seems limited and kind of tedious to mess with. I want to get inspired to play electric guitar again!

Always getting a kick out of the PRS guys slamming you. fools. I've played PRS and found them to be indistinct sounding guitars that just don't "do" anything for me. Of course, i have no use for bat or dragon inlays or plastic finishes that will outlive me (and kill my tone all the while) Years ago, I borrowed a PRS from a guy and gigged with it for one night. I spent the whole gig frantically fucking with the knobs trying to get a sound that would cut through the racket of the band-NEVER had that problem with a strat using the same amp in the same room. Weird. You'd think that a guitar with twice as much output would have more presence, but no. i do believe that the majority of PRS owners are bedroom players who never experience the thrill/agony of making live music in a room full of drunk people. So I went to the PRS website and poked around. Boring. It looks like a guitar magazine over there. But it did get me to thinking...

Here's an idea to help boost your image in the eyes of the PRS groupies: Build a guitar-nothing too new or unusual-remember, guitarists are only interested in brand new revisions of fifty year old designs. Now give it a thick coat of plastic paint in an ugly color-may I suggest a "vintage" neon sunburst that glows in the dark? Don't forget to inlay some bats or maybe a Corvette or Harley logo right down the middle of the thing. A couple of lightning bolts might be good as well. Feel free to add a couple of extra knobs since that's what makes guitars play better, right? Now take this weapon down to the nearest mall (you guys DO have malls up there, don't you?) and put it in the hands of the most outlandishly coiffed/attired teenager you can find. Instruct your newest artist to pout/glare/stare gloomily into space and get some good pictures. Congratulations, you've just learned how to sell guitars!

Okay, sorry Zach, I was on a roll there. Just my way of saying I appreciate your thoughtful and direct (and just plain LOGICAL) approach to actually improving the electric guitar. I truly think that your work is in a field of it's own-there are a ton of people out there building guitars, but very very few seem to be interested in building a BETTER guitar. Looking forward to the next Zach, waiting to see that eight string!

Still saving them pennies (korina Z2 w/26" scale here I come!) definitely let me know when you think you'll be taking orders again. realistically, I'm thinking I can take the plunge towards the end of this year/early '06. I'm getting married this year and that event alone is going to consume all our savings but my fiance humors me in my musical career which is nice... take care, sorry to take up so much of your building time with yet another long-winded e-mail!   BT (Austin, TX)

Just had another fun zach face off...with a "nice" les paul...another sad defeat for gibson. It is very easy to play a les paul with 9s and no relief....but the tone? Again, it was a sad thing to hear the comparison.   -Eli

I have been a huge fan of your work for several years now. Love your Z2 model. Please allow me just a quick comment, I have wanted one of your guitars for a long time, and just need to pull the trigger, for better or worse, I sometimes take a long time making decisions. Part of my recent research on your guitars, I emailed Eli, an unsolicited request for information, I asked him how he came to own your guitar, he said initially it was the shape that interested him, it was an electric that could be played in the classical position. He said when he first played your guitar, it was an epiphany, and all of his other guitars suddenly felt like cheap crap and he had no desire to play them anymore. He said he sold his other guitars to buy ANOTHER Z2 from you. I told him that I wish I could be that fortunate, to honestly have that reaction, I would be a LUCKY MAN. I hope to have that experience one day soon.
I came across the following link, I saw the body shape and instantly swooped in thinking " I FOUND ONE !!!!! " and then the red flag went up when I saw that pickup configuration, not to mention the 5 position switch. All I can says is WTF !      John


Fantastic Guitars
Alex, I found your site quite by accident (through of all places) and was immediately taken by the amazing quality and beauty of your instruments. I've been going through your site for just a few days now and have been through the whole thing. Your craftsmanship is stunning and your designs are outstanding. Every time I look at the pics of your guitars I get so caught up that I have to shut off my computer and settle down for a while. Virtually all of them have a beauty that is breath taking. The ones that really strike me are #140401 Horror Show, #171205 First G2, and #111006 Boots, among others. Truly unique and "comfortable" looking guitars. Your approach and attitude are unique, humorous, and intelligently thought out. I am truly impressed. I didn't think guys like you existed (let me get up off my knees now).

