Farnell Guitars Changes Hands

My heart goes out to Al Farnell of Farnell Guitars. After 25 years of building guitars, he’s selling his business. When a person places so much into something, it is always sad to see it go. The guitars that bear his name, however, are carrying on with a “self-proclaimed computer geek,” which is something of kin to me being a tabletop RPG nerd myself. His name is Jeff Hansen.

Jeff Hansen has had an entrepreneurial itch for a long time. His passion of guitars has become a labor of love. He even set up a kickstarter to make the transition into the guitar arena a little easier. Just to make sure that the quality of Farnell guitars stays consistent, Al is sticking around for a bit until to make sure his baby is in good hands.

The shop is a work in progress. Everything is there, but steps will be taken to ensure the quality and expand the brand.  The goal is to eventually have vlcsnap-2013-08-31-01h19m13s103everything made domestically, but the first step is catering to existing customer orders and progressively expanding as time goes on like any good business.

Some material may be imported for now, but everything will be assembled in house. The day you call up and ask for a guitar, one thing that will be on your mind is what kind of pickups you want. Bare Knuckle Pickups from the UK is one, which are great pickups by the way. Furthermore, Jeff tells me directly that they have a good relationship with EMG, which I’m sure will bode well for all you “active”ists. Most of you know how I feel about active pickups, but I do have a H1A Hot Rod from EMG in my “A” guitar, and I still love it. Hell, my review is still on musiciansfriend.com, but it is kind of sad that it’s the only review though.

I’m sure that any company will build you a guitar if you walk in with a heavy wallet, but Jeff wants to emphasize customization using an online generator. Every guitar off the line is a one-of-a-kind. Select a body shape, pickup configuration, scale length, neck profile, and whatever funky finishes your twisted mind can come with.

Let’s explore this for a moment.


06-2-alfWhat kind of bodies could you get? Well, I can’t imagine they would forbid their own take of a Les Paul-style, or a Tele-style, or blah, blah, blah. But Farnell Guitars have a unique body style of their own. It is something like a Danelectro 67 Heaven or a Fender Jaguar, but it contours almost like a Mockingbird. One could slap some EMG’s in there, and that would be cool. One previous model does in fact have a Lace Alumitones, which I’ve been curious about but have yet to try.



That is what customization is about. One of the next steps for Farnell Guitars will be creating their own wide range of brand pickups, and, if I where to recommend anything, different colors don’t effect the sound if you’re picking up what I’m putting down. I am sure Jeff can pull it off. I don’t know. Damn it, man, I’m a writer, not a physicist! Or a business man… And I am kind of scared of wasps…



The body itself? The song “Strength Beyond Strength” comes to mind. Al Farnell owns patents on both styles of guitars. First is a high impact polystyrene shell with a slice big enough for a solid block of light mahogany. Your pickups and bridge are cut into wood, but the rest of the body is in a light weight polystyrene.

What exactly is polystyrene?

[pol-ee-stahy-reen, -steer-een] noun: a clear plastic or stiff foam, a polymer of styrene.

Ok, cool. The second method is almost exactly like the construction of a surf board. Both come with the option of an F hole and both can house any bridge, be it Floyd Rose, tune-o-matic, Telecaster or even a Bigsby.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift, and that is why it’s called the present. Who originally said it? Eh, I’m to lazy to pop it in the Google search, but I got it from Kung Fu Panda. But it still leaves the point that this moment is what we all should value. Al goes on to retirement or other ventures, Jeff starts his new life as a guitar company owner and I get to see Farnell Guitars grow from what it was, probably while drinking a beer.


You can check out more about Farnell Guitars here: Farnellguitars.com

Be on the look out for the Farnell Guitar Kickstarter for your chance to be on the ground floor. You can check out more about it here: Farnell Kickstarter Ramp-Up


Tiny URL for this post:


Filed Under: FeaturedCommentary / Editorials


About the Author: Started playing bass at 15. It was Danko Jones who inspired me to play at all, and in a small town I couldn't be picky on what I can get my hands on, so I bought a squire with pride. Obtained a B.C. Rich guitar months later. Moved to the city at 17. At 19 joined my first metal band as a bassist which ended at 20. Joined a bass heavy rock band, which I loved being in whole heartily. I now wait to venture into a new project. For the time being though, I am exploring my abilities as a writer.

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

%d bloggers like this: