Guitar Gavel podcast with David Ross Musical Instruments: Building pedals and launching a pedal company
David’s guitar journey began on a Behringer strat style guitar when he was 13, his foundation being metal and blues (an influence from his dad). The Behringer also became a sacrificial lamb when David decided to explore the guts of an electric guitar.
From there, David started building his own guitars as a teenager furthering his home-grown knowledge, and setting the stage for becoming a professional luthier.
Tinkering with pedals was a natural extension of the guitar repair business and that journey began in earnest in 2016. Overtime, David decided having his own product to offer was a welcomed challenge, plus he saw the need for a custom option to improve upon some of the pedals in his arsenal.
So David introduced his first pedal a year ago, the Winter Storm, and now he’s onto his second build… the Spellbook. It’s a self-oscillating fuzz and distortion pedal, which can also be used as a stand alone synthesizer.
To help fund the Spellbook, David has a Kickstarter campaign and will deliver pedals this summer, but there's still time to get the pre-production deal!
Check out his YouTube channel to see David demo the Spellbook and describe the technical aspects.
Thanks for being such a wonderful guest David! You are onto something big and I look forward to watching what you do next!
I ran into a Jackson Schon in the flesh at the Asheville Guitar Show back in March.
These are extremely rare and as it turns out this purple people eater was owned by Jeff Carlisi, gifted to him from Neal Schon. He's photographed with the guitar inside the back cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Southern by the Grace of God" album where he made some guest appearances on tour that year.
In 1985 Neal Schon personally commissioned and financed his own signature guitar through Jackson. One of his artistic touches beyond the original body style was the Testarossa tailpiece (see Carlisi’s guitar). Approximately 200 original San Dimas Jackson Schon’s were produced in 1986. This is at the same time that Grover sold Jackson to International Music Corporation so a lot was going on with Grover’s business.
The “story goes” Grover was slow to churn out the guitars so Schon abandoned Jackson and struck a deal with Larrivee. They built somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 guitars of the same design before that ended as well.
This is where it gets dangerous…the parts that were left on the production line were boxed up and set aside for a long time. How long? Again, danger!
According to Ed Roman (Roman Guitars) he purchased the remaining 170 Jackson Schon’s, most unfinished, but his shop took them across the finish line with a few aftermarket parts including pickups. Though Ed never branded these as his own, if the headstock was already complete then it can get misleading. This would also potentially explain seeing these listed as “all original” yet having other branded pickups.
The original Jackson Schon’s were offered in a few different configurations: Dual humbucker with hardtail or tremolo and an HSS with tremolo. The active Jackson pickups deployed the JE-1000 Gain Booster.
Admittedly, I was not nearly as impressed with the guitar when I saw it in person. Have you ever had that happen to you? I’m glad I didn’t have my hopes up or I would have been deflated… and saved $8,000 :-).
“Gear Of The Week” with Will Ray, Founding member of The Hellecasters
In lieu of a lick this week Will shows off one of his guitars, a Line 6 Variax 500.
It’s loaded with a dizzying 60 different tonal options.
The last time I hung out with Will he wanted to go over some of his gear instead of doing licks.
So when in Rome…
Note, whenever you see Will with a Hipshot Helle-Bender on his guitar, it’s a keeper. At 4:30 minutes in, Will shows you what “she can do.”
Check out Will's website, https://willray.biz/, for instructional videos, merchandise, or to contact will about private guitar lessons. You can also find his signature Helle-Bender for sale at his Ebay shop- https://www.ebay.com/usr/willraymerch