I decided to custom order a Hufschmid guitar because I am a fan of independent builders and their work. Patrick Hufschmid is an independent builder for the past 23 years, who lives and works in Aigle, Switzerland. I opted for his super strat body, which is a double cut shape with pointed horns. I wanted a quilted maple top, which is joined to a highly ribbon figured one piece sapele body... a staple of the Hufschmid builds. The neck is a one piece sapele neck with a west african ebony fingerboard and has a 3 per side tuner configuration on the Hufschmid designed headstock. I love the way the strings do not break in either direction as they leave the nut, they are in a straight line with the tuner which enhances tuning stability. There is also no need for string trees with this type of design. The neck is hand carved by Patrick based on a picture of my hand, and I must say it is a truly comfortable profile, it feels perfect for me. I am impressed with the craftsmanship and the design of this guitar. The neck heel is exceptional, and is completely unobtrusive when you are playing on the higher frets. I love the playability of this guitar and the look is beautiful.
Now on to the sound... I opted for the Hufschmid "flame maple textured" pickups, with the script "H" logo. The pickups look like they are made from blocks of black stained flame maple, there is actually a visible wood grain look to them!! Impressive and unique. Based on my musical taste I chose the OTT set of humbuckers, which are NOT active pickups, although they do not have visible polepieces. I love heavy rock and metal music and this guitar KILLS IT! The tone is incredible, with a defined heavy bottom end, and clear articulate highs. It has amazing sustain and is one of the most resonant guitars I've played. When I am feeling so inclined I play on clean and I am very impressed with the clarity and definition of the pickups. This guitar is capable of beautiful melodic sounds AND bone crushing shred... all in one super comfortable, very easy to play instrument. The action is low and fast, without any fret buzz. The intonation is spot on perfect. I would absolutely recommend a Hufschmid guitar to anyone who is looking to break away from the "big box brands" and wants to play something unique, which is entirely made by hand. Patrick sent me progress reports and photos daily and his communication was great. I never had to repeatedly contact him in hopes of a reply. The entire process was great. I received my guitar after roughly 6 weeks and was surprised because Patrick didn't inform me it had shipped... he surprised me by telling me it was being delivered to me that very day!!! I love the guitar and the entire experience was a pleasure.
Here are my specifications:
Super Strat, one piece ribbon figured Sapele body w/highly quilted maple top
One piece Sapele neck w/heel adjust truss rod, 3 x 3 Hufschmid tension optimized headstock
Exclusive Hufschmid " blue nut "
West African Ebony fretboard, 24 frets
Exclusive Hufglow Block inlays
Hipshot locking tuners, w/knurled barrel knobs, black
2 Hufschmid OTT Humbucking pickups, flame textured, H logo
Dunlop super pots, hipshot knobs, black
1 volume, 1 tone, 3 position pickup selector switch
Hipshot hard tail bridge, black
Hufschmid logo coin, inlaid on the rear of the body
Clear electronics cavity cover Schaller strap locks
It is a GREAT guitar, that sounds awesome and plays incredibly! Thank you Patrick!
This is my second guitar built by Patrick Hufschmid and I would like to thank him for these two weapons...
I am by far not an expert when it comes to luthiery, but from all the divers objets I’ve ever had in my hands, non has ever equaled this level of quality. This is the first thing which went through my mind the very first time I had one of his instruments in my hands and the same applies to this guitar...
-High quality laser engraved 500k CTS and a rare 'New old stock' K40Y-9 Russian military spec 0.022uF capacitor'.
-Exclusive Hufschmid ‘HUFTRON nut’.
The overall balance and lightness of the instrument is incredible, the 15 coats of hand applied varnish are probably a great contribution to this and with such quality timbers, painting such gorgeous wood would be criminal
The hardware is as usual top notch, perfect tuning stability, spot on.
The ‘one piece neck’ is incredibly fast, slightly rounder than the one of my H6, a little more in the ‘ESP’ spirit but this is completely subjective. (Patrick builds to measure his necks according to the hand tracing of his customers, this guitar was not built for a customer in particular but to his own taste).
The body, very aggressive looking for me, this is a subtle blend of a Jackson Warrior and a BC Rich Chuck Schuldiner with an incredible ‘straight-pull’ and reversed ‘in-line’ headstock!
This is the game changer, THE biggest difference with all the guitars I’ve owned in the past... The sustain is phenomenal, the Hufschmid
visible ‘Techtron HPV®’ bridge tone block fullfills perfectly its role, so much that the original nut had to be replaced by another material!
I mainly play death metal using low tunings, the clarity is trully impressive, the note definition is simply perfect. Even when the volume is turned down at its lowest, the quality persists and I can not remember when was the last time I’ve touched such a reactive and linear tone control.
These two passive humbuckers would put to shame any active anytime. I use a Kemper profiler, VHT Blackbeauty and an ENGL 2 X 12.
Altough I tend to play very aggressively, the guitar stays incredibly versatile offering some gorgeous clean tones. My guitars were always with either EMG or Seymour Duncan’s, today I see them as flanged instruments and to qualifie these Hufschmid pickups, I would simply say ‘Unleash the beast’’
Since I am the happy owner of a Hufschmid, I really have a hard time playing on something else, my ESP horizon is slowly taking dust. I’ve found exactly what I wanted in this guitar, I do not need anything else!
I can only recommend you to check out Patrick’s work and the passion he puts into it or even better would be to go and visit the beautiful region in which he lives. I’ve been there twice and I’ve always had the impression to take some forest with me even though Mahogany does not grow in Switzerland.