From virtuoso guitar player to artisan guitar maker
Dutch guitarist, Teye (pronounced /tie-ya/), is best known for his flamenco guitar proficiency. He played alongside the Joe Ely band for more than two decades in the mid-to-late 90s.
Like many touring guitarists, Teye spent many years searching for a guitar that covered a variety of tones. He had spent time in the past building and modifying guitars with his father. Drawing on this experience, Teye decided to craft an electric guitar that would fulfill his own needs.
He wanted to satisfy his needs as a flamenco guitarist, but combine design elements from the work of Tony Zemaitis. Teye has always had a sincere appreciation for Zemaitis’ work (a British-Lithuanian luthier). The result was a unique electric guitar that incorporated gypsy designs and met Teye’s high standards for playability.
This first foray into lutherie would bloom into a respectable career. His hand-building artisan guitars are a well-balanced blend of traditional designs and a variety of modern features.
Following his music career, Teye began crafting these exclusive handmade guitars. He is now known for some of the most beautiful electric guitars, like the highly revered Apache Electric Gypsy model. The Apache comes in custom color/trim options such as La Mora or La Piratas.
Regarding his philosophy when it comes to building artisan guitars, Teye states:
Watch: Teye “Dos Amigos” (live)
The Apache Electric Gypsy
Teye’s Apache Electric Gypsy is absolutely stunning. It is crafted with precision and pure artistry in one amazing instrument. It is clear why famed musicians such as Joan Jett, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, and AC/DC bassist, Cliff Williams own these stunningly-designed guitars.
The Electric Gypsy is unique. The single-cutaway mahogany body capped in maple gives these guitars the girth and heft to sustain for days. Plus it is outfitted with a three-piece set mahogany neck and fully-bound ebony fingerboard. The fingerboard is decked out in signature Teye-inlay and 24 large frets.
Nearly all the hardware is handmade – a rarity in modern lutherie. Of particular note is the aluminum plate cover with engraved “A-series” artwork and a proprietary Teye super sustain bridge. The list also features Grover tuners, Jason Lollar custom-wound “Mojo” pickups, and Schaller straplock buttons.
An unusual feature on some of Teye’s guitars is a “mood” knob, to which Guitar Player reviewer, Matt Blackett stated (Nov. 2014 issue) “sounded as a mid-cut control, and exponentially increased the number of tones available.”
With regard to the proprietary circuitry of these guitars, unless someone is well-versed in electronics, Teye says, “it would be a disaster if they stuck a soldering iron in.” He also stresses that because he is personally in touch with the owners of every guitar he builds. He can talk any tech through a repair on one of his guitars. Therefore his secrets remain safe.
The Teye Electric Gypsy artisan guitars are stunningly beautiful, marvelously crafted instruments with ingenious, player-friendly electronics capable of producing a wide variety of usable tones.