Watson Guitars
Idyllwild
California, USA

 
WATSON GUITARS - LATEST NEWS

March 16th, 2017 It has been a very busy few weeks and every moment of it has been dedicated to pushing my projects along. In fact - I have not taken any orders yet in 2017 in the interest of my current projects and my desire to bring them all to finished condition! I have several of them rapidly approaching completion right now!

January 9th, 2017 Wishing everyone out there a Happy New Year. It was a busy holiday period for me as I didn't have much time out of my shop. There's always a need to keep the workflow going and dozens of tasks waiting to be done. I have several instruments ready to go to finishing so it's going to be an interesing week or two coming up as those instruments come together. I will try to keep the web site as updated as time permits!

December 6th, 2016 One of the basses I am working on getting finished up is for a customer and friend of mine who wanted a very special 8 string bass for playing as a tapping style instrument. The body had to be small and comfortable for sitting and playing with the neck more upright. We devised many ways to make this instrument beautiful and I have been working on bringing that vision into reality. Not an easy bass to build, many unique features that tested all my building skills. Sadly his health became an issue and we lost him several months ago. I am working to finish this instrument so at least his family can hold on to it as a beautiful memorial to his musical vision. it can be seen here.
November 16th, 2016 My gradual transition to production instruments is under way. I am starting four basses which will be my first four instruments up for sale in the new year. Right now I have to make them under the weight of existing orders so they will not get the time I would like to dedicate to them, but wherever I have a setup for a custom bass and one of my production projects can benefit, I will work it in!
November 14th, 2016 I had a couple of very complicated projects to finish up so I haven't been updating for a few days. Moving along as fast as time will permit. NOTE: I am working on two J-Basses and one 6-string bass which will be up for sale when close to complete! More on that towards the end of the year!
November 6th, 2016 Changes are afoot in 2017. I am planning to scale down Custom Building and move progressively into Production Building. What that really means is that I will be selecting a few models I consider to be unique to my building process and will be building a few of those to put up for sale when completed.
October 14th, 2016 Just recovering from a nasty flu - biggest thing is to keep the CNC running. I have instruments on th bench that need my attention, computer work and shop work. I had to work through the sickness and the fever etc so I probably prolonged it :-( Feeling better now so it's pedal to the metal as usual!
October 3rd, 2016 Crazy busy-ness is the order of the day. I have a bass that's getting ready for some very complex wiring (12B053) so I'm working on getting that ready, one that will likely have a VERY involved cat inlay (15G075) using a lot of shell (the most adventurous inlay I will have ever attempted) and one bass (14B067) with Swarovski crystals all over the top. Wish me luck folks!
September 27th, 2016 The 6-string bass (12B055) is close to being ready to go out into the wild world. I have it on the bench and put as much time as I can into that bearing in mind also I have several other projects I need to consign time to through the day.
September 18th, 2016 I kept thinking as I was working today how nice it would be to have a day off. One day it will happen, right now my list of commitments is such that a working week is 14-16 hour days, seven days a week! I'm very lucky that I enjoy what I do!!!
September 17th, 2016 I did get my bass packed and shipped so that was a relief. I now have to lean very hard on several projects that I am anxious to move closer to finishing. Makes for long days!
September 14th, 2016 My two tasks today are to get one completed bass ready to ship (13B060) and to get at least something done to every other one of my active jobs. The first is relatively straightforward, the second is huge task!
September 13th, 2016 Today I was able to finish up and SHIP the two remaining Unicorn Basses I had been working on recently to get wrapped up. One fretted and one fretless and they are off to complete a pretty well matched set of three instruments! (14B070)
September 10th, 2016 I am planning to shop the remaining two Unicorn basses Monday. I have been working diligently on them both getting the final details done and tweaking everything so that I am satisfied that they are both in a good playing condition! (14B070)
September 3rd, 2016 I just started a somewhat experimental project with one of my customers. I am building him a 5-string J-Bass and the plan is for it to be the pilot for a new line of similar J-Basses. More news on its configuration as we move ahead but should be an interesting one to watch! (16B081)
August 30th, 2016 Established an order from a new customer for a 6-string multiscale bass with MANY options built in. It will have MIDI output, three pickups and LED powered fiber optic side dots among many other features! (16B080)
August 22nd, 2016

I have four instruments at this point in time which are on the brink of completion. Two remaining basses in my set of 3 triplets (14B070), and two beautiful 6-string headless multiscale basses. (13B060 & 12B055) I am determined to ship at least three this week but at the finishing stages of any instrument there are so many unknowns. Still - I will be posting my successes here!

August 21st, 2016 Latest News has been somewhat neglected in my busy-ness of getting instruments built and finished. I decided today that I'd like to restart this process and give viewers of this site a window into the background activities and events here at Watson Guitars. Stop by for some upcoming entries - I'll try and keep them interesting...

June 22nd, 2014 OK - so it's been a few weeks since I updated this page. I'm still here and staying very busy building instruments. Latest news is that I am building THREE production J-Basses. They will be available very soon at great prices and very much worth a close look. Twp 5-strings and one 4-string, One of the 5-strings could be left-handed if anyone happens to be interested.

July 30th, 2011 Yes folks, we will be at the NAMM show in Anaheim in January 2011 - wouldn't miss it for the world. We'll have some new technology and instrument options in our booth, and most likely some pickup options that will cast new light on the bass guitar industry!!!
June 10th, 2011 We have been discussing the further development of Watson Pickups this month. We have some revolutionary concepts to bring to life in the pickup world and we are hoping that we will have some product available to present at the next NAMM show.

February 30th, 2010 One of our recent basses, the 6-string headless, has been shipped to our friends at Bass Musician Magazine for a gruelling test drive and a review which will appear on their online magazine sometime this year.
February 12th, 2010 Watson Guitars supports MarkBass amps and speakers and Circle-K strings.
February 2nd, 2010 We are privileged to be building a bass for the accomplished bassist Hardgroove of the band Public Enemy. This instrument will be built to his own specifications and moves us in yet another direction in terms of new technology!
January 30th, 2010 We would like to thank Martyn in the UK for his order of our Classic series bass. His one will be a very attractive green fretless 4-string. We should be getting this one underway in a few days. See it here.
January 18th, 2010 It's a new year and we just finished exhibiting at the 2010 Winter NAMM show. As always - we met some great people and enjoyed the chance to make people in the industry more familiar with our products. As soon as we are able, we'll post a gallery of photographs from the show.

December 12th, 2009 We will be exhibiting at the 2010 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. Come and see us if you will be at the show. Booth #1229, HALL E
October 29th, 2009 We have been discussing for some time the concept and design of a "production" Watson bass. This instrument is designed to compete with instruments in the $3K price range but at a much more affordable price point in the lower $2K range. Today we made our first move towards this goal by pruchasing wood which will carry us through the first four production instruments. They will be single-cut, neck through basses with many features found on much more expensive basses!!
October 12th, 2009 Another order from our friends up in Canada, this time for a very custom 30" scale 6-string bass. This one has many exciting features and promises to be a truly unique instrument. See this bass here.
September 24th, 2009 We have shaken hands on an agreement with award-winning singer/sonngwriter Mark Connors to have him endorse our guitar products and also build him a very personalized instrument which will hopefully become an integral part of his musical identity. See his guitar here.
September 15th, 2009 We received an order from Canada for a 5-string bass. This one will finish post NAMM show but we have started a page for it here.
September 3rd, 2009 Our customer, Jamie in thr UK received his guitar today.
August 14th, 2009

We were lucky enough to be interviewed by Channel 2's "Eye in theDesert". You can watch the televised interview here

June 15th, 2009 We took an order from a customer in Germany for a very special guitar. It will be a headless instrument, 7-string, and will be our first guitar featuring hardware from ETS in Germany. We'll be documenting the progress on this instrument here.
May 19th, 2009 We would like to welcome Andy from Florida to the elite club of Watson owners. He just placed a deposit on our headless guitar 09G030. We'll be keeping him posted on our progress and will make sure that he receives an awesome piece of musical engineering and artistry as soon as it is complete!
May 18th, 2009 Today we shipped the purpleheart bass (serial #001) a customer in Washinton D.C. This is a milestone instrument for Watson Guitars as it was our first production bass and as such has a special place in our hearts. We wish it a long and happy future with its new owner!
April 28th, 2009 We have recently made a couple of trips to our wood suppliers and have some amazing Bubinga, Figured Purplehear, Curly Filipino Mahogany, Curly Koa and more - just waiting to be made into basses and guitars. Get your order in as these fancy woods don't last and are getting harder and harder to find. I'll post photos soon!
March 30th, 2009 We just received an order from a Northen California customer for a 7-string Fretless Chambered bass. This is a pretty exciting project as it requires us to come up with a new body design. We are gathering materials together for this instrument. You can see it here.
March 5th, 2009 Work is continuing with our 6-string fretless acoustic bass. We are consulting with Spanish guitar builder David Pelham on some of the finer points of acoustic instrument building. There have been some changes in the plans for this instrument so make sure you watch out front page for news on developments!
Febuary 26th, 2009 We are getting ready to begin work on a special 5-string bass. We are planning to ship it to the UK where Bass Guitar Magazine will review it in one of their 2009 publications. We met the BGM staff at the 2009 Winter NAMM show.
Febuary 20th, 2009 Since we recently had a close encounter with Thee Ram Jam and are now charged with the responsibility of creating "Tha Funky Stick" , we are getting woods and hardware assembled to start building one of the most unique basses ever conceived. Watch it being crafted here.
Febuary 4th, 2009 We visited a couple of hardwood sources today to collect materials for some of the instruments we will be building in the first half of 2009. We have some exciting projects like our 7-string headless bass, a 31" scale womens' bass, and a chambered tele-style guitar.
January 31st, 2009 Our customer picked up his new guitar today. Joe is now the proud owner of 08G018 which shoul ddefinitely get him some attention among his guitar-playing buddies!
January 26th, 2009 Today we shipped our beautiful single-cut bass 08B021 to our customer John in New York. We're looking forward to some photos with its new owner!!
January 20th, 2009 We just returned from the 2009 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. The show was a great experience and we met some great folks in the music industry. See some of our NAMM 2009 photos here.

December 25th, 2008 WATSON GUITARS would like to wish all our visitors very Happy Holidays. We hope we can all share in a happy and very prosperous 2009.
December 21st, 2008 Our wild purple-haze bulldog guitar has been completed and today delivered to our finisher for a coat of his glassy smooth Polyester resin. We're planning to have this guitar with us at the NAMM show.
October 29, 2008 For those of you who might be attending the 2009 NAMM show in Anaheim in January, we will be there in our booth in Hall-E so please stop by and meet Tere and myself.
October 24, 2008 We recently sold our Blue Hollow-Body guitar (#012) to Idyllwild Arts Student, Cameron. At his request, we are converting the guitar from a static bridge to a tremolo system. We'll post some photos of this on the above page.
September 14, 2008 We are very pleased to confirm that we will be exhibiting our products at the 2009 NAMM show in Anaheim in January. Furthermore, we are going to be sharing our NAMM booth with bass builder Pierre Harry Erizias of Quebec, Canada.
September 11, 2008 Today we officially started work on our 6-string ACOUSTIC bass. We are manufacturing it in conjunction with our good friend Van Schipper of 7-Guitars. I'll add a page for this bass on the web site as soon as possible.
September 10, 2008 Our recent 4-string single-cut bass (015) has been bought by Roger in Connecticut. He is now the proud owner of a one-of-a-kind bass and we hope tp be able to post some information about him on our site.
August 23rd, 2008 We just recently took a deposit for contruction of a guitar for UK guitarist Jamie. It looks like this is going to be a killer axe.
August 14th, 2008 Today we conducted an interview with the Southern California-based Magazine "Under the Sun", who will be including an article about Watson Guitars in an upcoming issue.
July 27th, 2008 We just shipped our recent 6-string bass 014 to a customer in Sweden, Bass Players Proshop. We are very excited about this as it represents our first sale to the European marketplace. More about this in the days to come.
July 15th, 2008 Bass Player Magazine posted the article on our 6-string bass on our site. Now anyone can read the article on the internet suing this link... click here to email it to someone.
http://www.bassplayer.com/article/watson-single-cut/jul-08/86075
July 6th, 2008 We are now starting at least two - possibly three new basses to be ready before the end of 2008. These will all be available for sale and we will soon have new pages up on our site for each one.
June 29th, 2008 Our latest bass, 015, a 4-string short-scale beauty is in our clean room being assembled and is around a week from completion.
June 28th, 2008 Watch out for the AUGUST 2008 edition of Bass Player Magazine. Our 6-string single cut bass is being reviewed in that edition!
June 10th, 2008 We just added a Universal Laser Engraver to our inventory of machines in our workshop. The laser will be helping us cut bobbin blanks for our pickups and many other light tasks such as precision cutting of inlay material.
May 27th, 2008 Our latest 4-string bass 08B015 has now been finished in an awsome Sienna Sunburst. It looks beautiful. We will be adding images over the next few days.
May 13th, 2008 Our short-scale, 4-string bass 08B015 is now at the finishing process. It was decided to apply a Sienna Sunburst tint to the instrument and finish it off with a Satin surface finish. It should look and feel awesome when that is done.
April 18th, 2008 For any of you bass players thinking about a new bass in the near future - we were lucky enough to come across some rare Black & White Ebony today - enough material for at least two basses. This wood is not commonly available and we're planning to use it for top material in two of the bass guitars we will be building in 2008. get your order in now!
April 10th, 2008 We are very excited about the latest production models of our Watson bass pickups. They are performing and sounding great and offer features not found on competitive products in the marketplace. Combined with that, we have just launched out own Watson bass preamps. These are currently available in 3-band with switchable active/passive with built in output balancing. 4-band should also be available in the near future.
March 2nd, 2008 Although we have had a MySpace presence for while, we recently updated it with some more up-to-date information. Please visit us here: http://www.myspace.com/watsonguitars
February 29th, 2008 Today we sold our headless bolt-on 5-string bass 07B010 to Paul, a bass player and collector of fine instruments. We thank Paul for his interest in Watson Guitars.
February 7th, 2008 We have been in touch with the senior editorial staff of Bass Player Magazine and have made arrangements to send our current 6-string bass to their headquarters for a review in an upcoming edition of Bass Player Magazine.
January 23rd, 2008 We have just returned from the NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. We shared an exhibition booth with Emerson-Williams from Scotland and had 8 of our instruments on display during the 4 days of NAMM. We really enjoyed the show and consider it a very worthy exercise. See NAMM Pictures here.
January 3rd, 2008 Today we sold our Alien Queen 7-string bass guitar 06B002 to a customer who saw the instrument on our web site. Paul is now the very deserving owner of a truly one of a kind custom instrument.
January 1st, 2008 Just a quick note from Tere and myself to wish all our web site visitors a very happy and prosperous 2008.

