Customer Q&A with Ryan, from Chicago

How did you find out about Frank Brothers Guitar Co.?

From other guitar nerds on Instagram. My buddy caught wind of your account and sent it my way I believe.

What stood out to you about Frank Brothers guitars?

Initially, the shape of the body. As I looked further into what you guys were doing, I was really turned on by all the custom options you offer while still maintaining your proprietary features like the body shape, bowtie head stock, floating tail piece. Seemed to me like you were willing to take technical and aesthetic risks without compromising your original product and I like that.

Why did you choose the Ultra-Light Model?

A unique answer for me, because I knew the ultra light model hadn’t been done by FBGC before. I had already signed on for a signature model when you announced the UL option and switched to the UL pretty early on. (there were a couple amendments to the original plan like that! Haha). Mostly I chose the UL for the added sustain and the similarities to a Gibson ES in tone and body build. The weight is perfect too. It’s well balanced. Just feels right. I love an F hole and wanted to have that option with the UL which the signature did not have (I don’t think?).

Were you nervous about ordering a guitar that you had never tried before?

YES. But… I had watched some videos and I always do my research so I felt confident knowing it would be something I’d feel good about. After signing on for the project I was able to ask you questions too which cleared up a lot of what I wanted to know about tone and feel. The Frank Bros had all the answers to my questions and were very professional. It definitely set me at ease knowing I could contact you with inquiries and

What was the ordering experience like?

Overall, it was great. Very simple and straightforward. Having a prior knowledge of what goes into making a guitar from scratch it was easy for me to understand all of the options once explained to me. Again, the Frank Bros were on call any time I had a question or needed something clarified. The email response time was prompt which sets clients at ease knowing their investment is being handled with care. I also appreciated the spec sheet and invoice being updated in real-time any time we made a change (large or small) to the project.

Did you enjoy the photo updates during production? How could we have improved the photo update experience?

Hell yes! That is one of the coolest parts! It’s so exciting to have the photos come through as it’s being built. Another added bonus is seeing some videos on Instagram with my handle tagged. I’m not sure what could improve this – I think it’s already ahead of the game – I haven’t worked with any other custom builders, but I also have not heard of anyone else who sends progress photos/videos for projects.

What was your impression when you picked up your Ultra-Light for the first time?

Blown away by the appearance, sound, and feel! I got to visit the Frank Bros shop which enhanced the overall experience. I played the guitar for the first time in the shop which is something I will always remember. I remember the way the neck felt – like it had been made just for my own hands. I could literally feel the precision that went into crafting it. So spot on and comfortable – like a guitar I had already owned for years. We were greeted with warmth and hospitality and honestly had such a blast enjoying the Frank’s company and hearing about their process/history.

Now that you've spent a few months playing your Ultra-Light, how are you liking it and how does it differ from other guitars you've owned or played?

I love it! It’s the best guitar I’ve ever played. Everything feels precise and comfortable which adds to the ease of playing it. I am enjoying the way it’s been interacting with my amps and pedals. There is little to no buzz from electronics at all – v clean! I am also really enjoying the nice, harmonic feedback I am getting from the resonance of the hollowed chambers. The electronics are well balanced too. I play in the middle position a lot and it’s been great to find all the nuances of dialing in my tone on both pickups with this new instrument. Every guitar is different and this one is set apart because it wasn’t made en masse on an assembly line with 1000 others just like it. When you buy a guitar from a big name brand you’re probably taking that guitar in right away for a set up. The FBGC guitar doesn’t need a set up. It’s ready to be played immediately. The Franks said the guitar would only improve in sound with time. I didn’t even know that was a thing, but I am looking forward to hearing the tone shape and evolve for years to come.

BONUS QUESTION: What’s your favourite band?

You probably already know this, but it’s Phish.

But right now I’ve been way into the following:

• Paul McCartney / Wings (always, but particularly the album “Red Rose Speedway” and McCartney’s solo record “Flaming Pie” / Flaming Pie is a total guitarist’s album!

• The new Tedeschi Trucks Band album called “Signs”

• Elyse’s fave band “Lucius” (I like their album called ‘Good Grief’)

• Synthwave music from: Mitch Murder, Phaserland, Miami Nights 1984, Tangerine Dream, Arcade High, Pilotpriest, FM-84, Com Truise

• The self-titled Bonnie Raitt album

• This YouTube channel called “Cool Funk” that plays a bunch of obscure boogie shit from the early 80s – guaranteed to make you dance

Check out Ryan’s band Nasty Snacks! Instagram: @NastySnacks