I've been playing the guitar for a little over 30 years now. I was inspired at age 14 when I saw a friends older brother practicing at his house. We walked by his brothers room and what I thought was the radio, turned out to be his brother singing and playing a Martin acoustic. It was shocking to discover that good sounding music came from actual people playing real instruments rather than created through some mysterious process by unknown someones and then sent out over the radio or TV. I stood there in awe watching him until he told me to get lost. From that moment on there was no turning back. I begged my parents for a guitar. Understandably, they were reluctant. Virtually no one in my family has music in their blood and I was definitely the first, and still only one, in my generation to pursue this interest (thankfully, my 7 year old daughter displays a keen interest). I was finally able to get a Teisco Del Ray by saving up enough lawn mowing and snow shoveling money. Then I was off to absorb as much as possible from anyone who would show me anything. Since then I've run the gamut. In my 20's I played professionally for about 9 years in the Boston area. Disillusioned by the "Music Industry", I moved on to playing with people who enjoyed playing music for music's sake and gained a much greater appreciation for the guitars versatility and emotional range. Now I'm married to a wonderful woman and have a beautiful daughter. I still manage to play out 10 - 20 times a year. I am blessed with very many musician (and non-musician) friends. Through all this time I've been through many guitars, amps and effects. Always coming close, but never quite attaining that "certain something". I was never really sure of what that "certain something" was until I came across your site and read about your approach and attitude concerning guitars and guitar building. When I first saw your IKEA guitar (that is how I first got to your site, from I thought to myself "Feh! This guy is out of his fucking mind asking $1500.00 for a guitar made from cheap pine furniture!" I thought it was a joke. But I was also intrigued. So I began checking out the rest of your site and soon realized that you really had excellent ideas and that you knew what you were doing. Then I became entrapped by the pictures of your other guitars. So here I am in a position to finally own a guitar built specifically for the musician rather than for the profit of the stock holders of some mass producing conglomerate. You have changed my viewpoint. This is how guitars are meant to evolve. This is how guitar playing is meant to evolve. "Don't seek to follow the wise. Seek what the wise sought".

I'm certainly not in the position to purchase one of your amazing guitars right at this time, but I definitely would like to in the near future (6 months to 1 year). I'll just save my pennies. I certainly feel that I can provide a good home. I am a player and have been since I was 14. Can we discuss what your willing to create? I really like your Z2 and G2 styles. I also lean towards the broken in look. Make no mistake though, I wouldn't turn my nose up at anything you would create or even suggest. I would really like to own and play one of your Fantastic Guitars. I'm looking forward to discussing that possibility. Till then, Peace, Bill

Just an Idea      An "axe" in the shape of and "ax" or the other way around.
Greetings. Old timer here. I checked out about 20 of your different guitar pictures on your site and I think you are doing an excellent job. Didn't see one I didn't like. Anyway back in the early 60's when I 1st. started playing guitar there was an old man in my hometown of Des Moines, Ia. named Maury Jones who was known all over the country for being one of the best guitar repairmen and builders around. He became a friend of mine and from what I understand he's been dead now for quite a few years. Anyway he built an "Axe" guitar for a local guitar player from the hickory axe handle of an ax for the neck and for the body he used a solid piece of walnut cut to look like a double bladed axhead . He spent many weeks sitting in front of his TV hand-sanding it and rubbing it with the finest steel wool he could find till he got it smooth as glass, and then he somehow satin-finish chromed the walnut axehead and from the back you would swear it was a real axe. He put Humbucking pickups in it and made ebony control knobs for it. It was one of the slickest looking guitars I have ever seen to this day. Anyway, I've never seen another one like it in all these years and thought that it would be an excellent project you might get into. You've certainly got the resources and the talent for it from what I've seen, and it would definitely make someone like Eric Clapton or someone of his talent one of your biggest fans if it was given to him as a gift. You couldn't buy that kind of exposure for any amount of money. If by chance you ever think you would like to build something like this and you do, if you haven't already, do me a favor and please send me a picture of it. It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and keep up the good work. Joe

right FUCKING on !
Zach, I stumbled upon your site the other day, not sure how, but nontheless I did. I just wanted to show some love and say that I really appreciate what you are doing. You are doing what you love, adhering to no rules, and not taking any bullshit along the way. Please keep thinking and dreaming. Brad

Ikea guitar
hey zach. saw your ikea guitar on Make blog. very cool. i was wondering how you did the neck? did you do it yourself or bought it? i'm trying to make an electric guitar on the cheap but am stuck on the neck - don't wanna spend $100 on it... thanks.

