Bill took delivery of his sunburst Spearfish™ 6-string guitar this week…
I love this guitar! It may not be good for me, though — I was going to work out last night but picked up the guitar to just play for a few minutes, and before I knew it the gym was closed. And I picked it up this morning, just for a minute, and now I’m two hours late for work (fortunately I’m self-employed).
I was a bit apprehensive buying another guitar sight unseen, but trusted that this time would be different. Wow! Spearfish™ is stunning! And the most comfortable guitar I’ve ever played…sitting down it just melts into my body, absolutely perfectly contoured. I love the deep carve on the arm rest, and the neck carve makes the upper frets a breeze to access.
I wasn’t sure if I would be comfortable with the thinness of the Element™ neck, but it was love at first touch. And the fan-frets are the most comfortable ones I have encountered, just right. It took almost no time to get used to. Playability is off the charts, virtually effortless.
And the tone! I played it clean for a while, and was actually a bit taken aback when I switched to an overdriven sound…the first note just leapt out, with such clarity and sustain. Truly spectacular!
I have been using the neck humbucker most of all (has always been my favorite position), and then the bridge, Strat, and Tele positions, as those seemed most familiar before I knew exactly what I was dealing with. I have used the tone knob quite a bit, as I have played everything from straight ahead jazz to rock and blues. I love how expressive the guitar is, and the action is absolutely perfect…it almost plays itself.
My wife commented how great the guitar sounds, and she has never done that with any of the other guitars I’ve owned. I have loved my (other brand) headless model, and figured it was about as good as it gets, but Spearfish™ is in a different league.
A million thanks for the guitar, it is perfect! I sincerely appreciate the attention to detail that is so obvious in every aspect of the guitar. Feel free to use me for a reference should anyone want a recommendation. All the best —
It is such a joy to get time with dear friends, especially involving music. When Steve Sjuggerud invited me to visit him in Florida this past week, it was an immediate yes.
The occasion was a live performance featuring Steve, Dan Ostrowski (drums), and acoustic guitarist Mike Dawes. Mike was visiting from UK, enroute to tour dates of his own. Also, we would be filming video…of the live performance, plus interviews.
More on that soon.
The next several days were just Mike, Steve, and me hanging out and testing guitars. Steve owns a stunning collection of original iconic vintage gear, lovingly curated, in perfect playing condition: Trainwreck, 1969 100-watt Marshall, Fender 1959 Strat. Plus some of the best new gear: Gil Yaron 1959 Les Paul replica, 1964 Fender Tweed replica, Blug amplifier system.
Essential benchmark guitar tone references.
Against them, we would be comparing two Goshawk™ 6-string prototype guitars I’d just completed.
What you might not know, what you might not expect, Mike Dawes — although known for his acoustic skills — is actually one of the best electric guitarists I’ve ever heard. His playing is fluid, melodic, effortless. Metal, shred…
Mike and Steve ripping together through Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” at concert volume still has me grinning ear to ear, a few days and a few thousand miles later.
Annie Grunwald composed a short piece of music to demo some of the sounds of “Purple Haze Relic” Goshawk™ 6-string guitar. I absolutely love her playing on this. Just over a minute long, she weaves an evocative sojourn.
Every year I grow increasingly grateful for the wonderful people around me. Life — and this journey into Art — is truly made possible by these connections.
Profound gratitude to all of my clients; it is a gift to build for you.
Steve Blucher: this…sound. For showing me the way. Eric Corpus.
Steve Sjuggerud: excellence in nuance.
Ede Wright: Hall of Fame test pilot.
Valeria Karaseva: focus. And knowing when to take me to the wilderness.
Bill Pegg. Ken Kinter. David Newsam. Killick (of course). Scott Baker.
Gethyn. Masi. Tricia. Gary Culver. Inseparable companions on the trek to Mordor.
Dad, for showing me the true meaning of courage and persistence. Mom, for walking beside him no matter how steep the mountain. Love you both so much.
And those we will miss: George Nishimura, Hank Rudderow, Patricia Hurley.
RT: “What do you tend to listen to whilst practicing yoga?”
(we’ve discovered another commonality this year)
Killick: “No music typically…the ambient sounds of hvac unit, birds, dogs, and the like. Had an amazing and fun session with guitarist Se’nam Palmer yesterday…”
RT: “Killick Christmas Album!!!”
(fifty minutes pass)
Killick: I’m: Bezel
Killick: “It’s a really fun and intense album.”
Let’s listen together.
PS: I also really love Killick’s impish wordplay and Photoshop work via his discography. Check out the album covers.
Steve Sjuggerud just filmed a live demo video explaining tones and features of Goshawk™ 6-string guitar.
A lot of thought and effort was invested into creating truly useable controls. You’ll understand as you watch the video. Steve is playing Goshawk™ direct into a Trainwreck replica. There are no pedals or channel switching.
He coaxes an astonishing range of textures from the guitar using just the onboard controls.
Grateful thanks to Steve Sjuggerud and Steve Blucher.
Sourced a piece of solid cherry two inches thick by fifteen inches wide. It was an old tree, with evenly spaced growth rings — moderately spaced — indicating decades of consistent growth and reliable access to sunlight + water.
A good life for a tree.
I’m extending the Modern Archtop™ design philosophy. Eliminating the Positional Constant String Pitch Control System™ in favor of the Intonation Cantilever™ solo tuner-bridges. Significant savings in mass, which allows me to play with the body structure.
I fully free the soundboard by floating it above a carbon fiber Torso Touch™ back — dampening is eliminated.
String-to-string response across the bass/treble spectrum is absolutely stunning. One of my best guitars in terms of dynamics and touch sensitivity.
I’m admittedly a little in love with this instrument right now.
Named for the raptor which populates broad latitudes across North America and Eurasia. (With thanks to Gethyn)
Goshawk™ six string guitar features:
• Swamp ash solid body (specify finish option)
• Torrefied figured flame maple neck
• Advantage™ neck profile
• Hipshot locking tuners
• Stainless steel frets
• 25.5” scale length
• Exclusive DiMarzio™ pickups
• 5-way hum-canceling w/volume & tone
• Carbon fiber pickguard
• Intonation Cantilever™ patented bridges precision machined from solid stainless steel
You may have noticed a few changes.
If you’re new, everything may look entirely unfamiliar. Welcome.