I first saw this guitar around 2009 when my friend Dennis Kayzer purchased it and created an NGD thread on a few forums. I did not really know what to think of it, and quite frankly, I thought it was a little ugly.
Over time though, I started liking the shape more and more --- definitely an acquired taste. Eventually, I decided to check out Ulrich Teuffelís website, and read more about his guitars.
For those who havenít had a chance to check his site out, or havenít heard of Teuffel, the detail and work that goes into these is nuts. Even the screws on this guitar are hand polished and buffed. The pickups are also very unique, the bridge pickup is essentially a hot PAF, but tweaked and the neck pickup is a single coil with two offset bobbins. One bobbin picks up bass strings and the other picks up the treble ones. The pickups are sealed in a vacuum chamber with a special sealing substance.
Anyways, I think about a year ago, I bought a 7 string Tesla from Buzzy at Lark Street Music. I loved it, but I sold it accidentally because I am a stupid gearwhore. I have bought/sold hundreds of guitars and have only regretted selling 2-3 of them; that Tesla was my #1 regret! Right after I sold it, I put in an order for a new 7, but Ulrich said it would take two years to make, so I needed something to hold me over.
Fast forward to a few months ago, Kayzer put his red one up for sale, unfortunately I had just splurged on some other gear and could not pick it up. Another friend ended up buying it instead! After a lot of harassment, I managed to convince my friend to sell it to me!
I am just as pleased with my first 7 string Teuffel as I am with this one. This one sounds a bit more refined and tighter though, which is a good thing for me.
Like I mentioned, I have owned guitars from pretty much every boutique builder out there, but Teuffel has features that put him ahead of the others (IMO) because they are something you cannot get anywhere else.
...what are these features?
- Ergonomics: I have nerve damage that affects my shoulders due to spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. This usually means I canít play too much on the lower frets because it forces me to extend my shoulder out, but this guitar doesnít do that at all because of how compact the body is. It feels really really good to be able to play without nearly as much pain as a I experience when playing normal guitars.
- Tone: The low end on these guitars especially is amazingly solid and punchy sounding. Tuning down on the guitar is usually a compromise that involves loosing attack, clarity, harmonic content due to larger strings and a few other factors...especially when you tune below C. With this guitar you can tune down very low while maintaining the same punch and tone you do in more conventional tunings. The Teuffel site and other places mention that the extended body is the reason that the low end is so solid sounding, but I didn't believe it at all until I actually played my Tesla 7! Its not marketing bull**** like I had imagined before every trying one of these.
- Playability: The guitar is very very easy to play. Maintains extremely low acton without compromising tone or sounding thin.
Oh, and the knobs function as follows.
Top buttom = pickup selector
Three knobs by the strings = microphonic button, killswitch, and 60 cycle hum
...and then a vol + tone.