2016 has been a year of new models for Sully Guitars; the Raven has been redesigned, the Revolution will be revealed soon, and today's topic, the release of the Stardust.
The idea was to take the silhouette of the '71 and see what else could be done with it. I wanted to incorporate some retro-futuristic style, but I didn't want to lose the "pointy" aesthetic; for it to be a success, it would have to fit in with the other models, yet stand on its own.
Oh, and I wanted it to look like something that Bowie would have played.
The Stardust is 25.5 scale, features bolt on construction, your choice of the Aero or Raven headstocks (in regular or reversed orientation), slash or block outline inlays, stainless steel frets, with or without a pickguard, and your choice of Hipshot hardtail, two point tremelo, or Floyd Rose locking tremolo. It's available as a 7 string or baritone, and as with all Sully Guitars, no Bigsbys.
Pricing for the Stardust begins at $2350, but to celebrate its launch, I'm offering an early adopter discount; the introductory base price is $2150 for orders placed through the end of 2016!
On Sunday, July 17th, I arrived at Los Angeles International Airport, and after having lunch with friends, I made my way down to Grover's shop in Laguna Hills. This was going to be an incredibly busy and rewarding week. We begun each day at the shop at 6am, finish around 8pm, go get dinner, chat, and do it all over again. Of course while I was there, there were many other guitars being built and Grover had to make sure that everything was moving along as scheduled. I have to say that I've yet to meet anyone who works harder than Grover Jackson.
These are the first Sully guitars to incorporate CNC technology, and while I had a fair amount of the geometry already completed, there was still some work to do before we could begin the test guitars. The drafting brought up interesting conversations and philosophies that I hadn't really thought a whole ton about; because I've done the work by hand, I've relied more on what Grover refers to as organic geometry. The issue with that is I can't just look at the HAAS CNC and say "here's how I do it." The neck shape that we worked out is very comfortable (yet still very Sully), the back contour designs have been refined, and I'm really happy with the overall look and feel.
Another thing was just how wonderful it was to finally work with others. Since I've been building guitars, I've never had anyone right next to me to say "do it like this", and while learning some of their methods, it was so great to be able to show what I was working on to someone else and ask "like this?" Hearing a response of "yeah, that's perfect" from Luis or Grover's analogy of inlay fitment to that of grilled asparagus "some resistance at first, but then you get a satisfying snap" are just a few things that come to mind.
There were all kinds of bits and pieces that I'll always remember, and it was such a wonderful experience to be there.
Okay great, you had a fun time at camp. We get it. So when are we gonna see these things and how can we get them?
Currently, the guitars are working their way through the paint process and we should start seeing them available in stores in late October/early November. If you're in the US, you'll be able to purchase them from The Guitar Sanctuary, Red Dragon Guitars, and Boxcar Guitars. If you're in Australia, you can purchase them from Tone Town Music in Queensland, and from Hawkes Customs in Perth. Each dealer will have three guitars, and while there may be some similar finishes (blue fades are popular!), each dealer will have at least one guitar that has a unique finish.
I'm very pleased with how the guitars are turning out, and I can't wait to get them out to you!
It's with massive amounts of excitement that I announce a collaboration with the one and only Grover Jackson. This summer, Grover and I will be building a batch of the Sully Guitars flagship model, the '71 Trella, which will be available to select dealers in the US and Australia. There will be some figured tops, some solid colors, and some pretty unique finishes that I'm sure you'll dig.
The guitars are expected to be complete in mid/late September and will be available via Red Dragon Guitars, Boxcar Guitars, and The Guitar Sanctuary in the US, and at Tone Town Music and Hawkes Customs (link coming soon) in Australia.
Here's a photo of Grover and I with the first '71 Trella prototype as well as a very early '71 Limited that we'll be using as a reference for the backshape of the neck. The last image is a basic rendering of the guitar with the updated specs (hollow block inlays and an added tone knob)
I'll be visiting Grover's shop in southern California in a few days and we'll get the ball rolling! Stay tuned for more updates about this rather exciting time!
Thanks to Ryan Reedy for the demo of not one, but two '71 Limited models! These were two of the guitars on display at the NAMM show this past January, and Ryan loved the blue one so much that he had to own it. The trans black '71 Limited is still available through Red Dragon Guitars, as is a '71 Limited in Deep Ocean fade. Visit Red Dragon Guitars here.
If you've got a video of you with your Sully, send it on!