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Hoxey. Custom builds with a strategic concept in metal use.

Posted: May 8, 2023
We all have a pretty good idea of what a guitar is made from. They are two pieces of wood stuck together with some electronics to capture the sound.

This is a simplistic way to define the existence of a guitar. However, there is so much more that goes into the design and structure of an electric guitar. Many guitar brands have been built around unique concepts, that will differentiate one guitar from another. This is a topic we will cover at another time. However, we would like to focus on the material used to build an electric guitar. Can you imagine a guitar built using metal? Wait a minute, this type of build literally goes against the “grain!” Everything you know about guitar material is based on wood. Why change up what has been working great for decades?

 

Hoxey Guitars

The sound that and feel that is unforgettable.

 

Metals have always been used to enhance the sound of guitars. This is not a new concept. Despite sounding like a brand-new idea, guitars have been made using metal for almost a hundred years now. The first guitars made using metal date back to the mid-1920s when a man named George Beauchamp was fascinated by how he could make flattop and archtop guitars louder.

This approach to guitar materials has it “naysayers”. There is resistance from some to change to using metals versus the woods. Especially when it comes to the neck of the guitar. Some say the sound is tighter and more controlled. There isn’t any flexibility and there is the added weight. Also, that the guitar will needed to be tuned frequently. Then there is the higher cost of metals.

Realistically, not all metals are made the same. Over the years there has been dramatic improvements in the design and functionality of metal components. This should make it easier for a wood enthusiast to adapt to using metals. Consider the Hoxey brand of aluminum guitars. They have received an extensive review of their design of aluminum components. We recently had a chance to speak with Kam Hoxey regarding their use of aluminum:

For anyone dipping their toes into the aluminum game the best way to get started is to purchase one of our aluminum necks. Our 6 string aluminum guitar necks start at $477 USD which comes with a satin/brushed finish with a mirror polished fretboard. You can add upgrades from there (side dots, chambering, anodizing to add color etc). After that if you are looking to add more sustain for a low cost you can add one of our fender style aluminum pick guards for $30 USD. This way your pickups are mounted to a metal surface instead of wood which allows the pickups to feel the vibrations and keep the notes ringing on and on...A.K.A. sustain!

Wood absorbs vibration which kills sustain. Lastly if you would like to hear and feel the raw tone of your instrument you can purchase an aluminum body to complete your aluminum axe. A complete aluminum guitar is a precision instrument which will unlock the door to sounds you have never heard before on a wood guitar. You can hit natural harmonics on the first, second and third frets (which are incredibly challenging) due to the precision machining of the frets, neck pocket and bridge location on the body. The aluminum guitar is dimensionally more accurate than ANY wood guitar will ever be. Every dimension is held within one-thousandth of an inch tolerance (0.001”). To give you some context, a human hair is 3 thousandths of an inch (0.003”).

The top three benefits to aluminum are as follows…1) you get unlimited sustain out of your instrument & piano-like quality of playing. 2) you get consistency out of your instrument ie: tuning stability, does not warp in temp/humidity swings. 3) rigidity ie: traveling musicians no longer worry about the instrument getting knocked around or dropped. You will not break a headstock or the neck completely off the body (if the body is aluminum as well). The sole mission of HOXEY GUITARS is to provide players with the opportunity to own an aluminum neck/instrument without breaking the bank. “ALuthiers” Kam & RIch Hoxey (father and son duo) have 50+ years of machining/engineering/design experience which is expressed in every product that leaves the shop. I (Kam) actually left my job at SpaceX as an R&D Machinist to commit to HOXEY GUITARS full-time. Seeing the smile on peoples faces as they strum those first couple of chords is such a magical moment. It’s like it just “clicks” in their head and it all makes sense now. That’s how I know I’m doing something right. The inexpensive price helps them smile too haha.” - Kam Hoxey

Is this enough to persuade you to switch to metal? If you are doing it the Hoxey way, it should! Listen to the quality of a Hoxey custom yourself. Listen to the reviews from artists that sought out the Hoxey way. You will find that aluminum is affordable. The sound is amazing, and you just may never want to go back to wood necks again

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