This guitar was my first headless built by Patrick Hufschmid, and I have to say that it is incredible. At the time I secured my build slot for this guitar I already owned a few other Hufschmid guitars, and I wanted to try something totally different... the Hufschmid Atys model. It is a full size body, with a 25.5" scale length, but no headstock! When I received the guitar I was expecting an incredibly resonant guitar and that is exactly what I got. I fell in love with the "compactness" of the Atys and it is simply a beautiful instrument, not only looks wise but also in feel and sound. One of my favorite things about a guitar built by Patrick Hufschmid is the neck carve. I have never felt so "at home" and comfortable playing a guitar as I do on one built by him. One of my other favorite things is the fact that I am buying a guitar built entirely by hand, without the use of CNC machines. Sort of like comparing an oil painting to a print... these are not mass produced machine built guitars assembled by a team of employees, but are hand crafted works of art, made entirely by one man. That to me is incredible. The specs are as follows:
One piece perfectly quarter sawn Sapele mahogany body
One piece premium perfectly quartersawn Iroko neck
Highly figured quilt maple top with custom green "chaotic burst" finish
Premium FSC certified West African Ebony fingerboard
24 fret, 25.5" scale with a 12" radius
Exclusive Hufschmied Blue Nut
Luminlay blue fingerboard side dots
Made to measure Hufschmid Glowbuckers, the worlds first Glow in the Dark resin cast humbuckers
Dunlop 500k super pots, and a rare NOS Russian FT-2 0.027uf Teflon capacitor
Inlaid into the rear of the body is an actual minted coin, antique nickel finished, bearing the Hufschmid logo
Hufschmid 3D Kevlar control cavity design
15 coats of hand applied oil based varnish
Clear aerospace grade cell cast acrylic electronics cavity cover
This guitar has incredible action, a perfect neck and sounds amazing. I play many different styles of music and this guitar gets me every possible sound I could want! If you are looking for a guitar so UNIQUE that stands out in a crowd... a guitar that is so comfortable to play you won't want to put it down, a guitar that delivers an incredible range of sounds to suit your playing style... do yourself a favor and contact Patrick Hufschmid. He will handcraft you a beautiful guitar, that will surpass your expectations. It is like playing a true work of art!
I am a professional guitar technician AND I have been playing guitar for almost 41 years....
This Hufschmid Atys, which you can see below, is my sixth Hufschmid. Before this one, we worked on a seven string superstrat in 2010, a six string mockingbird-like in 2011, another six string superstrat in 2012, a second seven string superstrat in 2014, and a six string superstrat Helldunkel in 2018.
It seems a lot, but everything is never enough… Patrick has been offering his own version of a headless guitar since 2012, but I never really got interested into it, as headless guitars always referred to ergonomic weird instruments which I personally dislike, such as Strandberg or other works like this. However, the Hufschmid approach is very different as it stays as close as possible to a standard superstrat design, only with a large cutaway after the bridge which, combined with the missing head, lightens the instrument a lot.
Thus I finally got curious about it, and we started to imagine this new guitar with those specs :
- 25.5“ scale
- Body : Sapelli, one piece, quarter-sawn
- Neck : Sapelli, one piece, quarter-sawn, bolt-on
- White Delrin® nut, which is a very strong thermoplastic
- Sugar maple fretboard with 24 jumbo frets
- Luminlay® fret marks
- Radius : 12“
- Pickups : “12-poles“ with chrome cover, handmade by Kent Armstrong
- Hipshot bridge and “headblock“
- Mate varnish to keep a natural look and feel
- Standard tuning E A D G B E, with 10-52 strings
The construction is once again exemplary, when people see this guitar, they usually think it’s made using a CNC, and are surprised to learn that it’s not.. The lack of wood near the bridge, which can seem unusual, first made me curious about how the balance would be, but there were no doubts to have : the massive bridge adds some weight and the missing headstock compensates efficiently on the other side, making the whole guitar actually very balanced !
From an ergonomic consideration, all those cuts give the instrument a feeling of being “short“, very easy to use and practical. It brings a very organic feel when you hold it against your body, making it the most comfortable guitar I own, considering its light weight as well.
The neck is made even more stable and stronger as it is shorter than usual, and very easy to play on without being too flat or too thin, but rather with a very natural profile that prevents any tension in the left hand. Important thing to notice : the perfectly adjusted nut which, combined with the headless design, allows a virtually zero useless string lengths, for a killer tuning stability. Mouting the strings is also very easy, the head block is really efficient.
My other Hufschmid are mounted with Kent Armstrong pickups which were designed by Patrick himself, crafted directly into Epoxy for a mate and modern stunning look. For this one we imagined something different, as I was more into chrome hardware. So we chose chrome pickups as well, with chrome mounting rings, perfectly matching with the bridge and the head block. They are still handmade by Kent Armstrong himself (who’s very famous worldwide for his Jazz pickups), but with a more traditional look, closer to FilterTron’s. The 12 pole pieces are adjustable in height, for a very fine setup for every string.
Sonically, this guitar is quite unique in my arsenal of Hufschmids : only headless, only maple fretboard, only one with those pickups. First good surprise : the lack of wood doesn’t affect the resonance at all, I would even say it is improved by the shortened length and the massive bridge ! Then the “PAF“ character of the pickups appears as obvious, but with a delightful “twang“ brought by the maple fretboard, making the instrument outstandingly flexible.
The cleans are full of warmth without being blurred as they can be with that kind of pickups. The crunch sounds closer to single coils, which is a very good point for me, and the leads are nothing but pure joy, even with extreme gain settings, as those pickups have so much output hidden ! There, the volume and tone knobs show their efficiency and add even more versatility to this axe.
I plug it into a Fender Deluxe Tweed, a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister, or even direct into the PA with a Helix. The guitar has so much attitude whatever the gear : able of almost anything but with its own strong identity, far above pale-sounding generic instruments. All those esthetic and sonic specifications give this instrument a bunch of charm, I can’t leave it since I received it.
Above all the rest, the human experience was perfect, as usual, with dozens of pictures during the whole process. Patrick puts a lot into communication, with more than 20 years of guitar building, and this is gold when you consider the amount of luthiers that leave you with no information for months !
I am once more fully satisfied with this collaboration. Working with an artisan keeps being the best option for me, far above a cold purchase from a standard brand, which will never be that personal, no matter how much you put into it. This is a passionate work, by a passionate man, for passionate users.