Antonio by HARVESTER

Well, my name is Anthony, and although I have no Italian ancestry, nor can I speak a word of the language I do love to cook Italian and when I do I become for just a few short hours - Antonio.

If the phone rings and I'm kneeding pizza dough I must answer "Antonio's ! Can I take your order please ? " That's the rule in our kitchen. Every band I've played in has sampled my pizza pie, I've even inflicted it on genuine Italian friends ...

So as my mania for Italian guitars of the 60's ( in particular those of my namesake A. Pioli ) mushrooms into some kind of full blown obsession there was never any doubt that a new label would be born under the Harvester Guitars banner - The Antonio Series.

Antonio is not a model name, just a 'label' that I have applied to the prototypes and experiments over the past few years as though I were founding a new factory to explore the musical collsion between the surreal and the metallic. Each model in the series will have a name of it's own.

I make no claim to be replicating specific models of guitar, nor have I exactly followed the original construction methods. Wandre lived and worked in the booming, creative industrial time and space of post-post-war Italy with it's fascination for alternate materials and methods in architecture, art & engineering - I have no access to custom-section extruded aluminium as used on the original instruments ( maybe if i was tooling up to make 1000 of these beuaties ... )  and by neccessity have headed in the direction of milled rod and billet - opening up a world of sound & sustain.

These experiments are leading me to fuse ideas from many different instruments in my collection, not least of which is my Travis Bean TB1000 and to have some fun with the details while I'm at it.



I have been meaning to make aluminium ( that's 'aluminum' for my North American friends ! ) necks for as long as I've been building instruments. I've been playing my Travis for 20 years and swimming in it's astonishing sustain and chiming overtones.

For years now aluminium has been sneaking into my guitars in the form of custom bridges, string-trees, cover plates, nuts, jack-plates, name-plates, pickguards etc.

I love the stuff - I think I'll need to write a whole blog post here about aluminium ( Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles Dickens, Wandre, Travis Bean all were fans! )  There's something about owning a fine instrument that responds to the occasional polish just like a vintage motorcyle ( or if you don't polish it takes on a machine-like, 'industrial' patina ) ask any dobro, trumpet or sax player.

Early test flights with this prototype show that it's solid T6061 spine wrapped in beautiful deep red Padauk brings a good dose of that Travis clang and shimmer without the chiropractic complications.

The hybrid neck with it's polsihed compound radii feels good to the fretting hand also - I can't wait to make a bass version as I know this slender neck and high sustain design will suit bass and baritone instruments to a 'T'.

Here then is a preview of the contruction process behind the first : Antonio 'Prototipo'

* Finished guitar photos and details very soon ...

boards of beautiful, clear african mahogany are glued and clamped.

T6 hardened 6061 aluminium rod is deivered in 4 metre lengths and milled to size.

aluminium sheet is bandsawn for headstocks.

necks are a hybrid of african rosewood ( padauk ) wrapped around 6061 T6 aluminium section to form comfortable compound curves.

the headstock for this model is TIG welded to the neck shaft.

neck shaft and body insert are drilled, tapped & bolted together to form a continous resonating spine from tuners to tailpiece.

pickups and bridge are also bolted to this spine.

stainless steel machine screws are countersunk under super-sized vintage-cream fretboard markers.

brass string guide and rosewood tuner plates are fitted.

N.O.S. latching pushbutton gangs made by Schadow ( Germany ) as found on many high-end mixing desks and audio rack units from the 1970s.

prototype heat-formed acrylic pickguard.

Stay tuned for more Antonio updates *