Shonky Archive‎ > ‎

ShonKy TH44

Thomas who bought commissioned this guitar from me kindly wrote an extensive review which can be read at the bottom of the page.

Review of the Shonky TH-44:

The process:
Great dialogue all through the build, from the initial enquiry all the way to me recieving the guitar on my doorstep.
The builder offered insights and ideas, and was most accommodating througout the whole process. 

The guitar:
A sturdy, buildt to last-instrument. After playing a lot of different guitars over the years, and playing with rather specific string configurations (0.85 - 0.14 tuned to open D/D#) I had yet to find a guitar that didn't feel fragile under those circumstances. strings would pop off, neck would bend etc. and playing would sometimes feel like "walking on egg-shells". 
But the Shonky TH-44 feels like an old piece of furniture. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. You can sit on it, stand on it, and probably throw it down the stairs and it would not affect playability. 

The neck is fat. And not fat in the way that some archtops or les pauls have fat necks, hell its not even fat like the original stratotones, this neck is like the leg of a table. Even if I were to place it on the ground, place one foot on it and try to break it by pulling upwards, I don't think I would be able to do so. This is not even hyperbole, its bare facts. This is like a square neck resonator, with slightly rounded edges.
Such a fat neck is of course an aqquired taste, and not for those who like to shred, but for someone like me who plays fingerstyle with a slide, its perfect.

This is a rather unconventional feature, and none of the other builders I approached seemed willing to build such a monster neck, which is another reason to choose shonky guitars for your build, complete customization. 

The estethics: 
I'll let the pictures do the talking, but even though this is a farily simple design, the pearloid pickguard, the pearloid binding on the neck, the goild foil in the pickup, the rich, dark mahogany, the black headstock and the copperplate shonky-logo comes together to form a beautiful, clean look that is in fact anything else than simple and plain. 

The sound:
Its surprisingly loud when played unplugged, as the distance between the strings and the body, combined with the density of the wood and guitar as a whole creates quite a bit of resonance.

Plugged in it sounds as if it were made in the fifties. Great tone for blues, ranges from muddy and screaming, to a semi-acoustic tone when played on a clean channel.

Due to the characteristics of the pickup and overall electronics, this will not work well with too much distortion/gain before is starts to sound mushy/plasticy. Its hard to describe, but if you are interested you can look up any demo of a teisco guitar on youtube, and proceed to hear what a vintage, low wound pickup sounds like when its exposed to too much distortion. Its not pretty.

But with the distortion between 2/3 out of 10 this guitar really finds its sweet spot, and you can sound like anyone from Marc Ribot, to john lee hooker or john fogerty. Great for blues, country and fifties rocksongs.

10/10, the guitar exceeded my expectations