ToneSmith 320 Deluxe [Bigsby + Vex + Piezo] (USA, 2004)

BACKGROUND: ToneSmith Custom Guitars are unique and original with vintage feel and tone, as well as natural beauty.and diverse tonal options. All guitars are handmade in Minnesota and designed by Kevin Smith - one of the USA's finest independent boutique guitar makers.
His Minnesota based company manufacture all ToneSmith guitars as well as; LiverPool guitars, Clarksville guitars, ZVex guitars, Vox Guitars, Marazzo Guitars and many prototype instruments.

Unfortunately the ToneSmith website is being re-designed at present but the above two links should give a good idea about what this company is about. It seems ToneSmith have a steady list of word of mouth orders that puts the serious business of making them before publicity!

320 Deluxe:
Scale Length: 650mm / 25.5 inches
No. of Frets: 22
Hardware: Bigsby Vibrato
Body: Hand carved hollowed Ash.
Neck & Fretboard: Maple with special ToneSmith wing inlays
Pickups: Two special Lace built humbuckers with Lace lipstick middle pickup.
Piezo Bridge Option: Yes
Vex Wah option: Yes
Finish: Champagne Sparkle

(See the ToneSmith flyer in the images below)

The easiest way to describe it is a scaled down luxury Gibbo 330 meets a Telecaster - or maybe a perfect heavenly crafted Danelectro with a touch of Hofner Verithin - but either wouldn't do justice to the uniqueness of this guitar. Every conceivable tone from Surf and Country twangs to rich jazz and full blown piezo acoustic (or any mix thereof) is on tap. And there's still more!! The Bigsby does the obligatory shimmer, of course, but for dedicated tone hounds there's nothing like the electrostatic vex-wah circuit. Once switched in the tone can be radically altered by simply moving your hand over the pickguard to produce everything from fast warbling wahs to slow sweet spots, in the manner of playing a Theramin.

Light studio use only.

  • RATING = B+ (Very, very good for the year)
  • PRICE: £1100 (with original TONESMITH logo reinforced zipped case)