Looking for an amazing gift for the guitar person in your life? How about an amazing looking guitar that is also designed by and for guitarists? That is what Virgil Guitars is offering.
Here is what Virgil Mandanici says about his inspiration:
An artist and guitarist since the 1970’s, Virgil Mandanici set out to make guitars that would be exceptional in tone and playability first and foremost. After 35 years of playing guitar, he decided it was time to craft guitars that would feel, play and look better than anything anyone has ever played before – thus Virgil Guitars was born! As a master craftsman,Virgil has drawn his building career from several luthiers over the past couple years to make these incredible guitars. The inlay and appointments on his guitars are simply a testament to his attention to detail.
Virgil Guitars is not about making guitars that simply look unique, they are trying to make truly unique instruments as well. Here are more details of how he is doing that:
Says Virgil, “After playing guitar for over 35 years, I knew what I was looking for in tone and how a neck should feel and had been willing to go to any length to achieve the ‘perfect’ guitar fit for myself, and ironically, other players. On my Signature & Artisan Series guitars, they come with a DVD that shows the birth of my guitars starting out with a chunk of wood all the way to a music video – I do every step of this process by myself, in-house. I am not aware of any other builder in the world that is doing this… Yet, I am also planning on making ALL unique guitars – there will NEVER be two guitars alike, so all owners of a Virgil Guitar will have their own unique tone and feel. I am also working on making guitars to fit different budgets.”
Virgil Guitars makes custom, one-of-a-kind boutique guitars in Tampa, Florida. Each guitar has it’s own story, a one-of-a-kind inlay and certain models even come with a DVD of the build. Virgil carefully documents each build with amazing photography and videography assuring the buyer the guitar’s tone/sound before purchase. Says Virgil, “The inspiration for all designs come naturally since I have been a guitarist and artist since the ’70s. Watching the masters like Larry Robinson and Grit Laskin helped quite a bit as well – I was amazed at the detail. I love the fact that I can also ‘paint’ my designs with no paint… I use various shells, stone, prehistoric shark teeth, precious metals and natural wood for all the colors I would ever need.”
When I first saw the images I assumed these were ‘vanity guitars’ that looked awesome but didn’t deliver – but that is far from the truth. In fact, that is the exact opposite of what Virgil would want a player to do:
“They should buy them for their playability – don’t let the fancy schmantzy inlay and detailing fool you – everyone who has played my guitars does the same thing; they first give some ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ with the inlay or detailing and even some of them have said, ‘Well, I’m not really into a lot of inlay…’ But as soon as they put it in their laps, it’s the exact same thing we all do as guitarists; we feel the balance of it in the lap, we feel the neck, how open chords and then barre chords feel, then we feel the action of the strings, then the accessibility to the higher frets. The next critique is focused on the tone. I am the same person who pays attention to the details on the inlays as much as every other aspects of my guitars. It would make no sense to spend all the time on the inlay and just blow off the IMPORTANT aspects of a guitar. I make all of my guitars as if it was my last guitar I was to build and have as a guitar!”
Here is a cool video showing the process of taking the guitar from a block of wood to an amazing instrument: