Zachary Design Features & Innovations
100% HANDCRAFTED - Every action in the building of these guitars is guided by hand regardless of the type of hand or power tool used.
ORIGINALITY - Almost every guitar company is copying 30 or 40-year-old designs, which are not their own. I subscribe to the belief that you can't be the best unless you're willing to be different.
DESIGN - These guitars are designed to look, feel and sound unique. Simplicity, functionality, practicality and efficiency are the main characteristics of my guitars.
CONSISTENCY AND PRECISION - These characteristics are not applicable, or absolutely necessary in a handcrafted instrument. Individuality, uniqueness, and character are what I wish to achieve with each instrument I make.
WOOD - The word "tone-wood" is a misnomer. I do not discriminate against different species because I consider every piece of wood to be a "tone-wood." I do not reject wood, and for bodies, I use almost any type, including wood with knots, insect or wormholes and even rot, as long as its structurally sound. Some diseased wood makes for the unique and interesting pieces. Some of the woods chosen for the bodies are Mahogany, Ash, Alder, Maple, Walnut, Oak, Cherry, Korina and others. The necks are constructed from quarter sawn or flat sawn maple or mahogany.
BODY SHAPE, BALANCE, AND ERGONOMICS - My totally original Z1 body shape besides being elegant was also designed to be the most ergonomic and the best-balanced shape you will ever play. A computer did not arrive at the shape of this guitar. Instead, I used my 22 years of guitar playing experience to determine what feels good and what doesn't; as simple as that.
THE TONE HOLE OPTION - One of the unique design features of the Z-1 series is the Body Tone Hole Option, which not only adds to the intricate beauty of the guitar but reduces the overall weight, changes the feel and alters the resonance.
DYNAMIC ACTION NECK ™ - Let's face it, playing fast on a guitar is impressive and cool. My main goal is to make the necks as fast and as effortless to play as possible. These necks are contoured in such a way as to facilitate motion. The Dynamic Action Neck™ is shaped to create a feel that induces movement of the hand up and down the fingerboard. While some other necks slow your hand down and make your playing sluggish, my necks will make your hand want to move, instead of staying motionless. These necks actually make you play faster. We all know that speed is not the only thing; it's everything (just kidding).
FINGERBOARD AND SCALE LENGTH - The radiuses are quite flat, and I use all popular as well as some uncommon scale lengths with a 1.75" (45mm) nut width. This is all designed to make playing more comfortable without that cramped feel.
INLAYS - I do not believe in fancy inlays. Inlays do not make a guitar play or sound better. I use contrasting-color, wooden position markers placed in a unique diagonal pattern. Not only is this simple and tasteful, but the diagonal pattern enhances the look of action and speed.
NECK JOINT - I either glue-in or bolt-on the necks using a simplified neck joint with heel-less construction; the simplest joint possible. The neck pocket is much larger when compared to other guitars and therefore much stronger and better at transmitting the tone to the body. This contributes to better sustain and a bigger sounding guitar.
COMPARTMENTALIZED CONTROL CAVITY - I carve out a cavity, which leaves more wood in the guitar. My goal is to take away as little wood as possible from the cavity and to leave the top of the guitar at the cavity as thick as possible. This is why each pot and switch has its own individual compartment within the main control cavity.
SAMURAI HEADSTOCK™ SHAPE - I use a very unique headstock shape which I call the "Samurai Headstock" ™. This shape - which is essentially the continuation of the fingerboard - is a very compact design made possible by the reverse stringing of the two outside tuners. It literally is "sharp" looking and functional.
UNIPLANE, - NO-TILT HEADSTOCK™ DESIGN - This headstock design is a true innovation in terms of tone transfer and strength. The headstock on my guitars have no angle; they do not tilt back. This flat headstock design is essentially a continuation of the neck itself. The grain of the neck travels uninterrupted past the nut, into the headstock, to the end
of the guitar. This flat "Uniplane" headstock is more "alive" in terms of resonance than a tilt-back design: the strings create minimal down-pressure on the nut. Since the grain of the neck is uncut and uninterrupted, it results in the strongest headstock possible with virtually no chance of breakage.
DOUBLE ACTION TRUSSROD - I use a powerful double action rod, which is made up of an active, and a passive rod. The adjustment nut is accessed at the body end of the instrument. I do not want to compromise the integrity of the headstock by drilling and removing any wood at that end.
HARDWARE - The very best hardware is used from around the world in chrome, black or gold finishes.
