Hi, I'm Shane Huss, Kaiser of Huss Electric
Lutherie, in Mifflintown, PA.
I started building guitars about 10 years ago
because i wanted a guitar that i simply couldn't
afford. So, in typical fashion, i decided i would
build it myself! I still have that guitar today,
and its still one of my favorites!
That original guitar has morphed over time into
my popular Valkyrie series of guitars.
The main goal of H.E.L. Guitars is to offer high quality, custom
made instruments that working musicians can afford.
I build instruments the old fashioned way, BY HAND! While I do
use power tools such as routers, band saws and sanders, much of
the work is done with tools MUCH older than me! (I cut the bevels
in my Valkyries with a draw knife made in the late 1800's.) I
WILL NOT use a CNC machine to build my guitars, there's nothing
"custom" about a guitar that a machine can spit out in 5 minutes.
(for example, when you buy a "custom" guitar from a certain "big
name" company, a tech simply walks to the store room, pulls the
correct body from a rack, and then goes and pulls the correct neck
from another rack and starts to build the guitar... He's Assembling
you a guitar from machined parts, not building it, so why are you
paying through the nose for it?)
When you order a guitar from me, you get to specify everything
that the guitar will be made of, from the body woods, pickups,
tuners, fretwire, radius and scale of the fingerboard, even the type
of knobs on the controls.
I prefer to build Neck-thru-body guitars because I feel that they simply "feel" more solid than a bolt on guitar.
However, you're the boss, if bolts are your fancy, then, Mr. Frankenstein, Igor will build your guitar with some bolts in
I do not use junk components in my guitars, there are some "low cost" items that i have found to be of good quality,
the bridges on the "boomstick" series, for example, but i will NOT put cheap, knockoff items into my guitars. You might
as well buy a Korean import if you want to do that. My inlays are made from Mother of Pearl, Abalone and Sterling
Silver, not the plastic "Mother of Toilet Seat" crap I've seen on "big name" guitars.
I offer three type of finishes on my guitars:
The "Boomstick" series guitars come with a hand applied two part oil based finish similar to what you
might find on walnut stock of granpappy's antique scattergun. (hence the "Boomstick" name), It
shows off the natural beauty of the wood, feels good, and is easily repaired.
The "Standard" series of guitars is offered in either catalyzed urethane (car paint) or Nitrocellulose
Lacquer. The urethane paints have become the standard of the industry, however, there's just
something about Nitro that feels better to some musicians, myself included, so i continue to offer it.
Here you can see me cutting the bevels
into a Valkyrie with my 8" drawknife.
The knife is actually upside down in this
pic, but, you have to hold the camera
Here you can see a Valkyrie after the
body wings have been glued onto the
center neck-thru section. This one has
a flamed maple cap.