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INSIDE: NOVO GUITARS
You know Dennis Fano's work from the Fano Guitars he made famous. Well, he's moved on from that brand and is now the mastermind behind Novo Guitars. Handcrafted works of art, each Novo is thoughtfully designed, from the selection of the wood and layers of master finishing work to the perfectly paired components that make them incredible tone machines!
Dennis is as much of an artist as he is a guitar luthier. His artistic guitar designs transcend genre and generations, pulling classic elements from several decades of innovation while making the most of what exists today.
Novo Guitars' GM, Matthew Timmons, was kind enough to give us a look around Dennis Fano's Novo Guitar shop in Nashville, TN, where the artistry starts with the character of the wood.
Why did Dennis start Novo Guitars?
Dennis decided he wanted another shot a building a guitar company from the ground up, this time focusing on all-original designs and a shop/showroom/team in a cool city. Thus, Novo was born.
We asked Matthew, what woods Novo uses and why?
All of the wood we use for Novo Guitars is tempered, and 90% of wood is tempered pine – it’s cooked to get the wood hardened and the moisture out. It all sounds old and lively – we love how balanced and resonant it becomes.
What are you looking for in wood, tonal qualities? Looks / weight / texture?
Tempered Reclaimed Pine: Strong, clear, punchy midrange. Sounds like what Alder would like to sound like if it could. It’s like wiring the pickup directly to the jack and turning off the compressor. Great response to touch – goes from singing to growling in a heartbeat
Tempered Swamp Ash: Everything you love about swamp ash, just more of it. The sense of air, space, transparency is strong.
The texture on the pine really stands out. We sand it with a very specific technique to raise the grain, so the player can feel it. And then we put a very light nitro finish over the top. We want the player to always be reminded the guitar is wood – it was alive and still is – as a sonic weapon. Feeling the grain really helps keep that vibe.
Where do the reclaimed woods come from?
We have several different sources; most come from an old grain silo elevator in Wisconsin.
How long does it take end to end to build a Novo?
When we start a guitar it takes about eight weeks.
What unique steps are in the Novo Guitar building process?
The two biggest things: coaxing the grain and distressing the guitar until it just feels just right. Every guitar is distressed differently, we have no set patterns or templates. It’s a feel thing – what does the wood look and feel like, and how can we bring that out? The grain of the wood is the star. It’s a very artistic approach. No two will look alike.
We use all the good stuff. Mastery, Fralin, Lollar, Novak, and Schroeder. It’s an unbelievable time to build guitars will so much top quality hardware available. Whatever tone or sound we want we can get it.
"What makes a Novo a Novo?
Dennis’ vision. Pure and simple. There is a reason for every single choice he makes on a guitar. It’s a complete story.
Dennis has created in Novo, " a small team of rad people who make cool electric guitars in Nashville, TN. " It's as simple as that. The guitars speak for themselves.
We here at Chicago Music Exchange work directly with Dennis and Matthew to design incredibly CUSTOM guitars for our showroom and can do exactly that for you!
We are in Nashville all of the time and we love stopping by the factory to hand-select the woods for nearly every guitar we order. If you are interested in DESIGNING your VERY OWN Novo Guitar give us a call.
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