Bowes SFLx 7 String

Discussion in 'Guitar Reviews' started by faceforward_007, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. faceforward_007

    faceforward_007 Land of Ice and Snow

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    BOWES SFLx 7-STRING

    Features:


    Construction: Set-neck @ 26" scale
    Body: Figured European Ash
    Neck: 5 Piece Maple / Purpleheart
    Fingerboard: Figured Ziricote w/sapwood
    Frets: 25 with half scallops from the 12th to the 25th
    Pickups: Nordstrand Humbuckers (modeled off a Duncan Distortion)
    Electronics: Vol/3-way switch
    Bridge: Hipshot bridge, string thru-body
    Tuners: Exposed Hipshot Tuners
    Hardware: Black
    Color: Natural with Tung Oil


    Sound:

    Been playing this for about a month now, really enjoy the passive Nordstrand humbuckers. Have BKP in all my guitars, but will leave the Nordstrands in this guitar. Well balanced, and they compliment the Ash body. A very equal tone throughout the lows, mids and highs.

    Even unplugged, guitar resonates very well. Plugged into my amps, the Bowes can sing quite well. Very, very happy with the sound of this axe.

    Action, Fit & Finish:

    Guitar arrived with the strings de-tuned. Tuned up to standard 7 tuning, action was pretty much perfect for me. I usually have to play around with a factory set up to get it to my liking, as we all do i'm sure, but I have zero issues with the setup. Intonation was pretty much bang on, had to do a few minor tweaks, nothing out of the ordinary.

    Really happy with the Tung oil finish, guitar has an awesome one piece figured ash body, and the Tung really brings out the figure and flame. Pictures, again, don't do this any justice.

    Reliability/Durability:

    Went over all joints, fretwork, etc, and have found minimal issues. Brian let me know that this was his first prototype, and informed me well ahead of time about any blemishes. Honestly, they are very few, and very insignificant.

    Guitar seems to be built very well, I was really impressed with the construction of this guitar. Brian will be very busy in the near future, I can assure you. And I am really looking forward to watch his creations get better and better.

    I really see no issues with this guitar, at all. Seems to be very reliable. Neck is stable, haven't had any warp, and I don't foresee future issues.

    Customer Support:

    Brian was a pleasure to work with, and deal with. I specified using stainless steel frets, which he tried to accommodate, but eventually played havoc on his tools, essentially ruining them. He constantly updated me with statuses about once a week via Facebook.

    Honestly, I believe he is a luthier that truly enjoys his craft, I bought the guitar for next to nothing for the amount of time he put into building it. Throughout the process he reassured me that if I had any issue with the guitar, he would take it back and build another. To say Brian went above and beyond what was required to keep me informed is an understatement.

    Overall Rating:

    4/5 - Can't be perfect, there are a few cosmetic issues, which are very, very minor as mentioned. I'm really enjoying playing this guitar, very comfortable neck, scarf joint, and heel. The heel is really smooth, similar to a KxK, and access to all frets is simple. Sounds big and has clarity. Body is very thin, most likely around a Blackmachine (even though i've never played one) but is thinner then my KxK.

    I really feel that Brian is going to accomplish a lot through Bowes in the future, and if he continues his builds and dedicates himself to the company, the sky's the limit.

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  2. simulclass83

    simulclass83 Yes, pancakes.

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    That's a really tasty guitar! What were the cosmetic issues if I may ask?
     
  3. faceforward_007

    faceforward_007 Land of Ice and Snow

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    Very minor issues, one of the side dot indicators was off, and just a few small items. I really don't want to pick it apart because they really aren't a big deal.

    Brian was totally open with these issues, he emailed me right away and let me know if there were flaws. Again I just gotta stress that they were minor, and I put them in the review to make it fair and unbiased.

    The guitar is unreal, i'm completely content with it, Brian did an amazing job with this axe and I was blown away when I got it. He's got talent for sure, his attention to detail is almost an obsession. He re-fretted the guitar because he found the 15th fret to be a little high, then offered to re-fret it again because he left some tung oil on the fretboard overnight, right before shipping. So he spent a couple of days just sanding it off, and cleaning it up. I bet I would have barely noticed the tung oil, but he wasn't going to ship this until he was happy with the end result. Pretty amazing for a prototype that he sold for a very cheap price.
     
  4. Origin

    Origin Rainbow In The Dark

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    That is just gorgeous. Great review and thanks for the info! Going to have to make plans for a Bowes in the future. Also congrats :D
     
  5. Battousai

    Battousai Proud SSorg member

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    this guitar looks stunning and am in fact in contact with brian to discuss getting a new 7 from him . any chance of sound clips tho? would love to hear it
     

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