Phil Sylvester is a guitar-artist, building utterly unique and remarkably playable instruments and amps under the name Pheo Guitars. After attending Berklee and earning a Master of Architecture degree from Princeton, Sylvester decided to become a full-time visual artist, adopting guitars as his main art form in 1996. Sylvester states: “I strive to build instruments that sound exceptional, play beautifully, and are extremely interesting to look at.”
The Sylvester Bikini is a double-neck bass and six-string that can also become two separate guitars. The body is light mahogany with optional swamp ash wings. The bass uses a bolt-on Warmoth maple/ebony neck. The bridge pickup is a Rio Grande Jazz, the neck pickup is vintage Musicmaster. The six-string has a maple/ maple neck and Sylvester Custom pickups.
The Sylvester Bikini as two separate guitars: the double-neck bass (left), the bass (middle) and the six-string (right).
The Tropical Chili Bar amp housing was for cooking chili and warming
bowls; it now contains two 4-ohm ceramic 8” speakers: a Blue Marvel and
a Danelectro. The head is a ‘50s McGohan with two 6V6s, two 12AX7s, and
a 5Y3 rectifier. Controls are volume, treble, and bass.
The Tropical Chili Bar
The Hair Raiser: This ‘50s hair drier houses a Mojo BB10G 16-ohm
ceramic 10” speaker surrounded by balsa. The head is a revoiced Raymer
with two EL84s, two 12AX7s and an EZ81 rectifier. Controls are volume
The Hair Raiser