How it all started: Headless Guitars
Updated: Jul 8
Hi! My name is Gabriel Sebastian, and Xolo Custom Guitars is my baby. And this is the story of how I started this brand. Before I write about the actual brand, I want to address the age old question: why #headless guitars? To start off, my credentials: I am NOT an industrial designer, I'm NOT a recognized guitar influencer, I am NOT a musician, and I did NOT inherit an established musical instrument company from my parents and grandparents. #family
I'm just a bedroom guitarist who works in public health.
However, I am in love with the electric guitar. I've been "playing" it (#selftaught) for 15 years, and in those 15 years have managed to go from being absolute garbage at it to being remarkably OK at it. What an achievement! Despite my less-than-stellar achievements as a guitarist, through all those years my love for the instrument grew. I love the shapes of electric guitars. I love the different woods, hardware options, color combinations, and innovations that evolve what the electric guitar is. As my love for the instrument grew, so did my collection. From a beginner kit guitar, to custom-made instruments. At the peak of my collection, I owned 11 guitars. Then I found this on eBay:
A beat up, weirdly modified original 90's Steinberger GR4 in Aqua finish. My first experience with a headless guitar. This guitar forever changed my taste in guitars, my philosophy of guitars, a paradigm shift. It was compact, lightweight, comfortable (later to be termed, ergonomic) and just looked cool. As this guitar was in need of some love and care, I took it to a luthier (a pivotal character down the line) to fix it up and I began looking at buying my next headless model.
I looked at the usual suspects (you all know who they are), and eventually got my hands on two additional headless custom-made models. In my search, however, I found myself having to sacrifice the ergonomics and comfort that one brand offered, with the customization options that the other did. And the brands that offered both of those were quoting me well over $3,000 for what I had in my head. So I did the next logical thing: I spent 3 weeks learning how to use CAD Software and designing my own headless guitar. I then went back to the same luthier that was fixing my Steinberger and asked him to teach me how to build my own headless guitar. #DIY, am I right?