Monday, 18 April 2016

Dave Of England hand-built solidbody - Zemaitis related

Here's a stunning UK hand-built guitar from a luthier I was hitherto unaware of (hey, you can't know them all) and which has strong stylistic and heritage links to the legendary guitars made by the late Tony Zemaitis.

It's a Dave Of England guitar, currently being offered for sale on eBay. It'd probably be easiest just to copy the text of the auction rather than reinterpret what the seller has written so well already:

This is an unique guitar made in 2011, completely by hand, for me, by now-retired guitar maker (luthier!) Kevin Parsons. We made guitars using patterns and jigs supplied by Tony Zemaitis upon his retirement, and this is one of our last. Our guitars are/were all “Dave Of England” guitars, and we have built them for the likes of Ronnie Wood, Pete Townshend and many more. All by hand.

The body shape is one of Kevin Parsons’ original designs, it is quite slim when compared to a Les Paul, but has a similar tone, as the best quality mahogany and flamed maple are used. The top is an incredible flamed bookmatched maple set, and the back is 3 pieces of mahogany with reverse grain construction, as favoured by Tony Zemaitis. There is a smooth cutaway for easy access to the dusty end. The two-piece bound neck is mahogany, too, with a rosewood fingerboard and rosewood head face on the Zemaitis-shaped headstock.

The high quality Gotoh tuners are complemented by wooden buttons.

The bridge and tailpiece are hand-made, as well as the pickup surrounds, all from top grade aluminium. They too are made in the Zemaitis style, to get the fantastic sustain and tone that these instruments were noted for. The bridge and tailpiece are mounted into threaded brass inserts in the body, using galvanised steel bolts. The aluminium parts are all hand engraved by Kevin Parsons.

The pickups are from the Creamery, hand-made again in the UK, to order, just for this guitar. They sound powerful, and quite thick, in a nice way.

The finish is nitrocellulose over a very old stain, supplied to me by Mr. Zemaitis. The colour fades out after a year or two to give a very vintage amber look. Although shiny and glossy, the finish is very thin, again, a Zemaitis trait. It helps resonance and shows grain like antique furniture, it is not like glass or a Japanese instrument, you can see and feel the undulations in the grain.

This instrument is quite a bespoke affair, and won’t suit someone looking for a Les Paul lookalike. But if someone was looking for an easy playing modern hand-made, great-sounding unique electric solid body guitar, they should look no further.

It is a really excellent professional quality instrument, made from the finest materials by hand, here in England.

Scale length is 25” and the scalloped nut is approximately 1 11/16ths of an inch.

The case is a Hiscox.

Don’t confuse this with, or compare it to, a factory-made guitar. It is a complete one-off and took many, many hours to build.

This guitar was originally sold to a studio owner friend of mine, who took great care of it then traded it back to me for a vintage Telecaster.

A Dave Of England solid body guitar was listed recently at Sotheby’s of New York at $17,500 or  thereabouts. One of my old headstock badges with my name on it is currently for sale for $499! Grab this one while you can.

Currently listed on eBay UK with a Buy It Now price of £1995.00.

G L Wilson

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  1. Nice - does look very Zemaitis looks like a ridiculously good price for something of that quality

  2. that is very beauty electric guitar, So do you want to buy it. I will buy it for 400$.



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