Zion Guitar Technology - show me what you got!

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by guitardude5, Jun 23, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. guitardude5

    guitardude5 Member

    Messages:
    964
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Location:
    Tampa Bay area, Florida
    I have owned quite a few of these over the years. I am always very interested to see these guitar. How about posting pics of yours? I also love to hear a good story about them.




    Here are the two new Zions I picked up last week at my local friendly Zion dealer. The Ninety is alder/quilt top rootbeer burst with Duncan Alnico II and the Ghost piezo acoustic system. The Classic Maple is mahogany with quilt top royal mist. It's got Duncans in it, too. Both guitars play and sound FANTASTIC! I am very happy with these two.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also, check out Ken Hoover's myspace for some other cool Zion info
     
  2. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    I haven't played a Zion guitar since the early 90s. During the late 80s and early 90s I worked at a Zion dealer and personally owned numerous Zion guitars. Ken was always the greatest guy to deal with. I owned a Powerglide and Ken graciously allowed me to trade that on my first Radicaster. I don't recall the exact year, but it was approximately '88. In my mind he was always the poster child for how all in the musical instrument industry should treat their customers.
     
  3. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,650
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Used to have a Primera .. nice guitar not my sound though.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Lerxst2112

    Lerxst2112 Member

    Messages:
    472
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Very nice guys. I ordered one, and had a nightmarish experience, but not because of them.
    The estimated wait time when I ordered mine was like 15 weeks or something. I paid my money, and they started work. They got all the way to the finishing part/drying room, and then a hurricane hit, knocked out power (for some reason their generator failed or something), and my guitar was destroyed.
    They offered to build me another, and allowed me to make several upgrades at no additional cost. Once again, this was like another 15 weeks to wait, but I said yes. They made it, shipped it, and it was destroyed in shipping by UPS.

    So, I never got my Zion... but they were always very, very nice and extremely helpful. They really wanted my business, and they wanted to make me happy. I appreciate that...
     
  5. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,650
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Wow two guitars destroyed.. that just is so wrong!
     
  6. guitardude5

    guitardude5 Member

    Messages:
    964
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Location:
    Tampa Bay area, Florida
    ahhh yes... UPS. That's another thread all together. I had a Yamaha Ty Tabor guitar destroyed by the boys in brown. I'm sorry about your loss.
     
  7. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,147
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Incline Village, NV (Lake Tahoe )
    Drool!!!!!!!
     
  8. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

    Messages:
    2,462
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    West Los Angeles, California
  9. KENHOOVER

    KENHOOVER Member

    Messages:
    313
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    Pleasant Garden, NC
  10. LTE

    LTE Member

    Messages:
    1,562
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Location:
    In my own little world of destruction
    Cool.

    Is the Zion office open to visitors?

    I would love to come and take a tour of the place if one is offered.

    Who knows, maybe I can win a Zion for being the 1,572 visitor for the year.
    :AOK

    Keep making great guitars.
     
  11. guitardude5

    guitardude5 Member

    Messages:
    964
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Location:
    Tampa Bay area, Florida
    Hi Ken! Welcome to TGP. Glad you are here!

    As far as the Zion office being open, call Dale at 919-754-9790. I was driving up to Virginia a couple years ago (I live in Florida). I called Dale and asked him if he would mind if I stopped by and had a look. He was very accomodating. He took me through the entire build process - all the way from the design drawings to the paint booth. Even my wife had a good time (a non musician) checking out how a guitar is born.
     
