Spearfish Declaration | Video

Absolutely wonderful email last evening. My clients tend to be deeply kind and thoughtful human beings. I am very fortunate to have the privilege of sharing this bond of music with them. Thank you, Carl.

Rick —

Happy New Year! It has been 6 months since I picked up ‘Declaration’ Spearfish.  I have held off on writing this letter, as every time I began writing, I realized that I was still learning more about the guitar’s character. The full impact of this guitar has finally hit me.

Craftsmanship: The word that comes to mind is precision. Although the artistry of your guitars is what drew me in, what blew me away was the precision. The care you put into the build, and the perfection you strived to attain are clearly evident in every part of the guitar. As a hip and knee replacement surgeon with some experience in design, I especially appreciate the design/stability of the unique neck/body interface. This thing feels like it should be a part of a high-end military aircraft!

Ergonomics: My 10-year-old’s first response when I let him play the guitar was “why does this feel so easy to play?” This also sums up my feelings. The unconventional shapes and materials in this guitar hide the quite substantial considerations to size, weight, balance, and texture. Simply put, the result is an instrument which doesn’t get in the way of playing music. I find myself playing for longer periods of time, with less fatigue. The choices you have made with respect to neck shape, materials, and body shape constitute an unquestionably discernible advance in the ease and comfort of playing.  

Versatility: An unexpected surprise, which took me a very long time to fully appreciate, was the breadth of sounds that could be created with ‘Declaration’ Spearfish. I have found myself playing less with pedals, now focusing more on the guitar’s native controls. Whatever magic you injected into the electronics and wiring, I love it.

Art: The art is what drew me to your guitars. Not sure if you remember, but when I asked you to take this guitar to wherever your imagination leads you, I suggested the words: elegant, industrial, strong, depth, and striking. You nailed it. Declaration is a stunning work of art. It is the clear expression of imagination, emotion, and freedom that art inspires.

So, in case you cannot tell, I love this guitar. It is extremely special to me, and I am very grateful that you have created it for me. Thank you, and keep pushing the limits!


VIDEO: Chris Buono tests Declaration Spearfish™ before I shipped the guitar to Carl (July 2020). Relaxed six minute improvisational loop as he explores pickup settings and tone control using clean Fender Deluxe amp setting via Strymon Iridium direct into Logic. Listen for dynamics and sustain.

Ede Wright | Goshawk Blues

VIDEO: Ede Wright plays “Mr. Glass” blues on Goshawk™ 6-string.

Last night, Ede sent me the link to this video. I’ve probably listened a dozen times and still not caught all of his grace notes and sly references (Steely Dan, Yngwie Malmsteen) in this blues riff. I don’t know if people fully appreciate how truly great of a player he is.

“Thanks, Rick. The clean tone of this amp with the Red Guitar is the best I’ve heard. Goshawk really blends with the (Glaswerks Zingaro) in a beautiful way. It’s a bit of a departure from what you may be used to hearing me play, but I’m trying to show more of my range in these videos. Doesn’t hurt that Goshawk has more range than I do.” (Ede Wright)

VIDEO: Ede Wright plays Home Slice 3 Hang Six on Goshawk™ 6-string as Mr. Bill looks on.

Goshawk | Perfect Pair

In their own words…

Hi, Rick!

For the last hours I have had the pleasure of getting to know the intricacies of the Gowshawk™ and these are my first impressions. I ran the guitar through my new Komet 60 HD and in stereo with a Tone King Falcon to create a bit of ambience and fuller sound. I should point out that the Komet is also a new acquaintance so I might need some time to dial in the sounds to perfection.

Where to start? It’s hard to put the guitar down once you’ve started playing. The ergonomics of the instrument are first class, in fact I have never played a guitar that is more comfortable and inviting than this. It’s extremely light weight. When I carried the box inside my house, I was worried that there was no guitar inside. The shape of the body gives the guitar a distinct and unique shape, unlike any other traditional guitar. It has its own DNA, and the balance of the guitar is perfect regardless if you play sitting down, standing up or laying on the floor in cheer joy. It just melts in with your body.

The neck shape (Advantage™ Neck Profile) is great for any type of playing, and unlike some other guitars, there is no fatigue even after hours of intense playing. In particular when soloing on the higher spectrum, the frets are well accessible and you can really articulate high notes all the way and better than on any guitar I have tried before. The neck was perfect right out of the box, and tuning appears to be very stable. The fretwork is flawless and dots and markers give excellent visibility in low light settings, on stage, etc.

Both the tone and volume knobs are highly interactive and shape the sound significantly. The pickup selector has no less than 10 settings and I have not gotten around to figure out how it’s wired in all different settings, but I anticipate that in combination with the volume and tone control, virtually every sound a guitar can make is available right at your hands.

What was truly amazing was how consistent the sound was all across the board. Most guitars have their sweet spot, a place on the fretboard where it really sings. This means that other areas are weaker or a tad too loud and must be compensated with work on the volume or tone knob when you move around. The Goshawk™ is different. The sound is consistent all across the fretboard, you can drop your E and play with the devil and in the next moment go to screaming highs and the guitar will project a well balanced sound all the way through. Also between pickup settings there is very little loss of volume, although going from a single coil to humbucking fattens up the sound as desired.

The placement of the guitar volume knob is perfect for me and the knob itself is an absolute gem to work with. The (DiMarzio™ exclusive) pickups are indeed touch sensitive and the volume knob interacts very noticeably in every pickup selection, and goes all the way from grit to high and chimey sounds without the use of pedals or adjusting amp settings.

The placement of  the input jack makes the guitar easy to hold regardless of playing position without the often annoying break and tear of cable that other locations often produce.

Sound-wise the guitar is very versatile and can reproduce nearly any guitar sound imaginable, but like I said it has its own DNA. In that regard, and this was very pleasing to experience, the guitar has its own distinct sound and character, instead of trying to imitate established guitars and brands. This guitar has the capability to render a lot of guitar collections redundant, simply because it will be the «go to» guitar for many tasks. It will be the ONE guitar that you always pick up.

The native sound of the instrument is excellent, and as said, very versatile for all types of music. Adding pedals enhances sounds in all directions and allows entrance to guitar heaven. It can very fast become an addictive and trance-like state of being, and your companion, friends and family might have a challenge in getting in contact as you get lost, forget to eat, or sleep.

Thank you, Rick. This was a great experience and the process of ordering and communication on creating this instrument was first class all the way.

Hopefully in a not too distant future I will post some samples of how she sounds in my hands. I noticed you put 009 gauge strings. Any reasons for this? All my other guitars are 010. I however noticed the more expressive and articulated bends I am able to get, so I might experiment with 009’s a while.

Thanks for a truly great guitar.

(Carl, Norway)



Thanks a lot. Now my fingers are sore.

I couldn’t put it down last night. It really opened up after about an hour of playing and I just kept going. Then I got up early and played it again because I didn’t really believe it was that good. I have a bunch of questions and would love to talk with you about why this and why that type of stuff. It’s just so cool. My all-time favorite guitar (which I own) just feels dead now compared to the Goshawk™.

So I want to order another one. Let me know if you are around tomorrow to talk. I’ll call you.

Again, well done, just well done.
(Mark, California)

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PHOTO: Intonation Cantilever™ precision machined stainless steel solo bridges, Carbon fiber pickguard, OEM DiMarzio pickups. Note jack location on this custom guitar.