The US Custom Series team uses musical instrument-grade hardwoods from a number of US suppliers. They also hand-select some hardwoods from a rich lumberyard in Humboldt County, a densely forested region along the Pacific coast in Northern California. After choosing the perfect pieces for necks and bodies, the team cuts the lumber, and then lets it rest in a specially designed, temperature- and humidity-controlled space until it becomes optimally seasoned and relaxed. This requires a minimum of one month for the necks, which are made from quarter-sawn lumber that resists warping or twisting—ensuring stability and playability throughout the life of your guitar.
When the neck wood is ready, the team runs it through the initial processes on the CNC machine, and then installs the truss rod and glues on the fingerboard. At this point, the neck returns to the special temperature- and-humidity-controlled space to rest for two days. Then the team completes the final steps in the CNC process, which include the perimeter and back shape of the neck. Then the shaped neck rests another two days before the fretboard is leveled and the frets are seated.
This time-consuming process delivers unparalleled results. For example, the machine is toleranced well within a thousandth of an inch on the fretboard slots. Each scale length is produced with dead-on accuracy, resulting in far superior intonation compared to hand-cut fretboards.
Of course, there are numerous steps that require the touch of a skilled craftsman to produce the incredible tactile experience that’s the signature of a world-class guitar. The fretting is all done manually, one fret at a time, and the fingerboard edges are rounded over by hand to ensure great feel. Each body and neck is meticulously hand-sanded and carefully measured, inspected and evaluated.