At McLoughlin Guitars, we are passionate about using the highest quality materials. We love beautiful flame maple, premium alder, and the best quality hardware available. We use only the highest quality wood from respected dealers. We want our guitars to stand up to the rigors of the road, so we don’t skimp on quality parts.
We also love the look and feel of a guitar that has seen the road. A gigging guitar has soul, and we aim to capture the essence that only hundreds (or thousands) of live performances can do. We obsess over the details of a well-aged guitar, both aesthetically and tonally. When you pick up one of our distressed guitars, it will feel like it has been played for decades.
We specialize in the highest quality bodies made from the tonewood of your choice. Our most popular models sport premium alder, which is known for it’s strength and clear, full-bodied sound. The premium cuts of alder we use are a beautiful white natural color with straight grain pattern and no streaks or knots. It looks superb in our aged finishes peeking out from under opaque nitrocellulose lacquer. Certain transparent finishes and sunburst finishes really make alder into a showpiece.
Our bodies can be ordered in a wide variety of different tonewoods, with swamp ash and rosewood being our most popular upgraded options.
If your dream guitar is a little more unique, we offer a wide variety of different body types, cavity routes, specialty neck pockets, binding, or other upgrades that’s ok… we can do that. Just contact us with the details or use our Custom Guitar Builder to explain the details!
Aged to perfection
Our forte’ is distressing and aging our guitars to achieve that special feeling and tone that can only be earned from years on the road. We offer a variety of different aging levels:
- Classic – Very close to NOS, maybe a ding or blemish here and there. Shows minimal signs of wear.
- Light – A few dings here and there, light tarnishing on the hardware, looks played but taken care of and never gigged with.
- Medium – The closest aging to look like an authentic vintage instrument . Aged hardware, some belt rash, a little forearm arm wear, dings around the edges and a scratch here and there.
- Heavy – Large arm wear, large belt rash, dings and scratches all over the place, worn paint finish, looks like its been gigged with its entire life on a regular basis.
- Ultimate – More wood showing than paint. Most comfortable to play and sounds the best since there is little finish.
This is where much of our customization comes in. If you have a desired look or feel that you’re going for, just let us know and we’ll incorporate your desired age and distress level. This picture is of our exclusive build for our Facebook fans, an Ultimate distressed guitar in Lake Placid Blue.
Our necks are made from the highest quality hardwood. We particularly love premium flame and birdseye maple, cut to your favorite neck profile. We offer fretboards in maple and rosewood, and we’re proud to offer an upgrade to a fine, dark Brazilian rosewood. You can see the difference between the more common Indian rosewood (which is usually redder with some striping) and the dark, uniform Brazilian rosewood.
Our most popular neck is a medium C shape, 6105 frets, 1.65 nut width and a 9.5 radius. This neck shape works well for small or large hands. The radius is a balance between vintage and shredder: not too flat and not too curved. This fret size is equally well suited to a variety of different playing styles. This neck is just right!
Necks can be ordered to your specifications. If you want a certain fret size, radius, nut width, neck shape… we can do that!
Pickups to match your desired tone
To provide the vintage tone you desire, we are proud to offer Klein Epic Series pickups. These premium pickups are exact vintage reproductions from 1954-1963 or 1969 and they can be added to your guitar for an additional charge. Please specify the desired year and pickup configuration when placing your order. If vintage reproductions aren’t your thing but you’re still after that clear blues tone, we also offer Klein S-5 Scooped Mid pickups. We are most known for our Black1 Clone pickups out there. These are a $250 option and use the same magnets and wire as the originals. They have been designed to exacting standards to offer the same impedance, inductance, resistance and output as the real thing. Don’t be mistaken: these are not re-boxed or re-branded pickups, this is our own exclusive design that you can only find here.
We are happy to use any pickups you desire. Any pickups under $150 are included free of charge, and we will only charge the difference for those over $150. For example: if you want $180 pickups we will only charge you $30. Simply let us know what your desired pickup configuration is and we’ll provide you a quote prior to placing your order.
The best hardware, aged to match
We believe that the finishing touches make the guitar. We are happy to offer a wide variety of pickguards that are customized to your liking. Our guitars come fully-shielded and feature premium electronics: shielded 22g luthier pushback wire, 250k CTS pots, 5-way Oak Grigsby switch and 0.22k caps. If you have a specific pickguard or customizations be sure to ask – we can do that!
Our guitars are distressed down to the smallest detail and feature pickup covers, knobs, hardware and tremolos that are aged to match the style of your dream guitar perfectly.
We offer premium gold, nickel/chrome, or black tuners with an upgrade to elite gold pearloid tuners for an additional charge.
If you’re planning to take this guitar on the road we also offer basic black or tweed cases. You can upgrade to a premium G&G case for an additional charge, or you can purchase an elite distressed case for that authentic road-worn feel.
Interested yet? If so, head over to our Guitar Builder and start configuring your dream axe!
Find out what our other customers are saying on our Testimonials page!