Gil Yaron Guitars

The Wood
It takes a great wood to make a great guitar. Plain and simple. This is why only a portion of my wood blanks get lucky enough to be turned into a fine instrument. My wood supplies are specifically ordered for the reproduction line and that means Swamp Ash, Alder and Genuine Mahogany for the bodies, Best available Maple for necks and tops and Brazilian Rosewood for fingerboards. I buy my Swamp Ash from the best mills in southern U.S. and mostly in feather weight and one piece blanks. Alder comes from the U.S in one or two piece blanks and selected to be knots free and feather weight as well. The Hard Rock Maple is from old growth Canadian stocks or Eastern US. The Brazilian Rosewood is from the best suppliers in Brazil and is cut from pre cites harvest stocks.
Although dry enough when ordered, wood is getting naturally dried at my storage (kiln is not needed in Israel...) for an additional year or two until it reaches the correct moisture content percentage and an additional week after initial body and neck cuts to make sure it is stable enough for further processing. I also use my big selection of highly figured old growth maple for those 'one of a kind' projects. All body and neck blanks get my unique 'Tuning Forks' test after their initial cut and divided into three major categories: bright, warm and scrap. Later, a matching is done between body and neck to achieve the required properties for each instrument.

The Process
My new shop was designed from the ground up to reproduce the Pre-CBS and Bursts line. This means machinery, jigs, templates, tools, materials.... everything! Each step of the original manufacturing process was accurately duplicated as well as the building schedule and jobs order. Almost every step has its own unique jig to get a true production line that produces consistent and accurate instruments. All jigs were designed by me to duplicate the originals. For example, my templates were cut from the original instruments, back of neck is shaped on a custom shaping cutter, fingerboard radiusing and slotting is done with a swing arm jig, trussrods are made in my shop and installed in the original way, frets are installed sideways, marking dot materials are correct bakelite for 50s and real 'clay' paste for 60s, body shaping is made in the exact old way with correct routing depths and correct contours made on the sanders, plastic and bakelite guards are also cut at my shop with great accuracy..etc etc. The original goal was to do it in the old historical way and I stick to the plan.

The Finish
The original Pre-CBS finishing process has evolved over the years, finishing materials were tested and replaced often at the old factory and it took quite a lot of effort to investigate those changes. I perform the finish schedule and use the different materials based on the target year of reproduction but in general I can say that all my clear coats are nitrocellulose based and custom colors are mixed according to the original 50s and 60s color chips (for more info see here). I believe in applying a super thin finish film that not only age beautifully but also allow the wood to resonate in order to get that unmistakable vintage woody warm tone. I use flip nails and a lazy Suzan table just like it was used on the originals so that you'll even get those nail holes look accurate, filled with the right sanding and buffing material... It takes a few weeks for the coats to cure before I wet sand and buff the nitro to perfect shiny gloss by using a circular disc sander as it was done in the old days. The late 50's Burst LP's are also finished in the exact historical schedule and use the same materials and Aniline dyes.

The Tone
I design, build and wind my own pickups. After years of using other manufacturers pickups I came to the conclusion that the only way to make a complete balanced instrument is to build them specifically for that given instrument. I use the very same materials and methods used in the old days but I can freely control the pickup characters by changing some of the variables such as the scatter pattern, AlNiCo magnet type, magnet wire type, number of turns, wire tension, magnetic field strength, winding speed... etc. I use forbon fiber material for my bobbins, many types of AlNiCo magnets of different grades and manufacturers (they all sound different) , AWG 42 Heavy Formvar and Plain Enamel wires, AWG 43 Plain Enamel for Tele neck pu and AWG 22 waxed cloth pushback lead wires. A part of the final setup sometimes involves pu calibration to get that perfect balance in the set.
For 50's PAF's I use the same metals, magnets, butyrate bobbins and magnet wire to produce that wonderfull original tone. many of the PU properties are controlled in order to get the required tone for a specific build.