In the near-ish future, we'll be doing a feature on the storied guitar shops of New York City -- the sort of places that should always figure highly on every visiting guitarist's must-see list.
In the meantime, however, here's a quick look at Cobra Guitars, which is at 67 E. 3rd St. Suite B in New York, not too far from Guitar World HQ. Yes, it's a shop, but it's also where Cobra Guitars are made -- by hand, one by one.
Music Radar recently included the Cobra Guitars Cavehound model among its list of The 10 Coolest Electric Guitars in the World Today. (Also on the list: the Gibson Custom Don Felder "Hotel California" EDS-1275 and the Danelectro Wild Thing.)
From Music Radar: "Right at the top of our chart is this incredibly limited, distressed-to-hell-and-back thinline bombshell. Lovingly handcrafted in NYC, we honestly can't think of another guitar on the market that we'd rather turn up to a show with."
Cobra Guitars is owned by Jimmy "Cobra" Carbonetti of New York City.
"Each guitar is made one at a time, from start to finish," Carbonetti says. "I get the wood from Brian Monty, an amazing guitar builder from Montreal, Canada. There is no use of C-and-C machines -- it's all old school, by hand. I also have help from Sammy 'Yabba' Hopkins, who I used to work with at 30th Street Guitars doing repairs, and Mas 'The Horse' Hino, who worked with John Suhr at Rudy's, doing repairs and building.
"I'm obsessed with vintage guitars and amps, so the guitars I build have a lot of vintage inspiration. Being born in New York City, I feel D'Angelico's vibe wile i work. D'angelico guitars and 1950s and '60s Gretsches and Gibsons are big inspirations for the guitars I build. But since I'm a touring musician [His band is called Caveman], I put the qualities I feel that would better the sound feel and strength of Cobra Guitars."
All the guitars have bolt-on necks and a flat headstock designed by Carbonetti and Robert James, a men's clothing designer.
"We're always coming up with ways to collaborate," Carbonetti says. "We've even been talking about a combined 'Cobra Guitars By Robert James' shop for the fall, which would be the place for any musician who loves music and fashion to come soak up the vibe.
Check out the photo gallery below.
Surf/rockabilly/blues/rock guitarist Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World. He's in two bands that have performed around the country and in England, Mister Neutron and The Blue Meanies. He's a former member of the Brooklyn-based Gas House Gorillas, he's played on sessions and soundtracks in NYC and LA, and he's tired of eating apples. Seriously, how many apples are we expected to eat? Check out his recent Clarence White playlist.