Vintage Texas Design
Custom Guitars built in Austin, Texas
We've seen it (and done it) hundreds of times: grabbing the guitar out of the side of a partially unzipped case while standing up. We do this to save space, to save time, or to save our backs. This observation became the driving concept behind the Vertigo™, the world's first top-loading guitar case. The top loading feature might have been enough, but we went ahead and redesigned the Headlock™ for automatic neck support. Then we created The Boot™, a rubber sole designed for unsurpassed protection against vertical drops. The game has changed.
Please read our Strict Warranty and Returns Policy Below. Do not place an order on our Custom Built Guitars Without Reading our Returns Policy.
Custom Made Top Guitar Bodies
- CNC cut at our shop in Austin, TX
- Made from superior grade Alder wood
Custom Made Top Guitar bodies are made from superior grade alder wood. Alder is a light weight, closed grain wood that grows right here in the United States. Alder is known for giving guitars a nice balance of warm and bright tones.
Our bodies start as a block of wood and are cut with precision using a CNC machine at our shop in Austin, TX.
Custom Made Top Guitar necks are made from North American hard maple. Maple is perfect for guitar necks because it is firm and rigid yet light weight.
Our necks have a comfortable C-shape profile and are firmly bolted to the guitar body with four 1 1/4” screws and a neck plate.
We offer rosewood and maple fretboards on any style of Custom Made Top Guitar. Our fretboards have a 14" radius.
Scale length measures the distance the guitar strings travel between the bridge and the nut. Both our Dixie and Reedsdale guitars have a 24.75” scale length.
Our necks come standard with 22 medium-jumbo frets.
At this time, all of our necks include dot inlays. We do not offer custom inlays at the moment.
All Custom Made Top Guitar necks feature a 13 degree angled headstock. An angled headstock increases string tension which helps your guitar stay in tune and reduces string vibration to increase sustain.
All Custom Made Top Guitar necks feature a truss rod. A truss rod is an adjustable steel rod that runs the length of the inside of a guitar neck. It can be fine tuned to adjust to your playing style.
Seymour Duncan company has been making some of the best pickups in the world for over 30 years. During this time, Seymour Duncan pickups have been played by artists such as Robert Smith from the Cure, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmore, Slash, and many many more.
Here is more information about some of our favorite Seymour Duncan pickups:
The JB™ owes its popularity to over-wound coils, which provide high output with just the right amount of sustain and distortion -perfect for searing leads. Pair this pickup with Seymour’s SH-2n Jazz for versatility or the SH-1 ‘59 for vintage tone.
The '59 is Seymour Duncan's most popular hand-built vintage humbucker, perfect for classic rock, blues, jazz, and country. Expect warm and crystalline clean tones, full and bright distortion, and smooth sustain. Pair this with a second '59 humbucker to complete the Vintage Blues set.
Alnico II Pro Humbucker
The Alnico 2 magnet and moderate windings provide a warm, sweet tone with more natural string vibration for great sustain. Classic rock players who get their distortion from the amp rather than the pickup love these pickups. Compared to the '59, the Alnico II Pro has a rounder sound with a spongier bass response.
Vintage ‘54 STL-1b Broadcaster Set
The STL-1b and STR-1 duplicate the sought-after vintage sound of early Teles® with larger-diameter pole pieces in a flat pole piece orientation. Compared to the Vintage '54, this pickup has slightly more output and more snarl in the mids.
Alnico II Pro Single Coils
The Alnico 2 magnets and moderate windings yield a warm, sweet tone with more natural string vibration for great sustain. Compared to the Vintage '54, the Alnico II Pro has a rounder sound with a spongier bass response.
Hot Rails for Dixie
High output single-coil-size "rails" humbucker. Hot Rails™ deliver a fat, full sound--just like a full-size humbucker--turning your Dixie into a raw, chunky powerhouse perfect for classic rock, indie rock, garage, punk, thrash, and metal.
Our Custom Pickups
Our custom pickups are made to match our desired specifications.
Custom Made Top Guitar Humbuckers
Our Custom humbuckers give your guitar a powerful, warm tone with the ability to play everything from blistering lead solos to smooth rhythm chords.
Tech Specs: Resistance: 8.2K ohm | Inductance: 4.4H
Custom Made Top Guitar Single Coil Bridge Pickups
Single coil pickups have a thin, bright, twangy tone. Our Custom Made Top Guitar single coil pickups have that classic Telecaster tone, great for blues, country and rock.
Custom Made Top Guitar Single Coil Neck Pickup
The Custom Made Top Guitar Dixie neck pickups give your guitar that classic warm country/blues tone perfect for chickin’ pickin or strumming rythm chords.
