Custom Guitar

Tala Custom Guitars can build almost anything you might want. The list of modifications and accessories is endless.


Body Wood

The basic body would we use is lightweight Paulownia, also know s the Princess or Empress tree.  It is the lightest hardwood and has been used in Asia for hundreds of years for making stringed instruments. In Japan, where the wood is know as kiri, it is used for making the soundboards of stringed musical instruments such as the guqin, guzheng, pipa, koto, and kayagum. When used for guitar the tone can be described as stunning.

Since paulownia can be relatively soft it has not been used much for building traditional electric guitars. A notable exception is Dean Guitars, who build the Vendetta and ML XM from paulownia. Early versions of Tala guitars used carbon fiber inserts in the body and neck pocket to insure stiffness, but we have found over the last five years that the exotic wood tops add more than enough stiffness to the body so that the inserts are not needed. Most of our guitars weigh between six and eight pounds.

We can and do build guitars from other tonewoods as well, including ash, maple, basswood and mahogany.

Top Wood

We use a variety of wood for our tops, including:

  • Flamed, Spalted and Curly Maple
  • Burl and Curly Redwood
  • Myrtlewood
  • Claro, Franquette, Bastogne and grafted Walnut
  • Pistachio - did you know it glows under black light?
  • Olivewood

Almost all our top wood comes from Oregon Wild Wood. They source from trees that have been blown down or from stumps that have been salvaged from previous logging operations. We get a Certificate of Source for most tops that show the wood was harvested in an ecologically responsible manner.

Guitar tops can range in thickness from around 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch, with some carved tops requiring a thicker top. Things to consider are wheter or not you want a carve in the top, binding, or just a burt-over on the finish. Thicker tops also add more weight.

Neck Wood

All our necks are made from a single piece of maple, except for the Alyse which gets a set mahogany neck.

Neck Profile

Our standard neck is a thin C-shape such as you would find on modern Fenders. We can also provide a soft V, an asymmetric neck, or a custom profile of your choice.


We use either Ebony or Indian Rosewood fingerboards, or you can choose a one-piece maple neck. Other woods may be used as well.

Our standard fretboard radius is 10 inches, but we can build a neck with any radius you want. We can also do a compound radius that starts at 10 inches at the nut for easier chording, and flattens to 16 inches at the 21st fret.



Our standard fret markers are dots, usually abalone or white/black phenolic. Side dots can be white, black, or abalone. The Alyse model come with trapezoid inlay.

All fingerboard inlay other than dot and block is outsourced, and this the only part on our guitars that is. We can have virtually any inlay you can design done on either rosewood or ebony. At this time we cannot do one-piece maple necks.


Standard models come with medium/jumbo frets. You can specify wide or medium fretwire in a variety of heights.



Very basic models may come with a plastic nut, but we usually use GraphTechâ„¢ nuts. You may also choose other types as well as locking nuts. Most are available in either black or white.


Standard models come with Wilkinson tuners, but you can specify any other available brand. They are generally available in chrome, with nickle, black or gold as a higher cost option.


The standard guitars come with the ost common bridge - a six-screw tremolo bridge on the Lycan, a standard Tele bridge on the Phoenix and a stoptail bridge on the Alyse. The Gryphon and Wyvern basses come with standard Fender bridges. You can specify other bridges as well, including a hipshot B-bender bridge on the Phoenix.


Our Wendigoâ„¢ pickups are hand wound using fiber flatwork, Alnico 2 and Alnico 5 magnets and Formvar or enamel wire.


Our standard guitars come with Switchcraft jacks and switches, Orange Drop caps and vintage 22-AWG cloth jacketed wire. Other parts can be substituted upon request.


You can choose from a variety of shapes and colors as well as knobs with abalone caps.


String trees, strap buttons and similar hardware is available in a variety of styles and finishes.


Binding is available on any guitar. The Phoenix comes with binding standard, as does the Alyse. The Lycan can be bound. You will lose the rounded top edge, but the body contour will remain.


You can choose almost any color for the finish, including bursts and natural. The guitar can be finished in either traditional nitrocellulose lacquer (8-12 weeks curing time) or with 2-part catalyzed urethane. The nitro is a traditional finish, but not very durable. The urethane finished are rock hard and cure in a day or two. We don't use hazy polyester. All finished are hand buffed to a mirror shine.