Custom Made Guitars I994 to 1998

Some of Our Older Original Designs & Custom Paint Jobs

EB-1 # 114 Joe Held,  Hartford

Joe Held & his brother Tibor both own EB-1's, The one pictured below was ordered in October 1998.  Before we were branding our custom guitars. You will notice no Ed Roman logo on the front of the instrument.

These guys are both players and are not impressed by the fact that so and so plays a Fender and so and so plays a Gibson. Joe & Tibor are simply people who play their guitars and don't care what the general populace plays. Today this is becoming rarer and rarer. The big companies spend millions every year brainwashing and programming their customers to have loyalty to their brand. Personally I think that's a joke. in any case there will always be people who say they can tell the difference between Coke & Pepsi.

Today 11 years later there are more than 3500 of these finely made LSR guitars out there. You almost never see these pop up on ebay which is a huge testimonial to their quality.

Of course the above paragraph doesn't mean I won't hype the fact that any well known player owns one and is using one.  I mean I can be just as shallow as any other manufacturer. (maybe even more shallow)  Because In the final analysis, Rock Stars sell guitars more than a thousand salesman and a thousand magazine ads and a thousand good reviews.  Unfortunate but true.

Leslie West, Eddie Van Halen, Buck Dharma, Rick Derringer,  John Mayer So There !!!!!

 

"The Damien 7"  Built in 1996
 

This 7 string guitar/weapon emanated from the mind of Damien Esmond.  It is a 24 fret neck through body instrument constructed entirely of premium Australian Silky Oak (Lacewood). There are custom made Abalone inverted crosses and a premium Gaboon Ebony neck. The electronics include a Dimarzio Blaze 7 Pickup and a custom made stutter switch.

The custom designed stand/blade is for setting the guitar down on stage and for an assortment of other piercing possibilities.

The Damien 7 Model is a radical (to say the least) departure from the norm.
Ed  Roman
 
Evil Shouldn't Look This Good
We Constructed This Evil Bass custom made for Glenn Nichols of New Jersey in 1997
I think he may have been Jamming with Damien (Above) and bumped into Damien's Guitar
1

The finish Includes the pickups and the back of the guitar

We Installed a new fingerboard and did some custom inlay work


 
Custom Blood Red Bich for Morpheus Blak
 

Morpheus Blak's  Ed Roman BC Rich Guitar

One of the BC Rich Guitars My Custom Shop built in 1997
We built several hundred 100% USA made BC Rich Guitars in the 90's

Beautiful blood-Red Rich Bich Specially Constructed In My Shop.
 

 Morpheus wanted African Black Korina back wings and a Quilted Maple 1/2" top.  Dark Brazilian Rosewood was used for the fingerboard and the traditional original BC Rich diamond fingerboard inlays  were elongated slightly to modernize the original design.  This Guitar is extremely light and very resonant.

The dark blood red finish tends to photograph poorly. The actual guitar has a much deeper quilt on the top.

 

LSR  EB-1  # 4
"Anthony Taroni"

This guitar was commissioned by Anthony Taroni of California, It is the first "EB-1" ordered with an Ebony Neck. The photo of the exquisitely figured deep blue stained maple top does not due justice to the actual finish. This guitar features the Carousel Truss Rod Adjuster System.

These guitars start as low as $2,295.00. They come in 50 or more colors and they offer many innovations that were never available on their distant cousin Steinbergers.

These guitars are totally built in the USA in my shop. They have been built in over 100 different body styles.  I would like to show some of them on this website but that would only invite a bunch of hate mail and a bag full of cease and desist letters from every major guitar manufacturer on the planet.

Update 2007

This guitar was built in approximately 1997.   Today Ed Roman has sold over 300 of these guitars. Ed has introduced over 50 different original body styles. There are over 3000 LSR guitars out there.

In 2006 Ed will be making the Floyd Rose Speedloader Tremolo & Hardtail available on all models.  These bridges are superior to the original Steinberger bridges built in 80's & 90's.

The quality of the strings have improved also, These new models are the best thing that will happen to the headless style guitar for a long time to come

Ed Roman

 

EB-1 Prototype #2
"
Bob Beckwith "  1998

This Guitar was commissioned by Bob Beckwith of Massachusetts.  In the past 2 years I have sold Bob a number of Graphite based guitars, Steinbergers and Brian Moore's. Bob opted for the more traditional EMG pickup system instead of the beefy Duncan Pickups we have chosen for the usual  EB-1 . The Top of this guitar is highly figured Blister Quilt with a Strandular Graphite neck and Birdseye Maple Diamond-Wood Fingerboard. 

 

"Leslie West"

A couple of days before this beautiful EB-1 guitar was shipped out to Bob. I happened to have a meeting with Leslie West of  "Mountain".  ( I was setting up 2 of Leslie's Steinbergers). Leslie was so totally blown away with the Look, Sound and Feel of the EB-1  that he said he "Had to Have one". Coming from Leslie West this is a major compliment because anyone that knows Leslie is keenly aware of his sharp wit and cynical hard to please attitude.  Leslie has played Steinbergers almost exclusively for 15 years. He cannot play anything else because he uses the "Trans Trem" on many of his songs.  I have been a Major Leslie West fan for 30 years. Even before I saw him play Mississippi Queen with "Mountain" at Woodstock in 1969.

Leslie recorded Respect (Before Aretha) with the Vagrants.  Leslie has played with everyone from Clapton to Hendrix to Van Halen, I have an old photo of Leslie West and Jimi Hendrix where incredibly Jimi was playing bass (Wow)!!!  I once saw him play an incredible gig with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker!!!!  My own band in the 60's used to open up with (Blood of the Sun). Ok,  so I'm a fan.

To make a long story short I have decided to release a secondary project "The WB-1" These guitars will be Leslie's design and Leslie's Choice of woods, Leslie's choice of electronics and shape.  The first 100 will also be handsigned by Leslie himself.    Replaced by the Leslie West Rocketship Guitar.

 

 

BC Rich "Bich" Bob Bricker 1997
 Originally Built  in Ed Roman's Custom Shop

This beautifully quilted 10 string Bich was commissioned by Bob Bricker from Ohio.

I  reshaped the heel to be sleeker than an original Bich. The wings are made of figured Black African Limba (Korina Wood) . The top is highly figured blister quilt. Unlike the usual BC Rich Bich, this top is book matched for beauty.  An ebony fingerboard was installed,  white binding, custom frets and the original  gorgeous Paua Abalone oversize clouds. This guitar was made thinner by 3/16 which contributed to the look and overall feel as well as it's greatly reduced weight. All the hardware was replaced and the Dimarzio pickups were replaced with  Seymour Duncan Black/Backs TM .  (Wait till you hear them)

Bob was concerned about tone, looks and weight. The Quilted Maple and Korina Woods that were used were selected for natural color, tone quality, resonance and weight. This guitar when finished was extremely light and played extremely well !!!

.

 

Jackson "Kelly" Custom  1995

This custom guitar started out as a stock Jackson Kelly, It was baby blue with pink pin striping  "yeeccchh"

It had a Kahler Tremolo System. It was basically a dull un-interesting example of a great guitar. 

The Guitar had a host of problems including neck & fingerboard instability which made it a perfect guitar to modify.

Owner Tony Rizzo of Wisconsin commissioned me to redo the guitar,  The challenge was to make it look good and install a Floyd Rose Tremolo.

The top 1/2 layer of wood was replaced, All new electronics were installed, a Floyd Rose Tremolo was installed and 2 rails were inlaid on the face of the guitar (Thus simulating the BC Rich style.

If you have a poor old beat up guitar and you want it to be built back up to something worth owning

Call Ed Roman in Las Vegas  702-875-4552

 

Steinberger M Series 1997  

This Steinberger M series was commissioned by Tom Bradley from Maryland.  It started out as a completely stock guitar (white with black binding). Tom owned the guitar for about 7 years and used it live on stage all over the world.

A new body was fabricated from scratch, Tom picked a beautiful piece of Australian Lacewood for the back and a gorgeous piece of Quilted Maple for the top. I ran into several snags during construction of the body and it took longer to complete than expected.

