Phil Sylvester is a visual artist, and guitar gear is his medium. Check out his bizarre and beautiful creations.

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 and tone.

The Hair Raiser

It’s all in the details.



  • Understand the inherent challenges in rhythm guitar playing.
  • Develop new strumming patterns.
  • Cultivate practice strategies to keep yourself motivated.
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Last updated on May 12, 2022

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