ToneQuest Report: July – August 2023 – Vol. 24, No. 9-10


Discover Gabriel Tenorio’s hand-wound guitar strings, Carl Verheyen’s breathtaking solos, the LSL CV Special Strat, Lance Lerman’s inspiring guitar journey, George Gomez’s review of the LSL CV Special, Wade Goeke’s Chandler Limited gear, the JCA Circuits Vibe Amp, and Stocktone’s Hendrix Izabella Single Coils. Immerse yourself in the world of exceptional instruments, innovative designs, and captivating stories that shape the music industry.

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What's Inside This Issue:

Gabriel Tenorio – theGTSco – What do we have without strings? Not a single note of music. It is equal parts amusing and disconcerting to think of how many thousands of dollars can be spent on a guitar or amp, an endless array of pedals, and eventually, everything comes down to being able to pluck a wire. Or a gut string, as it was for some orchestral instruments. Gabriel Tenorio is hand-winding every single string, using the purest materials he can find, with innovative designs for both traditional and non-traditional instruments, as both an ode to the seriously cool Latino musical heritage out on the West Coast, and as an inspiration to the modern grooves that all of us worldwide are laying down. If ever there was a daring pure nickel high wire artist, it’s him. Welcome, brutha Gabriel. Hereby forevermore known as EL TORO TENORIO!

Carl Verheyen Feature Interview – A Carl Verheyen guitar solo is a breathtaking performance by an artist in command of the guitar. Carl has a catalog of albums and a vast career of work as a preferred sideman and studio session ace. Best known for being the guitarist for Supertramp, Carl has recorded with The Bee Gees, Little Richard, Dolly Parton, Glenn Frey, John Fogerty, B.B. King, and others, and played on film and TV soundtracks. Complex, simplistic, acoustic, or electric, it’s all right at home here. If you haven’t had the good fortune to experience a live performance, Carl is touring with Stewart Copeland, performing orchestrated versions of tunes by the Police. Rick Cuilty caught up with Carl during his European tour and recording of his latest album called Riverboat Sky.

The LSL CV Special Strat – The first-time George Gomez saw Carl playing his CV Special was at Alva’s Music in San Pedro California. Other great artists have played there, including Allan Holdsworth, Allen Hinds, Laurence Juber, and Will Ray. He was playing through a vintage Marshall 50-watt, a Fender reverb unit, some other pedals, and his LSL CV Special. George was immediately struck by the tone of the guitar. For most of the night, he thought the guitar was a Fender, but after a closer look he noticed the headstock was different. At the end of the night, George spoke to Carl, asked about the guitar, and Carl handed it to him to play! This led to a relationship including lessons, friendship, production of an EP of George’s original music, and the purchase of his own sunburst CV Special. Join in on the conversation with Carl about the genesis of his CV Special. Strat, the specific details describing his signature tone, and even a creative tip from John Fogerty.

Interview With Lance Lerman, Proprietor LSL Instruments – Lance Lerman has literally gone to the other side of the world and back prior to founding LSL Instruments. In this inspiring story, Lance shares with us, his odyssey of living in California, moving to China and back. Lance knew how to make guitars, having worked as a guitar repairman and an accomplished wood worker. After returning from China, he decided to make the guitar he’d always wanted, a basic Blackguard Tele…all the jigs and fixtures in his own garage and determined to make as much of the guitar as possible himself. Strung it up, played it, and he was blown away by the great sound—and so were his guitar player friends. With a friend’s encouragement, Lance headed to NAMM without a company and within four days LSL Instruments was in the business of making a great guitar.

My Custom LSL CV Special Review – This LSL CV Special guitar build is based on Carl Verheyen’s ’61 seafoam green Fender Strat. When George Gomez first saw Carl playing his LSL CV Signature Special, he was immediately struck by the tone of the guitar. There was a lot of magical sound in that signal path, and it sounded great in Carl’s soaring leads. After meeting Carl that night and having the rare chance to play his CV Special, George was inspired to have his own sunburst CV Special from LSL. When asked about a desert island companion, he doesn’t hesitate to proclaim that it’s his custom LSL CV Special.

Chandler Limited’s Wade Goeke – Wade Goeke is the man behind Chandler Limited, a boutique gear firm intent on taking the legendary designs of EMI’s Abbey Road and updating them for present day studio use. His TG1 Limiter is a re-creation of the compressor and limiter found on the historic EMI TG12345 recording consoles used at the famed Abbey Road Studios. EMI’s recording equipment were never commercially available, and only EMI owned studios had access to
them. They were used on many classic recordings by the Beatles, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, and by the Rolling Stones. Wade talks about how his quest for the ultimate in gear design took him from being a kid who loved guitar, to Los Angeles, London’s Abbey Road Studios, and back to his home state of Iowa. Chandler Limited also produce a pair of unique guitar pedals that we’re taking for a ride here at TQR.

JCA Circuits Vibe Amp – It’s a strange endeavor, sitting there with capacitors, transformers, tubes, schematics of what has been, and the dreams of what could be. Jason Arthur, JCA Circuits, has been in that moment at his Pottstown, Pennsylvania work bench wistfully contemplating the characteristics of sound many times. He began offering this design in late 2021, and it is based on a beloved 1970s silver face Fender Vibro Champ AA74 that a friend had given him decades ago. He has a passion for single-ended amps and exploring their incredible potential. He let us know the Vibe was designed to pay homage to and improve upon the format of his favorite low-power Class A amplifiers. When he offered to send us his newest design, we didn’t hesitate.

Stocktone’s Hendrix Izabella Single Coils Review – When Jimi Hendrix is your first guitar hero and you’ve always been trying to figure out how to nail down that “Voodoo Sound,” you have to consider Jimi had some things going on when he flipped that right-handed over to be left-handed, that a regular right-handed player just can’t capture with stock guitars on the market. When Sherman Stockton, Stonetone Custom Shop decided to go down this rabbit hole, he dug out his notes on all the pickups that he’d ever examined from that era, along with information from research on the net, and some input from some trusted tone freak friends. Why the name Izabella? As the story goes, Jimi named his white Strat Izabella, so that was the natural choice for the loaded pickguard…