Zachary Handcrafted Guitars
Body Style: Z5
Body Wood: top - Bubinga, back - soft Maple
Neck Wood: Rosewood
Fingerboard Wood: Ebony
Tuners: Gotoh sealed
Frets: 24 (Large)
Pickups: neck - Zach Attack, bridge - Zach Attack
Controls: master Volume and Tone, 6-way rotary switch
1- neck humbucker; 2- neck inside coil; 3- both inside coils;
4- both humbucking; 5- bridge inside coil; 6- bridge humbucking;
Neck Joint: Spiked, machine screws / metal inserts,
*1st Zachary with Spike
Strings: Zachary Optimum Tensions, 10+ RW set
Weight: 8.64 lb.
You certainly did not expect me to return without offering you something New; something a mere mortal would never think of. I know how demanding you all are in your expectations of me. It makes my life very difficult to live but it keeps me motivated, does it not? I understand that you vicariously live through me, whatever others are incapable of, you expect me to perform and execute remarkably and then you take my achievements for granted. But despite your high expectations, I have never disappointed you in the past? I must place impossible demands on my own achievement to compensate for the lack of others. Its not easy people. Its very immolating. If you want to know what it feels like, its like being expected to cum, and cum and cum again, as new women are sent into the room, one after the other, continuously. LOL
I feel I have entered a new phase of my guitar building. For over two years I kept my distance from guitars. I hardly played, and did not touch my tools. I wanted it that way. Although internally I always remained there and some ideas were uncontrollably still brewing. I continually want my designs and their execution to evolve. As I do of women, I now I have an even deeper understanding of guitar design and construction. When I talk about understanding, it is not the superficial level that an average player or "luthier" may claim to have. I mean true, intimate, highly detailed, specialized, deep, perspicacious understanding of every minute part of a guitar and its hand-craftsmanship. Knowing the different materials, hardware, design and the collective role of all these elements, resulting in perfect technical functionality, yet also keeping it organic and "alive". The matching of every individual element, within the framework of simplicity, for the creation of a perfect instrument. These individual elements must not only match aesthetically but also in terms of functionality. I am not allowed the lenience of simply creating a sculpture for aesthetic value only. Surely, that would fool the ignorant and others have built corporate empires on the gullibility and the subservience of the idiot and the weak in character. However, I choose the rougher road of changing if only but a microcosm of the world, through not necessarily winning in the arena of the corporate oligarchy but on the stage of the free-thinker. My instruments must function unmatched as a true player's instrument but they also must teach you HOW to think about guitars, NOT, WHAT to think about guitars. Its a tall order and its aggravating that only a few "guitar enthusiasts" are ever able to appreciate what I do or have the intellectual resources to even digest any of this. I know, the small mind is under tremendous societal pressures and is in fact further suppressed, while I try to elevate. I have am impossible job and a very small audience, as guitar players are falling into extinction by the day.
To make a long story short, since I have already overloaded you with a smothering amount of stimuli, the new roads treaded here are the following:
1. a new body shape, 2. a new tuning concept and 3. a new neck joint system
I will lose most of you here due to the technical details, however you come to this web site at your own peril and of your own volition, knowing that you will be educated by blunt weapon, with the annihilation of your ego and without your consent. Here you are NOT a customer and this is not a store. Here you must earn your respect and not necessarily as an accomplished musician but with your intellect and character. If you are short on either, I will instantly detect it and crush you. Its best if you check your ego by the door before your enter my world. It would leave me unaccomplished if I was only to offend and entertain you but fail to educate you in the process. The loss of your "religion" is the price you pay for leaving this web site smarter than when you entered. Its my consistent gift to you and I regard it as much more honorable and profound than simply nice'ing you to death while lowering your defenses so you willing hand over your money. You do not come here to be reinforced, accepted and commended for the dumb schmuck that you are. This would never achieve any lasting beneficial changes. That would pay you a disservice and you know I would be just after something. This would be a very feminine behavioral strategy. Since there are so few Men left in the world, sadly it is all too common, as is common the hyper sensitivity and tender emotional reactions of today's males, who have sadly been conditioned to expect and demand political correctness. No wonder that such a place as this upsets them sufficiently to feel so offended. As an exchange for what I give you, your continued support is completely necessary for my survival. In essence my existence is in your hands. I need you as much as you need me. As a rule and my usual practice, any evidence of intelligence and character will induce in me reverence toward you.