Your Cool Hand Made Guitars
Wow, I'm really impressed with your guitars. They are extremely creative and the workmanship appears to be excellent. Someone forwarded me a pic of your IKEA pine guitar. I didn't know pine could be used in guitars. I also dig the name--my name is Al Zachry. I'll bet we're distantly related. My ancestors spelled it "Zachary" until the government misspelled it on a land grant in the early 1800s. Rather than jeopardize the grant, they just changed the spelling of their name. Weird huh? I'm glad to see a Zach(a)ry turned out to be an ace guitar builder. I'm a musician, playing in a band in LaGrange, Georgia called The Rubes. Here is our Myspace: (Yes, I'm aware we still have Christmas Music playing) I'm currently playing a Tele-Sonic and a Larrivee D-9 Brazilian. Have you ever made an acoustic guitar? Anyways, I would love to purchase a Zachary guitar someday. I will try to learn more from your website, but I'm looking for something that sounds like a strat or a tele, but with big frets that plays like an ES-335. Please let me know if you make acoustics, and in the meantime, I'll continue to salivate over your electrics. Keep up the good work... Al Zachry

the Ikea model
Zach -- The Ikea guitar I saw on your site is one I've been seeing in my head for a long time. I've often marveled at the woods that Ikea was using on their products, and truth be known, I was actually visualizing a semi-hollow using those "door skin" shelves they sell, even though trying to close up the sides would have been a major bitch. Just the same, I'm considering sawing up and gluing together a pine-sided two-pickup special with a door skin top and back, and may actually do one during the spring if I get out to my nearest Ikea before then. Not a builder; just a guy with cartoons playing in his skull 24 hours a day.     Best Regards, Al (Washington DC)

111105 Kicks ass @ music store!! :-)
HI Alex, I organized more guitar coaching for myself (the other dude is busy when I’m free) via the music store my friend owns in the endeavor to keep progressing as a player. Well I went in for the first time today with “Ned Kelly” to meet my teacher, and get acquainted and so forth. This guy was suggested to me by my friend for his skills. Well, Alex, the look on the face of this guy when he sore what come out of that case was priceless! Although he had no knowledge of your guitars, he immediately recognized this was no ordinary run of the mill instrument. The look no this guys face as he was playing it (and I like this guy’s playing), was one of discovery. Like “wow this thing is insane”!! Although it was played mainly unplugged, and then through his student little crappy amp, he LOVED the feel, the balance, the look, the “everything” we know about your instruments, and recognized that only a class “A” tube amp will do for it. HE said what you are building for me sounds really great!! The experience was very positive, and this guy is a “good teacher” as well as a great player. It is amazing how I was taken very seriously as a musician just by my choice of instrument. The session ended with me saying “see you next week” and him answering “Oh yeah, I look forward to seeing that thing again”.

I then proceeded downstairs, where my friend was talking to a few people next to some amps. A quick chat revealed that it wasn’t the Squire I was carrying and he insisted for a look. I took it out of the case and passed “Ned” over to him and he played it for a while in his shop, around friends and customers the like, unplugged. He LOVED it, and I got many compliments from others around on what e beautiful instrument it is. I almost got the feeling that everyone is so used to seeing the same old same old, that when something new shows up it is very refreshing. Naturally, in real life these instruments command a presence that cannot be duplicated by any of the photos on the computer.

Thank you again my friend for all your art, and allowing me to own some of it. You will hear from me very soon regarding the amp which I’m really busting for!! Take care, Orlando (AU)

Alex, I just wanted to say a few things to you about your product. I stumbled across your site and was drawn by the how beautiful the wood of your guitars look. And as i read more, and looked at more of the various materials you have for enjoyment on your site. I was continualy blown away by your craftsmanship, dedication, and innovation. I am not currently able to afford one due to current family situation but i assure you. I am not planning on buying another guitar till i can afford one of yours.