As you can see from the photo above it came out beautifully. Compare the Quilted Maple on this guitar to the usual Steinberger wood.  My tops are about 10 times as thick and look about 20 times better.

2005 Update

The pictured guitar was built back in 1997 or so. Today Ed Roman's Custom Shop in Las Vegas makes over 100 different body designs and can hand build them in less than 3 weeks time. Check out LSR Guitars click for Building & Binding A Custom LSR  Headless Guitar

LSR Guitars Click Here For Details

 

BC Rich Mockingbird Conversion Done In 1991

This spectacular Ed Roman Mockingbird is owned by Carl Bergen of New Jersey. It started out as an original 1981 BC Rich  NJ imported guitar.       (See Rockingbird Guitars)

As you can see by the photo a finer piece of Quilted Maple doesn't exist.  This Guitar is an excellent example of what my custom shop's capabilities were almost 20 years ago.

Carl had owned every type of high end guitar imaginable.  In fact he traded in a PRS Dragon III when he acquired this gem.

This guitar is probably the first ever BC Rich guitar ever to be converted to a Tun-a- Matic Bridge.  (Today We Use The Tone Pros Bridge)  Back in 1991 all you could hope for was, either the inferior Quadmatic bridge, or worse yet the piece of crap white metal Leo Quan Badass Bridge.

It should just be called the BAD Bridge because basically it sucked. This guitar was re built in my custom shop around 1991 it featured PRS pickups which were the best back then. The only mistake I made was to use a Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard.  Today I have learned that Ebony is the absolute best way to go.     Ed

 

Steinberger  Left handed M Series "Jeff Botting"

 

This guitar was one of a pair I did for Jeff Botting of Tokyo Japan in 1994 . Steinberger never offered this model in a left handed version. I have created a number of left handed Steinberger conversions like this one.  Contact me, you can specify the type of wood, pickups, bridge system 6 or 12 string.  I have never done a left-handed Steinberger double neck.  Yours could be the first !!!

The above Steinberger left-handed custom conversion is made from solid African Black Limba (AKA Korina Wood).  It is a relatively inexpensive conversion, simply because all the parts are from an original right handed model. The only customization is just the body.  All the parts are ambidextrous.

Ed

Today Ed Roman offers over 35 headless left handed styles, In fact Ed Roman is the leading builder specializing in left hand instruments. 

 


 
1996

LSR Guitars Very Early One before Gibson Clamped down on the body shapes


Virgin Double Neck
"Jeff Frohman"
1995

Jeff Is the Store Manager for Murphy's Music Long Island

This Virgin double neck features Dimarzio Pickups on the 6 String and Seymour Duncans on the 12 string side.

The 12 string octave tuning machines are recessed into the base of the body. The paint was a replication of the old BC Rich "Metal & Rivets" originally seen on the old 80's Ironbirds.

One of the coolest things about this guitar is the simplicity of the electronics. Most double neck guitars have too many controls and are confusing to use in a live situation.

Jeff wanted his guitar to be practical and functional so there is only one push pull pot for the volume controls on both necks.   There is a concentric tone knob allowing for the tones to be set and left alone. 

 When Jeff wants to switch necks all he has to do is tap or pull the volume knob.  The coil taps are set up so they work on which ever neck is activated.

This Guitar was totally Built in Our Custom Shop, The necks came from the buyout of the BC Rich Factory in 1993. 


Kramer  Candy Stripe Conversion
1986

 

This was probably my most popular Conversion .  The first one I can remember  was commissioned by Eric Rudish of Pennsylvania in 1984 or so. I have experimented with asymmetrical neck configurations ALA  the Ernie Ball.  I have dissected Duncan pickups to determine number of pickup windings.

