Zion guitars anyone?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by chimaera1982, Nov 30, 2005.


  1. chimaera1982

    chimaera1982 Member

    Messages:
    145
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Am interested in getting a Zion model 50 off the bay, anyone has any experience with this particalar zion model or any zions in general? Any info would be appreciated. How does it compares with the other boutique builders like suhr, melancon, andersons?

    Cheers
     
  2. trisonic

    trisonic Member

    Messages:
    13,163
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    NJ out of England
    Depends on how old they are.
    I have an early Zion that was built by Ken Hoover himself but I'm not sure if he has any connection with the company for the past few years - that's not to say that the news ones are bad, though. Like anything people prefer the ones built by the originator.
    Ken had a good connection with Joe Barden at the time and mine has his "Standard" pick ups which I like over the "Deluxe" versions.

    Dunno whether there is a collecters market for Zion's though.....

    Best, Pete.
     
  3. Riscchip

    Riscchip Member

    Messages:
    2,039
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    The one I had was as well made as any other boutique strat I've owned (Anderson, Lentz, Melancon, Fender CS, etc.):

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Gadowguitars

    Gadowguitars Member

    Messages:
    78
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Zion puts out a great product..they build everything in house these days. The ones that were built in the "Ken Hoover" were not built by him...they were built from parts subbed out from other companies.
     
  5. trisonic

    trisonic Member

    Messages:
    13,163
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    NJ out of England
    Maybe, but when he was based in downtown Greensboro? I watched him make mine.

    Best, Pete.
     
  6. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,449
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MD
    I bought a very early Zion strat neck in NC years ago. It was branded ESP on the heel. Still a nice neck though. I've played a few more recent ones and was never disapointed. Used Zions are generally under valued.
     
  7. mouzer

    mouzer Member

    Messages:
    1,049
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Wow that guitar is slick!
     
  8. Bo Faulkner

    Bo Faulkner Member

    Messages:
    3,822
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Red Oak NC
    I have a '96 RT Classic with stunning top and bardens.. custom built for me with some wiring tweaks. The ONLY guitar I would never consider selling. Cant go wrong with them in my opinion. The 50 is a great tele that I would choose over any USA standard tele. The newer ones I have seen since Dale Brown took over are as good or better than the days of old. they have definetly kept up the quality
     
  9. trisonic

    trisonic Member

    Messages:
    13,163
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    NJ out of England
    Ha, Ha, I expected you to say Godin.................when Hoover was doing that he was issueing specifications.
    Even when he was based at Phoenix Drive (I can't remember the downtown address) he had a favourite local neck builder who came in to work on the "bespoke" guitars. Remember that blue job on the cover of Guitar Player in the eighties? Did they give it away?
    The most surprising thing about Ken was that he always reminded me of a handsome, NFL Quarterback - not that I know anything about American Football - you know what I mean though?

    Best, Pete.
     
  10. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

    Messages:
    4,693
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Platteville, Wisconsin
    Bob Hartman of the Christian rock band Petra endorsed Zion Guitars for years. You should check out some of their eighties stuff - amazing guitar playing, very tasty.

    I don't know if Hartman is still endorsing Zion guitars, or not.
     
  11. SouthernShred

    SouthernShred Member

    Messages:
    3,542
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Lawrenceville, GA

    You look familiar...do I know you? :D

    Ty Tabor of King's X and Phil Keaggy are famous users. I've played several and they were all very, very well built...I played a few duds in there (not workmanship, just tonal duds) but for the most part, really nice guitars.
     
  12. Rock Johnson

    Rock Johnson Member

    Messages:
    4,693
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Platteville, Wisconsin
    Naaaaaaaaaaah.

    :JAM
     
  13. currypowder

    currypowder Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    356
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I think that may have been the one I just sold on ebay. This is it:

    [​IMG]

    It sold for just a hair above $700, which was a steal for the buyer (in my opinion). The only reason I sold it was to purchase a different Zion Fifty with a color and neck that I had a much greater desire for:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Fortunately, I didn't have to pay much more for the new one, and for me, the upgraded neck was worth the few extra $'s.

    I also have a Zion Radicaster that is a few years older, but similar to the new Fifty in color. Over the years I have had 4 different Zions come through my hands.

    I have found all of them to be top quality, on par with other high end makers. The necks are especially nice. A little wider and flatter than a typical fender, which I prefer.

    Greg
     
  14. trisonic

    trisonic Member

    Messages:
    13,163
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    NJ out of England
    Couldn't see the pics, unfortunately.

    Zion was/is the last hold out for the (very) wide, slim necks. He did do other shapes but they were hand carved, custom jobs.

    I can't remember the name of my model, it has the 3/4 like Strat shaped body, Barden Standard P'ups, Candy Apple Red by Wayne Garrett (?), Maple neck, Ebony fingerboard. Quite plain really, ultra quiet noise-wise.
    Ken also set up my entire collection (at the time) - he was great at that, really.

    Best, Pete.
     
  15. currypowder

    currypowder Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    356
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Sorry about the pics. I edited the post so the pictures show up.

    Greg
     
  16. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,475
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    Looks like you took the pickguard off that one. It really is beautiful!! :AOK
    I wouldnt have thought of that combination.
     
  17. currypowder

    currypowder Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    356
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    No, the pickguard had just been removed when that picture was taken. It has since been re-installed (a white pearloid). It's in transit now, but here is a picture taken by the seller with the pickguard installed:

    [​IMG]

    I'm usually not a big fan of gold hardware, but, to me anyway, it works on this guitar. Also, the color is translucent, but the grain isn't showing through on the pictures. It's due to arrive on Friday.

    Greg
     
  18. Bo Faulkner

    Bo Faulkner Member

    Messages:
    3,822
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Red Oak NC
    That is what I call a Hot 50!
     
  19. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

    Messages:
    2,187
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Location:
    MD
  20. Riscchip

    Riscchip Member

    Messages:
    2,039
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    Wow, that is pretty sweet looking. Very nice design.
     

Share This Page