Enclosed tuning machines with a 12-to-1 gear ratio will keep you in tune. No string slipping with these bad boys.
Choose gold, chrome or black.
Custom Made Top Guitar bridges feature adjustable saddles and through body string suspension.
Reedsdale Bridge and Tail Piece
The Reedsdale requires a bridge and a tail piece. We use a tune-o-matic bridge that allows you to fine tune your guitar’s action to fit your playing style.
Available in gold, chrome and black.
Want to add something really special to your guitar? The famous Bigsby was the first successful design of what is now known as the whammy bar or tremolo arm. The Bigsby is installed on the top of the guitar. When the arm is pushed down, the strings loosen, lowering their pitch. When the arm is released the strings return to their neutral position.
Switches, Neck Plates, etc.
All of our switches, neck plates, jack plates and screws are available in gold, chrome and black.
We currently offer 22 different paint colors and stain finish options.
The paint we use is part of the PPG Envirobase line. This is a waterbased paint that contains very low VOC levels and therefore is some of the most environmentally safe paint used on any guitar. This same line of paint has been adopted by high end car manufacturers such as Lamborghini and Ferrari. This paint is also an important element in our production process because it dries quickly, allowing us to build our guitars in less time.
“1 OF 1”
Many guitar manufacturers use serial numbers on the back of their guitar necks or headstocks so it can be determined when in the production run a particular guitar was made. Because every Custom Made Top Guitar is unique, and not part of a series, we hand number the back of every headstock “1/1”
If you want to add a bit of sparkle to your paint, choose a metallic color. These colors have a small flake in the paint that shines when hit with light. We offer metallics in the following colors:
Black, Silver, and Gold
After a guitar has been painted or stained, it is sealed in a protective clearcoat which prevents the paint from chipping and also gives a guitar its shiny finish. Typically clearcoat takes a long time to dry. However, at Custom Made Top Guitar, we use a special clear coat that can be fully hardened quickly with the use of a high powered ultaviolet (UV) light. This clearcoat levels beautifully giving your guitar an almost mirror-like finish.
Text and Graphics
Designing with Text and Graphics
There's no better way to customize your Custom Made Top Guitar than by adding graphics and custom text. To get started, just look for the "Paint Upgrades" category on any of the guitar configurator pages. Then choose the "text" or "graphics" subcategories. The video below shows you exactly where to find these options.
One of the more popular areas of the guitar to add custom text is the headstock. Typically, guitar manufacturers put their brand name on the guitar’s headstock. With Custom Made Top Guitar you can add your own name, logo, or other text to the headstock and brand it anyway you want. Or you can leave it blank.
How We Apply Text and Graphics
The process for applying text and graphics to your guitar starts with graphic design software. Our team creates a vector graphic and then prints a stencil using a vinyl plotter. This stencil is then applied directly to the guitar. Next the guitar goes to the paint booth with the stencil attached and paint is sprayed. The stencil is then removed leaving behind your text or graphic.
Adding Graphics/Text To Your Pickguard
Text, graphics and even full-color photos can be printed onto our pickguards using a high resolution printer. We print on the back of a clear acrylic pickguard which, when attached to the guitar, prevents the image from being scratched off by a pick. The acrylic gives the pickguards a nice glossy finish.
After your guitar has been custom painted to match your design, it is assembled by hand in our shop in Austin, TX.
Our bolt-on neck is set using four 1-1/4" screws using our proprietary neck setting jig to ensure that it is perfectly straight with respect to the body. Next, the bridge is set and the tuners are installed.
The inside of the control cavity is coated with shielding paint to eliminate any interference from other electronics. The pots, switch and pickups are then installed and hand wired. The fretboard is then treated a special conditioning oil to enhance character and protect the wood’s natural moisture content.
Once the remaining components are assembled, we string up your guitar and begin adjusting the bridge to set the action. Bridge height and saddle location are meticulously set to give your guitar great feeling action and perfect intonation. Your guitar is inspected and tested by our quality control team before being securely packaged and shipped.
Strict Warranty and Returns - Please do not buy if you cannot follow our Terms and Conditions
We want you to love your Custom Made Top Guitar. If for some reason you are not happy with it when it arrives, we want to hear from you immediately.
Due to the custom nature of our guitars, we cannot accept returns in exchange for cash refunds. However, if something is wrong with your guitar when you receive it in the mail, we’re happy to take the guitar back and fix any issues.
To arrange to have your guitar returned to us, please contact us at admin@thetopguitars prior to shipping the guitar. In your email please provide us with the following information:
- Shipping Address
- Telephone number
- Reason for return
Once we have this information, we’ll arrange to have the guitar returned to us and will contact you with more information.
Please pack the guitar in the original box it was shipped to you in. Color: