A guitar as unique as the country which inspired it.
The Australian outback was the inspiration for this electric guitar. Thoughts of hard working country folk, red soil deserts and untamed livestock were on our mind while we were creating it.
It is appropriate that it is named ‘The Jackaroo’, a name given to an Australian cowboy-in-training.
We used a range of raw materials to give the instrument a wholesome look, free from pretence or artificial adornments. From the leather wrapping through to the Australian native timbers, horn pickup covers and shellac finish, the materials have been chosen for their natural beauty.
A unique feature of the Jackaroo is the leather-wrapped body. The softness and natural durability of leather make it a perfect material for for a true player’s guitar. We had considered the idea of using leather in one of our guitars for a long time before embarking on this build. We could see the potential of leather, however our lack of experience with the material made it impossible for us to make use of it.
The idea of a leather guitar finally became a reality after a chance meeting with a saddler named Ian Saunders. Ian has been making saddles for more than 20 years and is known among both the working stockmen of Australia and the Australian performance horse community for his skills working with leather. Ian devised a method to mould the leather into a shape of a guitar and wrapped over the entire back and sides in one seamless piece, using high quality English seat leather.
The result of this collaboration between saddler and luthier is a striking, truly unique instrument.
Beautiful Australian native timbers have been used throughout the guitar. The front of the body is capped with a carved one-piece Australian Red Cedar top. The rich red colour and complex grain pattern of the Cedar perfectly complements the subtle ochre colour and fine texture of the leather.
Australian Red Cedar is also used for the neck, which is laminated for optimal strength and stability. The fingerboard is Australian Black Gidgee, a timber which grows in the outback of Queensland. Gidgee is one of the hardest and most stable woods in the world, making it a perfect choice to withstand wear on a fingerboard.
The Jackaroo is not only beautiful, it is a practical and versatile instrument. The leather back gives the guitar a warm and welcoming quality which makes a person feel at ease when holding and playing it. It is the kind of guitar that is built to last and get better with age.
Two humbucking pickups deliver a versatile range of tones. The sound in the neck position is warm and full while the bridge has more gain and sounds equally good played clean or overdriven. A toggle switch selects the pickups and the volume and tone are changed with single controls.
The pickups were handwound in the Hancock workshop to exacting specifications. They are covered with a pair of custom brass covers, which are inlaid with natural stag horn in a western-style design.
The Jackaroo is an exceptional instrument and a fine example of what Australian craftsmen can build when presented with a challenge.