I first heard about Hufschmid Guitars a few years ago; like many guitarists I love to research instruments and gear, and when I found Patrick’s work something really struck a chord in me. The simplicity of the designs, the beauty of the natural wood, the approach to building, all of it drew me in. However at the time I couldn’t even dream of ever owning an instrument like that, and so I didn’t even entertain the notion. Fast forward a few years and I find myself extraordinarily lucky to own one of these magnificent guitars.
The initial ordering process was exceptionally smooth, Patrick is very knowledgable and expeditious in his replies, and he’s easily one of the most amicable and personable individuals I’ve had the pleasure to do business with. We worked out the initial details of the design and took care of payment, and the ordering was underway.
Patrick uses only FSC-certified ethically sourced woods, and salvaged tops. We had originally selected a Claro Walnut top for the guitar, but when Patrick came to me with the idea to use a stunning salvaged Koa top I was instantly on board. I knew he was the artist and trusted his judgment, and I’m very glad I did; the combination of gold hardware and Koa turned out beautiful. The pieces of Sapele selected for neck and body are equally beautiful in a more subtle way, and the natural West African Ebony fingerboard selected is the perfect compliment to the Koa; the tan and chocolate streaks in the grain of the ebony and the way it meets the neck is one of my favorite things about the guitar. The neck itself is Patrick’s design adjusted to my hand, not super-thin and unstable but solid and comfortable, it’s the best neck I’ve played and I’ve played the gamut from paper-thin to baseball-bat-thick to ergonomic designs.
On to the hardware, Patrick uses a high-quality Hipshot bridge and tuners, as well as custom potentiometers and capacitors, and the best-looking pickup rings I’ve ever seen. Patrick based the pickups off my own music and playing needs, and so they suit me perfectly. They are his own resin-cast design and made by Kent Armstrong, and they are bar-none the best pickups I have ever played or heard. The whole guitar works as a system, of course, and so the versatile array of sounds at my disposal with just a volume tone and 3-way switch are frankly mind-blowing. The ability to manipulate volume without loss of tone like a traditional pickup is a well-received feature, and makes achieving clean and low-gain sounds as simple as lowering the volume with no tonal trade-off of any kind. Tone knob manipulation yields an awesome selection of sounds from searing metal to classic LP-style rock to beautifully subdued jazz and woodwind-like tones.
The whole guitar really speaks for the innovation and dedication of the builder, every little detail is paid meticulous attention to. From the placement of the strap buttons and output jack, to the stunning and unique fretwork that makes playing absolutely effortless, to the revolutionary Techtron HPV nut material, to the eminently comfortable and excellently crafted armrest and body bevels. It all comes together to make a truly special instrument, greater than the sum of it’s parts. I know I fall short in my description of it, and so I’ve done my best to capture at least some of the attention to detail and artistry that goes into these amazing guitars.
I contacted Patrick because I was interested in something personal, something truly unique and inspired, the work of an artisan and not just another assembly-line guitar. I’ve owned quite a few instruments from the well-known companies, and while I’ve found nice instruments for sure, I’ve never quite found the personality or artist's touch I’ve looked for. I contacted Patrick because, ultimately, I want an instrument I can bond with and carry with me for the rest of my life; every time I play my Huf I’m filled with pride and love for the guitar, and the utmost respect for the builder. It inspires me every single day. I’ve finally found everything I’ve ever wanted in an instrument in my Hufschmid Guitar. Thank you so much for this wonderful instrument, Patrick; words do it no justice.