The New Z5 Body Shape
My friend Mark Miller, a multiple Z guitar owner, is responsible for getting me back to building at this time. He requested a basic Z3 but with a modified body with better high fret access. Normally I would not entertain such seemingly misguided requests but then I thought about it and hung up my own ego, instead of resorting to my usual, ego-driven, knee-jerk reaction. Upon closer examination, his request or suggestion made sense to me. I thought what the F, let's give it a shot, its an opportunity for me to be creative, which I never dismiss and see what I can come up with. Previously I really liked what I did with the ZT body shape, in updating the tired, old and clumsy Telecaster, by taking my own Tele shaped version (the F1), and making it even relevant, practical, attractive and original, in the form of the ZT.
As I was drawing out the shape of this new body, it was really appealing to me. Its simply a Z3 body with an amputated lower horn, as on the ZT and I also gave it slightly deeper lower body waist contour. Here is the result and it might just become my main Z shape from now on. This new body shape I will call the Z5. Its very versatile and quite adaptable to any style of guitar theme and configuration. Thanks for the suggestion Mark and I am glad I did not tell you to F-off, which would have made me deservedly look like a fool and it would have been my loss. Even I am capable of curtailing my ego, when its warranted.
The New Low E' 6th string Tuning for Guitar
The new tuning with low E' tuned 6th string is another idea, which came to me over the last two years. Being the originator of Optimized string sets for guitar and bass, I am able to design a bass string, to be tuned to a bass note and create a string which will work in this capacity on a guitar. The idea just occurred to me to combine a guitar and bass within the same instrument. I did some experimentation, using my already developed low 8th string, used for my 8-string guitar application. The tension was not quite high enough on that string but the concept was promising and addictive to play. An octave lower than the normal E string gives, depth and fullness to the sound of one's playing. Its a whole new experience. The great thing is that this low bass string is still tuned to an E. Therefore you do not have to relearn how to play a guitar, you don't need to perform any mental gymnastics and you don't even have to think; unlike on a 7 or 8 string guitar. You simply play the same way, the same compositions and arrangements but you get a whole new sound and vibe to your playing. A convenient thing is the way I have designed the interchangeability between the regular low E and the Bass low E strings. You simply remove the bass string (do not damage it but save it) and install the regular low E guitar string whenever you like. This way you can use this guitar conventionally or with the low bass E string, either way, with the same nut.
For this low E' tuning I had to create a custom string at a specific tension, to be optimized to all the other strings within the set. I also had to maintain enough tension on the bass string, in order for it work on a 26" scale neck. 26" is the longest scale that I will use on a guitar in order to maintain its playability as a guitar. Ignorant guitar manufacturers use longer than 26" scales to compensate for non existent conventional string sets, realizing their guitars don't function, because they failed to realize they do not have the proper optimized strings to string them with. The application of what they shamefully call standard 7 and 8-string sets is appalling and a disgrace. If they had any instrument design knowledge, they would realize that its not the scale of the instrument they need to increase, its the string set which has to be optimized for the specified tuning. I do not agree in creating guitars with longer scale lengths because they become unplayable as guitars and are simply relegated to being just "noise makers", which seems to be all the requirement these days anyway for the new generation of the pathetically small number of juvenile "players" entering the guitar world. I also had to taper the string winding at precisely the right places, at both the bridge and at the tuner ends, to make it fit and contact the guitar bridge and tuner, both. Yes, this new bass string has a small guitar ball end on it to fit my chosen guitar bridge for this application.
The New Spiked Neck Joint Tilting System
I have two identical pairs of vintage speakers connected to my vintage stereo system. I am able to listen to two sets of speakers at the same time from the same stereo tuner and also to A/B compare them by the push of a switch. I noticed something amazing and disheartening. One pair of these speakers I placed on spiked metal stands and they sounded great. The other set of speakers, which are identical by brand and model, did not have any stands or spikes, so I just placed them on the carpet. The sound coming from the speakers with no spikes was awful; muffled with boomy bass and very undefined; like some low quality boom box. Well, something had to be done, so I bought some sharp metal spikes and skillfully installed them on the bottom of the un-spiked speakers. I instantly made them sound as good as the other pair with the spiked metal stands. So the secret was in what the spikes did to the sound of these high end speakers. All resonance was concentrated on a sharp solid point, contacting a hard surface, instead of a soft surface, which is in fact a massive damper. This elimination of dampening - by the concentration of resonance into a small solid point and into a solid hard surface - intrigued me and I immediately wondered how this would work on a guitar by improving the connection or coupling between the neck and body. I had to devise a way to do this same thing on a guitar.