Your veiws on PRS guitars. I've had the same ones, and have been gettin yelled at for em for years. And although i love ibanez's. they still dont feel quite right. But still, I digress. I wanted to write this to let you know that what you do is amazing and this should not become the most popular thing. because over 90% of "player's" dont deserve them and will never understand what an instrument can really mean to someone. Even though I am a fairly new player to the game in comparison to some of your other customers (and by the way bobby simcox is astounding). I assure you that I am dedicated and your guitars renewed my love for the instrument. The thought of playing one of your guitars excites me and makes me want to play my current ax more so that one day i too may be worthy enough to own one.
A new fan,     Andrew (upstate NY)

Jay is my HERO. He knows how to order an Zachary instrument.
Alex, No worries on the bass - I'm serious. Take your time and do it when the time is right (and you feel ready to do it). I truly am in no hurry (other than the fact that I am, of course, looking forward to playing the instrument when it is complete). Instruments are (when handcrafted) pieces of art - art that is meant to be used (hopefully with increasing skill coupled with practice), of course, but still art and an extension of the artist. Any type of art or craft, when forced, is never the equal of that same effort undertaken when the artist is "ready". You, of course, know this better than most (and much better than myself). I just point it out to emphasize the fact that regardless of your "schedule" of instruments to build, I would prefer you build the bass when you're ready to do it and when it is time. I just don't want you to feel "pressured" for any reason. Jay

My Other HERO. He also knows how to order a Zachary guitar.
I have been thinking. The result is that when my turn comes to take over the responsibility for one of your guitars it does not have to be a Z2. If you, at that particular time, feel like doing one of your other guitars, this would be great with me. I am not just getting a guitar, but a snapshot of the state of the art of what you are doing at that particular point in time. This can not be limited by me, today, to just a Z2. You have basically forced a development of my thinking on these issues. Since my first few emails to you I have felt an itch ending with me more deeply rethinking my approach to not only guitars and the way I have been acquiring them, but to the process of creating and inventing. I value this highly. Otto (Norway)

There is such a vast sea of BS. You must stay on your quest....even if it is kind of a Don Quixote kind of thing because no one will give a crap in the future. It is hilarious how the handmade shops (even the ones that actually seem to be handmade) are simply trying to "out PRS" PRS....what is the point of that? If you are going to handmake an instrument then it should really feel and sound handmade, not just another fancy top shiny piece of crap. Eli

Hello, I stumbbled upon your website a few years ago when I started having a interest in building my own electric guitars as a hobby and did a Internet search for handmade guitars. I thought that I would write you this e-mail and let you know how much your little website has influenced me in the past few years. Now I understand you are a very strong minded and opinionated person, who after reading the first few lines of this e-mail can see that I am not interested in buying a Zachary guitar as my goal is to build guitars as well, so by this point my e-mail may very well be in your trash folder buy now.

I live in the Vancouver, BC area and have had a burning desire to build guitars for the past few years. I have only built two guitar bodies so far as I have not had the proper tools until now that is. My first body was back in 1993 in high-school wood shop class, it was a warlock copy. My second was two years ago just before finding your website, it was a telecaster copy. I started out like most people planning out building a famous brand copy. The telecaster was a alder body with a book-matched flame maple top.

Yes I know what your thinking, and that is precisely why I thought I would write this e-mail. We are surrounded by plastic coated lifeless mass produced guitars, even other luthiers all try to mimic those famous brands, with plastic coating and custom approach. That is what I find so fascinating, your philosophy on guitar building. To be perfectly honest with you I don't really like the shape of the majority of your guitars or headstock with the exception of the D1 as they are just not my style, yet they are all my most favourite guitars of any brand, for how they are built, and the materials used. I spent my life dreaming of building guitars like Gibson's and fenders even PRS. Yet even after being surrounded by these types of guitars in life and on the web, just the pictures of yours have influenced and inspired me so much that now as I embark on this epic adventure in guitar building I no longer have the desire to build exact copies of anything including Zachary Guitars, but to build my own creations with natural oil finishes, using woods that are interesting to me, as well as building the guitars that I want to build and not what someone else wants to order. For this I say Thank You, the demons have been set loose and my soul is free.   Julio in BC

