DeMars Guitars Introduces Woodstock Electric Guitars & Jay Bass
Inspired by the classic solid-body Southern California guitars produced in the 1950s, DeMars Guitars of Norwich VT is launching its new line of Woodstock electric guitars and Jay Basses. Keeping with the DeMars Guitars credo of “prudently retaining features that work and improving or eliminating those that don’t”, this new line of instruments provide the performance and flexibility desired by today’s guitarists and bassists. Company head Dan DeMars admits, “While original models of DG Equinox electric guitars and Long Trail Mag basses have sold for 10 years, this idea finally hit me and I’m a bit embarrassed that it took me this long to do so. So many players – including many of my friends and I – have played guitars with these classic designs and signature tones. Why not have DG make innovative US-built versions of these instruments as well? The names of these new instruments – like DG’s Viridis and Equinox guitars and Long Trail basses – are inspired, of course, by the state of Vermont.
Despite the brilliant designs of the guitars of the 1950s, there were three specific design shortcomings that DeMars was convinced needed improvement or innovation: (1) the traditional but mechanically-crude ‘screw-on’ neck/body connection, (2) limited tonal control, notably at the bridge pickup, and (3) inaccurate string intonation at all frets. The fourth – while not an intentional fault of traditional instrument design – was the lack of acoustic timbres in an instrument with magnetic pickups. DeMars Guitars is innovating and improving upon these limitations with the new Woodstock guitars and Jay Bass.
THE WOODSTOCK GUITARS
All DG 25.5” scale length Woodstock instruments employ “bolt-on” necks that are truly bolt-on, eschewing the structurally-inconsistent “woodscrew-into-neck-heel” method. Every DG Woodstock guitar’s rock maple neck is secured into the neck pocket using four aircraft-grade black oxide 10-32 bolts introduced into precision threaded brass inserts that are epoxied into the neck heel. Additionally, a thin layer of carbon fiber cloth is carefully epoxied into each body’s neck pocket. The result: an unbelievably tight neck/body joint that delivers optimum string vibration from neck to body. Maple fingerboards come standard on the Woodstock guitars, as this look was integral to those early Southern California instruments; they also impart a distinctive bright yet even tonal quality to the Woodstock guitars. PlanetWaves AutoTrim tuning machines are standard. DG Woodstock guitars employ the Earvana Compensating Tuning System, providing virtually accurate intonation at every fret. Finally, the headstocks on all Woodstock guitars features two decorative holes that are the hallmark of all DG instruments.
The Woodstocks’ electronics offer a vast improvement over the limitations of traditional pickup circuitry. The 3-pickup double-cutaway Woodstock-S has a standard 5-way pickup selector switch and the 2-pickup single-cutaway Woodstock-T employs a 3-way selector; each uses a master volume and master tone control, thus allowing for convenient tonal control of all pickups. The third potentiometer on the Woodstock-S is a tone control for the bridge pickup, OR the volume control for the optional GraphTech Ghost piezo bridge saddles, providing the guitarist with acoustic guitar timbres. With Ghost piezo saddles, the “smart” stereo output jack is switchable; using a stereo (TRS) cable allows the guitarist to split the outputs of the magnetic and piezo pickups to separate amplifiers while a mono (TS) cable sums the pickup outputs for delivery to a single amplifier. To reproduce vintage tones, the Woodstock-S sports Seymour Duncan Five-Two single-coil pickups at the neck and middle positions while the Woodstock-T has a Duncan Vintage Tele neck pickup. For maximum tonal flexibility, however, both the Woodstock-S and Woodstock-T feature the single-coil-sized Seymour Duncan Little ‘59 humbucking pickup in the bridge position. The master tone control for the magnetic pickups sports an integrated push/pull switch, allowing for the coil tapping of the bridge humbucker to become a true single coil pickup. Finally, the Woodstock-S features the ultra-smooth Hipshot Contour 2-point tremolo bridge in chrome.
THE JAY BASS
The new 34” scale-length electric Jay Bass (named for northern Vermont’s Jay Peak, of course) is also inspired by the Southern California original. Single-coil Lindy Fralin Jazz Bass pickups come standard, with a master volume control, a master tone control and a blend pot to allow for optimum magnetic pickup balance. The fourth potentiometer on the Jay Bass is a volume control for the optional GraphTech Ghost piezo bridge saddles, providing the bassist with a variety of acoustic bass timbres. The “smart” stereo output jack is switchable; using a stereo (TRS) cable allows the guitarist to split the outputs of the magnetic and piezo pickups to separate amplifiers while a mono (TS) cable sums the pickup outputs for delivery to a single amplifier. All DG necks are truly bolt-on, eschewing the traditional but crude and structurally inconsistent “woodscrew-into-neck-heel” method. Every Jay Bass rock maple neck (with conventional 1.5″ wide nut) is secured into the neck pocket using four aircraft-grade black oxide 10-32 bolts introduced into precision threaded brass inserts that are epoxied into the neck heel. Similar to the Woodstock guitars, a thin layer of carbon fiber cloth is carefully epoxied into each Jay Bass body’s neck pocket. The result: an unbelievably tight neck/body joint that delivers optimum bass string vibration from neck to body. Maple fingerboards come standard on the Jay Bass; maple fingerboards also impart a distinctively clear and even tonal quality. Hipshot UltraLite bass tuning machines and Hipshot A-style bass bridge are standard on the Jay Bass. Finally, the Jay Bass headstock features two decorative holes that are the hallmark of all DG instruments.
PRICES (effective January 1, 2022):
Woodstock* MSRP $3700 Direct $2960
Jay Bass* MSRP $3600 Direct $2880
New orders require 50% non-refundable deposit upon order; completed instruments will be shipped within 6-8 weeks, balance due prior to shipment via UPS, FedEx or USPS. Customer pays insured shipping costs, billed separately at time of shipment. Payment via PayPal, VISA, MasterCard or certified (bank) check. Prices include a high-quality padded MONO M80 case. An optional bookmatched flame maple top (available only with the Malibu Sunset finish) will be an additional $150.
* GraphTech Ghost AcoustiPhonic piezo saddles & preamp, add $100.