Tao Guitars Phaeton "Giacomo" - Custom Boutique Hand-Made Archtop Electric Guitar - Metallic Red - NEW!
Tao Guitars Phaeton “Giacomo”
Custom Boutique Hand-Made Electric Guitar
Featured in the NAMM Show Boutique Guitar Showcase
The philosophy behind Tao Guitars can pretty much be summed up in one sentence, “It is better to work ten days on one article than producing ten articles a day.” All Tao instruments are completely handmade from scratch, one by one, by John and Serge in their Brussels workshop. Each project is a unique creation and every instrument has his own character, specifications, cosmetic details, and a personalized name with a hidden meaning to suit its particular style and finish.
Phaeton is the result of a project intended to cure a very acute form of the G.A.S (Guitar Acquisition Syndrome). It was designed from the ground up to be a masterpiece that would both calm the illness and afford John and Serge the opportunity to build their dream guitar. The conceptual direction for “Phaeton” was that it should be the most exotic guitar possible – some kind of mythical vintage instrument, a milestone in Guitar History. The goal was to build a hollow jazz guitar with a compact, rounded, and ergonomic body-style that could handle high volume feedback while providing the sustain of a solid body electric.
After several brainstorming sessions and the resulting drawings, it was decided that this guitar would be based on Orville Gibson’s vintage Style 03 with a body hand carved from two solid slabs of wood - Spruce for the top & Mahogany for the back and sides. The “Phaeton” name has been synonymous with class and luxury throughout automotive history, and as enthusiasts of vintage and contemporary automotive design, John and Serge often draw inspiration from classic cars (especially hot rods). Car styling aesthetics are obvious here - from the two tone color scheme to the sound holes bearing reference to air intakes. Of course there is nothing new about guitar models inspired by classic automobiles, but it’s the way in which Tao focuses on the fine details to create an overall elegance, so that every creation becomes a functional piece of art, that truly sets their work apart. Love & passion are evident in the slightest details here, from the custom made switch tip, knobs, pickup covers and the handmade ebony carbon layered tailpiece. Even the finely detailed electronics components (which are polished and a work of art in and of themselves) are hidden discreetly behind custom magnet locked Lexan back plates. Every single part was either custom made or customized – A trademark quality of Tao Guitars.
Due to the challenging nature of the design, with its complex shape and contours, the process from scraping to the final sanding took over 200 hours to complete - And a thousand more to finish the whole instrument! The most emotional moment came when it was finally time to hear this creation! The Phaeton’s tone is as bold and striking as its looks, leaning toward the Gretsch-like character spectrum, but with a voice of its own, you will hear smooth sparkling highs with tight and focused low end. Although originally intended for Jazz, the Phaeton is more than capable of unleashing a more rocking attitude when pushed – a surprise and welcome response!
All Tao Guitars are hand crafted using the finest materials available. Necks use a quartersawn grain pattern for strength, stability and tone as well as a special asymmetrical profile with rolled edges for maximum comfort. Proprietary double-action truss rods with spoke-wheel adjustment accessible from the end of the fingerboard are custom fabricated to spec from premium grade titanium for sound and weight purposes. The rod is flanked by a pair of carbon bars running from the 9th fret to the end of the fretboard in order to keep things stick straight for the lowest possible action. Another unique trait of Tao guitars is their use of a medium jumbo fret wire from the 1st to the 12th fret and then a switch to narrower wire from the 12th fret onward. This is not something visually obvious and of course all the frets are leveled and crowned to perfection so you don’t “feel” the change either, but the narrower frets do give the perception of additional finger space between higher frets.
This Phaeton takes its name "Giacomo” from the legendary 1970’s motorcycle racer Giacomo Agostini. The company colors for the MV Agusta brand bikes he rode were Red and Silver. This particular instrument was also displayed in the Boutique Guitar Showcase booth at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California which contributes an extra layer of provenance to its future collectability.
Features and Specs of the Phaeton "Giacomo" from Tao Guitars
- Solid hand-carved Spruce top
- Hand-carved Mahogany body
- Quartersawn Spanish Cedar neck
- Select Indian Rosewood fingerboard
- Asymmetrical Profile with Rolled Fingerboard Edges
- Tao Custom Fretting
- 24.75” Scale Length
- 12” Radius
- Benedetti pickups
- Vintage-style CTS Pots (hand-polished)
- 0,033 NOS Russian paper in oil capacitor
- Gold Contact 3-way Toggle switch
- Gotoh Stealth tuners
- Custom Made Knobs
- Custom Copper Bridge
- Handmade Ebony / Carbon layered tailpiece
- Magnetic black plates
- Custom made truss rod tool
- SKB Waterproof Flight Case Included