  12. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

    Messages:
    2,187
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    MD
    Very nice guitars guys. Keep the pics coming. I have to say that the Primera is quite possibly my favorite singlecut guitar ever. Very nice one, Pai! :) Too bad it didn't work out for ya. Wolfe Guitars has had this Primera listed for quite some time, but man is it a knockout beauty:

    http://www.gbase.com/Stores/Gear/GearDetails.aspx?Item=780650
     
  13. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,650
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    The one on GBase is an actual Keaggy model with the extra volume knob .. also cost a couple grand more :D
     
  14. guitardude5

    guitardude5 Member

    Messages:
    964
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Location:
    Tampa Bay area, Florida
    Here is a picture of me and Phil Keaggy with my Primera Keaggy model (#9) at one of his concerts back in January. Unfortunately, the camera settings were all wrong, so the picture quality isn't that good. I'll get a nicer picture of this guitar up later this week, the top is incredible.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    Sounds like I need a history lesson! :D After reading this review of the Primera I am eager to try one. Am I correct is assuming that the first 10 Primeras were made to Phil's specs and that later models were built to different specs. Correct? What are the differences?
     
  16. Bo Faulkner

    Bo Faulkner Member

    Messages:
    3,824
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Red Oak NC
    I believe there were 10 built to Phil's specs but the Primera had been on the market before then. I have owned an RT Classic for 10 years. Only guitar i will never sell. It is sort of a one off having 3 knobs instead of 2. The 3rd knob is a variable coil tap for the 2 barden S deluxe pickups. Goes from full on fatness to kinda hollow stinging tone. I think they called it a "skank" knob or something like that.Fantastic company.
     
  17. KENHOOVER

    KENHOOVER Member

    Messages:
    313
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    Pleasant Garden, NC

    HISTORY LESSON

    The Keaggy Signature Primera and the Primera are identical except for the wiring & control layouts. The Keaggy has 4 knobs and the Primera has 2 knobs.
    The Keaggy layout enables you to do those trademark violin/volume swells that Keaggy is known for. No doubt, years on a 4 knob L.P. led to this. This phenomena is really a quirk but Phil capitalized on it, making part of his "bag of tricks".
    If you turn the neck/top volume control all the way down, the bridge/bottom all the way up and put the selector in the middle, the neck pot becomes essentially a switch. The pot at "0" shorts the guitar off, but at "1" it is full volume bridge pickup.
    Phil's technique of simultaneously picking the string and turning up the volume control with his pinky produces that swelling sound. Also critical is the location of that knob, so you can rest the heel of your hand while comfortably reaching that knob. He dubbed it his "Nik-Nik Maximizer". I guess that is a Nikname (drumroll - cymbal crash!)
    Another factor is the use of those Phil Keaggy Signature custom shop Seymour Duncan pickups. They are harmonically richer as evidenced by Phil's tone (used by Phil for over 20 years now.)
    We were able to make the Nik-Nik phenomena work on a two knob guitar, utilizing a push-pull knob. Down is normal taper, up is quick taper (Nik-Nik).
    The switches are three position for each pickup, technically, series/split/parallel. That gives a big palette of sounds. Good luck on copping Phil's technique.
    Due to a managerial agreement, there were only 10 signed ones made. However, we can duplicate the specs and I bet Phil would sign it backstage at a concert. Incidentally, if you've never seen him play, attend a concert, go to http://www.philkeaggy.com/ You're in for a treat!

    KEAGGY WIRED PRIMERA
    [​IMG]


    TWO KNOB PRIMERA
    [​IMG]


    KEAGGY WIRED RADICASTER
    [​IMG]
    OWNERS REVIEWS:
    http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data4/Zion/Keaggy_Radacaster_Custom-1.html
     
  18. trisonic

    trisonic Member

    Messages:
    13,163
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    NJ out of England
    Hey, Ken,
    Remember the T Model you built for me in Candy Apple Red with Barden Standards? I was working for Capitol/EMI at the time - you were still at Holbrook Street; English guy. You also set up my ES335 at the next address which I can't remember - Phoenix Drive?????

    Still got it, still gets an outing, hell, I didn't even sell the Bardens!

    Best, Pete.
     
  19. KENHOOVER

    KENHOOVER Member

    Messages:
    313
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    Pleasant Garden, NC
    Sure I remember, record company guy with English accent. Phoenix Drive is correct. Be glad you kept the Bardens as they are expensive!
     
  20. guitardude5

    guitardude5 Member

    Messages:
    964
    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Location:
    Tampa Bay area, Florida
    That surf green Radicaster is awesome looking!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page