Why I love the Texas Toast Daily Driver
I understand that this is the Workshop blog and I don’t want this to sound like a sales pitch… but it’s going to.
Of course, this is my blog and I can say anything I want and what I sat down and wrote about this time was a project that has been years in the making. I am very pleased with the end result so here are some of my thoughts. I struggled with the idea of building my own version of this iconic shape for several years. Sure, I had made a few in the past but they were buddy guitars, finish testers or just for fun. One of these early Fullerton Single Cut guitars went to Brad Davis from FuManchu. What, am I going to say no when one of my favorite bass players asks me to build him something? Yeah right… The fact remained that in a market saturated with lots of pretenders to the throne, not to mention the real thing, the last guitar the world needed was another version of a Telecaster. On the other hand, there is a funny thing about guitars. Every once and a while you grab one and you don’t want to put it down. It’s even more enchanting when you can’t explain it. It isn’t the same for everyone. There is no way to target the user when you are talking about an almost magical feeling.
The Daily Driver is like that, it arouses people’s passions. I see it almost every time when people pick one up. They get a big smile on their face and they say things like “… I like this guitar, I feel like I can trust it.” Naturally, it’s a good durable guitar, and a classic design but I’m always impressed at how much emotion something so simple brings out. To say that the Guitar community is elitist is an understatement. The reality of the situation is that the Daily Driver isn’t sexy or elegant, but you can grab it and rely upon it. When your hands are on the guitar you can instantly tell it was built for hard use, it’s a good feeling. You can very easily get caught up in what is the best material, the best mechanism the best finish… and those are all notable features that have individual value. But we asked ourselves, what need were these collections of superlative features meeting? For the average musician, and that is who this was designed for, it can’t be 2000 dollars… it just can’t. You are not letting them have access to the product at that price point. So, you've got to make the right recipe of application and materials and make sure it’s at a price point they can afford and not feel bad about damaging or even abusing it. We’re not talking about Ferrari level guitars for collectors… that’s not the objective but what is the objective is the best quality handmade working-class instrument that can be unboxed and plugged in, it’s ready to go. We spent a lot of time working on a finish that would protect the guitar and look as good as possible without adding a bunch of time and money to the price. Chris and I came up with the Durable Thin Finish to do everything it needs to do and nothing more. It is easy and more important… fast to apply and is the single most vital component to keeping the cost low. I say this without any hesitation because we absolutely refused to put junk hardware on these guitars. All the base models come with 1 honest to God Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder or Lil’ 59 pick-up, Sperzel tuners (as you read this we are working on a deal with Hipshot for a the standard tuner), CTS, Switchcraft etc. We also decided to make our own bridges and they are only available on Texas Toast guitars. Kevin calls them the Hole Shot bridge and they are the coolest top loading bridge you have ever seen. The pickup orientation is either 18 degrees like the original or straight like Rev. Billy Gibbons says is cool. All that at an introductory price of just under 1000. The Daily Driver is not an entry level guitar, it is a simple design that works. Of course, it can be upgraded to whatever level you want. I think people have a tough time understanding this. I get questions like; can you put in different pick-ups or make the neck on mine just like this one. Well… yeah! Every component is still made one at a time right here in the shop… no outsourcing. You can pretty much have all the features you want depending on how many dollars are in that secret bank account. Did I come off as sincere or did it sound like I was just trying to sell you a guitar? The fact of the matter is I’m not just the owner of the company, I’m also a client. I started building these because I wanted a Tele shape guitar to play slide. Hell, if it wasn’t for Ralph Machio I might not be writing this.