Here are excerpts from an e-mail from Ron Zuskin, owner of a recently completed Skipper 000-S, to some of his friends. Ron was nice enough to cc the correspondence to me, and to allow me to post it on the website.
[Here Ron is discussing the sale of one of his other guitars]:
"I am ashamed at the thought of trying to sell my PRS acoustic to Greg. I take it all back. I mean the cocobolo and bear claw spruce are gorgeous, and the proprietary pick-up system is sound if not incendiary. However, once you play and hear my Skipper I have little doubt that you would want one of these instead. Although I would give you a buddy rate on the PRS that puts it close to the cost of a custom built Skipper, I must tell you that the PRS can't hold a lantern to the Skipper in many ways."
[Ron discusses another guitar I recently built for his friend, also a Ron]:
"I had heard Ron's dred and never in my life heard guitar strings sound that way. It took me a day to get used to the fact that I was not hearing some resophonic amplification, and after that I realized that tone and harmonics were leaping off the neck and out of the sound hole. In listening to the dred I was acutely attuned to the balance across the notoriously bottom-heavy tone of dreds - and it was astonishing. The balance could be detected note for note across the neck or in full chordal barre - balanced from bass to treble."
[The narrative returns to his own new Skipper]:
"The voice on my 000 is nothing like the dred in terms of tone and sheer acoustic punch, in which the strings deliver a percussive wallop along with tone. The 000 delivers a bold out-front tone that is much closer to the human voice. It does not resonate so much as literally sing. And it sings like a mellow bass, baritone, tenor, alto, or soprano. Strumming it delivers not just tone but sound. I do not mean to say that tone is off the table; it's off the charts! And I don't mean to imply that by sound I mean volume, although a deft and light touch is required to coax soft sweetness from the guitar. The sound is fat and rich with harmonics and sustain that allows the guitar to ring out a note or chord and dare you to hold your breath until the echoes stop.
"I didn't have the heart to A-B it with my Taylor until this morning. My K14CE has been my go to tool, acoustically and amplified, with the Taylor expression system having been upgraded in Cali four years ago. If you have ever
had a good friend or loved one make a public fool of himself to the point that you were embarrassed for him - that's how I felt for my Taylor. It was sad in a way and glorious in another. I immediately thought that I had to restring
the Taylor and try it again, while giving the strings on my Skipper a few weeks to dull out. I have been playing it virtually constantly for almost a week now so the strings aren't new. I still think the Taylor would plead nolo
contendre. I know you may think I am being hyperbolic but I am actually being soft on my Taylor - we've been such good friends for so long. It just doesn't match. So I understand if Greg puts the kibosh on the PRS sale and opts
to contact Roger. It's what I would do. It's what I did, and I already OWN the PRS!
"The 000 neck has been an adventure. Joining the body at the 12th fret caused me to re-envision my approach to playing - playing as much between the midrange boxes as in them. I played Ron's neck and it was almost like it was
made for me - almost. Roger offered to virtually duplicate that neck but I told him I wanted something a scooch wider. He delivered a fascinating neck with a slight taper expanding from nut to bridge. For me it makes both fingering
and picking easier. Whether I am strumming and fingering near the nut or playing lead fills up the neck, my left hand is always happy and at home - after about two days of getting used to it. My right hand was comfortable from
moment one, the guitar body and string spacing providing a strumming or picking platform for either flat picking or finger picking, which I find myself doing more - sans picks, since the volume takes care of itself. At Ron's Open
Mic Nite I played thru an acoustic guitar mic and according to Ron the tone and volume were spot on.
"You may think I am revving on about a new purchase, but I must remind you that you have known me through many guitar purchases and sales - some of both regrettable, some memorable. You have never gotten an e-mail like this from
me after a purchase. This is a whole new ball game. I hope you get a chance to hear the Skipper 000-S soon. If you are lucky I might even let you touch it. I'm not sure let about letting anyone else play it, except while my
back is turned.
"Roger, thanks for your craftsmanship. I am already a better player and listener on account of it."