THE HEART & SOUL - The Voice
Captain of the ship Scott Beckwith has been designing & building guitars since 1996, and playing since 1983. He doesn't design Birdsongs to look or sound like instruments you can already buy off the rack. They have their own look - organic, '70s, classic - and their own take on tone.
Depending on the build your pickups may look slightly different (bar magnets vs. individual pole pieces, black vs. cream), but the recipe is this - American DiMarzio pickups, single sized by the neck (hum canceling, with a fuller tone than a standard single), and a humbucker by the bridge (positioned a little forward and specially wired to sound like a something between a hot Tele and a hum). Spank & clarity, incredible note definition, and plenty of chunk; play a country gig clean or classic rock yourself silly. Both on gives a nice jangle. The tone control is voiced with a NOS mustard drop cap - clean it warms things up nicely with no mud (go play that Jazz gig with the neck pickup); dirty it gets a great Clapton "Woman tone" flavor and a little Santana vibe.
5-BOLT MOUNTING - Strength & Transfer
The vibrational transfer of a good, tight neck pocket and the recipe of selected woods...
I like a warm neck and a dense body in a guitar. I don't want the neck shifting in the pocket, and I like the neck itself to be strong. A good carve that fills the hand, a nice thick fretboard, no odd angles ergonomically. But that neck joint has to be right and it needs to be tight. It's where a lot happens in an electric guitar or bass.
The Birdsong guitar has a round, Mahogany neck that fills & feels good in the hand. I have small hands and I'm still very comfortable on it: it's not a baseball bat but it's not a spindly little thing either. It's got a thick Rosewood fretboard, jumbo frets, and a tilt-back classic Birdsong "Alamo" headstock with our burned-in logo.
SECURITY - Oversized Strap Buttons
Big deal right? But like the brown M&M clause in Van Halen's early contracts, let this just tell you that if nothing else, we're paying attention to the details.
If we care enough to source oversized buttons to keep you strapped to your guitar, we've probably put some though into the other pieces and parts too - how they function, how they fit together. How they work in harmony to result in a good working tool. So there's more going on here than just a big button... that's just the beginning and it goes all the way through.
That's your real security.
Plus like every Birdsong, it comes with a 7-day return policy. (Please read the FAQ)
OLD SCHOOL - Grover Rotomatics
Why? Because to us it's what belongs on a 3+3 headstock. Sure, they're great tuning machines, they have been for decades. The smoothness and stability are bonuses ~ they wouldn't be on here if they couldn't cut it. But it's the design, a little bit of art deco, a lot of having been on '70s guitars that I loved... that does it.
You may pick up a definite '70s vibe off of the Birdsong guitar ~ it's definitely in there. That era's natural finish, brass bridge aesthetic was a big influence on me... first as a player but then, years later, as a builder. Quoth John Lee Hooker in "Boogie Chillun", "It's in him, and it's got to come out."
AMERICAN BRASS - NOS USA Bridge
NOS in the guitar world means New Old Stock. Parts from times past unsold or unused, discovered by the piece or unearthed in stashes, and sold amongst collectors and connoisseurs.
The brass bridges used on Birdsong's guitars are from the stock of the original SD Curlee company back in the Chicago days, made for them in the '70s by Gary Kahler's company (before Kahler became known for their tremolo systems in the 1980s).
We have to make other arrangements for black or chrome bridges. But a brass bridge with chrome hardware is a classic '70s look too! And of course once they're gone, they're gone!
(Note: the strings go to the left of the intonation screws, so the assembly mounts 2mm to the right of the centerline to center the strings.)
GUITARS FOR ARTISTS
With the Birdsong guitar comes, for us, a new song to the set list; a new canvas to improvise on. Not to turn it into a different tune, but to take one every now and then and see where it goes artistically. An Artist version of the Birdsong guitar is truly "Art for artists"... you just didn't see Jerry Garcia or Trey Anastasio or some of the more adventurous jazz/fusion players with stock, off the rack instruments. They had their own look to go with their own voice, their own unique guitar; their Excalibur. We humbly offer, from time to time, inspired variations on the Birdsong guitar to you adventurous players looking for yours. Each will be named and have special visual & tonal themes and recipes... stay tuned and watch this space! This is an exciting chapter ~ we thank you for your interest. ~Scott and the hands of Birdsong
"Ok, so I have had a few weeks with my new Birdsong guitar, played it at home, a couple of jams and a couple of 3+ hour gigs as well... It is simply amazing! Great tone, tons of tones. It does everything I expected it to and more. Mine has a mahogany body and is very full and very warm sounding. It is a darker sounding guitar but that is EXACTLY what I wanted. Others might prefer a different wood for that reason. It plays like butter. Nicest neck I have on a guitar and I have a number of nice guitars. Love the action and the feel. The natural finish ensures I don't get that "sticky" feeling as I move up and down the neck. It is a true pleasure to play. Almost completely effortless.
It is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous! I get compliments every time I take it out of the case. People gawk, players as a LOT of questions, particularly after they hear it. EVERYONE thinks it is a work of art.
I play mostly blues with it. I have owned many guitars, Strats, Les Pauls. 335s, ect... This guitar is nothing like any of those. It is its own thing. I have never had a guitar before that I felt comfortable playing in my Fender Deluxe Reverb Re-Issue without an over drive until now. My gig rig is this axe, and the amp. That's it. Veteran guitarists are always shocked when I tell them I have no OD pedal. I just use the knobs and switches on it (a lot!) That is all I need. Thank you so much for making one of my dreams come true." ~ Randy A.