Going Electric: Teuffel Black Birdfish Custom & Versoul Raya 6

This very special Going Electric feature takes a closer look at two truly exceptional instruments linked by a commonality you'd be hard pressed to guess from the surface level alone.

Joining me on the sofa for this incredibly enjoyable journey was UK Session pro and good friend Tim Steer, who brought not only inspired playing but a wealth of knowledge and insight into what makes these guitars so unique to interact with.

The thread that ties these two guitars together is in their being championed by one of my personal heroes, Blues/Rock icon and frontman of Texas legends ZZ Top, the Revered Billy. F Gibbons, and on plugging them in, it became clear that despite the drastic differences in the makeup of the instruments, there's an inherent voice and feel to the two that make them such a wonderful pair.

Both sporting a set of three handwound humbucking pickups from their respective builders, the Birdfish and Raya alike present a wide range of tones and capabilities coupled with sensational playability and instantly recognisable aesthetic choices.

Check out the video below, hopefully the sheer amount of fun we had making it translates to the viewing!

A little more info on the guitars in question;

Teuffel Black Birdfish Custom Electric Guitar - £17,950

We are incredibly excited to announce that we now have a limited edition Black Birdfish from mast luthier Ulrich Teuffel, in The North American Guitar showroom. Quite possibly one of the finest electric guitars we have ever seen and played. Built in a chrome body matched with ebony bound Alpine Maple & Mahogany tone bars, this all-new version of the world-renowned Birdfish will set any players world alight!

  • Scale 648 mm
  • 3 different humbuckers, covered with Ebony
  • 2 different single coils, covered with Ebony
  • Neck: Hardrock maple covered with 1,5 mm of Ebony
  • 1 set of tonebars from mahogany, covered with 1 mm of Ebony
  • 1 set of tonebars from alpine maple, covered with 1 mm of Ebony
  • Logo inlayed from stainless steel.
  • Stainless steel frets from Wagner.

Versoul Raya 6 Custom Electric Guitar, Terracotta - £4,700

The Raya 6 Custom is Finnish luthier Kari Nieminen's most iconic silhouette under the Versoul name, and has been seen in the hands of The Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood and legendary ZZ Top frontman Billy F. Gibbons.
Composed of Finnish Alder for the body paired with an extraordinarily beautiful one-piece European Curly Maple neck, in turn topped with an East Indian Rosewood Fretboard, the Raya 6 Custom combines an inherently vintage feel and subtext with space-age and frankly drop-dead gorgeous aesthetics.
The three hand-wound humbucking pickups in this instrument are a combination of Alnico 2 magnets for the Middle and Neck pickups and Alnico 5 for the bridge. Between the three of these you have a wealth of powerful yet dynamic tones available from neo-soul and jazz cleans through to gained up rock tones, all of which are delivered with zeal and inspiring individuality.
  • Custom apointments: White mother of pearl strip inlays on fingerboard, gold plated hardware, third pick up. No pick guard; pu's mounted direct to body.
  • Body: two piece Finnish alder, offset shape, a bit thinner than normal Raya model, terracotta finish, nitrocellulose paint and lacquer
  • Neck: bolted on one piece European curly maple, in transparent dark brown/black finish, terracotta finish, nitrocellulose paint and lacquer
  • Fingerboard: East Indian rosewood
  • Scale: 25,4"
  • radius 12"
  • Tuners: Gotoh
  • Nut: Finnish wild moose shin bone
  • Truss rod: two way adjustable, 4 mm hex key
  • Frets. Stainless steel, mini jumbo
  • Position marks on the side of the neck; Gold leaf
  • Hardware: chrome plated
  • Bridge: Gotoh tuneomatic, strings through body construction
  • Controls: Master volume and master tone, CTS pots
  • Switch: CRL 5 way switch with Custom Versoul East Indian rosewood knob & Green abalone shell dot.
  • Jack: Switchcraft with cat eye plate
  • Pickups: Three Versoul humbuckers, bridge AlNiCo 5, middle and neck AlNICo 2 magnets. All hand built & wound by Kari Nieminen.
  • Pot cavity plate: East Indian rosewood

If you want to know more, or just chat about these superb electric guitars, please don't hesitate to get in touch at hello@thenorthamericanguitar.com or call in on 0207 835 5597.


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