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Old 03-02-2012, 06:42 AM   #1
BlacKat Guitars
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The BlacKat Guitars thread

OK, so after short introduction I guess it is time to make the BlacKat thread where I'll try to explain the concept a bit, show you what I'm after with my guitars etc. I hope that I'm not breaking any forum rules.

BlacKat Guitars is a Polish company that manufactures high quality modern singlecut guitars.

A bit of history first.

I'm not a guitar builder, I'm guitar player with good background in instrument manufacturing and sales. I worked professionaly with several well respected brands like Carvin, Sandberg and Warwick in the past, before I made a decision of starting my own brand. I came up with the idea of making "supertele" probably somewhere in 2008, and this idea grew on me for few years. I figured out what I like and don't like about a lot of guitars I played and prepared a featureset for my own custom guitar that I wanted to order. When this idea grew bigger and bigger, I started noticing potential in that. In 2011 I discussed it with my wife, she said "go for it", so I sold a lot of my personal stuff and took most of my savings to start BlacKat Guitars. Instead of building guitars myself, I hire luthiers to build them to my specs. My part of job is designing everything, buying hardware, mounting electronics, customer service and most important - quality control. I designed our body and headstock shape during last year. I wanted it to look modern, new, unique but at the same time classic, with strong reference to Telecaster. You might see some ideas that I got from other brands that I liked, that's inevitable, but I tried to blend it all in unique way, so when you look at it, you know it's a BlacKat, not something else (until some morons start making cheap copies in China). I received first 6 "final prototypes" in January and I'm extremely happy with how it all turned out.

We still have 2-3 more prototypes on their way and we'll start regular production in April.

A bit about production
BlacKat Guitars are manufactured by real luthiers, not "qualified cheap labour". First prototypes are made completely by hand (+some non CNCs of course), after that we will move some parts of production to high quality CNC, but it will still be done by luthiers, not some random dudes. It's all made in Poland by people that can do it right. We have good, and all the time growing machines behind us, very good conditions for doing finishes (which is a problem for a lot of small companies), so we can supply consistent, high quality builds.

The prices
I am still preparing our final models specs, so prices will be announced after this year's MusikMesse. We will sell direct to customers and through shops, in both cases prices stay the same. I want to offer excellent quality for reasonable price (not cheap, reasonable) so you should find prices good for what you get. We've got special introductory pricing on all prototypes. After announcing final specs I will make a waiting list for our first production run - which should be ready in may. Preordering is possible with 20% deposit of the final price, with rest of the payment when guitar is ready. All prepaid preorders will be granted 5% discount from final price. All BlacKat guitars are covered with 24 months warranty against defective materials and craftsmanship.

What you get
Apart from high quality tonewoods and craftsmanship, you get good hardware. All Hipshot parts - locking tuners, bridge, o-ring pot knobs, MEC electronic parts, DiMarzio and Seymour Duncan pickups, graphtech nuts and piezos etc.

Custom
Custom Shop options will be available. Pickup replacements - no problem, finish colours - no problem, woods - depends on the woods, shapes, dimensions etc - no alterations, inlays - possible, hardware - only when it makes sense - no cheap hardware to make the instrument "cheaper". All guitars will come with gigbags made to our specs in Poland, or flightcases (not abs, real flightcases) also made to our specs here. Left handed versions of all instruments will be available without upcharge.

Website
Will be published soon with all information regarding specs, ordering etc. At the moment all other communication channels work - you can call me at +48 668 155 209, e-mail me at info [at] blackat-guitars.com or message via FB profile BlacKat Guitars | Facebook

Currently available guitars
Below are the specs of our current pre-production guitars that are available F/S:
Body: Alder+sandblasted ash top
Neck: bolt on, 5-piece maple with mahogany stripes, 24 frets (size 6105) on rosewood fingerboard. Thickness at 1st fret is 20 mm in 6 and 7 and 21 in 8 string, 22mm in 6/7 / 23mm in 8 at 12th fret, radius 16" in 6 and 7, 20" in 8 string, 25,5" scale in 6 and 7, 27" in 8
Hardware: Hipshot bridge, locking tuners, o-ring control knobs, warwick straplocks, graphtech black tusq nut
Electronics: Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups, 3-way toggle switch, volume, tone
All instruments are handmade in Poland, sold as new with 24 month warranty

I've got black 6 string, black/red 7 string and black 8 string left. Pricing is as follows:
6 - 1020 €
7 - 1090 €
8 - 1160 €
Gigbag upcharge (20 mm padding, made for our guitars in Poland) - 60 €
All prices include 23% of Polish VAT. In case of shipping to non EU countries, I can sell them without VAT, but there is 50 € upcharge for customs clearance paperwork that I have to pay for. All additional taxes are covered by buyer. Shipping costs are covered by buyer, I use UPS for shipping and always send fully insured packages. Shipping cost within EU is around 50 € and varies from country to country.

Some pictures below, more on our FB profile...

Tom Slawinski
BlacKat Guitars










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Old 03-02-2012, 09:42 AM   #2
Fred the Shred
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People will be seeing a proper Blackat NGD quite soon - still need to take care of the vid first, though.

Tom has hit a very soft spot with these, as I am (as many around here know) quite a Tele fan, so when my mate Tobiasz (from HESU, who made all my studio / rack cables) showed me these, I was afflicted by my good old Tele boner. I won't tell you which one I got till I'm through with the NGD thread.

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Old 03-02-2012, 10:01 AM   #3
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I just noticed Baco has a Ninja 7 in stock. Really digging the design so far.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:16 AM   #4
JamesM
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The styling isn't my thing, but everything I've seen looks quality.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
Fred the Shred
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Are you dismissing the mighty Tele? Heathen!


