Friday Fun With “Girl” Brand Guitars
Guitar maker James Larsen appears to be living the dream.
I have no idea if he manages to make much money off his creations, but I do know that he spends his days doing something that I’ve only dreamt of – building high-quality, one of a kind electric guitars that are both playable and beautiful.
His Girl Brand Guitars are one part low-brow art, one part handmade instrument, and I can tell you honestly that perusing his website (which is chock-full of great photos) has left me drooling over his incredibly unique one-off, six-string creations.
From what I can gather Mr. Larsen builds his guitars with anodized aluminum bodies wrapped around a wooden core of either Redwood, Cedar of Bass (wow – a Redwood guitar!) He prefers hard maple for the neck, matched with either Ebony or Cocabolo fretboards–
I like the Cocabolo because the reds and oranges are so much more attractive and the figure more interesting than the brownishpurplish Indian Rosewood so often used for fingerboards nowdays
Other materials include backs made of Phenolic or Formica over Birch plywood, and tops made of just about anything the Luthier finds attractive, including rusted steel, galvanized copper, galvanzed steel “with the Zinc selectively eaten away and left to rust under compost,” and sometimes even wood!
Larsen hand-makes the pickups for his Girl Brand Guitars – though they are designed by Dave Schecter – and according to his website his intention is to provide the player with a combination of both Gibson & Fender tones–
The 3-way pickup selector switch (lead- rythymlead-rythym) plus the three tone taps for each pickup add up to fifteen pre-set tones before you ever touch the tone pot. I keep intending to put in a in-phase/out-phase switch which would add I think another nine tones, but it seems just one switch too many.
Current Girl Brand Guitar models include: ReliquaryGirl (top left,) SpanishRoccocoGirl (right,) HulaGirl, RodeoGirl, OpiumGirl and a host of others. Amazing stuff…