December 15th, 2007 Over the last few days we have been working on some of the final details of our own WATSON bass and guitar pickups with our extremely knowledgeable electronics partner Don. We have some of the first pickups completed and I have to say that Don's work is absolutely first class and the pickups look and sound great.
November 17th, 2007 Today we sold our headless guitar 07G007 to a customer who saw the instrument on our site and decided to buy it as soon as it was completed. Joe is now the owner of a very unique and great sounding guitar.
November 9th, 2007 We have started some new instruments recently with the intent to show them at the NAMM show in January 2008. We will be building one guitar and at least three basses in the coming months.
October 30th, 2007 We just received notification from NAMM that our booth number in the January 2008 NAMM show will be 1021 in Hall-E. Make sure you come and see us there!
October 29th, 2007 Today we sent 07G006 off to be tinted and finished. The instrument is going to be stained as a sunburst reflecting the colors in the Abalone inlay.
October 19th, 2007 Two of our current instruments have just been through the finishing process. 07B010 has had a clear coat of polyester resin and 07G007 has been tinted and coated in a subtle sunbirst effect.
August 30th , 2007 A big step for us today was setting up an advertisement for Watson Guitars in Bass Player Magazine. Our new ad will appear in the November issue of Bass Player. This will be our first official ad so we are hoping that we will achieve two things through the exposure. One, we will get additional traffic to this web site and two, we will increase awareness among the bass-playing public about Watson Guitars in the months leading up to the NAMM show.
August 29th , 2007 Today we drove to K2 Devices in Anaheim, CA and picked up our new 50" x 50" CNC router. We are very excited about the potential for this machine and its impact on our production goals for the rest of this year and beyond. A photo of this machine can bee seen at the bottom of this page.
August 20th, 2007 We finished our fretless bass and shipped it to Luthiers Access group.You can see pictures of this bass here and here.
August 10th, 2007 Our fretless 5-string bass returned today from finishing. This particular instrument received a satin finsh by customer request. Looks really nice and quite appropriate for the darker woods we used on this instrument.
July 31st, 2007 We delivered our fretless bass to our finisher All Wood Finishes today for a custom satin polyester finish.
July 23rd, 2007 Today we shipped two of our recently completed basses to LAG in Chicago. 07B008 and 07B011
July 9th, 2007 We recieved two of our basses back from All Wood Finishing today. As always, AWF did an amazing job in finishing these instruments. They look great and although photographs can't do justice to the beauty of the woods, you can see photos of these basses here and here.
July 5th, 2007 Over the past couple of months we spent a lot of time deliberating over the possibility of buying another CNC machine. After much research we decided to buy another K2 CNC. K2 has provided such excellent customer service to us since we have owned our first CNC that buying another from them is something we can do with confidence. The new machine will have a 50" x 50" table.The machine will be available in 6 weeks. Details.
June 21st, 2007 After a great deal of intense sanding and final preparation, two of our basses went out to finishing today. 07B008 and 07B011. There's always a rush at the end of every project but I believe these got out in time to make their ultimate delivery dates on schedule to our customer in Chicago.
May 22nd, 2007 We decided to invest in a pickup winder today. We are going to work closely with a very good friend of ours who is an electronics expert. Between us we hope to develop some very high quality bass pickups for our instruments. If all goes well I will open up a new section of our site for this. More news on this coming soon.
May 3rd, 2007 Today we were proud to establish membership with the Art Alliance of Idyllwild. Not only will we be exhibiting custom instruments but Alex will now have an incentive to create some drawing and painting masterpieces in the months to come. To see some of Alex's artwork from the old days click here.
April 30th, 2007 We have made an agreement with Emerson Williams, makers of fine instrument pre-amps, to share an exhibition booth with them at the 2008 NAMM show. We feel that their product and ours are perfectly complimentary and that our combined resources will make the NAMM show even more beneficial for both parties.
April 17th, 2007 The Press-Enterprise newspaper was kind enough to feature our business in an article today. Many thanks to Kenny for the article and Sylvia for the photos. You can read the article here.
March 19th, 2007 We sold our Alien Queen 7-string bass to Jorg Schroeder of Schoreder Cabinets. Jorg plays in a blues band and also records regularly.
March 5th, 2007 Today we received material from our contact in Hawaii who sent us beautiful Hawaiian Koa for both the bass we are building for Luthiers Access Group, and the mandolin we are in the process of developing. Many thanks to Dustin all the way out there in Hawaii.
February 21st, 2007 We are currently processing an order for a custom bass guitar for Luthiers' Access Group. This is going to be the first build of our new single-cut design and promises to be a pretty inpressive instrument. You can watch its progress here, as we will be updating daily.
February 19th, 2007 Based on upcoming orders we took a trip today to Eisenbran Exotic Hardwoods in Torrance, California. We picked up some Mahogany, Zebrawood and Padauk which will allow us to proceed with our next batch of instruments which include guitars and basses.
February 1st, 2007 We sold our 4-string bass Serial Number 06B005 to Chicago bass player Nick Verbic. Nick was kind enough to send us some very complimentary feedback on his new bass. You can see pictures and read his comments here.
January 28th, 2007 Our visit to the NAMM show was beneficial in many ways. One in particular was our meeting with the owners of Emerson-Williams from Fife in Scotland. They manufacture a rather revolutionary pre-amp for musicians and recording studio applications. We hope to develop a close working relationship with this company in the coming months.
January 24th, 2007 We have just spent four gruelling days at the 2007 NAMM show. It was great to meet other builders and catch up with our many vendors. We also made several valuable new contacts and have made our decision to reserve a booth for the 2008 NAMM show and exhibit our own instruments there. Click here for NAMM 2007 highlights!
January 12th, 2007 Two of our first instruments can now be seen on the web site of Luthiers Access Group. Click here if you would like to see them, along with Dan Lenard's reviews of their performance. Thank you Dan, for your kind words!
January 7th, 2007 NAMM show 2007 is coming up soon. We will be there meeting some of our friends in the industry and establishing new relationships. I'll post a NAMM 2007 section on this web site after the show, since there will be many amazing things to report!
January 3rd, 2007 We have set up a working relationship with Chicago-based Luthiers Access Group. We plan to have a number of our instruments represented by this prestigious organization. Our instruments will be available for sale on their web site along with several other bass builders' instruments.

