Featured here are our completed guitars and basses. Click each image to enlarge.
Check out what some of our customers have to say about their D&S instruments at Harmony Central:
We knew our thirtieth instrument had to be something very special so we went right back to the very beginning of the solidbody electric guitar; as a result almost everything about Europa guitar No. DS 0030 says '1950'. From the swamp ash body to the slotted head screws, from the black bakelite pickguard to the placement of the string retainer, many original elements have been incorporated into our take on the traditional 'blackguard' guitar. We did of course have to do a few things differently for the benefit of playability and intonation, as such number 30 features a modern 9.5" fretboard radius, compensated Joe Barden bridge and an Electrosocket input jack. Elsewhere you'll find a riftsawn maple neck with quartersawn maple fretboard (the earliest T-style guitars had no 'skunk stripe'), Kluson tuners and a set of specially commissioned pickups from Wizard. For the finish we chose amber as opposed to butterscotch to make it just a little different from the other 'blackguard' repros. This guitar is currently available to purchase, please visit the For Sale page for more details.
Europa Deluxe guitar No. DS 0029 pairs a traditional design with exotic woods and a different configuration than you'd normally see on one of these guitars. Starting with a swamp ash body finished in transparent emerald green, we added a gorgeous birdseye maple neck and fretboard with compound 7.25" - 9.5" radius, TV Jones Classic (neck) and Classic Plus (bridge) pickups, Hipshot hardtail bridge, Kluson style vintage tuners, rear mounted electronics and chrome hardware. A very different and distinctive sounding guitar with lots of tonal versatility. This guitar is currently available to purchase, please visit the For Sale page for more details.
Europa guitar No. DS 0027 takes the classic slab-bodied design and does something a little different. The body is solid mahogany topped with a 1/4" thick bookmatched padauk top, and the guitar also features a birdseye maple neck and fretboard, custom lipstick pickups, Wilkinson compensated 3-saddle bridge, chrome hardware, Kluson style vintage tuners and rear mounted electronics. At 8lb 11oz this guitar has tone and sustain to die for. This guitar is currently available to purchase, please visit the For Sale page for more details.
Our first Europa Thinline (No. DS 0025) features a semi-hollow mahogany body, making for a warm and jazzy guitar. The guitar sports a mahogany neck with soft 'V' profile and Madagascan rosewood fretboard, a Seymour Duncan '59 humbucker in the neck position and a Seymour Duncan STL-2 Hot Lead pickup at the bridge, master volume and tone controls with a standard 3-way switch, Wilkinson compensated 3-saddle bridge, Kluson style vintage tuners and chrome hardware. Weighing in at just 6lb 5oz, this is our lightest guitar to date and the semi-hollow mahogany body imparts all the openness of a good jazz guitar while retaining the distinctive characteristics of the hollow T-style design.
Swingmaster Bass No. DS 0028 is our first 5-string and our most ambitious bass project to date. Incorporating a one-piece Honduran mahogany body with a 1/4" thick bookmatched black walnut top, this bass also features a set of Nordstrand MM-5.2 humbucking pickups, a modified Nordstrand 2B-MM preamp, Hipshot A-style bridge, Hipshot Ultralite tuners, maple neck with satin finish and gloss headstock front and an ebony fretboard decorated with light abalone dot inlays. Exhibiting fine sound and playability, this bass provides everything you would expect from a high quality J-style 5-string bass coupled with chunky MM-style pickup tones. A TUSQ nut and chrome hardware round out the package.
Swingmaster Bass No. DS 0026 was commissioned by a private buyer from Connecticut. This superb bass features a semi-hollow swamp ash body finished in transparent crimson, a maple neck with rosewood fretboard, satin finish on the neck with gloss headstock face, Hipshot ultralite tuners, Hipshot bridge, Joe Barden pickups, a Stellartone 'ToneStyler' bass tone control, a brown tortoise pickguard and chrome hardware. Weighing in at a very comfortable 8lb 1oz, this bass produces all the tones you'd expect from a traditional J-style bass guitar but with some added 'air'. This is one of the nicest Swingmasters we've built so far, and we're very proud of it. The customer's choice of strings was DR Hi-Beam medium gauge strings.
