In our first blog, I shared a few details of my general mindset during the filming of Absolute Blues Guitar, writing something along the lines of “If I had to go back and film each lesson again, even if I played the same notes, I would not have been as pleased with the end result as I am now.” – or, at least, words to that effect.
While that sentiment remains true, I do often wish that I had filmed many of the lessons using some of the beautiful, handmade Eternal Guitars that I became the proud owner and endorser of, only after filming the core content of this site.
Eternal Guitars And Hot Rod Pickups are the creation of master luthier, Dave Walsh, whose workshop is based in Chichester, UK.
After I relocated to Chichester from Brighton in early 2016, I set out to find somebody local to set up and repair my guitars. To quote Marty DiBergi from Spinal Tap, “I got that…but I got more…a lot more…”
If you’ve seen the slide guitar lessons on this site, you’ll have noticed my longest-serving guitar; a natural finish, ash bodied Strat. Despite having a Fender neck, this guitar is essentially a “Partsocaster” of unknown origin. The guitar was in dire need of a set up and re-fret, so I took it to Dave at Eternal. The re-fret and set up job extended to Dave adding a much needed 22nd fret and installing a set of his very own Eternal Revelation pickups, hand-wound by Eternal Guitars’ in-house sister company, Hot Rod Pickups.
Upon getting the Strat home, I fell in love with it all over again. Although it had retained its vintage feel, it was like playing a brand new instrument and with the new pickups, it sounded better than ever. I thought to myself – If this is what Dave can do with this old guitar, I can only imagine how good his custom builds might be. I had admired Dave’s hand-built instruments during my visits to his workshop, but since they were all right-handed (and I happen to be an awkward lefty), I hadn’t had the opportunity to try one for myself.
I had a summer tour with Sir Cliff Richard in the diary, so I asked Dave if he could build me a custom guitar that could cover the diverse range of material in Cliff’s set, from “Living Doll” to “Devil Woman” and everything in between.
Named after my late grandfather, the end result was “Tommy”, a beautiful S-type guitar with an ash body, maple neck and rosewood fingerboard in stunning, vintage Ocean Turquoise. Tommy sports a compound fingerboard radius, a Hot Rod HFT bridge humbucker, two Eternal Revelation single coil pickups and numerous other mods under the hood.
Shortly after Tommy came into the world (and still in time for my tour with Sir Cliff) I custom-ordered “Anne”, Tommy’s Sonic Blue sister guitar…or rather wife guitar, as she was named after my grandmother. As you’ve probably realised, it’s an Eternal Guitars tradition to name each guitar they build. Anne is almost identical in spec to Tommy, aside from having a more traditional three single coil pickup layout, comprised of two Timeless single pickups in the neck and middle positions and the excellent S92 in the bridge.
Both guitars performed beautifully during the long summer tour of outdoor shows and shortly after returning home, I took ownership of “Harley”, essentially a right-handed, ash-bodied S-type, flipped upside down, with a one-piece maple neck, a few lefty-friendly modifications and powered by Hot Rod Pickups’ Timeless single coil set.
More recently, Dave built two T-types for me: “Mary” is a beautifully distressed, ash bodied T-type in Ice Blue Metallic over three-tone sunburst, fitted with an HFT humbucker in the bridge and a V90 (vintage P90) single coil in the neck – an absolutely fantastic sounding and versatile guitar. “Summer” is a more traditional T-type, with an ash body, a one piece maple neck and my very own signature T-Dogs single coil set. Summer is finished in a seasonally appropriate translucent surf green.
I have attached video links to four my five Eternal guitars, so you can learn more about their spec and hear them for yourself, while trying to kid yourself that you’re not tempted to place your own custom order.
Dave Walsh at Eternal Guitars And Hot Rod Pickups runs a one-stop shop for custom paintwork, hand-wound pickups and custom builds. I simply cannot recommend this place highly enough. Check out the website at www.eternal-guitars.com. Even if you don’t live in the south of England, it’s well worth a trip down to Chichester for the best set up and repair work around. Just don’t be surprised if you leave having ordered an amazing custom built guitar!
Until next time, Cheers!