Building a dream

By Massimo D'Angelo

The Guitars Exchange adventure started almost 3 years ago. A project borne out of the passion for guitars and with the vocation to keep the love alive for an object created to give us joy. From the moment we participated as spectators at the Holy Grail Guitar Show, not yet having launched our webpage, and getting in touch with many master luthiers, incredible artists, we fell even more in love with the art of making guitars.  

It has been a long time since then. Guitars Exchange, the team, the marketplace, the editorial content, our love for the 6-string, and of course, our faithful followers, have been growing at the same rate as the interest and determination with which we search for new stories to tell you. But something was missing... 

We wanted to set forth on a passionate voyage, the adventure of making an electric guitar with our own hands. To understand things from the inside, to change the perspective. So we went looking  and found out about the guitar making course given by luthier Daniel Cabezas de Bacce Guitars (Spain): if you have to set forth on a trip, no better company than the best company, with someone who knows the road very well. 

So we got started, living an intensive month and a half on what was supposed to take 4 months. What you are going to be able to see on the -short- episodes of The Axe Factory is the whole process of guitar making: from the original design to the final product, very dashing , made entirely by hand, and to measure, ready to plug into any amp to have some fun. A fascinating process that led us to more deeply understand everything and each step implied in starting a project like this. There have been changes and unforeseen snags throughout the weeks. There were moments of desperation and moments of  joy. What was never missing was the good mood around it all. Daniel has been the best of teachers: patient and professional. We gave it our all to make things turn out tops: the margin of error was slim. 

But none of this would have been possible without the help and support of those who believed in the project: 

- Thomann International (, official sponsor of The Axe Factory. Thomann bet on our idea from the outset, underscoring once again the ‘claim’ that defines them and that brought us together, “Music Is Our Passion”, for when it’s all said and done, this is about music, people. You will see as well, how important it was to count on  their -almost- infinite supply in their online shop to find the fundamental parts we need for the building process.

- Rivolta S.N.C. (, wood suppliers. One of the biggest and best stocks in the world. We went to Desio (Milan, Italy) and spent the whole day among the woods, advised and guided by the charming Marta Rivolta. We saw an endless supply of different possibilities, we looked at their characteristics and finally decided (and I can assure you it wasn’t easy) on some pieces that turned out to be really impressive. The professionalism (and friendliness) of a ‘partner’ like Rivolta wasn’t only basic for the entire process, but also laid the perfect basis for a job that we are and always will be proud of. 

- The Creamery (, pickup suppliers. Jaime from Manchester sent us a couple of handmade pickups, made to measure of course, rigorously following and fulfilling our requirements: for a project like this, we needed ‘special’ pickups, top of the line. Mission accomplished!  

- SONY España ( Thanks to Sony we got  the perfect camera to record each and every one of the episodes of the series: the Handycam FDR-AX100. So easy to use that us, in our first type of ‘reality’ experience, managed to pull it off.

- Magic Frames ( If recording was a child’s game, the set-up, the editing and episode productions of the series needed professionals. Thanks to Christian Noguera and Angela Checa from Magic Frames  for creating the best audio-visual product possible with the material we had provided.  

- Ivano Icardi ( Regarding the audio-visual product worthy of this name, we needed background music to go along with the images. We did not hesitate: the Italian guitarist Ivano Icardi was our man. Ivano is a wonderful artist, capable of transmitting feelings through an enviable technique, where his Fender Stratocaster is the one and only protagonist. The songs he composed for his two delightful records (Walking With The Giants and So Far Away), courtesy of Soundiva, were the perfect soundtrack for The Axe Factory.

Thanks to all of those we were able to make the “Poseidon”, so we baptised the creation, which passed in flying colours the final test in the hands of guitarist friends, to whom we also owe our gratitude: Rafa Gutiérrez (Hombres G), Torsten  Weber, Miguel Angel Ariza (Ultima Experiencia), Julian Kanevsky, Jorge Amezcua.

We hope that you all enjoy each and every one of these short episodes of The Axe Factory, a series that by no means intends to be a course or guide on making guitars (we have professionals like Daniel Cabezas to do that), but with the simple aim of entertaining you and to show our love and passion for the 6-string. 

Whether it is luthier-crafted or made by the large manufacturers for mass production, it doesn’t matter: the guitar was, is and will continue to be one of the most fascinating and expressive instruments so that our fantasy and soul have a voice.

Enjoy the show!