We made a guitar from Monel

We made a guitar from Monel

Monel was the first guitar string material. You’ve seen it on the Retro strings a lot of manufacturers are doing now. It crisp but it’s warmer in a unique way. The sound feels different. I love them. Different tool. I’ve been looking for years for the sheets I need to make an entire guitar body from this incredible material. We found it. We made it. This is it.

It’s a different tool. It’s not better or worse. It’s like the strings - still crisp but warmer. It feels different. I would say 304 is like a spruce top and Monel is cedar. I love it. The set is expensive - about $800 more than stainless. Does that make it better? No. It’s a different sound, it’s a different tool. Maybe it’s that swivel head socket for you - it’s exactly what you need. Maybe it’s not. We make the tools- you’re the one on the mission.

Someone on a message board referred to Mule as “the Hattori Hanzo of luthiery.” It’s a reference to the sword maker in Kill Bill. I loved that. There’s a turning point in many movies where the hero has an impossible mission and needs an impossible weapon. The grungy blacksmith gets a twinkle in his eye. Alfred unveils a new Bat Suit.

That’s my joy. Making music tools for people so they can do something they haven’t done. Seeing people hear a sound they haven’t heard and go to “that place”. Only instrument makers get to feel that feeling.

The thing that’s driven me is my curiosity of how to make that happen. Resonators that aren’t “set up for slide”, neck shapes that are shaped like your hand not alphabet letters, tricones with F holes, stainless steel, our billet t bridge, pickups mounted through the top of the resonator- these were ideas that came from the question, “how do I make inspiration machines that get out of the way?” Music tools need to influence different musical choices but can’t distract from that process.