IMAGE: RICK TOONE ’67 website.

RICK TOONE ’67 guitar is realization of a long-held dream. My personal interpretation of Leo’s iconic design, with radical new technology bringing it once again to the forefront of guitar innovation. Your best friend, but now so much better.

Light weight alder body with relic nitro finish. Nothing sounds quite like nitro. There is a difference. And those wear marks & dings invite you to come play. Every other aspect of the guitar is new and pristine. To me, the body is lovingly meant to take the knocks, but my hands want a perfect neck and fretwork.

Neck is quarter-sawn maple. Dunlop 6100 stainless steel frets. Gotoh light-weight vintage style locking tuners for fast string changes.

Steve Blucher and I traded the prototype guitar back and forth for most of a year, getting the pickups dialed in. There is historic precedent to the tone of this platform and it’s absolutely necessary to nail those classic frequencies. You expect this guitar design to sit perfectly in the mix, in that hallowed niche. It does. And thanks to Steve’s genius there is no single coil hum. Volume and tone controls are musically delightful throughout their entire range.

You probably want me to talk about the tremolo…

It’s a little bit like magic.

Hiya Rick! I’m Zack, the production manager of Rick Turner Guitars in Santa Cruz, California. We had a visit from Henry Kaiser yesterday with his new guitar from you. It’s always a pleasure when Henry comes by and he loves to share new gear and guitars with us. He was absolutely ecstatic about the vibrato on his RICK TOONE ’67 guitar, and I am too!

Your new trem is an extremely beautiful piece of musical guitar hardware. We at the shop were really taken with it. My compliments! I’ve never felt a vibrato unit with as nice of action, and amazing consistency of tuning and return. It’s very dynamic, and sounds wonderful.

And it has a super sharp look to it, clean lines. It’s a great look, visually refreshing. I’m a fan.

I’m looking forward to your plans with the unit! I think I’m forever spoiled on what a vibrato is capable of. 

If you ever felt inclined to produce these as an OEM product, licensed or otherwise, I would certainly be curious about your plans. I’m grateful to have gotten to try the guitar. Thank you for investing your time and craft in developing such a musical unit. Cheers!

Zachary Jones (Production Manager @ Rick Turner Guitars)

Thank you, Zack. Thank you, Henry.

Rick Toone’s unique ‘67 tremolo can dive bomb like a Floyd Rose, stay in-tune better than anything else, and keep chords in-tune throughout the wide up and down range. For me, it’s the new standard for radically expressive trem playing. (Henry Kaiser)

VIDEO: Henry Kaiser deep dives the tremolo on his Rick Toone ’67™ guitar. Compressor pedal into the board. DiMarzio pickups designed by Steve Blucher. Tremolo design by Rick Toone. Patented and multiple patents pending. Video by Henry Kaiser.


VIDEO: Longstanding friends share a moment onstage. Gabriel Levi sits in with Chris Buono and his cB3 trio. Live at Triumph Brewing Company, Redbank, NJ (11.30.2023). Both lads are playing RICK TOONE ’67 guitars as the fretless awaits her moment backstage.

This week exactly marks one full year of Chris Buono’s residency at Triumph Brewing Company, Redbank, NJ. I am really enjoying watching his metamorphosis up close in real time.

December 6, 2022, we headed into rehearsal together, Chris to focus his band, and me to document the start of something new and potentially great. Nervous tension and excitement in the practice space as Chris prepared to return to live performance after an extended hiatus.

December 8, 2022 was the first Triumph performance.

Fast forward one year. Chris accepted a bi-weekly residency at Triumph Brewing Company, alternating his two lineups plus a rotation of guests. He looks fully at home onstage, and the bands are completely dialed in. He has a massive trove of archived live recordings from the experience.

November 30, 2023 — the plan to fly Gabriel Levi in for a day of video shooting in my studio. He was arriving from ATL to get pre-flighted on the new RICK TOONE ’67 as he steps into tremolo. Unbeknownst to me, the two of them were conspiring.

Recording the Magnets & Wire documentary/album together in November, 2019 sparked a group friendship continuing today and growing deeper over time. Last week was the first in four years Chris and Gabriel met again in person. Their conspiracy succeeded.

Listening on my laptop now, a week later, watching cardinals and blue jays at the feeder outside in the season’s first snow flurries, I’m grateful for the recording of my two friends sharing moments on stage together. Gabriel has become a serious student of the Blues during the last six months, and it shows. His already exceptional touch on the guitar is growing into a new depth of expressive musical emotion. Chris continues his role as master musician and now mentor, as he graciously shared the stage, pivoting his cB3 trio into a supporting role.

