Hand-carved beauties from Missouri
William Jeffrey Jones Guitars is a one-man shop in southern Missouri where Jeffrey Jones pours his decades of commercial carving and sculpting experience into a line of handbuilt custom guitars. Jones has been running a table saw since he was a kid, thanks to the tutelage of his woodworking father, Willy. His artistic skills led him to a career sculpting toy prototypes for companies like McFarlane and NECA. He has played guitar for 35 years, and his desire for creative freedom eventually brought him back to the guitar.
Jones has been building guitars full-time for a year and a half, and in that time he has built a gorgeous collection of instruments. His models range from intricately carved affairs like the Dragonwing to smoothly contoured models like the Kronos and simpler instruments like the Arcadia double-cutaway.
Jones uses local woods almost exclusively, ranging from exquisitely figured walnut to sassafras. He favors chambered and semi-hollow guitars—he loves the response—and most of his instruments weigh less than seven pounds. Jones uses Tru-Oil finish on nearly all of his guitars because the thin film “lets the wood sound like wood.” Jones also enjoys building fretless guitars because he says they’re so fun to play.
The Dragonwing solidbody is carved from a single piece of walnut and has a rosewood neck, ebony fretboard and a sculpted-ebony floating bridge. It features a P-90 single-coil custom made by Clint Searcy of Searcy String Works—Jones’ main pickup supplier—in Nashville. Carved instruments are a small portion of what he builds, but Jones is constantly sketching ideas. His mermaid and Victorian scroll carved instruments can be seen on his website.
The Argos semi-hollowbody features a walnut back and a one-piece walnut top, with a blackdyed maple veneer in the middle. The set neck is also of walnut, and it features carbon-fiber reinforcement, a dual-action truss rod and an ebony fretboard with a C profile. Controls include a three-way pickup-selector, a volume and a push-pull tone knob for tapping the Searcy String Works P-90s. The guitar also features a Tune-omatic bridge and Gotoh tuners.
The Proteus features a 1.5"-thick walnut body with a maple top, offset waist and a seductively carved heel joint. Its ebony bridge is handcarved and matches the ornate volume and tone knobs. The neck is a combination of walnut and maple to brighten the tone and enhance stability, and the fretboard is of Indian rosewood. The humbuckers are custom-made by Searcy String Works.
Arcadia Double-Cutaway Jazz
The Arcadia Double-Cutaway Jazz features a semi-hollow body carved from bookmatched big leaf maple, and the back is a single piece of walnut. The floating bridge is made of ebony topped with a maple saddle. Jones sculpts his own hardware when possible because he says choosing the materials gives him the most tonal flexibility. The pickups are Carvin Holdsworth humbuckers.
Jones’ guitars start at around $2,800 for an Arcadia Double-Cutaway Jr. and go up to $12,000 for the Dragonwing. Jones works on two to three commissioned instruments at a time, and he also sells finished guitars through Destroy All Guitars (destroyallguitars.com).
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
LegendaryTones, LLC today announced production availability of its new Mr. Scary Mod, a 100% pure tube module designed to instantly and easily expand the capabilities of many classic amplifiers with additional gain and tone shaping. Created in collaboration with legendary guitarist George Lynch of Dokken and Lynch Mob fame, the Mr.Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage and an onboard Deep control, which together are designed to enable an amp to have increased sustain while still retaining note definition and dynamics.
Originally released as the Lynch Mod in February 2021, the updated Mr. Scary Mod features the same core circuit as the Lynch Mod but is now equipped with a revised tube mix combo per George’s preference as well as a facelift in a newly redesigned electro-galvanized steel enclosure. As with the Lynch Mod, each run will be limited and the first run in Pumpkin Orange with Black hardware is limited to just 150 pieces worldwide.
The Mr. Scary Mod adds an adjustable tube gain stage on top of the cathode follower position, keeping note definition and articulation while further increasing sustain. Each Mr. Scary mod is meticulously built by hand in the USA, one at a time, and tuned using high-grade components. Equipped with a single ECC81 (12AT7) in the first position and ECC83 (12AX7) in the second, the Mr. Scary Mod can clean up beautifully when rolling down your guitar’s volume, and still adds scorching gain when you roll it back up. This is a gain stage that’s been tuned and approved by the ears of the maestro George Lynch himself.
“The Mr. Scary Mod excels with dynamics and is incredibly touch-responsive, allowing me to shift from playing clear, lightly compressed cleans to full-out aggressive sustain and distortion –and control it all simply by varying my guitar’s volume control and picking,” said GeorgeLynch. “In many ways, it’s an old-school approach, but it’s also so much more natural and expressive in addition to being musically fulfilling when you can play both the guitar and amp dynamically together this way.”
The Mr. Scary Mod installs in minutes, is safe and effective to use, and requires no special tools or re-biasing of the amplifier. Simply insert the module into the cathode follower preamp position of compatible amplifiers (includes Marshall 2203/2204/1959/1987 circuits) and
immediately get the benefit of enjoying a hot-rodded amp that delivers all the pure harmonic character that comes with an added pure tube gain stage. The handmade in the USA Mr. Scary Mod is now available to order for $319.
For more information, please visit legendarytones.com.
October Audio has miniaturized their NVMBR Gain pedal to create two mini versions of this beautifully organic-sounding circuit – including an always-on gain device.
The NVMBR Gain is a nonlinear amp that transitions gracefully from clean boost to overdriven tones. Volume increases from just over unity to about 10db before soft-clipping drive appears for another 5db of boost. Its extraordinary ease of use is matched by outstanding versatility: you can use it as a clean boost, push a stubborn amp into overdrive or create a just-breaking-up sound at any amp volume.
October Audio’s new family of mini NVMBR Gain pedals includes a switchable version that allows you to bypass the effect: one option features brand logo pedal graphics, while the other sports a fun “Witch Finger” graphic with a Davies knob as the“fingernail”.
The second version in the new lineup is an always-on device featuring the Witch Finger graphic and Davies knob, with the same NVMBR Gain circuit that lies at the core of the switchable version.
- Knob controls gain and clipping simultaneously
- Stunning silver hammertone finish
- Switchable versions are true-bypass, available with classic or witch finger graphics
- Authentic Davies knobs, including the “fingernail”
- 9V center negative power supply required
- Dimensions: 3.63 x 1.50 x 1.88 in
Witch Finger (always on NVMBR Gain) demo
All October Audio pedals are assembled in Richmond, VA, and available for purchase directly through the online shop. Street price is $109 for NVMBR Gain footswitch versions and $89 for the always-on device.
For more information, please visit octoberaudio.com.