Double D

Double D When David placed his order for a custom Further, he added a few nicey-nice things like the custom fingerboard inlays and the wolf medallion below the tailpiece. He also had a custom neck size, and supplied us his Tom Anderson guitar to measure the width of the fingerboard and to emulate the shape of the carve he had grown so accustomed to. Then things just sort of grew from there.
While we were picking out Quilted Maple for Double D, our main Maple supplier dropped by with a sample of some unusually dark wood that he dubbed "Chocolate Quilted Maple." We instantly fell in love with it, and ordered a dozen billets for immediate delivery. The timing was perfect, and when the wood arrived a week later, I was sending pictures to David. He was hooked too, and he got to have pick of the litter from the original group of wood we received.
Other features suggested themselves as the build evolved, sometimes customs just grow as they go.
Chocolate Quilted Maple The color is so rich and the figure so intense on this Maple. The natural stain looks as if you spilled a cup of hot cocoa across the wood and wiped it away. If you are having trouble seeing how dark it is, compare the top wood to the neck wood and note how much contrast you can see.
There are some darker streaks running through the wood which are mineral deposits, which are more visible on the back. These are not defects in the slightest, just another facet of the beauty of Nature.
Double D Inlays David sent me a picture of another manufacturer's inlays that he fancied. It struck me that the concept could be developed into a form that was actually two letter Ds interlocked. David loved the idea so then I got to sketching and drawing. It was a lot harder than I thought! After scores of scribbles, I was finally happy with the results, as was David.
People have seen all sorts of things in these inlays: a bowtie, a sine wave, part of a treble clef, two snakes eating two elephants, you name it! But when we tell them it's 2 letter Ds, they all can see it clearly too.
Wolf Medallion Early in the design process, David specified a medallion inlay of Wolf. We've really amped up the detail in this artwork, and the list of materials included is extensive. The wolf's fur is tightly flamed figure Walnut, with a Buckeye Burl snout. His eyes are mother of pearl and abalone, with tiny sterling silver dots for highlights in his Ebony pupils. Wolf's ears are lined in golden mother of pearl and his eyebrows are agoya shell. His black Tahitian mother of pearl nose has Pink Ivory wood nostrils. His mouth is lined in Pink Ivory, and the tongue is a custom cast red acrylic. Wolf's teeth are white mother of pearl.
The whole show is then set onto a background of Flame Maple which is wrapped in sterling silver, then in Ebony then again in a broad sterling silver band. We sanded this outer ring to mimic the grooves on a record. It really shines in the light.
peghead peghead
The Further guitar comes standard with an Ebony front veneer, which looks great as an extension of the Ebony fingerboard. In addition to the standard inlaid logo with shell, David requested a lightning bolt inlay, which we did in golden mother of pearl to coordinate with the warm color of the Chocolate Quilted Maple.
To make the rear facing veneer, we used the same piece of wood that we made the body laminates from. After expertly resawing with a bandsaw, we then sanded the wood to match the thickness of the other strengthening veneers in the peghead. Many of the woods we use do not have commercial sources for matching veneer, and even a relatively common wood may have such an unusual grain pattern that we are compelled to make our own veneer in these cases.

DDM Monogram While I was working on the sketches for the fingerboard inlays, I had an inspiration about David's initials "DDM" and I created a monogram based on the front inlay D shapes, integrated with a take on a 16th century M. I thought it might look nice on the peghead, a little secret inlay, with a little cryptic twist, and David agreed so we cut it from one HUGE piece of golden mother of pearl.

Topload Tailpiece To work with the inlay, we've made a tailpiece that gently curves around the medallion so they don't interfere with each other. There's a couple of other tailpiece details, like the decorative Ebony shim and the top-loading feature for the strings.
Standard for the Further guitar, the bridge's hardware is concealed in the rails. There's just 6 little holes to access the intonation screws. Not standard is the luxurious 24 karat gold plated finish on all the brass parts.
Side LEDs Blue side LEDs with amber at the 12th and 24th fret for playing in low light situations and of course the overall coolness factor! Each LED is inlaid in a tiny sterling silver circle so that even when the lights are turned off, they work as position markers.
The LEDs are supplied power by three 9 volt batteries. These batteries are separate from the battery that powers the electronics of the guitar. We've also included an internal dimmer control to set the overall brightness and an on/off switch mounted on the front of the guitar for those times when you don't want or need the lighted indicators.
DDM Nameplate Another touch of personalization, initials DDM are cut through a long piece of golden mother of pearl and then filled with our special recipe of black epoxy and Ebony dust. Even after refretting and relevelling years into the future, these letters will still be just as nice as they are now.
"It is absolutely a beautiful piece of art," David wrote to us recently, "and the playability is not to be believed. While I love my collection of Tom Andersons, Fenders, Gibsons, G & Ls and Ricks, this guitar is in a world and class unto itself. One would really need to see, hold and play this guitar to truly understand how unique and special it is."
A complete joy, that's all we can say about working with you, David. It's also what we say about your guitar - Double D was pure joy to make, and we're glad that you are enjoying it so much now.

Front Back


  • Further Studio Guitar
  • Chocolate Quilted Maple top and back
  • Purpleheart body
  • Flame Maple, Purpleheart, and Cherry neck
  • Ebony fingerboard
  • Golden mother of pearl "DD" inlays
  • Golden mother of pearl "DDM" nameplate
  • Golden mother of pearl "DDM" monogram
  • Golden mother of pearl lightning bolt inlay
  • Inlaid logo with shell
  • Wolf medallion inlay
  • Continuous wood backplates
  • Blue with amber LEDs
  • Inlaid logo with shell
  • Gold plated solid brass hardware
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Text by Mica Wickersham Thomas, © 2012 Alembic, Inc.
Photos by Mica Wickersham Thomas, © 2012 Alembic, Inc.

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