Picking Up Where We Left Off (Again)

We are honoured to work with legendary Texan pickup guru, Bob G. Harrison. His pickups are more than engineering masterpieces - they are works of art too. One of Bob’s greatest attributes is his desire to work with other designers and develop new ideas. This can be noted on our first collaboration, the “Stegosaurus”, our contemporary “P-90” interpretation of the Valco “Brontosaurus” single coil.

Our current collaboration is an interpretation of the classic Teisco Del Rey Gold Foil, a single coil pickup made famous by Ry Cooder. Unlike the original, our modern reflection is humbucking. The bobbin is made from Bakelite and scatterwound in 42 AWG copper plain-enamel wire for increased clarity and tone. Bob machined the cover out of aluminium billet using old school engineering techniques and craftsmanship. We felt that the “Vigilante” humbucker would compliment the “Stegosaurus” single coil perfectly, so we put it on “The Prowler” prototype. Consequently, various professional guitar players and reviewers have stated that we have now added to the appeal of the guitar. We also added a white pickguard to make her look more Harmonious!

We unveiled our “Stegosaurus”/”Vigilante” variation of “The Prowler” at Tillyfest 2012 where she was reunited with Mitch Laddie. Mitch and his band performed a stunning set that included three songs with him playing the guitar. Mitch’s verdict on the “Vigilante” was extremely encouraging and on the overall package: “Awesome, from the stage she sounds amazing. I love the “Stegosaurus” pickup too because it’s full of bite, yet rounded at the same time”.

"Awesome, from the stage she sounds amazing . . ."

We are delighted at how “The Prowler” has been received since we unveiled her at the Musikmesse 2012 Trade Fair. Inspired by the Harmony Stratotone, “The Prowler” is our tribute to one of the most successful guitar manufacturing companies from the golden age of guitar design. The Harmony Guitar Company was owned by Sears, Roebuck & Company and in the early 1950s they introduced two iconic solid-bodied guitars, namely, the H-42 and H-44 Stratotone. These two guitars were very popular among musicians back then because they were relatively cheap to buy and were fitted with the legendary DeArmond “Hershey Bar” single coil pickup. One popular Blues musician who played a Harmony Stratotone was Robert Nighthawk. His Chicago playing partner, John Lee Granderson, also played one. Nighthawk and Granderson were fluid Blues guitarists and they complemented each other beautifully. There is some wonderful film footage of them playing live on Chicago’s Maxwell Street in 1964. On the film, Nighthawk is playing a Gretsch Corvette and Granderson a H-44 Stratotone. The film is also worth watching just to see some of the audience dancing provocatively in the street and for capturing the essence of early 1960s Chicago.

“The Prowler”, named after Robert Nighthawk’s “Prowling with the Nighthawk” album, has a one-piece solid Ash body, a Mahogany neck with Rosewood fretboard and Harrison/Raw “Vigilante” and “Stegosaurus” pickups. Bob and Simon are delighted how this concept turned out and; for us, illustrates that guitar design can be non-conformist and inventive! As always, thank you for your time and support. BR

Mitch Laddie photograph courtesy of Paul Knight, Star Shots Photography 2012