Crap in Nashville
Every guitar player here is so bloody good it makes my head spin. Compared to these guys, most rockers are hacks. You should have a Zachary outlet here because these guys would really appreciate your craftsmanship. Most of them play Fender and Gibson crap. Unbelievably gifted artists playing on shit. It's ironic. Thanks for keeping in touch! RH (Nashville)

Buying a Zach to add to your collection, to be played along side your other guitars. Impossible !!!
It is not a guitar you integrate into a bunch of others and use it as "part of the palette" a la nigel tufnell's "room of guitars". Eli

I looked at your web site 5 years ago when I lived in Russia. Now I've run into it again and spent almost two days reading and looking at guitars. I must say you've grown up noticeably from that time. Your Z2 will became a classic with time and a most desirable of your models with no doubts. Most of all I was wondered of new Les Paul, SG and Tele designs so beautiful they are. How did you find the shape of the Tele body (with the custom cutouts), it's just amazing. Probably joined with a Z2 shape, but how organic and stylish it looks! New classic again! Hope to buy one of your guitars sooner or later.

Buy the way Russia has a strong traditions of guitar crafting, because this is a country where the rules are the last thing to care about, and there were hundreds of thousands musicians who wanted to play guitar in 1970-80, but couldn't afford iconic Fender or Gibson, and everybody who new three chords started to built their own guitar, amp, stomp box or even to make strings (I'm not an exclusion), most of that were ugly, but some guys have reached some tops, like Yuriy Shishkov and Dennis Galuszka from Fender's Custom Shop. Maybe you have some Russian roots, so I'm just spending time in vain telling you this stories.

Anyway all creative souls are in kinship. I'm a songwriter and a guitar player, and own some not new guitars that I love, and among them are Custom Shop Strat and chambered Les Paul, and PRS with a rosewood neck. But after reading your discourses I look at them suspiciously, and feel like I've missed something in my life. Hope to compare them with your guitars sometime. Generally I agree with many of your thoughts, and I think people like you change things, and wish you a good health and pertinacity. Unforunately we live in the world where a mass production rules, but fortunately there are some guys who just don't follow, and hopefully things will change. Best regards to you and your family, Alexander (Toronto, originally from Russia)

This from an eBay seller who was selling a modified Tele with 5 way switching. I had already known the circuit for a long time and how to wire it but asked him to send me his so I can see if there was any difference. I was curious because the switching options are identical for mine and his. He would not send it to me. So I told him that he should make an exception because I am the best Electric guitar builder in the world and will make a killer F1 with this "secret" 5 way switching. He had never heard of Zachary or the F1. He declined to give me his secret and was only shocked at my statement. I guess I am not a "world class guitar builder" but one day I will be and that day was 5 years ago. I told him I would contact him when the next F1 is completed with the 5 way switching.

Your the best guitar builder in the world???
Wow, I have never had anyone tell me that before, not even some that I know personally that are world class guitar builders.     Jeff

A few words
Alex, I have never seen an instrument as beautiful as the Z2/Z2T. It's form has life. I have been coming back to your site since I first saw it after the initial few Z2's were added. I honestly didn't realize that its been as long a time as that and I don't know why I haven't written before now. Keep building your instruments! They are simply works of art. I would also like to say that your product videos really worked on me. The fact that you would look at the camera when pulling or pressing the tremolo bars with a look of, "Yours just isn't as good as this," floored me. Confidence is a great seller. Anyway, this was my two cents. I hope that one day I will be able to play one of your guitars.