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Old 03-02-2012, 10:21 AM   #6
7deadlysins666
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Those are beautiful. I have a soft spot for swamp ash.

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Old 03-02-2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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I'm not usually a tele fan, but these ones are gorgeous.

Siggery 7 (incoming).
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:37 AM   #8
JamesM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred the Shred View Post
Are you dismissing the mighty Tele? Heathen!

That is not a tele.

Tele's are my favorite thing in the whole world, I just can hardly ever get into non-traditional teles of any kind. I miss my tele.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:51 AM   #9
celticelk
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That headstock's a little too pointy for my personal preference, but other than that, really digging these! Looking forward to your NGD as usual, Fred. (And I hear you have an OAF coming that's *very* similar to specs Tom and I have discussed for my next build with him - please post lots about that guitar when you get it!)

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.
-The Gospel of Thomas

Do not be afraid of being wrong; just be afraid of being uninteresting.
-T. Carl Whitmer
The Art of Improvisation, 1941

A strong spirit transcends rules.
-Prince

We favor the simple expression of the complex thought.
-Mark Rothko
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
Fred the Shred
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Wait, what. You specced the OAF like mine? Pff... ....ing fanbois.



OT: yeah, I got one almost instantly. Tom's a joy of a dude to deal and chat with, and I found out that his baby daughter headbangs to my album in the process. That is WAY too cool.

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Old 03-02-2012, 11:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred the Shred View Post
People will be seeing a proper Blackat NGD quite soon - still need to take care of the vid first, though.

Tom has hit a very soft spot with these, as I am (as many around here know) quite a Tele fan, so when my mate Tobiasz (from HESU, who made all my studio / rack cables) showed me these, I was afflicted by my good old Tele boner. I won't tell you which one I got till I'm through with the NGD thread.

too bad they spoiled it for me on FB. Congrats Fred.

I love the guitars shape but that headstock looks like the cross between a BRJ Diva & a RAN. On the fence with that one. Dig the logo.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:54 AM   #12
Fred the Shred
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Well, in all fairness, I never saw Tom even getting near a BRJ, or being a fan of Ran in general. One can as easily argue that the shape is "a mix of MusicMan, Caparison and Ibanez headstocks" as well.

I actually dig the headstock a lot, mainly because it's not yet another "bend ESP thing here, add Ibanez curve there, and done" affair.

As for FB, not the entire forum has me added there or is a fan of the artist page, so shush!

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Old 03-02-2012, 12:10 PM   #13
Blake1970
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I want a six string bad!
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:48 PM   #14
mphsc
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yes in all fairness, headstocks have to be the hardest thing to keep original & functional. I do like the thickness & curves. How is the finish done?
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:25 PM   #15
Fred the Shred
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I think they sandblast the top to accent the ash's grain and typical uneveness, then finished. Back has a thin, satin finish.

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Old 03-02-2012, 05:21 PM   #16
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I must say these guitars have also piqued my soft spot for Teles, but Tom got my attention first! These look great though and the pricing is good. I might have to look into these after Fred's review and once I have sorted out some other business.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:32 PM   #17
BlacKat Guitars
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Some info on production models (will reveal full information after MusikMesse, including pricing), specs might still change:
Leon Series - flamed maple over sapele, with 5 piece necks made of flamed maple, with walnut stripes, matched headstock, 2x Deactivators with humfree coil splitting, graphtech ghost piezo, all this also in an 8 string, ebony board with cool BlacKat inlay and white binding, natural body binding, highgloss polyester finish....

Ninja series - similar to first prototypes, but we want to do whole ash bodies, sandblasted from all sides. Deactivator pickups with 3 way switch, outer coils in middle position (aka tele sound), apart from that - similar looks to our current production.

Tiger series - one pickup (deactivator or blackout), volume knob, alder body with satin finish (something like coloured oil finish), all high quality hardware in this one too.

We'll be opening waiting/preorder list after final specs and prices announcement.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:36 AM   #18
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I REALLY like these a lot, great job on them. Good luck with everything!
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:27 AM   #19
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Great looking guitars! I'm loving the sandblasted thing, very unique and attractive. Very smart business model too, good luck with everything!!

O.A.F. uses Fast Guitars OEM services, Best Guitar Parts OEM services, pickups by Instrumental Pickups, Dimarzio, Lace, BKP and Nordstrand, Hardware by Hipshot Products, SKB cases and lot's of products from ALLPARTS, WDMusic, eBay and Amazon!! In the spirit of FULL DISCLOSURE I had Kelloggs Raisin Bran Crunch this morning for breakfast and am wearing Cabela boots while I'm typing this.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:34 PM   #20
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I love the specs and the looks of these. Is there any possibility of an extended scale 7? 26.5in or 27in maybe? An extended scale on a 7 is a major plus for me.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:35 PM   #21
BlacKat Guitars
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We will have 27" 6 and 7 strings in our production range.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:57 PM   #22
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Got any 24.75" Sixers?
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:25 PM   #23
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This thread is dangerous for my wallet already.




Affiliated with Ace Music of Newville, PA.


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Old 03-04-2012, 04:20 PM   #24
Fred the Shred
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Here's the NGD thread, for those interested:
http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/ext...id-inside.html


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Old 03-05-2012, 02:00 AM   #25
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I received my Ninja 7 last week, it really is a very nicely made guitar and the neck is very comfortable too. Nice attention to details (like the rosewood covers for the trussrod and back cavity). Top quality hardware, nice fretwork, reversed headstock (I'm a sucker for reversed headstocks), ... Amazing guitar, love it

So I decided to carry these in my shop too
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