This section should provide an insight into how we approach the different areas of a Daemoness build, and should act as a resource for anyone filling in a custom enquiry form.
At Daemoness we have our main models—Cimmerian, Hadian, Valkenbyrd, Jotun, Atlantean, Confessor, Dominvs, Chronicler, and Seax, but we will also make specialist and one-off guitars as long as they are workable designs that would be representative of Daemoness. If you have an idea for a special guitar that is completely individual to you, we will gladly discuss the technical side of making it into a real instrument.
We make guitars intended for Metal guitarists, so this means solid, or (occasionally) chambered bodies. The most popular timbers that we use for body construction are Mahogany, Swamp Ash, Korina, and Alder. We have also had good tonal results with more dense woods, such as African Bubinga, Walnut, and mid-density Maple family woods. We purchase all of the timber used in Daemoness builds from David Dyke Luthier Supplies in Sussex. David has been supplying luthiers with quality timber since the early eighties, and also has an extensive stock of luxury top woods. If you want to choose and supply your own timber for a build, there are many quality sawmills around the globe supplying woods for guitar making. Our only request is that the wood is luthier grade, and has been seasoned correctly.
We make each neck from quartersawn timber for stability and strength. Nearly all Daemoness necks are three or five-piece laminates, with two-way truss rods. We only make single piece necks using select timbers (namely Wenge, Carpathian Maple, and some Mahoganies). Our necks now feature graphite rod reinforcement, which gives them optimal strength and stability. Our most popular neck carve is the “flatbacker”, which is a thin profile with rounded shoulders, but we also carve an ultra thin, small-shouldered neck that we call the “Shredator”, as well as classic vintage feeling necks. Daemoness necks also have a reduced “taper” over standard production guitar necks, with less thickening of the neck as you ascend to the higher frets. At the Daemoness workshop we can recreate any neck profile and carve you desire for your custom. Necks can be finished in gloss or satin/matte polyester.
Our models have their own specific headstock designs, and there is commonality between some of them. You can choose standard or reversed. They can be customised with graphics, and all of the usual options such as binding, figured timber, and decal colours. We can design an appropriate headstock from the ground up if you are considering a highly specialised build.
Over the years we have incorporated quite a few different heel designs into our guitars at our customers’ request. We are of the opinion that any neck attachment approach (bolt-on, set neck, or neck-through) can be valid as long as it is properly designed. We like to carve modern, smooth flowing ergonomic heels on our instruments. When Dylan originally designed the common Daemoness heels, he had the needs of someone playing an insane solo at the forefront of his thinking. We build all of our guitars with the attitude that the instrument must primarily be practical and usable, so all of our models have good upper register access designed into them from the beginning. If you have a need for an extended cutaway, we can accommodate this easily.
At the Daemoness workshop we offer many different options with regards to the guitar’s scale. With standard scale guitars, the most popular choice for six and seven string guitars is 25.5″, but we can cut any scale between 24.75″ and 27.5″. We consider anything over 27.5″ to be entering into short scale bass territory. We do not typically build standard scale eight string guitars because we are simply not happy with the performance of the high E and low F# strings on a common scale. We consider the multiscale design to be an excellent solution to this problem. We have the experience, knowledge, tools, and expertise to build the more advanced multiscale designs that have gained popularity over the last decade. We have chosen to standardise the Daemoness eight strings with a fan of 25.5″–27″, with a perpendicular eighth fret after consultation and development with Adam Getgood and Misha Mansoor. If you are looking for a completely custom multiscale arrangement for six, seven, or eight string, we can accommodate this, but the complex and demanding techniques involved will mean that the instrument will need to be priced accordingly.
We use a variety of different hardware brands on our guitars. With the custom nature of our work, it is easy to be flexible with the types of bridges, machineheads, pickups, and special equipment that we use, and so we take full advantage of the great variety of hardware that is available to guitarists today. As long as the equipment you want is of high quality, it can feature on your Daemoness build. If you are undecided as to what you want, we can recommend parts that we have found from our own experience to be a good choice.
Daemoness Guitars are finished with a hard polyester lacquer, available in high gloss or matte. Our current lacquerer has many years experience and uses the highest quality materials, ensuring that Daemoness Guitars are finished to the highest standard. The finish on our guitars is both thin and extremely hard-wearing, ensuring incredible looks and an uncompromised tone. Whether you want a classic black gloss finish, tasteful clear natural lacquer over a highly figured top, or something adventurous like a flaked sparkling solid-coloured lacquer, colour-shifting flip paint, or something else, we can help you find the best choice.
