McNaught vs. Driskill

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by LeifK, Jun 13, 2005.


  1. LeifK

    LeifK Supporting Member

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    I have a McNaught and it is awesome...but have never played a Driskill...but really want one.


    To those that own both...how do they compare? Is there one that is better than the other?


    Just curious...
     
  2. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    There are a number of Driskill owners in SoCal. I'd think you'd be able to check one out.
     
  3. niersbach

    niersbach Member

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    I just cant see one being that noticeably better than the other, it will be more of a case of owner preference than the build quality being noticeably different between the 2. I just dont see how any of the ones I own could possibly be built any better than they already are. I mean I think it all comes down to how asthetically pleasing the shape of either guitar is to you more than one being a better player than the other.

    I mean you already own a MCNaught Leif, how do you think it could be improved playability wise?? Possibly change the pickups, change the type of stoptail maybe? But to say one is better thanthe other I think is all going to be down to personal taste. I guess if you like Joes hand made tremolo's vice the mass produced ones the Daves are using could be about the only thing that would be up in the air.
     
  4. styles76

    styles76 Member

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    Hi LeifK,
    I own both a Driskill Diablo and a Mcnaught Phoenix Rising.

    http://www.roberttaylorphotography.com/driskill.html

    http://www.roberttaylorphotography.com/mcnaught.html

    Both are not far apart in price with the options I chose. Niersbach is right -- they both have great build quality. But I will venture to say that there are some differences. Joe Driskill makes his own tremolos and bridges out of solid brass -- they are beautiful. He also makes his pickups rings which are of the highest quality. Driskills also have no heel which is very comfortable to play. His necks use carbon fiber reinforcements that he makes from raw materials. He also makes truss rods that are stronger than those readily available. I have to believe that the sum of all these things and many other touches I haven’t mentioned help the Diablo exceed. I literally never have to tune it!

    That was strictly from a build perspective. Tone wise -- they are both killer. My examples are too different to compare to each other so I won't try. If we're talking about other things like wait time, the comparisons get a little easier. I custom ordered my Mcnaught and it came in 4 weeks. Most of you are familiar with Joe's wait time which was tough for me. On the bright side of the wait for my Driskill, I was in the loop and did have major input with picking a top and other woods used. My Mcnaught was left to chance. (others may have different experiences, but this was the case with me)

    All in all -- they are both great guitars. To be honest, I will always pick up the Driskill first. From the wood choices, to the hardware, to the vibe with the build experience (though long) was something I wouldn't trade.

    Keep the Mcnaught and get a Driskill to keep it company!

    Rob
     
  5. petrucci

    petrucci Member

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    I have owned both and have many friends that currently own both and have many diffrent guitars to compare and I would say the Driskill is easily best IMHO.

    The Driskill has much better upper fret access.
    The Driskill has better weight balance.
    The average Driskill seems to be a full pound or 2 lighter than the average mcnaught.
    I think all the Driskills sounded and played better than any of the Mcnaughts by noticable degrees.
    The top and finish quality of the Driskills beats out the mcnaughts too-they really are stunning.
    I also feel that the body design has a more original look/ feel than any of the mcnaught models but this is a very subjective opinion.

    In my experience (and for my personal taste) the random Driskill kills the random mcnaught.

    This is only my personal opinion and the intent is to help someone who asked the question.
    Clearly both guitar brands are of the highest quality.
     
  6. snoopy1@isoc.ne

    snoopy1@isoc.ne Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a Mcnaught a Driskill on order a PRS, EB My next guitar is a Myka and a Thorn then my quest is finished
     
  7. emjee

    emjee Supporting Member

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    does the mcnaught have stainless steel frets? I have never played an axe with these type of frets, only have heard about how they destroy a luthiers tools to do a fret dressing, crowning.
    Is that the case?

    thanks
    emjee
     
  8. LeifK

    LeifK Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far. I was only asking because I've heard mostly good things about Driskill. There was one case where a guy played 2 used ones and wasn't too impressed...but that has been the only case I've heard. I was mainly asking to see if there were any other rare cases of dislike.