I have experimented with Neo Dimium Magnets known better as  (N Dyms) TM trademark name owned by electrovoice corp.  After 3 years of research I have finally come up with the ultimate Van Halen clone  pickup design.  Code Named ND for non disclosure.   (Today Known as the Black/Backs)

I experimented with tilt back headstocks, drop headstocks,  I refined the shade of color 3 times over the past 12 years in an effort to be as true to the original as possible. Eric has ordered an EB-1 in 1998 here it is 10 years later and I'm building another custom guitar for him.  (Thanks Eric)

Each and every one of these guitars were made under the strictest quality control. They played and sounded like a hand built custom guitar because that is precisely what they were.

Only original Floyd Rose tremolo systems were used,  Schaller tuners and premium  Seymour Duncan  pickups were used.  These Guitars were fretted under full neck tension and the final fret dressing was done while the guitar was strung up to pitch. This process settles the neck and gives the instrument a totally handmade feel.

We exhibited this guitar @ the 1987 NAMM show & we sold hundreds and hundreds of them. Many do not bear our mark. We have a secret mark that we use to be able to designate ones we made.  There were lots of copies made illegally by many small builders some good but mostly they were made from those new import Kramers and the quality is pretty bad.  (Be careful of ebay)

If you happen upon one it might be a little pricey... but you will immediately see why if you buy it and play it.

1985 First Production Run

The color is off in the picture but in real life the color was pretty much dead on !!!!
This picture was well before digital camera's


"Trouble Walk-in"
'Cuz I'm Havin' Trouble Holdin' this thang up.
This guitar is the first radical guitar ever built by Ed Roman

 

This radical hand carved Doubleneck was conceived from the sick minds of  Ed Roman & Bob Spatafore, Built back in 1989, Totally hand carved by Barry Lipman. It features a custom graphic.

This Monster features scalloped neck, EMG pickups,  Floyd Rose Tremolo and a very cool graphic depicting land, sea, mountains, icebergs, sky, space, stars and planets. The picture above is slightly washed out and does not do justice to the paint job. (Oh, well)

This Guitar was last seen in Texas somewhere, I am interested in it's whereabouts Please let me know if you see it anywhere.

I built it in 1989 and it is one of the first major projects that I attempted.

I am hoping to get some better pictures of this guitar !!!!

Ed Roman

 


 

BC Rich Archtop Eagle
"This Guitar Built in 1992 Entirely in my Custom Shop"

This Guitar was constructed by Ed Roman for Roger Mecca. It features Seymour Duncan pickups and  electronics an Original Gibson Tune-o-Matic Bridge system, Honduras Mahogany back, Beautiful Quilted Maple hand carved Arch Top, Ebony fingerboard, Abalone Cloud inlays, & Gold hardware.

This is the very first BC Rich Eagle to have an archtop, The first BC Rich Eagle to have a Tune-o-Matic Bridge. The first one to be made in the PRS/Gibson tradition of maple over mahogany.

I (*ahem*) borrowed some great ideas and came up with what may be one of the most beautifully designed guitars ever conceived in 1992

 


 

This one is pretty much the same except instead of a bookmatched top
it is a one piece quilted maple.
(I'm sorry to say that the photo quality is not up to the guitar quality)
This one was built for Marty Yudkovitz Of NYC


Mark Hitt's Gibson ES355

 

This early 60's 355 has belonged to Mark Hitt of  "Ratrace Choir" for almost 35 years. If you lived In New York, New Jersey or Connecticut over the past 30 years you probably remember seeing Mark playing this guitar. (it used to be sunburst).

This Guitar was played VERY  MEGA MUCHO  EXTREMELY  HARD!!!!!!!  7 days a week for over 30 years and if you ever saw Ratrace play you know what I mean. Ratrace was the Quintessential Cover Band. They were capable of  emulating "Jethro Tull" and "Led  Zeppelin" better than the Original Band. When they played  "The Who" "Moody Blues" or "UK". You would swear you were listening to the original album with the volume set to 50. They used a huge Quadraphonic PA System and a bank of Eventide effects during the 70's that still makes my hair stand up 25 years later when I even think about it. Their Sound man Alan Ade was a true Genius.

