Soloway guitars

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by drummondrs, Jan 26, 2006.


  1. drummondrs

    drummondrs Member

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    I know Soloway guitars are getting more and more press at the moment and I was seriously considering one that Jim was selling. But..I was wondering are you planning to release maple necks or have you already done so? Thanks
     
  2. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    Did you mean necks or fingerboards? We use a variety of woods for our fingerboards, but all of our necks are maple. We haven't done any maple fingerboards to date, but we'd certianly be willing to do one on order.
     
  3. Axemeister

    Axemeister Member

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    Jim's guitars are magnificent and unique. I had the pleasure of lusting after a couple of them at NAMM.
     
  4. Dan Desy

    Dan Desy Member

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    I sure hope you're willing to do one ;)

    And drummondrs, allow me to wholeheartedly recommend the Swan. They are wonderful guitars, perfectly built, extremely playable and they sound like nothing else!
     
  5. cSuttle

    cSuttle Member

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    Just played my first two Soloway during the NAMM show at the TGP breakfast. Jim had a hollowbody seven string there was are pretty Kwelllll . . . It was definately a player of a guitar.
     
  6. eric102673

    eric102673 Member

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    Hey Jim!

    I can't believe I missed you at the NAMM breakfast. We were there early and stayed for a good while but when I asked if anyone had seen ya, they said you had to leave because you had a booth. I tried to make it to see you at the show but there's just too much to take in and I missed out on a lot. Grrr. :(

    Anyway, things are a little vague as to when I'll be able to make my trip up to the Portland burbs but it'll either be this summer or early in the fall. Is there a time of year that's better than others? I plan on being up that way for 3 weeks or so and really would love to snap some Swans in progress photos.

    Along with visiting my brother, one of the guys on the TNDP lives up near there and a buddy from school lives about an hour away, so we figured it'd be awesome to see things first hand. Mybe get some shots of you doing your thing or even get some insight into your building techniques. We'll stay out of your way while you work, I promise.

    Let me know what time of year is good for you and we'll plan around it.

    -e.

    p.s. I did get to see a Swan in the Fuchs booth. Afraid that's the only one I noticed there. How many did you take to the show?
     
  7. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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  8. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    I played the Soloways for a little while at the booth at NAMM. They are amazing, superlative instruments on every level. I couldn't possibly recommend Jim and his instruments highly enough.
     
  9. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys for all the many kind words.

    Jon and Dan, it always means the most when it comes for the people who own one.

    Cliff, I'm really pleased to see you describe our guitar as a "player". Our number one criteria for everything we do is simply "will this be a good tool for making music"? Everything beyond that is secondary.

    And Erik, I brought 13 guitars in all including 10 chambered bodies and three of the new solid bodies. There were two at the DiMarzio booth, one at the Fuchs booth, and eight at our booth with the two extras rotating in and out at the three locations.

    BTW, it's a lot easier to check them out in person now. I have guitars with dealers in both southern and northern California as well as Long Island and I'm getting ready to send out a demo guitar on a prolonged road trip so players will be able to try them for a few days in the privacy of their own homes. So if anyone wants a hands on demo, just give me a call and it can be arranged.
     
  10. onemind

    onemind Member

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    I had listed my bubinga Swan for sale in the emporium as part of my desperate attempt to raise funds for my basement renovation (which was turned into a swimming pool along with RH's and some other long island GP members this past October). But this thread along with the little devil who rides along on my shoulder most days have given me an official case of "Cold Swan Feet" She is no longer on the market. I've just reported the same to Jim in an email. I think I'll go rescue her from the basement now.

    S
     
  11. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Does anyone recognize the right elbow in this picture?

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    Sigh...........I sure loved that amp. Best clean tones I've ever experienced.
     
  13. VegasGreg

    VegasGreg Member

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    It was a great pleasure for me to meet Jim Soloway. It was my first experience with a Swan in person and to say I was made a fan is an understatement.

    Just hearing the enthusiasm from Jim in explaining the "hows" and "whys" of his instrument made me a believer. A class act for sure.

    I'm looking forward to being on the receiving end of a Swan 7 string as soon as I can swing it. It will be a great compliment to my current instruments.
     
