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Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #157082  by Jedstein
 Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:52 pm
Since diving head first into the Rabbit Hole about a year ago, I’ve tested the limits of my marriage by purchasing all kinds of equipment from rukind members. Most recently, I took a major step forward in getting an incredible new Jerry Ax from Brian White at IO Guitars. I couldn’t be more thrilled the guitar – and working with Brian was about as positive of an experience as one could hope for.

I reached out to Brian because I was blown away by some of the guitars that he built – which I found to be incredible works of art. They all sounded amazing (a couple of the dudes who play his guitars – members of this forum -- are phenomenal players, which obviously is a factor!) For me, I think it’s a little early to do a full custom, as I am still relatively new to the Jerry game, and unsure of exactly how I would even customize it.

So I called Brian with the idea of doing a partscaster, to at least get the neck scale right, and use parts that would get closer to the sound than I could get with my PRS (I used to play at AO Jerryfied PRS SE 24, which was great, but ultimately I think you can only get so close with a PRS). Brian said he could certainly do that for me, but for a little more, he could do something way better. What he offered was his Eclipse guitar, that he had played for years (and I think even put up once on this site). He built the body himself, but the neck is a strat neck that he found, and fell in love with. So -- I think the body was really built around that neck. For me – it was perfect. Custom-ish – but much cheaper than an actual custom – but with far more personality, better feel and tone, than I would have gotten with a partscaster.

Brian had been using it as an Alligator type guitar, but gave me the full Jerry package, which I had wanted, since it’s my only Jerry ax. I couldn’t be happier with it. It looks and feels amazing and it always inspires me to play. The notes ring out like I’ve never heard in a guitar that I’ve owned. It's also very well-balanced and just feels right.

As I said above, working with Brian was a real joy. He was super patient with me (I had a fair amount of dumb questions), and you could tell, he really cares. At one point, when he was getting it ready for me, I could tell it was actually kind of painful for him to let the guitar go -- as I think he had forgotten how much he loved it. It's a real honor to get such great guitar with so much character and positive energy from so many years of use by the guy who built it.

Here's a couple pics and short clip from a show I played 2 days after I received the guitar. It's not a great example of classic Jerry tone -- I think I'm in humbucker mode with both the earth drive and solar flare. But you can tell how much I love it – and how stunned I am at the way it screams – like I’m not really even sure what to do with myself. It gets incredible Jerry tones as well (obviously -- that's what I got it for.).

If anyone is thinking about a custom or Jerry mod, I would highly recommend Brian. He's a great guy, does incredible work, and really cares.

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 #157083  by Searing75
 Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:26 pm
Beautiful guitar man! Also, I love how into the music you are in the video! Just grinning and gyrating! Awesome!
 #157084  by Jedstein
 Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:13 pm
Searing75 wrote:Beautiful guitar man! Also, I love how into the music you are in the video! Just grinning and gyrating! Awesome!
Thanks so much, man. Really appreciate it! There are so many ridiculous players on this site -- it makes me greatly hesitate to put anything out there -- because I I feel like my playing is so unrefined (compared to some of the masterful Jerry guys I've heard/seen here). But I thought -- if nothing else -- that clip at least showed my joy in playing that guitar.
 #157097  by Staemius
 Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:26 am
Beautiful guitar and I came close to buying that awhile back - enjoy!
 #157099  by Jedstein
 Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:06 am
Appreciate the positive feedback aiq and phishfan!

Thanks, Staemius. Wow -- she was almost yours . . . definitely feel lucky to have her . . . .
 #157114  by chinacatbundaberg
 Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:57 am
Looks like you're having bags of fun. Brian builds amazing guitars. I stumbled across his web page a while back and was blown away by the quality of his instruments. I've tested my wife's limits too but fortunately she's accepted my obsession with Dead music and I think secretly enjoys at least some of it. She's generously allowed me go to the limit and Brian is putting the finishing touches to a guitar for me. Don't think I've got the courage to put myself forward on public display though - nice playing !!
 #157189  by gdeloian
 Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:01 pm
Sounds great!

Brian is an amazing guy and does wonderful work. He did all the brass work and wiring on my SG along with some other mods.
Keep it up!!
 #157270  by JustinJohn
 Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:07 pm
That's a beauty!! Brian at IO is a wizard - no doubt.

Of all that can be said about my IO custom guitar (guitar/rig details, see link in my sig), one of the most amazing things is the rock-solid build quality and longevity of the intricate electronics. I play constantly, sometimes 4 shows in a single weekend (for details see band link in my sig), and I haven't had a SINGLE problem with the elecs that had anything to do with the guitar. With the exception of me breaking the volume knob off the guitar in Bend Oregon playing an afterparty for a PHISH concert (LOL), which was completely my fault, and easily replacing the pot, the electronics are like fucking steel!
 #157273  by Jon S.
 Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:52 am
I'd pay for your show. :)

Enjoy!
 #157358  by Jedstein
 Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:40 pm
Just got back online after being off for a little while – thanks so much for the positive comments, everyone, on the guitar and the playing.

Chinacatbundaberg – would be psyched to see a pic of the guitar – when Brian is done with it (or better yet – hear a clip!). Yeah – I needed some extra courage to post a clip, given the high number of sick guitar players who participate on this forum.

Speaking of sick guitar players, Justin and Garrett – you guys were a big part of the reason I reached out to Brian. Justin – the guitar he designed for you is one of the cooler ones I’ve seen. And I have checked out many clips of you ripping on it, so I know how amazing it sounds (at least in your hands). And Garrett – I’m totally amazed at the Jerry sounds you get out of the SG he jerryfied for you. Again – I’m sure it has something to do with the guy playing it . . . .

Thanks, Jon. While people do sometimes pay to see me play, they rarely admit it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

-Jed
 #157360  by chinacatbundaberg
 Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:44 am
Hi Jedstein,

Progress so far. I'd asked Brian to base the general shape on an Ibanez. I'd say he's managed to make some improvements. The body shape is beautiful. Apart from that I've pretty much left it up to him.

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From that to this:-

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Looks really sweet!! More than happy with the results.
 #157362  by Searing75
 Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:24 am
Wow! That's beautiful! I love the shape abs colors! I want that exact guitar now! I seem to want 95% of the guitars I see on here? Ugh! :-). But, this one is THE one for me. How much is it setting you back if I may ask? Respond in a pm if you wish. Thanks.
 #157363  by chinacatbundaberg
 Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:39 am
Brian's still got work out a final price but it'll be in the region of $4500+. The '+' is still unknown :-). It's an advance retirement present to myself and certainly the very last guitar I'll be getting. Can't push wifely understanding too far.

I reckon it's fair when you look at the prices some other luthiers charge for similar work. Brian's doing some intricate inlay work which is time consuming and is going to set the whole thing off nicely