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Insanely Awesome Zhonic Z-Custom




Truly a one of a kind. I set out to build an Alex Lifeson tribute guitar, and what followed was a journey that culminated with a spectacular instrument. I spared no expense with my hardware and the result was truly impressive. The combinations of voices are seemingly endless  between the piezo bridge, the coil splitting magnets, two three way switches, and a mid/dark switch. It also has stereo output via a combo jack and the magnetic pickups work with the battery for the pre-amp removed. The stats are as follows;


  • Graph Tech Ghost Acousti-Phonic System
  • Graph Tech Percision Tremolo
  • DiMarzio pickups: DP159 Evo (Bridge) DP156 (Neck)
  • Orange Drop Capacitors
  • Switchcraft/Graph Tech switches
  • Gibson Push Pull (Tones) CTS (Volumes)
  • TonePros Kluson KB3 Tuners
  • Locking Nut
  • Combo Mono/Stereo Jack (Via Cable)


A note to builders regarding the bridge,  I feel I should mention this. Because of the nature of these arch top guitars, the swept back angle of the neck and the thickness of the body, I have had to modify the stock bridge to function in this guitar. The bridge height required for sufficient clearance is quite tall. I started by making a single master shim under all the saddles, 2/32 thick hardened bridge steel from an Edge Pro I used as a parts donor. This allowed me to set the base plate lower to the body. Also this high quality bridge came with a brass block, however due to thickness of the guitar, a brass spacer was made as well between the base plate and the block allowing for proper spring angle and clearance.


The result however is fabulous. Fully functional and tonally angelic. I am also quite blessed to have a small shop with a milling machine which I had to modify for the project. Without the mill, I would not have taken this on as the utmost precision is needed. The standard specs for the Floyd Rose route do not apply here and measurements were done custom by myself.


This is a great example of how anything is possible. I could not be more proud and happy with this guitar. This one instrument can sound like over a dozen guitars and can dive all day.  It is a tribute that became allot more. It is a love letter to the guitar itself.


Very special thanks to Phil at Precision. For working with me on this so very well, and providing the best by far arch top kits on the planet. This is the only kit I would recommend, the highest quality foundation. I would also like to thank master carpenter Steven Battles for teaching me how to glue wood properly, and providing me with this incredible burst which amazes me every day. Also a thanks to Gary over at Best-Decals for providing me with these fantastic vinyl cut decals for the headstock, which you can design yourself or thru their design team. I designed them myself and sent him the vector files.


Best of luck to all you builders. Build, play, smile…. and thank you again Phil.