December 18th, 2006 Today we shipped out our initial two production basses (serials 002 and 003) to our prospective distributor in the Chicago area. Both instruments were assembled and tested in the previous week and we liked the sound and appearance of both a lot. We are now hoping our Chicago connection will also like them!!!
November 22nd, 2006 We picked up two of our basses from finisher Fausto Reyes, of "All Wood Finishing" in Corona. He does excellent work and the two basses look awesome. Pictures to follow when we get good ones.
November 10th, 2006 Two of our basses went to finishing today. We will be finishing the remaining three in the next 10 days. Watch for new photos!!
October 20th, 2006 We just received the remainder of our awesome Carey Nordstrand pickups. Also picking up a benchtop metal lathe this week so that we can produce our own control knobs (and other turned parts) for our guitars in the same wood types as the bodies. Fretboards are being fretted, and lots of frantic activity in the shop to get the 5 basses completed!
September 10th, 2006 All our 5 basses have been assembled and are now in the final stages. Work continues on the PRS guitar and we have started what will be a beautiful lacewood telecaster style guitar and a semi-hollow body fretless bass.
August 30th, 2006 We are in the design phase of creating the Paul McIntyre signature Electric Violin. Developed in conjunction with Watson Guitars and amazing Orange County fiddle-ist Paul McIntyre.
June 30th, 2006 We are starting work on our first Mandolin. Received AAA Quality Sitka Spruce from Gallery Hardwoods for the top just the other day. Now I have to create a new category on the site so that we can document the progress of this interesting little project.
June 18th, 2006 After moving to Idyllwild, CA, renovating our new house and building our new guitar workshop we are finally ready to resume production of guitars and basses. Although we lost some production time in the process, we now have a first class facility for building our instruments and expect to see some exciting results in the coming weeks.
February 3rd, 2006 Latest arrival in our workshop is an amazing K2 CNC Router which will allow us to program and machine tasks that require extreme accuracy and consistency. The router will also speed up some quite time-consuming tasks without compromising the hand-built qualities inherent in our instruments.
February 1st, 2006 Watson Guitars is moving. We have located a new house and shop in Idyllwild, California which is in the mountains above Palm Springs. We are in the process of getting ready to move a home and a business up there. A big task, but worth it in the long run!
January 22nd, 2006 We were honored to meet some of our partners in the guitar and bass building industry at the 2006 NAMM show January 19-22. I will post some pictures soon for anyone who is curious! See NAMM 2006 photos here.
January 14th, 2006 Successfully put our Ornamental Mill to work today. Used the cam-follower feature to cut a nice accurate recess in one of our production basses. We will have photos of this awsome machine in action on this site soon.
December 21st, 2005 We received out Watson Guitars T-Shirts and Sweatshirts today - they look pretty good. I will post a picture here as soon as time permits. See them here.
December 9th, 2005 We invested in a couple of new machines today. A Legacy Model 1000ex Ornamental Mill which will help us automate many guitar-related routing projects, and a Radial Arm Saw which will be dedicated to slotting fingerboards for fretting. We will have a new part of the site soon which will feature the equipment we use at Watson Guitars and explain their function in the guitar making process.
December 8th, 2005 Received with much excitement the pre-cut piece of Ziricote which will be the fingerboard for the Ziricote/Maple 7-string bass. Another quality piece of tonewood from Larry Davis at Gallery Hardwoods.
December 5th, 2005 Today we ordered t-shirts and sweatshirts with the company logo on them! We hope to have them by Christmas when I will post pictures of them on the site.
December 2nd, 2005 Received the Black Limba wood for George's guitar from Gallery Hardwoods in Oregon. Nice grain - this stuff will make George's guitar sing and will look great against his Snakewood fingerboard!
December 1st, 2005 We received the much anticipated Carey Nordstrand pickups for the 7 string bass. With these pickups, which Carey built especially for this instrument, this bass should sound awesome!

Last update June 17, 2011