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Thread: Guest Luthier Series: Jol Dantzig

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Quote Originally Posted by phil_104 View Post
    Mr. Dantzig,

    Firstly, thank you very much for taking time to come and answer our questions, up to now, this has been a very interesting and informative read.

    I have a very basic question, but I always like to ask it to get some perspective.

    If I was to ask you to recommend me a guitar that was to be my main instrument, knowing nothing about my particular style and taste in guitars, what would you suggest within your instrument line? Why would this instrument be your recommendation?

    Thanks,
    Phil
    This is a hypothetical case that runs against my nature. There is no one perfect guitar, and everyone's needs are somewhat different. If I was forced at gunpoint to choose for you, I would probably say the Talladega, because it really covers a lot of ground sonically, and it's very very musical when played clean but it stands up to a lot of distortion too. If you've ever heard the Greg V soundclips, they prove my point. Sound clips here

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    BerriesAndCreamologist Fender_Punk's Avatar
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    Question Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    what is your opinion of carbon fibre guitars?

    Do you think carbon fibre will ultimately replace all tonewoods in the construction of guitars (for whatever reasons) or do you think there will always be guitars built using wood?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!
    Last edited by Fender_Punk; 09-09-2009 at 01:40 PM.
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  3. #63
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodRose View Post
    Jol,
    First, it's truly an honor! I've lusted for Hamers since I was a teenager and couldnt afford any. My current dream guitar that I am going to treat myself to when my chops are more proficient, is a Hamer Standard with a black quilt top. (Im also very tempted by a blue stain they have at one of the online dealers!) To me, that is the Grail!
    My first question: That certain online dealer sells a Standard model that is tone chambered. How does this alter the tone? And do you believe it is an improvement to the tone? I dont care for the chambered bodies that Ive played of the LPs, but havent been able to play the Standards. Is the chambering going to become a standard design feature?

    Speaking of the imports, how involved is Hamer in the import line? No offense, but I was less than impressed by some of the Slammer and low end models a few years ago. So Im leary of going after the Import Cali or Scarabs since I cant play them first.
    What is next for Hamer?

    I thank you for your time! All the best for continued success! And PLEASE don't discontinue the Standard!!!

    All Standards are chambered as stock now. The option remains to order one without the chambers. The reasoning is that we were getting more and more requests for them, so we experimented with different chamber ideas until we came up with the one we have now. I thought that it really brought more life to an already impressive instrument, so we've made it a "permanent" change. It's a series if small elongated channels oriented in an "X" pattern similar to an acoustic guitar in order to maintain stiffness. It also removes an average of 1.4 lbs per guitar which is important to a lot of players.

    As for the imports... we've discontinued the Slammer line because there was no need for it. The Imports in general serve a valuable business purpose when done correctly. It is my hope to make a direct correlation between what we do at the high end, and what we do with the more affordable guitars. My focus is purely on the American made stuff, but I'm thinking that this will change over time now that we have a different organization.

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    More subjective stuff for you...

    As guitarists, we all seem to have that elusive "perfect tone" in our heads that most of us strive to attain with varying degrees of success either through playing technique, gear tweaking or both.

    Do you have that internal, nirvana tone that you are able to put into words and if so, has that had any influence on your guitar designs or pickup choices?

    Also, is there a particular recorded example or a particular player's tone that just hit you in the gut as a "WOW!" moment (in your formative years or even more recently)?

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Quote Originally Posted by BigJoe77 View Post
    What would you say is the most common mistake you have seen people making when selecting, modding, or setting up their gear?

    Or, put another way, if there is one piece of information that you could impart to to people in relation to their equipment, what would it be.

    Thanks,
    Joe
    Get the best you can afford, maybe more than you can afford. Then don't blame the equipment for your lack of experience, just play the heck out of it. Every instrument has something to offer, you just need to get with people who have more experience than you do to learn how to bend the instrument to your will. Believe me when I say that some of the most amazing music in history was made on equipment that's not as good as what you own right now.

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    Mojo's Minions Lazarus1140's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Jol, As so many have said, thanks for sharing this time with us! I can honestly say, the only guitar that I no longer own but truly miss is an FM Special.

    Do you see an advantage to using the PLEK technology for set-ups? I mean, do you believe a skilled luthier properly trained and using a PLEK machine might have an advantage over an equally skilled technician who does not use it?

    Thanks again for your insight and contribution to the world of guitars!

  7. #67
    Riffologist Extraordinaire ex-250's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Jol,

    My absolute favorite/dream guitar is one of yours- the red vector made for KK downing around 2004 (though he could've very well had it earlier, but was first seen with it around the time of the reunion with halford).



    as lots of people from this board can tell you, ive been completely obsessed with this guitar since the first time i saw it.

    now for my questions...

    -when he first got that guitar, both pickups were chrome-covered duncans, later switched out for EMGs. do you recall what duncans were in it originally? yes...i actually asked if you remember what pickups you put in one specific guitar made 6 years ago. haha, sorry, can't hurt to ask though. in a guitar world interview, glenn said they were "wound for the extra midrange that [ken] likes," so i wasn't sure if they were just a middy model of duncan's regular line or if they were something from the custom shop.

