Above and right: In the ’90s, Teuffel built a few modern
Strat-style guitars with set necks, flamed-maple or alder
bodies with a maple top, and open tremolo-spring cavities.
“To me, open trem routing is a business card for good
workmanship,” he says, “but you have to sand, paint, and
polish the cavity, too.”
Below: The fretboard on this version features yin-yang
I am very busy with building the current models, but I am working
on a new model for next year.
What can you tell us about the new model?
The new model is my journey back into guitar history. It will be an
electric guitar, but it will deal with elements from classical guitars
and elements of my own work history. The project name is Antonio,
and it will be finished for the 2012 Montreal Guitar Show.
What do you say to traditionalists and naysayers who think your
designs are inspired more by a desire to be unique and artistic
than to address practical musical needs?
I once had a talk with David Torn exactly about that, and he said
some people say his music isn’t music. Some people say my guitars
are not guitars. And some people visit museums of modern art and
say “This is not art.” I have a deep respect for traditional guitars,
and I have spent many years building them and learning from
them. My newer models are founded on this tradition. But guitar
playing now seems to mean something akin to taking part in a kind
of reenactment—as if you are role-playing the battle of Gettysburg.
You could call this the Stradivarization of the electric guitar. But if
you don’t see yourself as the role-playing type of guitar player, you
might be attracted by the freedom that my guitars will give you—
because they don’t lock you into the scenery of a reenactment.
Click here to see Premier Guitar’s
video demo of the Teuffel Niwa,