I found myself wanting to go back to the original all single coil setup of my Strat but what to do with the humbucker?  I decided to build two pickguard assemblies, one with my two original Fender single coils plus a Duncan Vintage Staggered, and another with the Duncan Hot Rails at the bridge and Cool Rails in the other positions (photos of Strat in CF workshop).  I needed to “connecterize” the Strat body and prewired pickguard assemblies so that I could easily switch between the two pickguards without having to rewire the connection.  This was the beginning of the Calaveras Fretworks idea.  Fast forward again to 2007….

Frets were beginning to pull up from the original rosewood veneer fingerboard of my Strat.  Years of playing wear and refretting had taken its toll on the fingerboard and another fret job was impossible.  While attending a guitar repair workshop at Leeds Guitar School in Northampton, MA, I had the opportunity to remove the veneer fingerboard and replace it with an ebony one.  The improvement in the overall sound of the guitar and especially the increase in sustain were amazing!  That did it.  I was bit and became obsessed with taking these observations to the next level.

The Calaveras Fretworks Story....

My name is Butch Iafelice and I am the owner of Calaveras Fretworks Custom Guitars in Upper Black Eddy, PA.  CFCG is centrally located between NYC and Philadelphia in scenic Bucks County PA.  I have been an active guitar player since 1966 and have performed in cover and original music bands that range in styles from folk, to blues and R&B, to hard rock, to garage and punk.  While attending graduate school at the University of Arizona in the early 1980’s I had the opportunity to instruct lab sections of the Physics of Music and the Acoustical Physics undergraduate courses which added to my understanding of the contributions of both wood and electronics in the reproduction of sound from electronic instruments.  At that time I was also playing guitar in The Cryptics (a hard-edged Tucson band) when the bridge pickup of my 1963 Strat blew out.  I replaced it with a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails humbucking pickup to accommodate the musical style of that band but was never satisfied with the mismatch between it and the other original Fender single coil pickups.  Fast forward to 1999....

How could I explore others combinations of guitar woods and electronics?  How would this all play out in terms of improvements in traditional guitar sounds and maybe even in the creation of new ones?  I knew the only way that I could select the guitar body, neck, and fingerboard woods and also have enough space available for mounting any type of guitar pickups would be to design and build my own custom guitar.  This led initially to my UBRTM design and CF1TM style guitars and then to the CF2TM style guitars that you see here.  I believe these are some of the finest and most versatile electric guitars being built today.  Years of being a guitar player with a critical ear for tone and owner of some of the finest commercially built guitars on the market has set the bar over which I felt I needed to jump.  My idea has been to keep the design and construction simple, the wood routing and ornamentation to a minimum, and to use careful selection of woods, finishes, and components with the overall emphasis being on the playability and final sound of the instrument.  I would like to invite you to give me a call to discuss your ideas and options for the sound of your new custom electric guitar.