SVL Guitars is now based in the leafy countryside of Hampshire, a small operation based on great customer service and a quest for the perfect guitar with the perfect tone.
Simon Law set up SVL Guitars after having worked as a professional guitar repairman and amp tech for over 16 years he became more disappointed with the so called ‘custom shop’ and ‘boutique’ guitars he was working on day to day.
“They all seemed too hung up on looking the part and being very pretty than actually playing well and sounding incredible, from all my years of working on prized vintage guitars, the one thing that set them apart was their outstanding tone and feel, a really great guitar should inspire the player and even help evoke one’s individuality”
“I took the inspiration from these great vintage instruments and I hope an SVL guitar gives the player the same tangible feel and great tone”
Each guitar is built one at a time from the very finest sustainable tone woods, every guitar is sprayed from the wood up with ultra thin coats of nitro cellulose, this helps the wood to breath and remain very resonant, absolutely no poly finish is used on the guitars at all, the necks are finished the same way, and then treated to a proprietary finishing process to give them a beautiful played in feel.
Each SVL model is named the year of the classic ’St’ or ’Te’ that inspired it, the SVL 61 for instance is inspired by a classic slab board ’St’ from 1961, the SVL 57 is inspired by a custom colour 'St' from 1957, I was recently asked by a player to build a guitar in the style of a late fifties 'St' it was in blonde with a Brazilian board, and three ply '8' hole guard, I called it the SVL 59.. .
“My finishes are so lovely and thin and they will age fairly quickly anyway giving a much more natural graceful age to the guitar, I will ‘de-shine’ the hardware if required, however that is the choice of the customer”
However...I have spent the last year or so building some 'aged' SVL 61's, some in Ash some in Alder, all of these instruments are in my new 'Reserve' range, built from old wood in the old way, spraying the sunbursts correctly and making them not only look incredible but they feel and sound like a beautifuly played in 50 year old guitar..I feel they get even closer to the true 'vintage feel and tone' my original 61's are excellent all round guitars with a modern balance to the tone and vintage vibe, and the 'Reserve' guitars get one step closer to the real thing, with clean spank and chime.
Only the very best hardware and custom wound pickups are used, electronics come from CTS, CRL, Sprague, Mallory and Switchcraft, all of my pots are very closely matched with a 3% or less tolerance.
Top nuts are cut by hand from vintage bone, I personally feel this is an overlooked part of the guitar by most manufacturers and custom shops, a well made hand cut top nut made from bone should last for a lifetime and should promote the very best in tone from the instrument