Grab some coffee and let's catch up!

A Summer of Collaboration

2017 has certainly been an exciting year so far, and the summer has been filled with new experiences both personally and as a business. This year is flying by and it definitely feels as if there's not enough hours in the day. That said, here's what's happened this summer!

Camp Jackson Guitar Building Class

In early June, Grover and I hosted seven campers at his shop in Laguna Hills, California for a "Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp" style guitar building class. We had a lot of fun and built some killer instruments. 

L-R: Matt, Nick, Sully, Mike, Grover, Mont, Geoff, Chris, Rich


Wait, what?

Collaborations continued through the summer in a way that I never would have expected. In May, I sent the Raven prototype to Nikki Sixx; he started following the Sully Guitars Instagram feed (you should, too! @sullyguitars), and he was interested in checking it out the Raven prototype. I sent it out, he liked it, and we started planning another one. As we discussed options, I learned that he prefers something that looks a little more worn in versus shiny and new. I know that the whole relic thing is one of those hot button topics in the guitar world, but I've always appreciated it as an art form; similar to set decoration in a movie. 

We decided that Nikki's guitar was going to be set neck (the prototype is a bolt on), mahogany body and neck, an ebony fretboard full of stainless steel frets. :) I had a couple of mahogany/walnut neck blanks already made, so I used one of them for his guitar. Nikki wanted to try out a P90 in the neck and happened to have a set of Seymour Duncan Phat Cats, so we're putting one of them in the neck position. The bridge pickup was given to him as a gift from his friend Stevie D (Buckcherry/Josh Todd and the Conflict), and was made by Arcane Pickups. It's got his signature engraved into the cover, and I think it'll look pretty sweet with the rest of the hardware (chrome Hipshot hardtail bridge and locking tuners). The finish and relic work is being done by Billy Rowe at Rock-N-Roll Relics, and it should be arriving back in Sullyville this week. I'm pretty stoked, to say the least. 

Welcome Stevie D! 

While working on Nikki's guitar, he told me Stevie D may be interested in the '71. After chatting with Stevie a bit, I sent a demo '71 Trella out, and it's been so great not only to see photos of the guitar getting heavy use on tour with Buckcherry (and now Josh Todd and the Conflict), but also getting to know Stevie as a person. He's a really good dude, and I'm honored to work with him. We quickly put together specs for another '71 Trella that balanced the model's modern stylings with a bit of a ratty feel mixed in. I learned early on that like me, he's originally from Chicago, and we agreed that we had to incorporate the Chicago flag to fit the guitar. This one was also sent to Billy at Rock-N-Roll Relics, and it was such a trip to see a '71 look like a vintage guitar. While the guitar was in the finishing/relic stage, we modified his white '71 to have a similar Chicago flag graphic on it, and you can see it here in the video for Rain by Josh Todd and the Conflict.

Here's Stevie's black '71 Trella all finished just in time for the Josh Todd and the Conflict record release party at The Roxy (Live photos by Front Row Perspective and Dustin Jack Photography)

Stevie and I have some really cool things planned for 2018, and you might get a peek at NAMM!

Welcome Adam Nañez!

Adam Nañez is a fantastic guitar player here in Dallas, and definitely a player you should know about. You can check out the Adam Nañez band here and here's a little snippet from a performance at the Gas Monkey Bar and Grill earlier this summer:

Adam has a '71 Trella in progress and is currently spending time with a Stardust. 

Nitro? Relics?

Yep, I'm happy to say that for you nitro folks, it's now an option (unless you want metal flake). I've not offered it in the past because I'm not crazy about how it ages over time, but for those who would prefer a nitro finish, the option is there. Same for relic'ed finishes. They're not for everyone (and really, what is?), but if you prefer that look, you got it. Still a hard pass on Bigsbys, though. :) 


In the spirit of trying to keep things fresh in the merch department, I've added a couple of new designs. A few months ago, I partnered with Threadless Artist Shops to handle Sully Guitars related tshirts and such, and you can get to the store by clicking here. There may be some swag packs sold off of the Threadless site (they don't really do bundles), so stay tuned for that. 

What's next?

While I'm not ready to spill all of the beans, I will tell you that there will be more 7 string guitars, I've got something really cool planned for the Stardust, and there will be standardized "production" versions of most Sully models. The idea is that they'll be built as I intended each of them to look (with different options for colors). These guitars will still be made locally, but will incorporate CNC machinery. I'm still going to be the one gluing up fretboards, necks (and doing oh so much sanding), as well as the fretwork and wiring and setup and, and, get the point. If all goes as planned, there eventually may be a bit of a drop in pricing for the production series, and this will slowly roll out in 2018. Of course, custom options will always be there for those who want something a little different from the production series guitars, but that pricing is likely to adjust somewhat in 2018. There's a lot more on the horizon, but that's the extent of what I'm comfortable sharing at press time. 

Until next time, 


Updates of the Sully/Grover Jackson collaboration

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!