We treat art as art, and luthiery as a science. The first is a physical manifestation of a vision. The second is an exercise of rules and order towards a purpose. The inlays and graphics are where the former spills over into the latter. Each guitar that we make that has custom graphics or inlays, Dylan treats as an individual piece of art. All the artwork you see on Daemoness Guitars uses his skills as a luthier to properly integrate it into the build process that creates the instrument. He has been developing the techniques that he uses for many years now, and has undertaken literally hundreds of different experiments into methods for integrating image making techniques with modern lacquers, and ways of transcribing his drawings into inlays. We are constantly developing new techniques and approaches, and thinking of ways of integrating them with classic luthiery. A good example of this would be one of our guitars that featured 14th century japanese inking techniques alongside 21st century laser technology—on the same instrument. Nothing offers greater pleasure than solving a technical challenge that allows us to integrate an exciting new graphic technique into a conventional build process. This integration of painting and drawing techniques into the technical conventions of modern luthiery has enabled us to offer distinctively unique Metal guitars—the likes of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
As for the intellectual content of Dylan’s graphics and inlays, he approaches this in the same way that he approaches his personal artwork. He only deals with themes that inspire him, and have an emotional gravity. Dylan’s drawings and paintings are intrinsically linked with his inlays and graphics. He cannot work images or graphics onto the guitar if he does not believe in the image or the school of art, or thinking that it is from. “The brush or tool just dies in my hand and won’t move.” We do not want the reader of this paragraph to think that we are dismissive of other people’s ideas and inspirations, as that is not the case at all. We love it when someone has a great idea for a theme, and just needs some help to make it into a reality for them. Over the last few years, some of the guitars we are most proud of began their development with someone emailing us out of the blue with a crazy idea.
If you want your custom Daemoness to have a theme, but don’t know what that is, Dylan has thousands of ideas for guitars in his mind’s eye or sketchbooks that he can suggest; from beautiful neolithic animal designs, to the martyrs in the gardens of Domitian, to funny stuff—like a zombie Jimi Hendrix in a Wermacht uniform, surfing a Harley-Davidson made of bones on a wave of fire. We will consider anything AS LONG AS IT IS METAL.
The base price of a Daemoness custom build is £2000 (ex-VAT) plus the cost of the timber, hardware, and the individual custom options. As we have done since the beginning of Daemoness, we add the cost of the timber and hardware, all of which we can usually source more affordably than the RRP, which means you can add high end equipment to your build without breaking the bank. We do not differentiate between the different Daemoness body shapes when we calculate prices. For highly specialised builds or a guitar with a completely custom shape, we price the guitar according to the demands of the specific build, but with the same framework of a custom base price to which custom options and materials are then added. Multiscale guitars are more demanding to make than standard scale guitars and this is reflected in their cost. We have standardised the 8 string fan at 25.5″–27″ with a perpendicular 8th fret, which we highly recommend, but if you want a completely custom fan arrangement to suit your specific requirements as a player, we can build this for you.
With the sheer diversity of graphics and inlays that feature on our guitars, we have to calculate the cost of these on an individual basis, based on the complexity of the designs, the materials that are required, the technical challenges, and the amount of time it would take to complete the work. We cannot have a strict and standardised approach to pricing this work (like we can with the timber and hardware), but our primary aim in this regard is to realise your concept at a practical price based on all of the above factors. For simplistic 12th fret area inlays, artistic design work starts from £300, but more complex designs that require hand-painted or trans-etched body art, finely detailed hand-cut pearl inlays, or full board line-work inlays will cost considerably more. If you have an idea for an artistic concept that you would like us to explore for your Daemoness Guitar, it would be our pleasure to discuss it with you.
At the time of writing, the estimated waiting time for a custom build is roughly 24 months. We will never compromise the quality of our guitars to increase turnaround times. The bottom line is that if you want a Daemoness custom and you are ready to commit to a build, you must ask yourself—”Can I wait?”. If you have received a quote and you are ready to pay the deposit and commit to a build then please contact us using the address below. Once we have received your non-refundable deposit of £600 (inc-VAT) we will record your name in the Daemoness order book. We work though the orders sequentially, and recommend that our customers use the waiting period to thoroughly consider and decide upon the specifications of their Daemoness. We will then contact you at the appropriate time before we begin work on your guitar. On a separate note—there is no “back door” into a Daemoness build slot. Please do not email us regarding the price of queue jumping as we will not dignify these messages with a response.
Although Daemoness ships guitars all over the world, and could be viewed as a “modern” guitar workshop, when it comes to the way we make guitars and communicate, the fundamental way we work is based on the traditional values craftsmen have held in England since the time of William the Conqueror. This approach is based on mutual respect, honesty, and good communication between both parties.
We offer Daemoness cases made by Hiscox (www.hiscoxcases.com) that will fit our main models like the Cimmerian, Jotun, and Chronicler. As some of the guitars we make come in odd, extreme shapes, we often commission custom cases for them. If you want a custom case for your build we can recommend a case maker that we have worked with before, where appropriate.
Although the great share of guitars we make at the Daemoness workshop are commissions taken from the custom order queue, we occasionally offer stock guitars too. Although it is very exciting and satisfying working on a batch of custom commissions, we will often have a personal project that we’re working on at the same time. We use these instruments as an opportunity to evolve Daemoness, express our craft, and push the boundaries of how hardcore a Metal guitar can be—and also to suggest new technical possibilities, design features, graphical themes, and inlay styles that players can then go on to incorporate into their own Daemoness customs. When these guitars become available, we will list them on our web store. If you are serious about getting a Daemoness, I would counsel that you make a custom order enquiry rather than waiting for an available stock build, as they are infrequent and often highly specialised.