Bad Brian Guitars
Check out this video review of Bad Brian JoistCaster "Ruddy" by GearmannDude
Check out this video review of Bad Brian JoistCaster "Sharkie" by GearmannDude
I call these guitars “Upcycled”: (up·cy·cle/ˈəpˌsīkəl/verbpast tense: upcycled; past participle: upcycled reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original.)
And, yes, one more thing - just like violins - the bodies are finished with Shellac and the necks of my guitars are either unfinished or protected by a thin film of oil.
Sound of these guitars can be described as very loud, bright and resonant when strummed unplugged. The sound is clear and well defined. It is unique, but still has a very much Tele like character when plugged in. Very good sustain. Lots of highs an' twang but a lot of bass, too. Will get growly when pushed.
I "liberate" modern guitars finished with Polyurethane. Basically, Poly is plastic, so these bodies, necks and sometimes fingerboards are "sealed" in a thick plastic sheet. This sheet "dampens" the natural vibration of wood and kills the sound. Anyone ever hear of a Poly finished violin? On top of that (well, rather, under it) comes a "clear coat", of Polyurethane usually, then "wood sealer" and at the very "bottom"stain!
I strip guitars to bare wood, first. All my finishes are hand - rubbed. They include analine water stains, oil, wax and shellac - also known as "French Polish". All finishes are "natural". I do not use any toxic materials! A shellac, oil or wax finish will ensure unfettered vibration that will be felt by the player - and heard both by player and listener.
Currently I am working on a number of solid - body electric guitars.
I'm using reclaimed (salvaged) old growth “Douglas Fir” which is hundreds of years old. The wood was reclaimed from the North Toronto Collegiate Institute (NTCI) which was built in 1911 and was torn down in 2010.
Reclaimed joists were 18 ft. long - straight as an arrow. They were cut from old growth trees with extremely tight grain. Many rings are narrower than 1mm. They had strong winters back in the day! Judging by the number of rings, the trees that these joists were made of, started growing somewhere in mid 1600s. I did some research, and these old - growth trees were pretty much gone by the early 20th century - when the school was built.
Sap is completely crystallized. Wood is dense, tight grained, surprisingly hard and heavy for "softwood" and very resonant.
Fingerboard on some of my “Joistcasters” are made of reclaimed Coney Island Boardwalk “Brazilian Walnut” boards. These boards were salvaged after the boardwalk was severely damaged in a storm a couple of years ago.
The Ipe Brazilian Walnut has a natural durability and a profound beauty. It is a very dense, tropical hardwood highly resistant to rot and insects while carrying a Class A fire rating reserved for concrete and steel. It is no wonder why this species has been used for the boardwalk along the beach of New York City’s Coney Island and lasted 25 years which is astounding when considering the sheer amount of traffic and exposure to elements.
Due to the oily nature and high density, “Ipe Brazilian Walnut” is used for flooring, furniture, decking, footbridges, railroad crossties, tool handles, boardwalks, boat docks, and even piers.
Now, used for guitar fingerboards, as well!
Brian's Mutt • "Rusty" 2019 Natural
(Five Star Reverb Review:)
Really does sing like a bird.
Guitar arrived in sufficiently protective packaging and was undamaged, is clean and plays beautifully. Action is set nicely and intonation was almost perfect upon arrival.
Very clear a lot of care was taken when putting this beauty together.
- Brett Pryor
Bad Brian JoistCaster Special • "Woodie" 2019 Natural
Five Star Reverb Review:)
I wanted to let you know that the guitar arrived, safely, in one piece. Thank you for packaging it so well. That mattered a lot to me. Thank you for your keeping in touch with me as well (forwarding me the link to proper tracking).
The guitar is BEAUTIFUL! I re-strung it, made a few adjustments, and plugged it into my set-up.
WOW. Great feel. Great tones. Great guitar. The pick-ups are amazingly well balanced and the range of tone I can get from the entire rig is outstanding. I've been playing for forty-five years and have owned many guitars (the usual suspects and some pretty cool one-offs), but this one is already very special to me. It might end up being the first one I've ever named.
I also wanted to let you know that I am due to tour later this year. I will be using this guitar A LOT during those performances. This particular guitar of yours rounds out the core group of five guitars I'll be taking on the road with me.
I actually LOVE the "serial" position and the third position. There is punch in the fourth and third positions. It's incredible. I'm running through some straight-forward effects (some really nice overdrive and compression pedals) into an Orange TH 30 with an Orange 4 X 12 cabinet (Celestion speakers). The combination of everything is simply great. The other thing is that I also have a solid state Orange rig (their Orange Crush Pro 120 with a matched Orange Crush Pro 4 X 12 cab - mainly for modulation effects and such...) and the guitar sounds unreal through that set-up.
All the work shows, my friend. It truly does. I will actually contact Matthieu (Rainville Audio, Toronto) to thank him for the great sounds!
Again, thank you. I will spread the word and, most likely, be in touch to see what else you can come up with.
- Anthony Tyler
A VERY special guitar is in the works! A 5 string Tele with an 1800s Martin Stauffer style scroll headstock and tuning mechanism. I really wonder where did Leo get the inspiration for his headstocks? (BTW). Designed and built for playing in open G tuning. "Five strings, three chords, one asshole" According to Keith Richards this is all it takes to sound the way he does :-)
All BadBrian Guitars have non - toxic (Nitro), non plastic (Polyurethane), hand rubbed oil, wax or Shellack, also called French Polish. These finishes allow the wood to vibrate freely, resonate better and sustain longer.