It was just December of 2010 by the time I got this guitar, but it was started well before that. It was worth the wait and would’ve been worth a much longer one. After the work Dave had done on my white tele, I wanted to see what one of his builds was like. I asked him to build me an all mahogany thinline with a Bigsby B5, a Grosh p90 and 327 humbucker, Gretsch knobs and Gretsch influenced top binding, a natural back and neck, and a black headstock. I waffled between smoke green and silver sparkle for the top before committing, but the big discussion was what to do about the bridge.
Dave had sent me four or five choices, but, for different reasons, none of them was quite what I was looking for. I kept looking until I saw this:
I watched this and then emailed it to Dave. Dave watched it and was all in. I was itching to try that bridge.
Good design is something I love in an unqualified way and without regard to the object, but a good design that answers a need I’ve identified is something more to me, something special, a thing of endless satisfaction and delight, hope for humanity, sugar in my tea. I knew, I was certain I knew, how good this thing was. The idea of it. Its elegance. I bought a shirt before I’d seen the bridge in person, and it was comfortably worn in before I had the guitar. That’s me wearing it up there on the header of the site, by coincidence, and playing the Seüf the day I got it.
When Dave finished the guitar, he let me know that he thought the bridge was a game-changer too. When I got it, I learned for myself. It accomplishes everything it set out to accomplish in terms of rectifying the shortcomings of the original Fender floating bridge, then it does more. It does the ineffable, bringing out everything people are talking about in the sound of a guitar when they say “it’s a good one,” imparting not only sustain and resonance, but also a spectral depth of sweetness to it’s sound, making it more completely itself. I have a lot of these, and I know now what I felt then: the mastery doesn’t change the signature sound of a guitar, it unlocks it.
Dave’s work is superlative in every detail. Wood selection, mechanics, fretwork, neck shape, finishes. The neck is a separate finish, not the nitrocellulose lacquer used on the rest of the guitar. It’s gloss, but never, ever sticky under any conditions. The feel of this guitar is perfect for me. I keep trying to top it, but I never have, and I’ve never played an electric I like better. On most of my guitars, I switched at some point in the past from D’Addario 11s to GHS 11s. For years, though, I could never bring myself to change even that on this guitar, but https://www.thegts.co finally overwhelmed my reluctance. Gabriel Tenorio’s strings are an irresistible draw. Those strings are inexorably taking over my guitars. To ease my transition a bit, this one is strung with a custom version of his 11-49 set for bigsbyed teles. I couldn’t deny it those strings.
I did what I could to make it special. Dave clearly did more. It’s special beyond that.