As ineloquent as a block-lettered number painted onto the otherwise unfinished front of a Les Paul, the name “mule” doesn’t begin to imply how important any one of the these 11, very special guitars is. In fact, these sometimes dusty, never-finished guitars are critical reference tools. Each one has a slightly different profile and character and collectively they capture the various median profile specifications of actual vintage instruments that we’ve analyzed throughout the years.
Each “mule’s” guitar neck is a starting point for our builders and craftsmen; an exact beginning to a purposefully inexact result. No different than the original guitars built over a half-century ago, each neck profile that leaves the Custom Shop today is the result of hand work by individual human beings.
However, in order to chase down and deliver elusive and passionate terms like “chunky,” “fast,” “heavy/light cheek” and dozens of other enigmatic terms used by guitar players (including us), we need a reference library of the historic profiles that put these words in our vocabularies to begin with. From these starting points, a.k.a. “the mules,” a true master craftsman, guitar player and someone who understands what “chunky” means dials each neck in at the bench. These aren’t the only types of “mules” hanging around the Custom Shop. We’ll introduce you to a few others here in our blog another time.