    -both glenn & KK have had EMGs in all their hamers for quite some time, are they installed for 9v or 18v?

    -i just saw this guitar for the first time recently...



    appears to be just like his other one except with a kahler, gold finish, binding, and no jack plate on the bottom wing. is this a new build, or something from earlier that just hasn't been seen before?

    -echoing anti-matthes' question, what ever happened to that off-white custom build for glenn tipton? i really enjoyed watching the progress on your blog and was looking forward to seeing the finished product.


    thanks for taking the time to do this, and sorry for my barrage of really specific questions on priest guitars
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Quote Originally Posted by cmatthes View Post
    More subjective stuff for you...

    As guitarists, we all seem to have that elusive "perfect tone" in our heads that most of us strive to attain with varying degrees of success either through playing technique, gear tweaking or both.

    Do you have that internal, nirvana tone that you are able to put into words and if so, has that had any influence on your guitar designs or pickup choices?

    Also, is there a particular recorded example or a particular player's tone that just hit you in the gut as a "WOW!" moment (in your formative years or even more recently)?
    The funny thing about emulating tone is that unless the tone you are trying to get is something that you've actuall witnessed in person, live... all bets are off. I used to listen to recordings and then try to get the sounds on those recordings. Later, when I worked in studios, I realized that what I heard on my stereo was quite different from what the guitarist heard in the studio. I started just trying to please myself in the moment and concentrate on feeling the music instead of the tone. Of course, this only works for a while! Then I have to try a new guitar, amp or pickup! Oh well.

    Some of the guys I liked were Ike Turner on the original Cobra recordings of Otis Rush and people like Tiny Grimes who had awesome sound.

    Later, Peter Green and Danny Kirwan were guys who wowed me. I always liked players who were distinguishable in a few notes.

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    What's Your Forum Nameologist? MikeRocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Hello Jol, thank you for taking the time to do this!

    I wondered what your thoughts were on the advantages/disadvantages of using quartersawn vs. flat sawn wood in necks. Also, do you have a general preference as far as neck radius?

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    Mojo's Minions jmh151's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Any plans on bringing back the 27 fret solid flamed maple Californian, or was it a limited edition due to the availablity of wood?

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Quote Originally Posted by Fender_Punk View Post
    what is your opinion of carbon fibre guitars?
    Do you think carbon fibre will ultimately replace all tonewoods in the construction of guitars (for whatever reasons) or do you think there will always be guitars built using wood?
    Quote Originally Posted by jmh151 View Post
    Any plans on bringing back the 27 fret solid flamed maple Californian, or was it a limited edition due to the availablity of wood?
    Along the same lines as these questions, where do you stand on the sustainability of the wood you use for guitars? Are you working any special deals to make sure that the wood you're using is harvested responsibly? (I don't know the exact terms for this, so forgive me if I sound short.)
    "Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised."
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus1140 View Post
    Jol, As so many have said, thanks for sharing this time with us! I can honestly say, the only guitar that I no longer own but truly miss is an FM Special.

    Do you see an advantage to using the PLEK technology for set-ups? I mean, do you believe a skilled luthier properly trained and using a PLEK machine might have an advantage over an equally skilled technician who does not use it?

    Thanks again for your insight and contribution to the world of guitars!
    I'm glad somebody asked this!
    I think that the PLEK is amazing technology, and it's great for repair shops. After a neck has settled in and taken its shape, it's possible to grind the frets until they are level. Is it better than a good repairman? Better than most but not as good as some I suspect. I know some very good techs who can equal or beat the PLEK.

    To use one in a production shop only works if you wait for the neck to settle, which most big guitar factories wouldn't do... takes too much time and creates too much work in process (inventory cost) But you'd still be grinding down perfectly good frets. On top of that, you haven't fixed the real problem.

    My solution is to let the necks WITH THE FRETBOARD GLUED DOWN settle for a determined amount of time, then radius the fingerboard perfectly. If the neck was going to twist or wave you're now sanding the problem out of the board, not the frets. This gives the instrument a perfect playing surface into which you can place the frets. The good thing is that the surface will be there for you if and when you refret too. If you build on a good foundation...

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeRocker View Post
    Hello Jol, thank you for taking the time to do this!

    I wondered what your thoughts were on the advantages/disadvantages of using quartersawn vs. flat sawn wood in necks. Also, do you have a general preference as far as neck radius?
    We were just discussing this today actually. If those were the only two choices, I'd go for quartersawn, as it provides some additional stiffness, but unless your truss rod is designed properly it may be hard to adjust.

    My designs use a combination of a center quartersawn piece and outside pieces that are at a 30 to 45 degree angle in a mirror image orientation. I get the stiffness of the quartersawn down the middle, and the mirror imaged pieces exert opposite and opposing force that cancell each other out, and provide an internal tension that keeps the neck straight.

