We at Mass St Music have been fans of Dave Seuferling’s handcrafted electric Seuf Guitars for the past couple years now. He’s a small builder from Independence, Missouri who has real talent with tone. His years of repair and restoration work developed his hawk-eye for vintage detail and his chemistry background helped make him a master of the relic. These aren’t just relic’d guitars though, but incredible instruments, newly built for a lifetime of playing that feel and look like true classic vintage instruments. Appearance aside, the playability is incredible and each one has mojo in spades. Last week our own Boss Flynn took Matt H and Josh from our repair shop with him for a road trip to Seuf’s shop in KC – lucky for us they brought back three killer Seufs – the Seuf OH-10 Jazzmaster Style, the Seuf OH-20 Tele Style and the Seuf OH-18 J Bass Style which all blew us away. (NOTE 2012: Early on Dave was calling his creations the OF series for ‘Old Friend’ as they felt like they’d been yours for years, right off the bat. He then changed it to SF, and finally OH for “Old Hand” to curtail a name copyright issue). We also have one more due any day. After grabbing coffee down the street, John and the crew visited Dave at his unassuming but charming store and got a peek at the inner workings of this tone master’s shop.
“Dave is incredibly particular about every aspect of his instruments. From the selection of wood, to the shape of every neck, to the detailed fretwork, to the …well, you get the picture. You only need to hang out with Dave for a few minutes to know that he’s a genuinely good guy who doesn’t compromise – he does it the way it should be done, all the way,” Flynn elaborated. “And his relic’ing is second to none. Take one glance at his instruments and you’ll know that his strict attention to detail permeates every facet of his work.” (Boss Flynn owns two Seufs – a unique 12 String F-hole Tele style, and a butterscotch OH-20 tele.)
When we first started carrying Seufs, back in 2009, our own vintage expert and Mass St owner Jim Baggett walked in the electric room and glanced at a new Seuf tele we had just received. The finish color and checking, tuners…everything was so perfect that Jim at first thought we had acquired an exceptional vintage piece. Jim was floored by the vintage aging job.
Dave’s unique background of restoration and repair coupled with the extensive background in chemistry coatings (and a general flair for experimentation) enable him to incorporate real vintage tone into these instruments. He chooses the woods for the guitars, tone taps each, relies on only bone nuts, and loads these with incredible pickups like Fralins and Lollars. His finish colors are perfect – not only the original color, but the original correctly aged, plus he uses a nitrocellulose lacquer material chemically identical to the older variety used by Fender in the 50s and 60s rather than the modern nitro material most folks use today. He also prefers to use less coatings.
The playability and tone of the Seufs is incomparable – Dave takes every inch and part of the guitar into account for the sound. He told us in a 2009 interview “I like to hear a bright, crisp ring in the ‘unplugged’ guitar. The electronics should only flavor the tone, they don’t generate it.”
Whether you’re a fan of relics, or not at all, we think you’ll be bowled over by the tone, resonance and feel of these exceptional guitars. We’re thrilled to be able to offer them at Mass Street Music. Stop by and check ’em out. For more info, check out our earlier interview with Dave about Seuf Guitars.