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A Walnut Baritone Guitar Made For David Zach

A Walnut Baritone Guitar Made For David Zach

Delivered To The Customer On 12/30/2005

Delivered To The Customer On 12/30/2005

David Zach is the singer/guitarist/pianist from the band Remedy Drive, and is the reason I started building guitars. I had been woodworking for many years, and always had it in the back of my mind to try building a guitar, but there seemed to be other projects that were less formidable to occupy my time. Back in September of 2004 when David and his wife Anna were visiting, he managed to give me the encouragement and vision I needed to give guitar making a whirl. After talking about it for a while, he suggested that I build him a guitar. Knowing I was diving into uncharted territory (for myself, anyway) I told him to let me build a couple for myself first in order to "test the waters" so to speak.

After my first few attempts were successful, I decided that I had honed my abilities enough to go ahead and make his guitar. We started talking about the specifications for his guitar back in February of 2005. Even prior to that, I had laminated a neck blank intended to be used for his guitar (see Paul's guitar for more info.) We discussed his wants and desires periodically throughout the spring.

Finally, in late June of 2005 we got down to business and started putting ideas down on paper. David already had a PRS and an Epiphone Sheriton II, and his brother Paul plays a Les Paul and a Tundracaster. David decided that for this guitar he'd like something completely different: a baritone. They had used a baritone guitar when recording portions of their last album, "Magnify", and had liked the sound it gave them.

I had never built a baritone before, but I was up for the challenge. As long as we were doing something different, I decided we should do something really different. So here's the basics of what we came up with:

  • Body: Modified "Sapphire" shape, cherry back, carved walnut top, cheese-belly contour, black/white/black binding on top, tune-o-matic bridge with stop tailpiece, Dunlop strap locks.

  • Neck: Set-neck construction, maple/mahogany/walnut laminations, 28.5" scale length, 24 fret ebony fingerboard with abalone dot inlays, Graphtech graphite nut, Gotoh tuners

  • Electronics: Two Seymour Duncan humbuckers (Duncan Custom in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck), blend pot, wfo (on/off) switch.

  • Finish: Tru-Oil

A view from side the gives a good view of the carved walnut top.

The binding really sets off the look of the walnut. David wanted the controls to be very simple. An on-off switch (no volume) and a blend pot for the pickup selection is all he needs.

A full view of the guitar's back.

Here's a full shot of the guitars back. The back features intricate neck laminations, a carved heel and a control cavity cover cut right from the body wood so that the grain is a perfect match.

Some close-up shots of the back of the body. I really like the color of the cherry; it's just the perfect shade of brown. The light kind of downplays the chess-belly contouring, but it's actually quite deep.

With the 28 1/2" scale length, the neck is very long on this guitar. It balances very well, however, and the longer scale length is surprisingly easy to play.

From the picture below, it is apparent that I better have built this instrument to withstand the rigors and abuse of a hard-working road band!
David performing a quiet and introspective ballad.

View the pictures of David receiving the guitar and playing it during it's first performance.

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This page last updated on 06/28/2018