Rob Ickes Model Wechter/Scheerhorn guitar

Tim Scheerhorn’s name is among the most reverentially uttered in the world of resonator guitars. The instruments he builds are used by many of the most highly regarded players in bluegrass and acoustic music, and the reputation and limited availability of these finely crafted guitars fuels their status as a “must have” acquisition for serious reso-pickers.

Of course, the high cost and long wait times for new Scheerhorns (as much as several years) makes such a purchase difficult for most folks, and may be a big part of the reason for the Scheerhorn-licensed guitars being built by Wechter Guitars of Paw Paw, MI. The guitars were designed by Scheerhorn, and manufactured in Asia, with final assembly and set up done in the Wechter shop before shipping.

The newest addition to the Wechter-Scheerhorn 6500 series is the Rob Ickes signature model, which will be available by early May. The Ickes Model will be made as a replica of Rob’s custom Scheerhorn, with a spruce top, and rosewood back and sides, ivoroid binding, herringbone trim and a (faux) tortoise shell pickguard. Rob’s name is inlaid in the fingerboard, and the top features screenless rings at Rob’s request.

Like the other instruments in the Wechter/Scheerhorn series, the bodies and necks are manufactured and finished (sprayed/buffed) in China, and then delivered by the container-load to the Wechter shop. Here, the bodies are routed for the cones and rings, which are installed by Wechter’s luthiers. The baffles and soundposts are also installed by Wechter, as is the nut, before the guitars are strung up and readied for delivery.

Wechter also installs parabolic reflectors beneath the rings, a curved plastic arch of Scheerhorn design, that is screwed to the braces and placed to direct air towards the sound holes.

Rob is understandably excited about the new guitar.

“I have the prototype here at my house and it looks and sounds incredible – and I’m not just saying that ’cause it has my name on it!

Tim Scheerhorn and Abe Wechter are really into quality, and that’s the reason I wanted to work with them. I’ll be bringing one of the Rob Ickes Models to most Blue Highway concerts. If anyone would like to try one out, just bring your picks and bar up to the record table and ‘have at it!’ “

Abe Wechter said that the prototype Rob has is from the factory where the production models are being made, and is identical to what they will be delivering later this spring. The Ickes Model will be shipped in an upgraded, deluxe case and carries a suggested retail price of $1499.95.

More details should be available soon on the Wechter web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.