La Pistola was a custom build made for Robb Allen, who first found out about me from local guitar great Todd Grubbs (owner of Virgil Guitars No. 11 Grubbworm). Robb is a fellow gun enthusiast and wanted a Colt .45 revolver and bullets inlaid on his fingerboard. I had recently purchased an exceptional piece of flamed maple that he selected for the top and I also had a really nice piece of Bocote he wanted for a fingerboard. This guitar is actually the first X-15 carved top. The Other X-15 carved tops are actually X-15T's (The "T" is for tremolo")
"Ever since I started playing guitar back in the late 80s, I've always eyed the high-end customs. Eyed from a distance, well beyond the roped off areas because I never could afford one. But I've always wanted to go to Gibson, Paul Reed Smith or Carvin and say "I want a guitar with this paint job, these pickups, and this neck" and have it made my way. Not because I'm a guitar god (I'm not. I'm not even a minor guitar deity) but a guitar can be a work of art that can be enjoyed both visually and aurally. (Virgil note: Don't let Robb fool you, he's a great guitarist!)When I thought of 'custom', I always though big brand names with customizable options – much like buying a car and choosing heated seats and the cool pinstripe on the back. I never once thought of a completely custom built guitar from the ground up from an individual luthier. All that changed the instant I played a Virgil Guitar. The very first moment I laid my hands upon Grubbworm (#11) I knew that somehow, I had to have a Virgil for my very own. When the opportunity finally arrived, I jumped at the chance. Getting a Virgil Guitar is more than the end product, it's a journey and Virgil is there with you every step of the way. This isn't a form you fill out, checking off boxes for things you want - it's a story you are part of in every way. Virgil helps you with wood selections, neck shapes, body styles, even the hardware like tuners & bridges to ensure you're getting the guitar that fits your wants and needs. With a Virgil Guitar comes access to one of the most talented inlay artists you will find and it's no surprise that custom inlay comes with the same attention to detail and thorough attention that Virgil provides with the guitar itself. He knows what materials work best for the look you are trying to achieve and can work within your budget to get you a truly one of a kind instrument. I saw my guitar go from a solid chunk of wood to the gorgeous work of art that it is today. Being lucky enough to have Virgil local to me, I also got to visit him in his shop, watching as my build came to life in real time. However, Virgil uses the power of social media and documents your build on Facebook and Twitter so that thousands of people can enjoy the experience right along with you. It takes a while for a guitar to be built because Virgil doesn't rush perfection, and trust me, when that day finally comes and you pick up your guitar – you'll realize the wait was worth it. La Pistola is my dream guitar. It is not only something to please your eyes, but the sound & playability of the guitar is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I have had professional guitarists play her and each & every one of them have commented on how amazing the neck is. It simply does not resist your fingers as they move across the gorgeous, bocote fretboard. And with 15 sound combinations from the hand-wound Lickup Pickups™, I have a very wide range of tone available at my fingertips – from a chunky single coil at the bridge to smooth, clean humbucker at the neck and any combination in between, the sound you're looking for is there. I cannot say enough good things about my experience in getting a Virgil Guitar. The experience was greater than I ever imagined and the final result is a treat for the eyes and the ears.
Robb Allen - Brandon, FL
Owner of custom-built guitar, "La Pistola"