Sound — 10
The J. Backlund Design Guitar is made in Chattanooga, TN. The sound is crystal clear and there is absolutely NO NOISE ever. The neck has a great feel for hands of all sizes. A variety of sounds include Strat, Les Paul (with a very heavy bottom) and even some Telecaster "spank" when you want it. Right now, I'm playing the Backlund through a Fender Blues 80 Watt Tube amp with four ten inch speakers. Effects I'm using are Line 6 Echo Park, Way Huge Swollen Pickle, Boss Blues Driver and a Line 6 Floor POD in the studio.
Overall Impression — 10
My main choice of music to play is Blues, since I grew up in one of the Blues capitals of the world (Chicago). I also dabble in some Country, a little rock and fiddle around with a little jazz now and then. If this guitar was ever damaged beyond repair or stolen, the first thing I'd do is spend about a week crying and softly whispering it's name. Then I'd call the factory and have them make me another one. I've played and/or owned a plethora of guitars and basses by Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, Hagstrom, Yamaha, Rickenbacker, DiPinto, Hanson and many others. I wish this guitar was available back in the 70's. I'd never have to buy another one.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar could be banged around and not feel or see effects of that. You could probably Drive railroad spikes with this baby. The accompanying case alone weighs 19 pounds! I am still looking for something to be a little off or "wrong" with it. But I honestly think I won't find it. This is NOT a guitar to loan to friends. I've had this baby insured with State Farm. It was a once in a lifetime treat for myself after a divorce and every penny I spent on this guitar is well worth it. I don't mean to be so glowing, but after playing this guitar at functions, club dates and in the studio, it's done everything I've asked... And then some.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action, pickups, tuning and everything were spot on right out of the case (which by the way is snakeskin). Not a single flaw in the paint, body, frets are all even and polished beautifully (Medium Jumbo). I do a lot of string bending (Blues) and the J. Backlund handles it in spades! Bruce Bennett is the Master Luthier at J. Backlund Designs. He's a true artist and incredibly dedicated to his craft.
Features — 10
A truly amazing custom made guitar is something I've wanted to have built for me and own for a very long time. A shame that it's taken me some long to get it, but the J. Backlund Design Guitar that I had custom made is the best guitar I've ever owned and the hottest guitar I've EVER played. Every single aspect of the guitar was my choice, from the wood for the body, wood type for the neck and fretboard, the electronics... Everything. The J. Backlund Design Guitar is the JBD-100 series that I call "The Cherry Bomb". It's RED with an ivory colored secondary paint, includes chrome and an excessive amount of mojo for head-turning looks. Right out of the box, it plays smooth as silk but will wail until the glasses break across the room. A Vintage Vibe pickup is on the neck with a Seymour Duncan at the Bridge. There's hardly a sound you cannot get out of this guitar. The list is too long, but suffice it to say it's a major step in their revolutionary looks called "Retro-Futuristic". Get one if you can. You'll never sell it or give it away. Mine is going in the Coffin with me some day.