Man, I have a huge amount of respect for your guitars and building philosophy. The fact that you just won't take anyone's shit is great. I play on some of the most mass produced guitars made, Ibanez. Now they are good guitars, when I'm not having intonation problems because of the bridges. At least its made me better at fixing things up! I hear you on the endorsement deals too. I've actually been offered some in the past and turned them down. How can you "endorse" something you've never played? Thats what Halo guitars wanted. Boost their numbers up, I suppose. Nothing worth having should be free. I believe in earning what you have. Anyway, thank you for sharing your time with me. And again, I hope that I'll find myself in the position to ask you to construct one of your guitars for me in the future. There is something to be said about an instrument that has "soul" given to it.     Regards, Jeff    (Calgary)

Thank you for Great Guitars
I was looking on different websites for electric guitars and found your website. WOW! I am going to definitely save money (what little I can with the typical bills, etc.) and PRACTICE enough to be worthy to purchase one of your guitars. I would rather give my money to someone who takes the time to make a guitar with their hands instead of mass-produced models that EVERYBODY has. Keep up the great work!   Chuck

Holy Crap Zak! Thank you for blowing these jerks up! I wish I would have visited your site first. Looks like you could attach some junk you found on the curb or out of the landfill to a bigwheel and get it to sound better than what's hanging on the wall down at Guitar Center. Both the IKEA and the guitar from Hell are fantastic.

When my brother was looking into making his own guitar his research led him to ask why Stadivariuses(sp) sounded so much better than their counterparts. One of the theories (then) was that the wood was different than what we use now in that it was transported via water/river not on a truck. Spending time soaking in the water leeches the lignin out of the cell structure leaving the cells more open and hollow. Last week I also had seen a documentary on the "little ice age." During the time just prior to Strad's violin making tree rings were more compact due to an overall drop in the earths tempurature, a so called mini ice age. So he was working with tighter grain but also a more open and hollow cell structure. I don't think he put some thick encapsulating coating of varnish over his instruments.

Ugggh, NO. I noticed another documentary about harvesting logs over two hundred years old from the bottoms of Canadian lakes. Wonder how these woods would sound? Hey, maybe they wouldn't sound any better than the IKEA table.   Just a thought.   Glyn

Keep it up. Everything you make is beautiful. Fuck the Naysayer's.    Peter

Of course I have a sound of my own and I should not be making excuses either. And the guitar certainly deserves a huge amount of credit. In fact some stuff I am working on now with the Z I absoulutely could not play on any other guitar. You actually play way better than anybody I know who really builds guitars. Which when you think about it is why you are such a perfectionist and making such an excellent instrument. Its a good thing you play as well as you do or you could not make the guitars work. Frank Baker (Z2-owner)

All I can say is that although I'm not a professional musician I have been a dedicated player for many many years. Now, I'm a dedicated player who knows the difference between average equipment and damn fine equipment. It has made me even more dedicated and active in playing and recording..... So, it works both ways...! Mark

Exactly right!
This "damn fine equipment" gives you reason to play and refine yourself, like you're forever trying to do it justice. It adds the best high octane racing fuel avaliable to the passion. And music is all about passion! No passion, no music. Simple.   Cheers, Orlando

The whole Z thing operates in it's own universe playing by it's own rules. It is pretty amazing. Few will ever try to follow such a renegade path. Eli

Well, when I first stumbled onto your site I have to admit I expected to see some guitars for sale as well - it's just the way the site is set up. But it didn't take too long to realize there would never be any guitars listed for sale so I contacted you directly...... only to find out that you probably didn't want to sell me a guitar because I probably wouldn't like it..... only to find out that you want to know my ideas about music and what kind of music I listen to and play...... only to find out that I had probably better send you a sample of my playing to prove that I can actually play and am not some wanker who would hang it in a museum..... only to find out that I had better send some more samples of my playing to prove it's not something I just do once or twice a year..... only to find out that I can send you a deposit but I'll probably have to wait a couple years for a guitar. But it was good to know that when my guitar finally appeared on the site it had a "Sold" sign on it....... Mark

You are a guitarist and make instruments - a rarity in the world of Guitar Center, etc. I live across the street form a GC and can't stand going in there, getting sales pitches, and/or talking to someone who doesn't have a clue about what I am asking. Worse than that, you have some guys that think they are the shit and they are jerks. You get the point. There are some cool guys in there too, but they all eventually move on. Jamie

Man your site should be age restricted! it's like looking at illegal foreign porn! Not that I would know...(P.S. - loving the slogan 'Guitars with Balls', how truer could you get?)   A