Our sister publication Guitar Aficionado recently featured a review of the Teye El Dorado Solidbody Guitar. Built by Austin-based luthier Teye, the El Dorado is inspired by the work of Tony Zemaitis and firearms from the Sahara desert.
“I first saw these enormous Bedouin rifles in the southern Spanish town of Granada, and their image has always stayed with me,” he says. “They’re made from dark, polished rosewood and inlaid all over the place with mother-of-pearl and brass studs. Everything is done by hand, so they look kind of rough but have so much soul.”
The guitar shown here is one of just two El Dorados ever made. The first, which has different inlay and engraving patterns along with gold hardware, was built to accommodate a special challenge. “I have a customer in Canada who bought my La Perla model, which has a 500-piece mother-of-pearl mosaic in the center,” Teye explains. “He started stoking the flames under my butt, asking me to outdo that guitar. So I came up with El Dorado.”
Main photo by Massimo Gammacurta