    Additionally we use a truss rod assembly process that allows a single rod to adjust two ways, and it has a high amount of action without a lot of torque.

  14. #74
    Understatmentologist ginormous's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Quote Originally Posted by Jol Dantzig View Post
    Hoss, my favorite right now is a 1964 P-bass that is all original. It's beat to crap and sounds great. It's just like my very first "good" bass right down to the color of the pickguard.
    Jol, it's good to know that you're into bass as well.

    With all respect to well-regarded makers like yourself, Alembic, Spector, Pedulla and so on, would you say that Fender got it right with the 2nd-gen P and the vol-vol-tone Jazz, or are there still some advances to make in the field?

    Also, to echo the above questions, what do you think of environmentally-responsible woods like teak or bamboo laminate for instrument making?
    Last edited by ginormous; 09-09-2009 at 11:26 AM.

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Quote Originally Posted by Jet-Jaguar View Post
    Along the same lines as these questions, where do you stand on the sustainability of the wood you use for guitars? Are you working any special deals to make sure that the wood you're using is harvested responsibly? (I don't know the exact terms for this, so forgive me if I sound short.)
    Wood supply is on everyone's mind today. We've noticed a change in the availability of really good wood and I'm sure it's hurting the big factories more than us. Because we're small, we can really pick and choose wheras some big shops can't. Just the same, we purchase from brokers who are certified and follow the CITES program. Our Brazilian rosewood is old-growth, or stuff that has been reclaimed.

    We've experimented with alternatives including carbon fiber, but there are still woods such as alder, ash and maple that are not in short supply. Some other woods like sapele have been used with great results.

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    Mojo's Minions dd12939's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Mr. Dantzig -
    Thanks and Welcome!

    As someone who's been part of the industry for quite some time and in several capacities, is there one accomplishment/innovation/title you'd like to be remembered for?

    Also, in your long line of artist-relationships, is there one that stands out from the rest as the most rewarding for you?

    Thanks again!

  17. #77
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Jol, thanks for taking the time to do this. I have always been very impressed with your guitars.

    You have a lot of different body shapes in your product line today, and in the past. Where do the design ideas for the body shapes come from? Do you try to improve on classic designs, or do you take a "from the ground up" approach? What sorts of things do you need to take into account when designing a new guitar body?

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Quote Originally Posted by ginormous View Post
    Jol, it's good to know that you're into bass as well.

    With all respect to well-regarded makers like yourself, Alembic, Spector, Pedulla and so on, would you say that Fender got it right with the 2nd-gen P and the vol-vol-tone Jazz, or are there still some advances to make in the field?
    Some basses look good on paper: Great lows, punchy mids, clean clear highs. They intonate well and all the notes are even and sustain well. But they leave me cold with their "engineered" personality. I don't know what it is about them that I don't care for, but I like the personality of a bass to come through, even with flaws. I guess if I was doing session work and the producer was a control freak I'd never work with my P-bass. But if the guy wanted some soul...

    It's all about what you are looking for I guess. When I play that P-bass, it sounds pretty darn good to me. It doesn't fret as well as a modern bass, and the intonation isn't perfect, but it sounds like a bass to me and I love it.

    When I built my first instrument, I wanted something that was agressive looking and different. A black V bass with a whammy bar was what I came up with in 1973. I still have it, but it wouldn't be my go-to bass today.

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Quote Originally Posted by ratherdashing View Post
    Jol, thanks for taking the time to do this. I have always been very impressed with your guitars.

    You have a lot of different body shapes in your product line today, and in the past. Where do the design ideas for the body shapes come from? Do you try to improve on classic designs, or do you take a "from the ground up" approach? What sorts of things do you need to take into account when designing a new guitar body?

    Thanks.
    Good question! In the beginning, we made angular guitars that were our take on guitars that were so rare most people had never seen them. Nowadays, a Dean ML is considered "classic" almost traditional!

    The shock value of making "statement" shape guitars has been devalued to the point of distraction, so I'd rather try to concentrate on the overall package: a guitar that works well and is greater than the sum of its parts.

    Although I admire designers like Gittler or Klein and Steinberger, my stuff is more grounded in tradition I guess. Most of the shapes are driven by my personal taste and preference. I do like it when a guitar looks a certain way, but it fools you when you plug it in. That's the new shock value for me... a guitar that looks metal, but works for jazz. But mostly its about the function first, the cosmetics second.

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    Professional Scapegoat BloodRose's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series Feature's Hamer's Jol Dantzig

    Thank you for the responses to my previous! I wont se so skeptical of the chambers in the Standards then as it sounds very well thought out. Hopefully Ill be able to try both before I buy. But there are no dealers near me..

    Would be great to see the imports rise too. Epiphone products seem to be more consistant and it would be GREAT to see more brand recognition for Hamer.

    Im at work now, so couldnt read all the most recent posts, but appears that the question of reviving some sort of Super strat type of guitar has come up a few times.. I Know you are a forward thinker and probably dont want to relive the past, but there does seem to be a growing shred movement. Will there be a Hamer model to meet this market??


    Again, thank you !

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