NUT ZACHAROID™ "Mission Impossible" - I searched long and hard for a nut material, which will keep the guitar in tune well and which is also great for tone. It would have been easy to use a simple precut plastic or graphite nut like the ones used by most other companies, but instead, I wanted something better. I feel that most nut materials - whatever fancy name they are given - kill tone and some graphite-type nuts are actually not good for tuning stability. My special nut is made of a certain material, and hand cut specifically to fit each individual guitar. I can't divulge the actual material, but this nut its great for tuning stability and it also sounds wonderful. Called by one Zachary Guitar owner the "Mission Impossible" nut because of its ability to keep the strings in perfect tune after a half hour of insane whammy abuse.
FRETS - For guitars, I either use super-jumbo (insanely wide and high bass guitar frets) or tall medium width frets. The taller the fret, the better the ability to bend strings and the wider the fret, the better the sustain.
PICKUPS - I do not pretend to be a pickup manufacturer. Therefore, I use pickups from the experts; companies who specialize exclusively in pick up design and manufacturing.
ELECTRONICS - (Very versatile switching) - As always, I want to keep things simple. This is why I keep pots and switches to a bare minimum. The first thing I set out to do was to eliminate that seldom-used tone pot and that troublesome toggle switch. Instead, I use better quality mini switches which take up
much less space and are more accurate and reliable. Each pickup can be used in single-coil or double-coil mode. This simple yet effective switching makes use of the single and double coil capabilities of each pickup, both individually and in combination. You will get a great variety of real usable tone colors. These guitars are very versatile
for any style of playing, ranging from full overdrive, country picking to mellow jazz. These instruments have all the great tonal variations
needed for any musical style.
PICKUP PLACEMENT - Strategically placing the pickups in just the right location in relation to the strings will determine the frequencies which are picked up or canceled. I utilize this technique to get many usable and interesting sounds out of the pickups when selected either individually or together. My guitars will never sound muddy or dull, and the pickups will complement each other creating great new sound possibilities and tone variations.
FINISH - These guitars have a super fast and comfortable oil finish instead of the thick plastic finishes, which are all too common these days on most other guitars. I want to enable the player to feel the wood. It is unfortunate that most players can't ever feel the wood of their guitars. Since playing guitar is quite a sensual experience, the more sensitivity the player has, the better. Feeling the wood creates a more intimate relationship between player and instrument. A heavy finish will also dull a guitar's sound. Thick finishes can smother the body's vibration and dampen its response, causing high-end loss and general "lifelessness." This is why I use a simple oil resin finish to seal the wood while still allowing for that great feel and excellent tone. The oil resin soaks into the wood where it hardens, and it does not build up on the surface of the instrument. Some of my guitars receive a colored stain before the oiling process which gives the guitar an antique finish.
SPIKED NECK JOINT TILTING SYSTEM - adding sustain, volume, clarity, and physical stability.
Introduced late 2014, this is the most exciting recent design development from Zachary Guitars. Based on the same concept as audiophile speaker stands, where the vibration source is coupled to the ground mass by highly concentrated pinpoints made of hard metal contacts.
The Zachary Spike neck joint works with a single spike, which is enough of a contact area to isolate neck from the body. The four bolts press the neck down on this single spike contact point resulting in a very solid footing to add physical stability, adjustability and improved tone quality to the instrument.
The Spiked Neck-Joint achieves 3 purposes at the same time.
1. Stability - The threaded metal body spike sits in a recessed metal contact in the neck; metal on metal and immovable when under tension. Using the spike achieves the most stable anchoring (grip) of the neck to the body, without relying on imprecise and unstable wood screws or a permanently glued surface.
2. Tone - A porous large flat contact area, either screwed or glued, only acts as a sponge, dampening vibration. Unwanted movement between body and neck, even if on a minute vibrational level will cancel frequencies and reduce volume, clarity and the sustain of tone. The less vibration dampening, the better for tone. A metal spike seated in a concave metal contact depression is the best way to couple the neck to body to eliminate tone dampening and to retain the most vibrational efficiency and energy in the strings, which then is picked up by the pickups. Isolating the neck from the body is actually crucial to maximize the resonant efficiency of the instrument especially on a plucked instrument, which relies on sustain.
3. Neck adjustment - The threaded spike also adds infinite neck angle adjustment for the most precise action setup of any guitar.
THREADED BOLT INSERTS - In conjunction with the Spiked Neck Joint, instead of using wood screws, Zachary guitars utilize threaded metal neck inserts into which the four machines screws thread into. This results in much more removable neck without wearing out the wood; conventional wood screws would thread into.