Phil Cook, Owner of Liquid Metal Guitars talks about his guitars and company.
We build exceptional guitars. We build metal bodied guitars, that are either chrome, machined etched surface treatment or Harley Davidson candy paints for a look that is brilliant and bright and unique and cool. The one you are looking at now is our chromed beauty, the M1 T.V. Jones Premium.
And on top of the look the sound is exceptional. We have found ways to make absolutely incredible sound. Nothing you have to get used to, just better cleaner, clearer sound. In all of our guitars we use custom pickup sets designed for us by T.V. Jones, Lindy Fralin and soon Joe Barden, some of the highest regarded boutique pick up designers in the business. They have taken their skill and built pickups sets exclusively for the qualities and dynamics of our metal bodies. And we can put it all in the hands of a player at the same price as most custom guitars.
Over the years, we have figured out what works best for sound in the body of the guitar, we have come up with a proprietary widths and thicknesses, that has the best sustainability and dynamics. We have learned how to cut the body to the approximate shape and weight we needed, at a cost that is acceptable, we learned a ton of tricks.
The hand polishing and smoothing is still one man, one wheel and time, the aluminum smoothed, sanded to a 1200 finish for chrome or gold but worth it in the end. The surfaces are smooth and glossy, just like liquid metal. That’s what I kept telling everyone, remember, we are liquid metal, that is what we are after, liquid metal. The by-line is that we do things exclusive to metal not something you can duplicate in wood.
When we started years back I went out to look and see if there was anyone doing this same thing, no there wasn’t, not out of a solid block of aluminum. ( Interestingly, Apple in their new notebook is using clamshells made the same way as what we do, machined out of a single block of aircraft aluminum, Apple Design, because of the integrity of metal. )
I was really encouraged when I found some serious instrument makers in the past had done cellos and violins out of aluminum and had excellent results. that told me there had to be some great sound qualities.
I read about John Veleno and how he had made an aluminum guitar that really caught the attention of marquis players in the late 60’s and 70's. What really set me off was this Harley Davidson Strat, chromed Strat, at the big music store here. Loved the chrome look, that just nailed it for us, it was breathtakingly cool and they had a price tag on it of $45,000 , no kidding, $45,000. We knew we could do it for just a bit less, just a bit.
BODY: A solid block of aluminum alloy is machined to our proprietary thickness. This is the thickness that we found in our researching and prototyping to have the best qualities for sound. The guitar is hollowed out, but plays as a solid body guitar.The chromed body is 17 " long from the tip of the top horn to the back, 13 1/2 " at the widest body point, with a 7 3/4" waist. The guitar weighs 9.75 lbs.
NECK: Ebony fingerboard with 22 frets and 25 1/2" scale, 1.71" wide @ nut, 2.22" wide @ 22nd fret. Graphite nut which incorporates Teflon and match the grooves to each guitar's intonation. This makes the guitar exceptionable playable. A diamond ground fingerboard is accurate to within one thousandth of an inch for super low string action. Hard alloy precision medium jumbo frets are .103 wide and .048 tall. The neck is painted black, with three coats of black paint then seven thin coats of clear, that is wet sanded and buffed after each coat. Tuners Gotoh's six in line mini - tuners, are beautiful to look at and a dream to use, with an 18:1 ratio. The tuners have unique permanent Lubri-Plateâ„¢ coating on the gears assures consistent lubrication without grease, for smoother tuning. Gotoh's new Rock-Solid string posts eliminate looseness for better tuning stability, they stay in tune
PICKUPS: TV Jones LMG powertrons. Tom used a thicker, higher pole piece to take advantage of the sustaining qualities of our metal.
PRICE: $3600 USA. Includes deluxe hardshell case.
Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.