Avatar guitar No. DS 0024 is painted in a colour very dear to our hearts, a colour with a long history and rich heritage in the world of motor racing - British Racing Green. The body of number 24 is alder, and the guitar also features a one piece maple neck with vintage tinted gloss finish and 22 frets, Wilkinson 2-point vintage style tremolo bridge, Seymour Duncan 'California 50's' pickups, Kluson style vintage tuners, parchment 3-ply pickguard and chrome hardware. This guitar is currently available to purchase, please visit the For Sale page for more details.
Avatar guitar No. DS 0023 looks a little different here to how it has actually ended up looking - originally commissioned by Virginia guitarist Neal Watkins, the guitar sports an alder body finished in Vintage White, Schaller die cast tuners, Callaham Vintage 'S' tremolo bridge, parchment pickguard, Wizard 'Texas' Alnico V pickups, custom switching to allow seven different pickup combinations and chrome hardware. Originally Neal had asked for a maple neck with a pau ferro fretboard, as shown in the photos below, but the guitar now features a maple neck with a maple cap fretboard. The guitar now belongs to Dave Tomasso of Herndon, VA.
Rialto Bass No. DS 0021 is the first fretless bass we have built. It features an alder body finished in Ice Blue Metallic, a maple neck with vintage tinted gloss finish, fretless rosewood fingerboard with off-white dots and lined markers, Tesla VR-B3 Vintage Reflection pickup, Hipshot bridge, parchment pearloid pickguard and vintage 70's style heavy gauge tuners.
This Europa Special (No. DS 0022) sports a swamp ash body finished in transparent orange, a one piece maple neck with thin nitrocellulose finish, 21 frets and a compound radius fretboard (7.25" - 9.5"), Seymour Duncan STK-T2B, SLS-1 and SM-1N pickups, white pearloid pickguard, Wilkinson compensated 3-saddle bridge, Kluson style tuners and chrome hardware. It also features custom switching to allow all seven possible pickup combinations. It's also very lightweight and resonant. This guitar now belongs to guitarist Greg Clare of Clifton, VA.
Our fourth production Swingmaster Bass (No. DS 0020) is a more contemporary take on the offset waist electric bass design. Starting out with a solid swamp ash body finished in transparent sapphire blue, we added a maple neck with quartersawn maple cap fretboard and vintage tint gloss finish, modern 9.5" fretboard radius, front routed control cavity, chrome control plate and knobs with no pickguard, Wizard 'Eighty Four' pickups, Badass II bridge, Dunlop Strap Lock strap buttons, heavy gauge bass tuners and Rotosound Swing Bass strings. A versatile bass that will easily handle funk, rock, blues and everything else in between. This bass is now available to purchase, please visit the For Sale page for more details.
We went back in time to 1954 to get the right inspiration for Avatar guitar No. DS 0019. Well, maybe not literally, but this guitar intentionally has a distinct 50's vibe to it, from the Dakota Red alder body with deep contours to the one piece maple neck with walnut skunk stripe and soft 'V' profile. Other features include vintage tinted gloss finish on the neck, vintage style Kluson tuners, Callaham Vintage 'S' tremolo bridge, Callaham/Lindy Fralin 'Special Wind' 50's pickups with Callaham steel base plate on the bridge pickup, single ply 8-hole parchment pickguard and parchment knobs, pickup covers and back plate. While we've gone for the 50's feel and look on this one, we've also included modern appointments like our standard 9.5" fretboard radius for improved playability, shielded body cavities and tone control for the bridge pickup. This guitar is currently available to purchase, please visit the For Sale page for more details.
Our eighteenth production instrument is this Avatar guitar (DS 0018), which we built as a tribute to Ritchie Blackmore. The guitar features a swamp ash body finished in clear gloss, one piece quartersawn maple neck with vintage tint gloss finish and 21 frets, large 1970's inspired headstock, Callaham Vintage 'S' tremolo bridge, Wizard 'Freaky' single coil pickups, parchment pickguard, knobs and pickup covers, vintage style Kluson tuners and chrome hardware. This guitar now belongs to guitarist Greg Clare of Clifton, VA.