More, please.

VIDEO: Minimalist recording — AT4050 mics XY stage center plus iPhone video. Chris channels Jeff Beck while Ben works the B3 as Faye keeps time.

On Green Dolphin St. (Improv)

VIDEO: Chris Buono plays through the changes On Green Dolphin Street written by Bronislaw Kaper (1947). White Pearl Skele™ 6-string guitar featuring Pisces™ trem. Signal chain is straight into Fender ’64 Deluxe reissue captured via SM57 and AEA ribbon. White Pearl Skele™ has such lovely clarity combined with sweetness and warmth. Incredible dynamics.

A Few Years On

It’s magical to hear from clients who have been playing these guitars for a few years. I sometimes feel overwhelmed with gratitude having been able to walk this path in life, connecting with kind, thoughtful, amazing people from around the globe. I deeply appreciate your letters and notes…

Hi Rick,

I just wanted to say hello send a quick note in appreciation of the wonderful instrument you made for me four years ago.  

I have quite a sizable guitar collection, and as I was going through the inventory in search of a downsize, I evaluated all my «babies» and compared them side by side.  I play a lot of different styles all from classic finger style, fusion, prog-rock, ballads, C&W, R&B.  I don’t use a pick, thus the instruments pick-up sensitivity and capacity of modulating sound frequency is important to me.

The Goshawk is a Chameleon. There is virtually no sound drop-off in coil splitting. The tone knob is extremely versatile. And the volume knob is really a gain knob instead of increasing overall volume (that would not be desirable) it just adds more grit. I love that balance point just before it breaks up. I want the tooth to come out, but with a bit of delicious pain first. 

The bird you made stands out in the crowd, and as I played through the bunch of pretty high end guitars made by some of the best luthiers on the planet, I plugged the Goshawk back in time and time again, just to find that it could replicate and surpass pretty much any other guitar, it be a tele, a strat, a whatever.  Adding on superb ergonomics and playability, I am pretty sure this ranks as one of the most desirable guitars on the planet from a player’s perspective. And it made me think, what will I do if anything happens to it?

You’re a living Picasso Luthier, Rick.

I can picture my self in old age, hair and muscles all gone, skin dry and wrinkled, just sitting in the still of the night, noodling on my Goshawk. This bird is not going anywhere without me.

All the best to you and kind regards,

Carl (Norway)

From the snowy forests of Norway to the lush soils of Hawaii — speaking of: Dave Anderson sent me a care package recently including some locally grown single source estate coffee from Kauai. I am enjoying a cup now, which explains why autocorrect is getting a morning workout. Dave also filmed this pretty spectacular review demo of his American Girl Goshawk…

Hey Rick,

I just did this video demo’ing American Girl. Please tell me what you think and if you dislike anything about it I’ll yank it in a Jersey second. The video realm is totally new turf for me, so don’t hold back.

I’m finally getting around to finished wiring of studio things as time allows, then I intend to post some “super-sonic” demos in full audio bandwith, using studio guys that’ll hopefully knock some socks off.

I hope you’re doing well. I LOVE American Girl. Thanks again Paisano!


Dave (Hawaii)

VIDEO: Dave Anderson reviews and demos his “American Girl” Goshawk.

White Pearl Skele

PHOTOS: White Pearl Skele™ is a perfect blend of semi-hollowbody warmth with single coil spank. Classic tones with a completely modern twist. Details on this beautiful instrument include: carbon fiber, mother of pearl, alder, aircraft grade birch. Polished stainless steel frets in state-of-the-art Richlite fretboard. Quartersawn torrefied flame maple neck w/tilt back headstock and luthier’s joint. Advantage™ neck profile including Fretboard Flare™ geometry. Bare Knuckle custom pickups with 10-way switching. Patented & patent pending Pisces™ tremolo precision machined from stainless steel and aircraft aluminum.
VIDEO: Gabriel Levi combines some sweet overdrive with his vocal phrasing on the new patented & patents pending Pisces™ tremolo. Lovely semi-hollowbody tones emerge.
VIDEO: Killick Hinds plays White Pearl Skele™ clean fingerstyle. Warm deep bass notes balanced perfectly with clear treble sweetness.

Killick is channeling broad influences even in this short piece. I hear shades of Jackson Pollock, Brian Eno, and David Lynch in a mesmerizing blend of creativity and spontaneity. Hats off to this moment of brilliance! (@ShinMadero via YouTube)