Rice Custom Guitars is a family owned musical instrument company, and we
strive to build instruments that rival and surpass the finest pieces ever made.
Every Rice Custom is handmade in Chicago by Chris and Rich Rice.
The vast majority of our instruments are built to order, and we work closely with our
clients to create their ultimate instrument. Being a true custom shop, we are not bound
to existing styles or ideas, and this is certainly the way dreams are turned into reality.
"Ready to hear the Truth? Play a Rice Custom."
---Rich Rice---Chris Rice---
Chris, I am going to give a complete review in the next week or so because a new amp is arriving today. In the meantime, I did want to update you on my impressions so far. To summarize ? wow! First, aesthetically, #103 is beautiful. I like the very, very light aging to the body and hardware. It is a perfect amount for me. Heavy relics are really not my thing because I would never treat a guitar that way, and I would not buy a guitar that was really that worn. Even with very regular gigging and practicing, I?ve never seen the back of my guitar neck turn from a pleasant woody color to a raw black strip. That being said, the body on this guitar is beautifully done. It has all of the warmth and tiny imperfections of a well cared for and well used guitar. There are some tiny chips from the wood around the neck pocket, and a small accumulation of finish there, but overall I love it. Acoustically, this guitar sounds very articulate and sweet. I?ve heard many people say that pine sounds soft and sweet. I was concerned that this was code for dull and quiet. In this case, articulate and sweet accurately describe this guitar, and it?s anything but dull and quiet. The neck is outstanding. The neck profile ? which is really a leap of faith when ordering without playing ? is supremely comfortable to me. While it reminds me how much I?ve missed a big necked Tele, it also felt instantly comfortable like I?ve had one all of the time. The full back profile rests very well in the web of my fretting hand; it?s always there when I need it, but never in the way. The frets are equally well done ? if not better. The fret work on this guitar is outstanding. After owning a lot of ?boutique? guitars, I would definitely stack these frets up against any of them. In my experience, Don Grosh does the best fret job. Period. His frets have the very comfortable rounded over edges that nobody seems able achieve. The frets on this guitar, however, equal Don Grosh?s. They are very level and have the same great rounded over edges that are on the Grosh?s. The neck is so easy to play and so comfortable. It must take a lot of time to do well, because I hardly ever see frets dressed like these. Perfect. As I write this, it strikes me how often I?ve typed ?comfortable.? That was not intentional, and I think it speaks volumes about this guitar?s spirit. You and your father have created an instrument that resonates comfort and warmth. It?s a new guitar, but it has an old soul. Many builders try to approximate an old soul by battering a new guitar, rusting the hardware, and dressing it up like an old instrument. Those feel like props. In contrast, #103 actually feels like an old soul. This is all very subjective and hard to explain. I could not give you a technical reason for why this guitar feels the way it does. In fact, I am not sure there is a recipe for this result. But, keep that jar of Rice mojo available so that when I order another one you can sprinkle it on that one too. At any rate, I hope to have a sonic report for you later this week. If it sounds anything like it looks and feels, then I know I?ll love it. This is my keeper. I hope you are enjoying the Vinetto and Princeton. I don?t know that I?ve ever seen a cleaner and quieter running Princeton. - Justin L. Jeter