Driskill Diablo #6

Serial Number: DF9807006
Top: Flamed Maple Cap
Back: Big Leaf Maple
Finish: Gloss
Board: Rosewood
Inlay: Longhorn
Bridge: ABR-Style/Stop Tail
Binding: Maple
Condition: Excellent
Driskill Diablo

Joe Driskill officially went into electric guitar production in 1998. This is the 6th electric guitar that he produced. The serial number is "DF9807006", and the DF in that number stands for Dad's Factory (aka his father's garage!) This instrument was made completely by hand, without the aid of CNC machining or any other similar labor-saving techniques. I don't mean to imply that it is not possible to build killer guitars with a CNC approach - it is. But Joe Driskill is a standout builder at this point in time - one of a few electric guitar builders who insist on handling every step of construction themselves. Joe takes it a step further, actually manufacturing his own hardware when he finds available products unsatisfactory.

Here's the rundown on this very cool guitar. The body is of Mahogany - two pieces, beautifully grained and richly stained to a dark reddish brown color. The body is topped with a Maple cap - and this is no veneer - this must have been a one inch thick chunk of flamed Maple before he started carving out the dramatic profile of the Diablo top. The neck is Mahogany, and has a killer profile. It is 1 11/16" at the nut, and has a very shallow profile from front to back, akin to the "wide/thin" feel. And it feels awesome. I tend to play thicker necks, and initially thought I would not find this neck comfortable, but it's actually fast and incredibly comfortable. It is also very stable, and feels quite solid.

The pickups are VanZandt - I am not sure exactly which model, but I am assuming they are Trubuckers. They simply say "VanZandt" on the back, although the bridge pickup also has the word "HOT" lightly etched into the back. I don't know if this was done at VZ or by Joe. The control configuration is simple at first glance, but the tonal palette available with this guitar is quite broad thanks to a five-way switch that in some positions is performing a coil-splitting function. Positions 1, 3 and 5 are I believe the standard "Les-Paul" selections, with 2 and 4 offering coil-tap tones. The master signal is influenced only by single volume and tone controls. This is a really fantastic sounding guitar, offering thicker humbucker-type tones right alongside more stratty sounds.

The fingerboard is Rosewood - might be Brazilian, but I am not sure. Beautiful but fairly conservative grain pattern. It is inlaid with "Longhorn" position markers, which Joe did by hand. That just astounds me. In fact, I spoke to him about the inlays on this guitar and he says that he can't do them quite like this any more with the machine he now uses - the eye sockets cannot be carved out on the smaller inlays. Each longhorn, even the tiny ones, have eye sockets in the skulls. It's an astounding piece of inlay work!

Condition on this super, and very collectable, guitar is excellent. There is one single ding on the top, on the very edge - an oval, about 3mm at its widest part, and finish only. It is about 3/4" south of the widest part of the lower bout, on the bass side. I did not get a good picture of it, but it's very minor. Also, it would seem that the guitar got bumped on the jack plate at some point - it is a bit bent on the bottom right corner, and a small chunk of finish is missing behind it. There is a small ding in the shape of a smiley, about 2.5" north of the jack plate. On the other side of the jack plate, a hairline finish crack about 1.5" in length can be felt but barely seen. There are also two finish-only check lines on the back of the headstock. The first runs vertically behind the treble side tuners, about 3" long, and the second branches off from the top of the first line at 45 degrees, and runs about 1.5". These are hard to see unless you're looking for them, but you can feel them with your nail. I am very picky about instrument condition, and like to err on the side of detail and thoroughness so that there are no surprises. Check my feedback and other listings. Overall, this Diablo impresses all around, and these minor imperfections will be quickly forgotten and barely noticed. And then you'll just have Driskill number 6 in your lap, and that's a very cool thing.

Includes original hardshell case, as pictured.

Even the tiny longhorn up at the 23rd fret has eye sockets, hand cut by Joe with a Dremell.
He says he can't achieve this these days on a CNC. Really amazing work!
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