Specimen Products Maxwell Custom

Specimen Products'' project, based on a rough guitar made by Ian Schneller

The Maxwell, by Specimen Products, found its original inspiration in a rough-hewn guitar made from construction lumber discovered in a state of neglect by luthier Ian Schneller in 1986 at the old Maxwell Street Market in Chicago [see inset]. Although the prototype’s rudimentary nature made it essentially unplayable, its creativity motivated Schneller to resolve the design problems to produce a viable, high-quality guitar.

The basic Maxwell design has been rendered into many special models, including a Silvertone-style example currently played by Alexander Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand. This Maxwell Custom in sunburst finish pays homage to the celebrated Fender Telecaster Custom, and features a doublebound basswood body with a 25" scale-length bolt-on neck, rosewood fretboard, chrome Schaller flat-plate roller bridge, Kluson-style tuners, laminated mint green pickguard, and a humbucking pickup with single volume control.

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