Rialto Bass No. DS 0017 is our first production Rialto, and the second bass commissioned by Northern Virginia bassist Denny Begle. A hybrid that blends features from several eras of the original classic solidbody bass, this Rialto features a '51 body style with '54 style contours, '51 style large pickguard, '57 style large headstock, swamp ash body finished in our tobacco burst, maple neck with birdseye maple cap fretboard and vintage tint gloss finish, narrow 'J' nut width, Hipshot Ultralite tuners, Hipshot vintage bridge, Wizard 'Trad' split '57 style single coil pickup, Callaham vintage dome knobs, Schaller Straplok strap buttons and chrome hardware. Denny chose a tweed case for his new bass.
The Swingmaster Bass shown below (No. DS 0016) is the second Swingmaster we have made with this configuration. It was commissioned by Northern Virginia bassist Mark Davies, and features a rear-routed semi-hollow swamp ash body with f-hole and our signature tobacco burst finish, a flat-sawn maple neck with satin finish on the back and gloss finish on the front of the headstock, an Indian Rosewood fretboard with a 10" radius, Hipshot bridge and tuners, Wizard 'Sixty-Four' pickups and chrome vintage style dome knobs.
Europa guitar No. DS 0015 is a twin humbucker Deluxe version. Features on this stunning guitar include an alder body finished in our signature tobacco burst, deep body contours, contoured neck heel for easy access to the higher registers, birdseye maple neck with 22 fret Indian rosewood fingerboard, Seymour Duncan 'JB' and 'Jazz' model humbuckers, Hipshot hardtail bridge, vintage style Kluson tuners and chrome hardware. The guitar also sports knobs and pickup bezels which were handmade from solid rosewood. This guitar now belongs to guitarist George Brooks of Silver Spring, MD.
Our Firenza guitar (No. DS 0010) has been in development for some time, and is now complete. Starting with a body style designed by our friend Brian Gipperich, the Firenza brings together features from many classic guitars to form a true hybrid instrument. Features include a solid mahogany body, clear gloss cherry red finish, maple neck with vintage tint gloss finish and 22 fret Indian rosewood fretboard, Seymour Duncan SH-4 'JB' and SH-2n 'Jazz' humbuckers, Callaham Vintage 'S' tremolo bridge, large late 60's style headstock, vintage style Kluson tuners and chrome hardware.
Europa Special No. DS 0014 was commissioned by session guitarist Zach Cutler from Washington, DC. Zach's guitar features an alder body with bookmatched flame maple top, maple neck with Indian rosewood fretboard, vintage tinted gloss finish on neck, front and rear body contours, white binding on front edge, subtle 3-tone sunburst finish, Schaller die cast tuners, chrome hardware, white pearloid pickguard, Seymour Duncan SM-1N, SLS-1 & STK-T2B pickups, custom switching and a modern 6-saddle bridge.
Read Zach's review of his Europa at Harmony Central:
Avatar guitar No. DS 0013 features a single piece alder body, tobacco sunburst finish, maple neck with maple cap fretboard and vintage tinted gloss finish, Schaller chrome die cast tuners, Callaham Vintage 'S' tremolo bridge, black 3-ply pickguard, chrome knobs, Seymour Duncan SLS-1 'lipstick' pickups and custom switching to allow all seven possible pickup combinations. This guitar is now owned by guitarist Donny Holcombe of Spotsylvania, VA.
The Europa guitar shown below (No. DS 0012) was purchased by guitarist Tom Johnson of Front Royal, VA. Features on this guitar include a double bound ash body in Candy Apple Red, cream ivoroid binding, gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish, flamed maple neck with Madagascan rosewood fretboard, vintage tinted gloss finish on neck, Wizard 'Velvet' pickups, vintage style Kluson tuners, Wilkinson half-size compensated bridge, body mounted bridge pickup and chrome hardware.
The all black Europa guitar shown below is a one-off non-production guitar which was built by Graham for his brother. It features an alder body in Classic Black, maple neck with clear satin finish and soft 'V' profile, black 3-ply pickguard, twin dual-rail humbucker pickups, modern 6-saddle bridge with Graph Tech String Saver saddles, modern Gotoh die cast tuners and chrome hardware.
Our first Avenger electric guitar (No. DS 0009) features Wizard's excellent 'Velvet' Alnico II pickups, contoured offset waist alder body, a lovely smoky tobacco sunburst finish, single ply black pickguard, Joe Barden compensated vintage style bridge, vintage style Kluson tuners, chrome hardware and a standard Europa style neck in maple with vintage tinted gloss finish and 21 frets. The name that we chose for this cool and exciting new guitar is taken from the Hillman Avenger, a very popular British car in the 1970's that was also a very successful rally car.
