This Long Dark guitar is the first of a series of guitars that will feature very ancient woods as their soundboard. To honour the stories of these forgotten, long-buried woods, they will all be matched with a complete Gaboon Ebony guitar, as is the 2850 year old “Ancient Sitka” that you see here. I brought the Ancient Sitka to the world with my Slash build. Now I am pleased to bring you a new masterpiece.
The darkest, richest Gaboon Ebony was used for the back and sides, neck, headstock, fingerboard, bridge, binding and rosette. Strands of Pure Silver then trims and separates the binding from the body, and runs up the neck and encompasses the headstalk. Fret markers are Australian opal outlined with pure silver. As a tonewood, Ebony is known for its excellent sustain, and deep bass, and is clear and articulate.
This guitar is a JM model with a 655mm scale length. Inside, the guitar has sitka bracing, dual laminated sides for strength, carbon fiber reinforced neck with 14 frets to the body, dual action truss rod, dual carbon neck stiffeners that extend 3″ into the neck block, 13/4″ nut width, 2 ¼″ string spacing, a custom JOI Guitars pinless Ebony bridge, and 1:21 gear ratio’d Gotoh tuners. SOLD
Brazilian Tulipwood (Dalbergia decipularis) is related to, but much more rare than Brazilian rosewood. It is known to be loud and warm with good separation of notes, as well as having a strong bass, rich overtones and a sustained resonance. It’s existence is restricted to a small area in northern Brazil, where the trees only grow to a maximum of 30 feet tall and 12 inches in diameter. Considering the tree’s limited diameter, it is extremely difficult to find cuts of Tulipwood large enough to accommodate a two-piece back for any larger sized guitar. This guitar is truly unique in that regard.
The two-piece Tulipwood back and sides, are paired with an extremely dense bear-claw Western Red Cedar top, which compliments the tonal qualities of the Tulipwood by adding a warm, smooth and full sound.
This guitar is a medium Jumbo with a 650mm scale length. The guitar has sitka bracing, dual laminated sides for strength, carbon fiber reinforced quilted Maple neck with 14 frets to the body, dual action truss rod, dual carbon neck stiffeners that extend 3″ into the neck block, 111/16″ nut width, 2 ¼″ string spacing, a custom JOI Guitars pinless Ebony bridge, quilted Maple binding, Ebony fretboard, Mother of Pearl fret markers, and 1:21 gear ratio’d Gotoh tuners.
The Raven guitar was built for the “One Tree” exhibit at the Robert Bateman Gallery. The exhibit celebrates the past, present, and future of a particular Bigleaf Maple tree from the Cowichan Valley, so in considering the past, I wanted to celebrate the tree’s Native heritage in the design of the guitar. I am, therefore, very pleased to have collaborated with K’omox band First Nations artist, Karver Everson, on this “One Tree” exhibit guitar. Karver meticulously designed a work of native art called “Raven” which I incorporated into the front of the guitar as Yellow Cedar inlaid into a Red Cedar top, and trimmed out with black Ebony. Cedar was an easy choice for the top as it also has a long history and significance in First Nations culture and has a warm tone. To read more about this Raven guitar and the One Tree exhibit, see our post in the Special Projects section of this website.
This guitar is a small Jumbo with 25.4″ scale. It features a local Western Bigleaf Maple tree back and sides, as mentioned, paired with a Red and Yellow Cedar top. The guitar has sitka bracing, dual laminated sides for strength, carbon fiber reinforced quilted Maple neck with 14 frets to the body, dual action truss rod, dual carbon neck stiffeners that extend 3″ into the neck block, 113/16″ nut width, 2 ¼″ string spacing, a custom JOI Guitars pinless Ebony bridge, nicely detailed Holly wood binding with black trim, Ebony fretboard, Mother of Pearl fret markers, and 1:21 gear ratio’d Gotoh tuners. SOLD
Old growth Alaskan Sitka spruce top provides natural sound holes eaten by the Toredo bug during the wood’s former boom log days. The back and sides are salvaged Vancouver Island Spartan Apple wood, with South American Bloodwood binding, Mahogany neck, and Walrus tooth nut and saddle. It also features a sound port and beveled arm rest. Pictured here, is the Mini Jumbo with 14 fret to the neck, 25.4″ scale length, and Gotoh 510 tuners. 15-1/2″ lower bout, 11-5/8″ upper bout, 4-1/2″ deep, 19-15/16″ long. Can be crafted as OOO, OO, OM, MJ, or Dreadnaught.
Apple wood produces a rich mid-range and balance without favouring the mid and treble frequencies. It is clean and articulate with sustain and clarity much like cherry or maple.
“Equilibrium” – the condition of a system in which all competing influences are balanced, in a wide variety of contexts.
This guitar is inspired by my amazing father: his battle with crack addiction, homelessness, and yet still a wonderful, amazing addition to humankind. Although this guitar is a story inspired by him, I feel it speaks more to humankind itself, with our need to be balanced in life. We all have challenges presented to us throughout our life, and finding the balance in our choice is not always the road we choose. This can lead to what could be called “holes in our lives;” times when we are not quite whole within ourselves. Though, through self inspiration and strength it is always possible to again be in “Equilibrium.” SOLD
Freedom’s combination of Ziricote back and sides with a Master grade Engelman Spruce top offers a loud voice with high overtone content and strong fundamental tones, delivering an overall warm mellow tone that is well suited for light strumming and finger-picking. It is a good choice for players who want a rich, complex tone even when the instrument is played softly. This OM guitar features Ebony binding with a sleek beveled armrest, Ziricote rosette, solid Mahogany neck with 14 frets to the neck, 25.4″ scale length, and Gotoh 510 tuners (1:21 gear ratio).
Ziricote stands apart from other exotic woods with it’s unique grain lines that frequently depict spider webbing, marbled swirls, cloud bursts, mountain ranges, and other captivating patterns. It is highly esteemed for instrument making and for providing an experience identical to the finest Rosewood.