Stratoblogster Labs: Thomas Guitars of Bolzano, Italy
Sexy Euro Strats just make sense!
And more than a few European builders are getting into it these days. Luthiers Thomas Orgler and Klaus Eiken craft solid-body electric instruments with the same old-world attention they put into their classical guitar building.
Located in the northernmost part of Italy, Bolzano also reflects the culture and architecture of its closest neighbors, Austria and Switzerland. Sorta reminds me of the classic storybook village where toy maker Geppetto created Pinocchio. Remember how Disney confused us with the Italian names, using Bavarian accents and surroundings? Geez -- I may have finally solved that mystery!
Oh yeah, Scott Henderson fans will appreciate that Bolzano is also known as “The Gateway to the DOLOMITES,” referring to a region of the Italian Alps. Isn’t world geography fun!
So anyway, these two Euro guitar makers are building killer guitars instead of puppets who talk way too much and lie until their noses grow. Although that would take some serious engineering skills.
The Thomas S-Custom featured here is loosely based on the ’62 Strat. Wholesome nutritious ingredients include a one-piece European alder body, Bosnian flame maple neck — slight “V” — and a Wilkinson VS100 bridge. Various options are offered with fret size and neck radius as well as nut and inlay materials. Recommended pickups come from either German guru winder Harry Häussel or Lundgren Pickups of Sweden. Pretty international content eh!
Body contours look fairly standard with the addition of a heel relief contour in the top cutaway area around back. The Thomas website provides plenty of pics and specs, although you’ll need to know your metric conversions for most specs. I’m just lucky to know that a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is called a Royale with Cheese, in France …
JP Holesworth authors the Stratoblogster Guitar Blog and resides in rural Oregon, surrounded by Pinot Noir vineyards, hop plantations, medical MJ farms and extreme environMENTAL consciousness. But he loves red meat and vacuum tubes!