  14. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    A maple boarded Swan would be tempting, even though I'm not a particular adherent of thin or bolt-on necks any more. I'd dig some shop shots as well, after spending a little time in a guitar shop and watching Phil Jacoby's PLEK do its thing last year, I've developed a bit of a fetish for tools of just about any size that help a guy build (or improve) guitars.

    I missed you at the show too, Jim. I had an early appointment Saturday and I think I left before you arrived. I hope you did well at the show - more orders means more money, which means more employees - which means more guitars... and everybody knows more guitars is good.

    --chiba
     
  15. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Your guitars through that amp were magnificant.
    Who's Bruno was that anyway?
    Did you ever find out what model it was?
     
  16. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    I wonder how many people would really jump at a maple board? The only reason we haven't done them, is that as a player, I personally don't like the feel of a finished maple board, but that may be my short sightedness.

    As for shop photos, I'm doing a redesign of my site right now and there will be a bunch of them. I'm afraid most of it is pretty low-tech and antiquated. The real key to our quality is simply the fact that I've managed to surround myself with some really talented people who know how to do things the old fashioned way. Here's the crew in action.

    Here's Devon doing the unenviable task of inlaying fingerboard dots with the frets already in place. I know that's backwards, but so is a lot of what we do. We also drill for the controls after the finish is complete. Doing these steps out of order at the end allows us to be a lot more flexible and means we don't have to make decisions on the some of the details until the very end of the process.

    [​IMG]

    Next we have Mike working on what I consider to be the single most difficult task we have: binding the sound hole. People always ask me what the trick is since there has to be a perfect fit in the upper corner. The simple answer: there's no trick, just a lot of patience and Mike's incredibly steady hand.

    [​IMG]

    And finally we have the true master of the operation: Todd Mylet scraping the nitro finish on the honeybust solid body that some of you saw at our booth. I never cease to be amazed at how deep Todd's skill set goes. Without him, Soloway Guitars probably wouldn't exist.

    [​IMG]

    These guys make my life easy. All I have to do is come up with yet another hair brained idea and sure enough, they'll make it come to life.
     
  17. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Absolutely beautiful guitars. What is it like bending strings on a guitar with a 27 inch neck?
     
  18. DestroyAllGuitars

    DestroyAllGuitars Member

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    Mr. Hanky,
    The amp was my Bruno Cowtipper 45. My favorite amp for clean tones and
    pedals bar none. It has all the good bits of a Super Reverb minus the bad
    bits. Cowtipper + Swan is a truly remarkable sound. My most used setup
    for recording over the past year.

    AJ,
    Bending on the Swan is a piece of cake. The necks have a fairly flat radius
    so you can bend to your hearts desire without fretting out. The 27" scale
    adds a bit of tension but not enough to create any difficulties in bending.
    I much prefer it over shorter scale lengths where the strings can tend to
    feel a bit rubbery. I find that a little bit of resistance from the strings
    helps one to maintain better control thus improving one's phrasing
    especially during faster passages and parts involving tricky hand movements
    on the neck.I perform most of my bends with my pinky finger and I absolutely
    love playing the Swans. They are the most used guitars for recording in my
    studio, with a total of 7 on hand as of today.
     
  19. AJ Love

    AJ Love Senior Member

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    Whoa! You've got a much stronger pinky than I do... thanks for info... they sound like real cool guitars. I'd sure like to try one out someday
     
  20. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    The design of the neck is intended to counteract most of the increased tension resulting from the longer scale length. As Cliff mentioned, the radius of the fingerboard (16") is almost flat and the frets are huge (Dunlop 6100's). Both of these are intended to reduce the amount of finger pressure required to fret and bend a note. How well it works depends at least in part on the player. Guthrie Govan described it as "something of a beast" while Scott Lerner didn't even notice the difference. I personally play with 11s on mine and I find it very comfortable. On the other hand, my bending is pretty much resticted to the occassional vibrato.

    The tonal effect of the longer scale length is something else altogether. It is instantly noticable with a much faster attack, increased clarity and articulation, and very strong overtones.

    Probably the best thing to do is talk to the people who own them or have played them and ask them how it feels. Even better, put your own hands on one and give it a try in person. If we don't have one near you, I try to keep a demo guitar around and I'd be happy to send it out for a demo.
     

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