Top Left: Mike Sherman at work in his one-man operation shop in Connecticut. He produces roughly 60 guitars (by himself) annually. Bottom Left:
Sherman is calling this work in progress his “Flamed Bass.” Finishes are one of the most important processes for Sherman, who says the wrong finish can
ruin hours of tedius work. All of his instruments undergo a 12-step finishing process that can include grain-filling of porous wood, and various degrees of
sanding, dying, coating, and buffing. Right: Sherman has formed a niche with “a new breed” of players seeking fanned-fret instruments with 7, 8, 9, and
even 10 strings.
Dumont, and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen—and many of those players
continued to be supportive of his work as he branched out on his own.
Guitar collector Lee White was introduced to Sherman by
chance on the online guitar community Sevenstring.org. Intrigued
by photographs of Sherman’s work that he calls “stunning,” White
decided to take the plunge and ordered an 8-string instrument.
When the neatly wrapped guitar package arrived at White’s office,
he was blown away by the complexity and beauty of the instru-
ment. “My jaw completely dropped,” says White of the set-neck
“super strat” with a burled-mahogany top and fretboard LEDs. “It
was named ‘Bison’ by the Sevenstring.org crew, because the figured
wood looked a heck of a lot like a bison’s head.” He didn’t even
make it home from work before he ordered another—a set-neck
7-string with a flame-topped mahogany body and a piezo-pickup-
equipped Floyd Rose tremolo.