Jahloon meets up with Czech Luthier Zdeněk Rumler

Today I met up with Zdeněk Rumler at Sounds Great Music in Manchester, UK. This was specifically to try out his ZR Scarab fretless guitar.
Zdenek ZR scarab fretless guitar

Zdeněk Rumlar with his ZR Fretless Scarab (left is a ZR Gee, right is Michael with unfinished bass)

Sounds Great Music is a boutique guitar store featuring top end instruments, I bought my first fretless guitar there in 2003, but I’m digressing, let’s get back to the Scarab.

ZR Scarab Fretless Guitar
This is a very beautiful and striking instrument. It has great sustain and a lot of thought has gone into the construction itself. Zdeněk designs his guitars on computer and then prints out the templates 1:1 on a large printer. Then he makes the jigs to produce component parts. He says that way everything fits perfectly. He has made four Scarabs so far, two fretless and two (!) fretted. The price tag of £2675 is, I think, very reasonable for an instrument of this quality, after all over one hundred hours of work and add to that top quality hardware, through body bridge, and all the volume / tone controls are individually made to match the instrument.

ZR Scarab fretless controls
I really liked the toggle switch, nice and chunky. What I did not realise is that all the pick up surrounds are made of ebony, you might be able to see this in the pictures.

ZR_Scarab_2
All Zdeněk’s guitars are through neck construction, he believes this is important for sustain, his philosophy is to create beautiful instruments that are not copied from anywhere else.

ZR Scarab headstock

Zdenĕk signs all is instruments, discreetly though, at the back of the headstock.

All in all this is a very fine instrument, I would love to add it to my collection but funds are low at the moment 🙁

There were two more of Zdeněk’s guitars to look at:

gee-clear
The ZR Gee which is a fretted electric with a comprehensive range of contols, push / pull knobs to offer a wide spectrum of sounds. £2299

ZR Gee pickups ebony surround
The model we saw was red, you can see the ebony pickup surround in the picture.

odyssea

ZR Odyssea, again fretted, is designed as a jazz guitar, the model I tried was designed to feel and play more like an acoustic than an electric, again it is a beautiful instrument, pickups and control panel are natural walnut with a walnut circle in the headstock.

Zdeněk transferred his skill in woodworking into luthery and has a workshop in South Manchester, see what happened when we made a visit…

Links

Jahloon visits Czech Luthier Zdeněk Rumler’s Workshop

ZR Guitars

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