JJL Guitars (Jeremy J Lewis) is a custom, high end guitar company, based in Cheshire, England.
Each model produced is one of a limited run of 99 certified and personally signed instruments.
Imagine arguably one of the World's finest tone woods, Brazilian Mahogany (Swietenia Macrophylla) floating down the Belize River up to 150/200 years ago after being felled. Yet amazingly, only 50% of this actually reached the port - the rest sank into the silt at the bottom of the river. Why did it sink? - well because it was heavier (closer grained) and more dense than the lighter, lesser quality wood. In other words - the good stuff sank!
So now JJL Guitars, to date, is the only organisation to import this material directly into the UK. We have been sanctioned by the by CITIES, the World organisation for Endangered Species and granted a licence to do this. Why? Because we convinced their scientific board at Kew Gardens that by using this existing wood, we could to make our guitars without cutting down any trees! They agreed, supported our sentiment and granted the licence. Or even rarer still than this, a piece of real English Walnut (juglans regia). This is a fabulous tone wood with amazing figuring (they use it for those exquisite Purdey shotgun gunstocks). But ours has to large enough, wide enough and thick enough (3') to make a whole one piece JJL One guitar from it.
But it gets much better than that. Luthiers are forever trying to find ways of "ageing" their wood. It is claimed a Stradivarius violin sounds the way it does, not just because of it's exquisite craftsmanship, but also because the wood has aged and mellowed with use and time. But, there's another way to achieve this though - allow the wood to season for up to 150 - 200 years in a depleted oxygen environment until there is absolutely no resin left in it at all. It's all long since been eaten by the microbes in the water. Furthermore - how about if the wood you started with is "Old Growth Mahogany" growing at a time hundreds of years before the Conquistadors were even present in South America?
Then, after this process, we make an entire guitar from one piece. That's one piece of wood with no neck joint at all. No bolted on neck, no glued on neck, just one continuous piece of this amazing wood - a three dimensional complex sculpture. Into this, we carefully bond a special beta titanium alloy chassis which extends from the headstock to the bridge and connects both ends. This makes the neck so strong that when our head Luthier first took the strings off the very first JJL One, it hardly moved! It was straight and stayed straight. All other guitars will move usually at least 80 thou of an inch as the tension releases. Why is this important? Because it gives amazing stability to the guitar.
But this is not just a chassis. This is an 'acoustic chassis'. Beta Titanium has an incredibly low damping factor. What you put in as a full range of frequencies at one end, comes out almost unaltered with full bandwidth at the other. This is not the case with other metals, they colour or dampen the sound at certain frequencies.
The chassis connects directly with the patented, innovative all titanium 'Atlantic bridge'. This is so called because the main linear movement moves with no moving parts. So no knife edge friction, no bearings, no slotted screws etc. At the other end it connects directly to the equally innovative 'zero locking nut'.
So what we have is akin to a piano! The strings are stretched across the titanium acoustic chassis which is set in the wood. However unlike a piano this is very pure as it is one piece of wood and uses titanium for the frame. As it happens Steinway did make a couple of custom pianos with a full titanium frame. They were priced around $500,000.
These are just some of the many JJL innovations which include 3 different types of titanium alloy for different JJL hardware. Then there's those unique optional tungsten carbide frets - yet another World first for JJL.
The result of all this? Like a piano, the JJL One has a big fat sound, rich in harmonics and overtones with amazing sustain and resonance. But don't take our word for it - watch and listen and if you get the chance, try a JJL One with its amazing new design technology and play those silky smooth Tungsten Carbide frets for yourself.
Many have referred to our guitars as 'art' or 'functional art'. Indeed after showing one to a New York gallery on Madison Avenue a couple of years ago, they wanted to put one on their wall next to all the other exhibits. However, although we are flattered by all the attention on the aesthetics, our primary goal is to make a great sounding, great playing guitar and it this we are most proud of.