    I really like my McNaught. I ordered it semi hollow so it's lighter and it really plays great. I'm considering trading for a used Driskill, but it would most likely mean letting go of a PRS or two...I'm really attracted to the looks of the Driskill and I don't thing I'll be able to forget about it until I try one out for myself.
     
  9. goof1073

    goof1073 Member

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    +1 Totally how I feel too...
     
  10. petrucci

    petrucci Member

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    The case about the "unimpressive" Driskills had something to do with me as I had been told that some had "flaws" and was told to watch out.
    I put up a thread to see if anyone could verify that and/ or had had any problems themselves and instead people got pissed that I asked at all.

    Anyway, after talking to a ton of people and having the opportunity to see and play quite a few of them, I believe that that information was supplied by people who may have it out for Driskill.

    I have not seem one "credible" account of a bad or "flawed" Driskill. If you traded 10 PRS's for 1 Driskill, I would think you would come out happy. Trust me, its worth the "risk".
     
  11. LeifK

    LeifK Supporting Member

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    That's the kind of thing I was looking to hear. Thanks!

    Is there much difference in value in the early ones vs. the newer ones...say within the first 10. Nothing "special" about it...just mahogany w/ a maple cap.
     
  12. petrucci

    petrucci Member

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    Strangly enough, the newer ones seem to sell for more used than the older ones.
    I would say (Joe also says this all the time) that the new ones are much better that the old ones in terms or sound, playability and the finish/top quality as Joe has made so many advances since those early guitars.
     
  13. Dan Desy

    Dan Desy Member

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    All those guitars are amazing instruments. Howver, no guitar is for everyone. So it's not surprising that someone wasn't impressed with a Driskill. Someone else would probably go ga-gha over the same guitars. This has absolutely nothing to do with flaws or whatever. Just a matter of opinion/preferences.

    All custom built guitars carry that risk. You order one and wait for a good period of time to get it. will it knowck your socks out. You certainly hope it will!
     
  14. LeifK

    LeifK Supporting Member

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    yeah...this one is #6...so I'm not sure if I should chance it since I can't play it first.
     
  15. graydane

    graydane Silver Supporting Member

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    yeah saw that one on ebay and nobody bid on it. Price IMO was too steep.
     
  16. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Member

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    How many luthiers do make their own bridges? Joe, btw, is a one man operation... when you buy a Driskill you get a true hand made beauty by Father Joe without a production crew.

    Like Paul Smith did back so many years ago but I don't think Paul made his own bridges.

    If you get to the DFW area, set up a visit with Joe to see his operation.. then take him to lunch or dinner... you almost have to force him to eat. Work-a-manic is spelled "Driskill".

    The only parts on his guitars not made by him are the pickups, frets and tuners...yea, yea... and the wiring.

    Wear two pair of skivvies, you'll need to remove the first layer after you get in there.
    :D

    Bob Collins
     
  17. Marty Horne

    Marty Horne Guest

    Never had the pleasure of playing a Driskill but I can't imagine finding a neck that feels any better to me than my McNaught's.
     

  18. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha :D

    He said finished... you crack me up!

    I've never played a Driskill, never even seen one in person... maybe if I can get moved to TX...

    +1 one on the DTM neck (well the whole guitar really). My rosewood G5 is sweet! The DTM G5 and Melancon Classic Artist have jumped ahead of the PRS guitars in my lineup...
     
  19. DrPCR

    DrPCR Member

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    Bob, thats not totally true, Joe owns "SLACKER" so its not totally hand made ;)

    I own a PRE " slacker" driskill too, hand carved #5. :)

    If Joe didn't own "slacker" it would be a 5 yr wait for them!!
     
  20. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Member

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    I'm assuming the "Slacker" is the machine he uses to carve his guitars, necks and metal parts.

    And Paul Smith used a carving machine when he started getting busy.

    I realy didn't mean to imply Joe "hand carves" his guitars with chisels and plainers.

    In any case, each guitar Joe puts out is one of a kind.

    And if more of you Texas readers and visitors would take Joe out to lunch or dinner more often, he'd get more done with the extra energy.

    :) Bob
     

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