Category: Guitars

Zachary Z-1 100903

My Guitars: Zachary Z-1

I bought this guitar sight unseen. Didn’t play it. Based solely on the website of Zachary Guitars. The guitars were beautiful. Made out of everything from exotic wood to wood thrown out at a Home Depot to pine. The site is a furious manifesto on the merits of Zachary guitars and why everything else is crap. It intrigued me.

I kind of badgered my way into a guitar. Usually he makes them and you buy whatever he has made, if you qualify. I picked from what wood he had available and generally annoyed him. He said several times “I normally don’t do it this way”.

Is it any good?

This is an amazing guitar. It plays very well (save the design error of the Z-1 making it difficult to reach the upper frets). It sounds great. The custom Zachary pick-ups are great from clean to a full on crunch. They are coil tapped so you can get a lush single coil sound.  It is a bit on the heavy side (8lbs) but I don’t notice the weight as it is very well balanced.

What is it made out of?

The body is butternut on the back and zebrawood on the top. The neck is maple with a wenge fret board. Hand made no CNC machines.

Does this make a difference?

Not sure. I am sure Alex would say I am not worthy, but honestly I have a $219 Gibson Melody Maker from 1991 that sounds as good as this guitar. Now that guitar may be an aberration. My Vaccaro guitars (Astrolite and X-Ray) are pretty shoddily constructed but they sound great. Especially the X-Ray which is on par with the versatility of the Zachary. To be fair the Z-1 need no augmentation to feel comfortable, the Vaccaro’s needed the strap button moved to make them hang comfortably.

Now for everything that is not about the guitar.

Everything else is crap is his mantra. Lots of god, lots of scantily clad women. The rants are amazing. I have spend hours reading this site. This is part of what lured me to the guitar. Such an extreme point of view. The guitars had to be good.

I’d get another one in a second.

Not sure I’d qualify for one now. The R480 is pretty awesome. I do have the antithesis of the Zachary coming shortly, an Explorer shaped EGC. All aluminum, CNCed, powered coated white. I’m sure Alex at Zachary would confiscate my guitar if he could.

More Links

More pictures of my guitar.

Here is an interview Alex from Zachary did with Esquire.