Options - (your available preferences)
Body Shapes (no extra charge for any body shape)
Z1 - My original body shape, first drawn and built by me in my basement around 1995 or 96
Z2 - Another original and the definitive Z shape introduced August 24, 2000, and the body the Zachary Guitar is most famous for. When people think Zachary they most likely think Z2
Z3 - Reminiscent of a Fender Stratocaster but definitely NOT the same shape and a slightly smaller body in size (this body is no longer offered because it has developed into the new Z5, which is the identical body with a smaller lower horn fur greater high fret access). So if you like the Z3, order the Z5.
Z5 - This body is fast becoming my primary body shape. It replaces the Z3, the only difference being the smaller lower horn. A very well balanced, comfortable, with high fret access, versatile and timeless body shape. It has the same ergonomic body contouring as a Fender Stratocaster body. Although the Strat is an iconic masterpiece in terms of historical perspective, the Z5 is a further improvement on that general shape.
D1 - Based on that "cheesy" fifties, child's toy, Danelectro guitar some of us like so much. Back from the nostalgic days when everything was still manufactured in America, from the lowest end to the highest quality guitars. Those days are long gone. The Zachary version is the same shape but with a scaled down, smaller body for more convenient modern playing and weight reduction. If you are looking at a true Danelectro, this not the guitar for you. I took the shape of the Danelectro U2 and created a high-performance modern guitar of unparalleled capability.
F1 - Based on the Fender Telecaster. This is the exact Telecaster shape of a 50s Tele. It could be had with or without the the only body shape cutout behind the bridge as well as belly and elbow contours. It could be had as a direct replica of the vintage Telecaster body shape or with the addition of cutout and body contours. The Zachary body shaping ads considerable weight reduction to the Tele body, while still maintaining the overall historic Tele shape outline.
The F1 developed into the ZT, which is a total update of the Telecaster body but still retaining the historically correct general shape.
ZT - This is my current and future Telecaster body reinvention. This takes the exact vintage Telecaster shape and addresses every area for improvement. I reinvented and greatly improved the Telecaster body and it morphed into the Zachary ZT. I try not to build any more F1 unless one specifies it because it has developed into the new ZT, which is the same vintage Telecaster shape, less the large and clumsy lower horn, for much better high-fret access and the cut-out behind the bridge adds considerable weight savings. The ergonomic body contours for the elbow and the belly, give you the same comfort as a Stratocaster body does. What you get is a better Telecaster body, which is more attractive, weighs less and is more comfortable to play, with better high-fret access. I love the ZT and so will you. You will never go back to the traditional Tele shape. Leo would agree.
Z-LP - The same shape as the Gibson Les Paul.
Z-SG - The same body shape as the Gibson SG.
Z-Bird - The exact same body shape as the Gibson Firebird.
Z-Moderne - The same body shape as the Gibson Moderne
Z-R480 - Inspired by the awful Rickenbacker 480 guitar from the 70s, which had the very cool and iconic body of the famous Rick 4000 bass. You get the same body shape as the Rickenbacker 480 guitar, which was a rare model and my first expensive, as well as one of the worst guitars I ever owned. Now I made that great body shape into a fabulous guitar. If you are looking for a Rickenbacker, this is not the guitar for you. The Z-R480 is a high-performance guitar, as any other Zachary guitar. The only thing in common with a Rickenbacker is the body shape.
Z-Bongo - I really like this Ernie Ball Music Man Bongo shape. No wonder its nice, it was designed by Porsche. Music Man makes this as a lower-end, mass-produced instrument, with a thick plastic covering. I turned it into a hand-crafted, organic, work of art. What it should be. Sorry, I cannot do all the fancy body shaping because my hands are not computer programmed and controlled.
I have a good selection of wood in stock, and any type of wood can be turned into a work of art by the right craftsman. This is why it does not matter what type of wood goes into making of a Zachary guitar, it will be GREAT, no matter what the wood is.
Remember this, regardless of what anyone told you, EVERY WOOD IS A TONE WOOD.