Some of the greatest music I ever heard in my life came out of this guitar.  In fact seeing Ratrace was one of my life's major inspirations and a large reason for me getting into the music business in the first place.  I remember hearing Mark play Hammer-ons in the 70's long before I heard of Eddie Van Halen. I'll bet this neck saw more beer bottle slides in it's life than most people can drink.  I can remember guitar players stacked 6 deep standing in front of Mark with their Jaws on the ground staring at his fingers (I was one of them).  I swear to God!!! I once heard Mark make this guitar sound exactly like the Hammond Organ solo on Deep Purple's "Hush".

So when Mark asked me to repair it I was flattered and honored. and a little scared.

The condition of this guitar was nothing less than totally horribly atrocious, The neck had been repaired twice from 2 separate breaks the repairs were done well but they were 100% visible. There was literally no binding left on the guitar, the wood on the top was worn almost through in several places. The electronics were rusted out and a total mess the frets were played down to the wood and the fingerboard was almost scalloped by Mark's fingers. Mark uses very heavy strings. The body had major cracks in the wood and the seams. The guitar was just about ready to literally come apart top, sides, back and neck joint.  Mark had resisted fixing the guitar for so long for the simple fact that he used it daily and simply could not make a living without it.

Fixing this guitar required a new fingerboard, frets, totally rebinding the body & neck and some serious surgery to the top, back, sides and neck.  Mark was not in the least concerned about originality he was not worried a bit about resale value. What he was concerned about was reliability and functionality and tone.  I installed a Mike Christian Piezo System and reworked the pickups that were custom wound for Mark by Larry Dimarzio In 1980. (Mark Hitt appeared on the cover of  Dimarzio's Pickup  Catalog in 1979).

When the guitar was done I was very worried that Mark might be displeased.  I was quite nervous because I had been tampering with Black Magic. You always hear about guitars getting redone or refretted and losing their tone and or magic. When a man and an instrument are as close as Mark and this guitar I knew I was seriously playing with fire. I'm sure that Mark knew every centimeter of that guitar, I am sure he knew every dent in every fret and every divot on the fingerboard well enough to give them all separate names.  Here I was making  literally hundreds of changes to this guitar.

 

I delivered the guitar to Mark one rainy night at a gig in Mahopac New York. I don't mind telling you I was a bit jittery. I asked him how it looked and he seemed quite pleased. (I wasn't worried about how it looked I knew that was cool) I also knew it would be at least a week before I would find out what he really thought.

A year has since passed and to make a long story short  Mark loves the guitar and takes it with him everywhere he goes.  Most guitar players carry several picks in their wallet. Mark carries his guitar (this guitar) everywhere. Mark was given several new Gibson 335's by the Gibson Factory,  He doesn't use them. He has tried to get a Heritage endorsement several times. Heritage just doesn't give away guitars. They do very little advertising.

Currently Mark works here at Ed Roman's as a tech in the final assembly dept.   He also does excellent setups and rebuilds.  If Anyone has a copy of  The 1979 or 80 Dimarzio Catalog that Mark appeared on the entire cover I would love a copy.
I am a Dyed in the Wool Hard-core Ratrace Choir Fan,  If anyone has any old Ratrace recordings I would kill for copies.

Today 20 years later Mark Hitt is using Quicksilver Guitars Check em' Out


 
EB-1 Prototype # 1
"Steve Henning"
 

There were 2 test prototypes built then Serial #1 was put into my collection.
His 7 String soft cutaway guitar has one of the most stunning Quilted Maple back and sides I have ever seen.

This is the Original prototype built for Steve Henning

Eddie Van Halen Has # 2

Custom Made 7 String 
Currently I am delivering less than 5 Acoustic guitars a year!

This 7 String soft cutaway guitar has one of the most stunning Quilted maple backs I have seen

The surrounding body purfling is made from real Abalone and the Sound hole Rosette is also the same highly figured Abalone.

This guitar utilizes the Rick Turner designed Highlander Piezo Electric Pickup system.

The premium Sitka Spruce top really pumps air.

The satin finished Honduras Mahogany neck warms the solid maple somewhat.  This guitar has a big open sound unlike many other maple acoustics. The low B (7th String) compensates for the usual overly bright all maple back and side construction. The customer of course specified that he wanted all Maple construction.