As you should know by now, there are many myths about guitars. Well, regardless, the low-knowledge guitar enthusiast will believe anything that collectively is postulated and promoted by the guitar industry; he will believe what he is told by the collective. However, many of these dogmas are simply the result of intellectual incapacity and the lack of creativity. No, your beloved Les Paul does not sustain well, it sounds muddy and undefined and conventional string sets make it function even worse. Now you know the truth but don't expect the guitar industry media to tell you this, they are not any smarter and they of course have an agenda in keeping the status quo. Its time to go to the next level Jimmy Page, instead of re-mastering your led Zeppelin catalog every 5 years for a continuous greedy cash-grab. The previous multiple re-masters were quite sufficient, thank you. Shame on you. But I digress.
I wanted to achieve two things with a new neck joint concept, one was to be able to rout a flat (not angled) neck pocket. This would greatly simplify my construction process. I also wanted to be able to adjust the neck tilt at will to have greater control over the string height of the instrument and not to be limited to the bridge saddle heights. I previously had to rely on needing to perform very precise calculations prior to routing the neck pocket and then anticipating a correctly positioned neck to body relationship, as to what neck angle I needed for the variety of bridges and arrive at the perfect string height. (and you thought guitar building was easy)
I also wanted to eliminate the 5th and middle neck screw, which was specifically placed there just to in my previous screw-type neck joint design, for the purpose of immobilizing the neck from moving horizontally in the line of string tension toward the bridge. If you noticed Fender has wood between the neck pickup cavity and the edge of the neck, while a Zachary does not.
So what I have done is to come up with the installation of a neck tilting adjustment bolt/spike through the body and into the neck pocket from underneath, tilting the neck upward if needed, while the four neck screws pull the neck down precisely pressing on the neck tilt spike.
However, I went further. Instead of having this metal bolt (the spike) tip contacting the bottom of the wooden neck in the neck joint, I sharpened and rounded off the point of the bolt tip, essentially making it into a spike and then had it contact a hard metal surface embedded into the bottom of the neck. To solve the other need of keeping the neck anchored from horizontal movement, the metal surface embedded in the neck is a round metal part with a hollow center (like a donut), into which the metal tilting bolt (spike) fits tightly and rotates inside of. Here the spike is able to turn within this metal contact area to increase the neck angle but it also immobilizes the whole neck from any movement in the direction of string pull. In essence the neck is pressed down onto the metal spike by the four neck screws, always holding the neck in place and pressed metal on metal.
So there you have it. I have given you way more information than you need.
The result as predicted is noticeably more sustain and more tonal definition from this new guitar. When playing it clean, you can totally hear the bell-like chime and long sustain of every note. Its a very tonally advanced instrument, unmatched by anything else in terms of a glued, screwed or neck through body design. The advantage is highly concentrated metal on metal contact and the much improved transference of the string resonance between neck and body.
Just one more thing which bugs my ass. Many of you had written me wondering where I was. Although I appreciate your curiosity and possible concern, I feel like chocking you at the same time. The situation here is very simple, if you want me to continue with this work, if you want more creativity, more education, more entertainment and more offensive talk from me, then you must simply support what I do. If you go out and buy the $199 Slash Epiphone, you are supporting Slash and Epiphone and they don't give a shit about you... while I actually do give a shit about do. Your support is essential and you can understand that my work will NOT continue if you do not support me. Its a no-brainer and for your own benefit actually because you are ultimately the beneficiary of my work. So, buy ZOG strings, buy the Z guitar stand, buy the amazing Tone Lube and yes buy a Zachary guitar. I hope you think what I do is worthwhile, so please show it. Slash does not need your support...but I do.
Until next time ... and I do hope there is a next time. Its all up to you.