What does dictate my wood choices is weight balance and aesthetic correctness. I will not build a light body with a heavy neck or a heavy neck on a light body. I will also try to adhere to historical correctness in terms of traditions in wood used for a particular body style and guitar theme. Let's not make a Les Paul inspired guitar with a Swamp Ash body and a maple neck/fingerboard. Instead let's make a Telecaster with that wood combination. We also need always to think about 3 things; wight balance, respect tradition and also have sensitivity to aesthetics. These are all sensibilities lacking by hacks, both hack guitar players and hack guitar builders.
Upcharge for one piece bodies (bodies made of one single piece of wood, instead of glued smaller pieces)
Mahogany, Maple, Walnut (and others if I have it), as long as structural integrity is met and neck wood matches body wood, regarding weight and aesthetics.
Regular un-figured wood - (no extra charge)
Upcharge for exotic neck wood, such as Rosewood, Purpleheart, etc.
Neck shape and design. All necks come with 24 frets, with a compound radius, and "Uniplane, No-Tilt, Samurai" headstock.
I use Maple, Rosewood and Ebony. Again the theme of the guitar dictates, as well as weight balance and historical legacy.
I tend to concentrate on the 624 mm (vintage Gibson), 25", 25.5" (Fender) and 26" scales.
I don't believe a guitar should or needs to have a longer scale than 26". Your playability will suffer and will no longer have a guitar but a bass.
In the past either Glued or Screwed neck joints were offered but as of 2015 I choose to build exclusively with my new 4-bolt, Spike Neck Joint only.
If you don't know what my Spike Neck Joint innovation is, read up on it on the Design Features page
Hardware is chosen in reverence to match every specific guitar theme. For example on a vintage Tele theme, I would never use humbucking pickups and sealed tuners. Some of the hardware I use has been modified for higher performance, such as my use of the Gotoh tremolo, for optimum tuning stability, full float, up and down action.
Upcharge for black or gold hardware.
Most Zachary Guitars and Basses will have proprietary ZachAttack custom pickups, specifically made for me to my design. I also use custom made vintage-style pickups to my specifications. However, on certain occasions and guitars, which call for it and do not violate tradition, I will use commercial brand pickup models, if the theme allows. I use DiMarzio, Seymour Duncan and other brands, which will suit a particular guitar theme. For example, I will not put a humbucker in the bridge position of a Tele, its simply sacrilege, since you will no longer have a Tele.
Setup & Strings
All Zachary Guitars and Basses are set up with only Zachary Optimum Gauges (ZOG) strings, which were invented and developed by Me for Zachary guitars and Zachary guitar owners. Zachary Optimum Tensions (ZOT) is the new name for these strings and what the name is now changed to, in order to more correctly describe the concept behind this innovation. ZOT, (The only correctly designed string sets in the world).
Most Zachary guitars will be set up with the ZOT 10+ set. Basses are made for ZOT bass sets. See the Zachary Strings page if you are not familiar with these strings and how they have revolutionized the guitar and bass world.
Yes, I am the inventor of Optimized Strings and the whole concept behind it. Lilliputians may try to copy my design but Zachary Optimum Tensions (ZOT) are the only correct manifestation of this concept. The big string corporations are incompetent and had never even considered string set design. Instead they all copied the same flawed sets from each other and offered the same sets for decades. String companies are too busy marketing to actually pay attention, comprehend or care about what they are offering players. If the string tension is not balanced within a the set, the set is incorrect and you have NOTHING, regardless of the material used.
Mostly Oil finish is available on a Zachary Guitar or Bass. The Oil finish is one of the reasons why Zachary guitars feel so organic and natural. I want everyone to be able to actually feel the wood and not a thick, sticky plastic coating. No condom covered guitars here. For that, you need to go to a guitar shop and purchase any other brand. Its baffling how guitar players blindly accept the thick plastic condom over their guitars, even the so called most expensive Vintage Reissue, Custom Shop models. Its NOT lacquer folks.
Due to the great variability among different pieces of wood in terms of grain structure, absorption properties, natural pigmentation and other factors, it is impossible to know in advance the final appearance of any stain or dye. For distressed finishes, I use various paints but never plastic car paint, as what's used on almost every commercially sold guitar on the market.