Rick Toone designs instruments to fit the human body. Rick is a luthier with a mind for ergonomics, the science of how our bodies interact with objects. His guitars and basses often don't look anything like what we're accustomed to, however what might be startling at first quickly yields amazement; the workmanship and sheer force of critical re-thinking are dramatically apparent. His motives grew from his experiences as a musician:
"I’ve fought with the guitar my entire musical life — almost 30 years now. I want to express myself, lose myself in the music, but at some point the instrument always intrudes on my physical consciousness and knocks me out of my right brain, into the present moment. Awkward balance, like having to support a neck that wants to point toward the floor. Constantly having to reposition the instrument to reach all fretting positions. Crouching or hunching around the body to see and hear what I’m doing. A sharp edge that digs into my right forearm. The knob or switch I whack when strumming. Sloppy or uncomfortable tuning systems. Honestly, it’s as if these machines were designed to PREVENT us from creating art." — Rick Toone
Rick began to question every aspect of our interaction with our instruments. Posture, playing technique, lingering injuries or discomforts all get addressed through instruments that are now fitted to your body through complex curves and cutaways. The resulting instruments are designed to essentially 'disappear' allowing you direct contact with music. His instruments frequently utilize multi-scale (fan fret) systems and proprietary headless tuning systems.
Rick Toone's innovations include: Trapezoid Neck Profile™, Intersecting Plane Neck Profile™, Element™ aluminum neck, Neutral Tension Bridge™, Intonation Adjustable Nut™, Intonation Cantilever Bridge™, and Positional Constant String Pitch Control System™. Rick has been awarded multiple patents for his inventions.
Rick builds every instrument by hand, in New Jersey, USA.
"Each instrument I create is hand built to meet your specific needs as a musician. This is a time and labor intensive process, performed by me to the limit of my art. An instrument will only leave the shop after I am fully confident it is an integrated, functional organism." - Rick Toone...
One of the first things you will notice when you first pick up Rick Toone's Spearfish is the build quality. There is a weight and a balance and a solid feel of precision. Every aspect of this instrument has been beautifully engineered for performance in professional recording and touring environments...