Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What's the difference between your old guitars and the new ones?
Great question and the answer is the differences are pretty substantial. My first line of guitars were built for customers who wanted primarily a nice playing copy of a vintage Fender style guitar. The finishes were worked with aging in mind. The new guitars have brought fit and finish to an entirely new level. When you see and feel the difference in person it's immediately very obvious. Beyond that, the guitar is now made completely in house. In years past (before the official Rocketfire branded instruments with our headstock and logo decal), the bodies and necks were out-sourced. This gave me much less control over the final product and the quality of the woods. With the new line, you'll immediately notice the feel is better, the contour blending/sanding on the body and neck is much smoother and sleeker, the final weights are lighter (substantially), the instrument's acoustical resonance is shocking (all fingerboards are tap tested and weeded out for ONLY the best acoustical ring), there is more control over the color, the character and vibrance of the wood. The bursts are smoother and more beautifully transitioned and the wood is dyed in the center for a 3D effect to really bring the grain to life. These are the instruments I've dreamed of building and owning. I'm glad I'm able to finally bring the dream to life!!
2. Who makes your pickups?
We do! Why when there are so many other good pickups out there? After trying everything on the market and being an Electrical Engineer by degree and a tweaker by nature who's always wanted to push the envelope and break the rules of what people say can't be done, I decided I wanted something with punch and soul. I wanted something alive that I only heard in the past from old materials (vintage guitars through vintage amps with the original speakers that have been played loud and abused for 40-50 years). So it began. When I found what I was looking for in the special materials needed and the recipe and wind pattern that would create this sound I was thrilled and genuinely knew that I had something to offer that would push the limits in my guitars. Thanks to my customers, thanks to my suppliers, and last and most importantly thanks to God, I ended up with something that I was so happy with that it was hard to ever use anything else again. Thankfully I've had many customers come back saying the same. That was a great feeling and still is to this day. We're proud to bring to life guitars and pickups that are made from scratch using vintage materials and designs and all made... right here!!
3. Why don't you sell pickups sets only anymore?
I have sold pickups just about as long as I've wound them and featured them in my guitars. It's been a good steady source of business for Rocketfire Guitars and thanks to all who've used them over the years. However, I've decided to discontinue individual pickup sales as of 10/2011. It's something I've thought long and hard about but I need to do it. Being primarily a one man operation I don't have much time and the little bit of time I do have is going to be focused on my first passion in doing this and that's the guitars. I'm grateful to all who've used my pickups over the years and I still enjoy winding them. As the guy who does the R&D, takes orders, answers the phone and emails, does much of the marketing, sources and orders parts, does new product testing and education, does the CAD drawings, builds all jigs and custom tooling, does the photography/editing, prints the decals, maintains/repairs all shop equipment, buys the wood, matches the wood into blanks, dries the Maple for necks, cuts the bodies/necks from rough sawn lumber, does the fretwork and installs the frets, sprays each and every coat of lacquer, mixes the paint colors, does wood and paint sanding and buffing, wires the pickguards, cuts the bone nut, drills each screw and wire hole, does all setups, and also the guy who takes out the trash, it eats up more time than most folks realize. Building our guitars from scratch has consumed an enormous amount of time but it's very important to me to do it in this way and I enjoy it immensely. The hand made Rocketfire pickups will continue to be featured in my guitars however they will no longer be sold separately simply because I've had to put my guitar customers at the top of the list in order to make this efficient and fair to them. Thanks to all who've used my pickups over the years!
4. What strings are on the guitar?
I use 10-46 set custom made (in USA) for Rocketfire. These are a Nickel set and sound tremendous! They are available separately to customers who want to retain the original sound of their guitar. The cost is $3.85 per set with a 6 or more set minimum order (plus $7 USA shipping-no additional shipping cost when shipped with a guitar). We do not stock any other gauge in order to conserve on the little shop space that is remaining and to simplify our setup bench. Your guitar's nut (real bone) however can be cut to match any requested string size.
5. What's covered by your warranty?
Necks*, Bodies, Pickups, Electronics, and Hardware are all covered under the warranty for a period of 3 years from the date of purchase to the original owner. Normal wear/user damage are not covered and will be judged at manufacturer discretion. Cases are not covered under warranty. Adjustments/setups (i.e. seasonal truss rod adjustments) are not covered under warranty.
*Figured necks are not covered under the warranty.
6. Is anyone famous using Rocketfire?
Kind of a silly question
I think... but I get it all the time. Personally I could care less if
Jordan wears Nike sneakers... if they're comfortable and last a while,
I'll wear them. But back to the FAQ question which I suppose does have
some validity. Yes, thankfully I've had a number of great people in the
professional recording industry who've been the ears to many pros using
my stuff over the years. Most of these are the L.A. guys
who've made the sounds that have become hits. They've produced, played,
recorded and written Grammy Award winning artists like Celine
Dion, Aerosmith, Elton Jon, Deftones, Jars of Clay, Santana,
Keith Urban, Alanis Morissette, Bon Jovi. The list could go
on. I'm sure I've missed some. I'm equally as appreciative of the host
of great and talented players who haven't been recognized yet. I'm
thankful to each and everyone who's made music with
things I've built over the years. The little bit I've helped each
player has helped me tenfold. So thank you!