Vlahopol Custom Guitars
Well, I started in 1985 under very peculiar conditions.
In 1984 – 1985 I got a 7 string acoustic Russian guitar instead of a drum set – at that time they were ridiculously expansive.
After some time I was encouraged by some of the best musicians of the time to start a band. Seeing all the guitars that all the bigger bands had, he’s got an idea.. to build a guitar instead of buying one.
Studying industrial design helped me a lot through the process. I started to measure the guitars from all the big players I knew and decided to start to innovate as much as possible. I soon realized it was impossible to get all the materials to make a guitar from top to bottom so I had to settle for a little less for that time.
CUSTOM GUITARS vs CUSTOMIZED GUITARS.
I started to buy regular electric guitars from the local market (in 1985 those were four full salaries), I took them apart piece by piece and rebuild the most important parts like modifying the neck by making it thinner, build a new body from scratch and making my own pickups and so on…
With a brand new body and much better neck I realized I need better pickups. So I started to make pickups by hand, so I soon went crazy.
Imagine making 8 – 9.000 turns on a pickup coil by hand having in mind that the wire was as thin as hair. With no technology and no tools I soon discovered how hard it was to an make electric guitar and for that reason only I settled to help closer friends to get a decent instruments by making guitar setups and intonations at the age of 16.
This is the first hand made guitar with the back body of an Explorer and the top body of an SG. – August 1985!
After many years of trying different shapes and styles for bodies he became aware of many technical aspects and his guitars started to improve over the years, refurnishing electric guitars mostly. As time went on he also played in bigger and bigger bands, most of the times he played with handmade guitars that he built for himself and only in 1996 I actually got an original guitar as a gift – My limited edition “Red Head”!…