The gorgeous Europa guitar shown below (No. DS 0005) has some features that are loosely inspired by those found on the famously modified Telecaster guitar of GE Smith (the former guitarist with the Saturday Night Live house band), namely a Wilkinson half size bridge plate with compensated brass saddles and having the bridge pickup mounted directly into the body instead of being suspended from the bridge plate.
Other features on this guitar include an ash body with 2-tone sunburst finish, one-piece maple neck with clear gloss finish and 22 frets, Kluson vintage style tuners, chrome hardware and two vintage early 1970's Fender Telecaster pickups that were rewound for the guitar by Wizard Pickups. In the early stages we were going to put a 1950's style 1-ply black pickguard on the guitar, but the grain of the ash body is so attractive we realized it would be a shame to cover it up. We chose a particularly heavy piece of ash for the body, and the resulting guitar weighs an impressive 9lb 5oz.
Our Avatar guitar (No. DS 0008) is one of the most gorgeous guitars we've built so far. The alder body with its rich three tone sunburst is truly stunning, and it gives the guitar a fabulous 60's vintage vibe. Other features include a vintage tinted maple neck with a 22 fret pau ferro fingerboard, parchment 3-ply pickguard, Callaham Vintage S tremolo bridge, vintage style tuners, Wizard 'Texas' pickups and chrome hardware. A Callaham steel base plate has been installed on the bottom of the bridge pickup to give the guitar more bite and custom switching has been added to allow seven different pickup combinations. An Avatar with these options and features is one of the most versatile guitars that we build. After serving as our main demo Avatar, this guitar now resides in the collection of guitarist and friend George Jackson.
The Swingmaster Bass below (No. DS 0011) was commissioned by professional bass player Denny Begle of the Northern Virginia based Chicago blues band Deja Blue. It features a rear-routed semi-hollow swamp ash body with f-hole and a clear gloss finish, a flat-sawn maple neck with satin vintage tinted finish on the back and gloss vintage tinted finish on the front of the headstock, an Indian Rosewood fretboard with a 10" radius, Hipshot bridge and tuners, Wizard 'Sixty-Four' pickups and Callaham vintage style dome knobs. Denny chose a tweed hardshell case for his bass.
Check out the customer's review of this Swingmaster Bass at Harmony Central:
Europa guitar No. DS 0006 was recently revamped for Nashville session guitarist Louis Fabrizi, and features an Olympic White alder body, parchment 3-ply pickguard, one piece maple neck with compound 7.25" - 9.5" radius, 22 frets, Earvana compensated nut, vintage style Kluson tuners, chrome hardware, a Wilkinson Compensated 3-saddle bridge and vintage pickups.
Our Swingmaster Bass (No. DS 0007) has a solid alder body finished in Torino Red, a parchment pearloid pickguard, maple neck with rosewood fretboard and 70's style heavy gauge tuners, Tesla Opus JB hand wound pickups, custom Nordstrand active preamp, chrome hardware and a Leo Quan Badass II bridge.
The Europa Deluxe (No. DS 0003) shown below has an alder body finished in metallic amethyst, Schaller two-point tremolo system, quartersawn maple neck and fretboard with vintage tinted gloss finish and 22 frets, Kluson style vintage tuners, chrome hardware and Tesla Opus 2 humbucker sized P90 pickups.
This Europa Special (No. DS 0002) features three pickups that were custom made by Wizard Pickups specifically for the guitar - two custom 'TeleTweed' neck pickups wound for the neck and middle positions (the middle pickup is reverse wound/reverse polarity) and a Wizard 'B-Bender' bridge pickup. The guitar sports a three tone sunburst over an alder body, vintage tinted one-piece maple neck with gloss finish and 22 frets, Wilkinson 3-saddle compensated bridge, vintage style tuners and gold hardware.
This Avatar Deluxe (No. DS 0004) is a two pickup variant of our standard Avatar model. This one features a one piece mahogany body with no pickguard finished in clear gloss, a vintage tinted one-piece maple neck with gloss finish and 22 frets, Callaham Vintage 'S' tremolo bridge, vintage style tuners, Schaller Strap Locks and custom-ordered vintage style humbucking pickups.
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