MEET YOUR MAKER: Freddy Rose of PHRED Instruments

by | Dec 16, 2016 | Best Electric Guitars

In this installment of “Meet Your Maker,” Performer catches up with Freddy Rose of Phred Instruments to chat about how he began making guitars and some of the features on his most popular models.

I had been modding off-the-shelf electric guitars for personal use, and years before PHRED Instruments, I had asked a local luthier to work with me on designing a custom guitar from the ground up.  That guitar ended up being very costly, but watching a guitar take shape from blocks of wood was truly a magical experience.  With continued fascination, it was still years after that I started searching for another custom guitar builder, this time overseas.  That’s how PHRED Instruments got started in 2011, and interest in the guitars themselves began to spread.

RELATED: Read Performer’s review of the Phred Ernesto VH3 Guitar

Most Popular Models 

Our most popular model is the Ernesto VH3 model.  It is a routed-out hollow body guitar with set neck construction, 24 frets, 25.5” scale length, and two humbucker pickups with a built-in pre-amp and an on-board effects loop (OBEL).  It’s geared toward the jam musician because of its tonal diversity and characteristics.

What Sets Your Gear Apart From Other Builders 

A PHRED guitar combines three very important aspects of an electric guitar: affordability, playability, and features.  What I’ve noticed is there are affordable guitars that play well, but lack features.  There are guitars that have lots of features and great playability, yet are not so affordable.  And there are affordable guitars with lots of features, but perhaps not so playable. Our goal with each guitar is to make sure that affordability, playability, and features are built into the instrument’s design and construction.

Phred DeadBolt in Honey Brown with DiMarzio pickups

Phred DeadBolt in Honey Brown with DiMarzio pickups

What Are Some Cool Features of Your Products 

Many of our guitars feature three humbucker pickups with discrete split-coil mini-toggles.  All PHRED guitars feature a full 2-octave fretboard (24 frets), providing better access to the upper frets for soloing.  Most of our guitars include a built-in pre-amp (unity gain buffer) and effects loop.  The pre-amp helps maintain the quality of the output from the pickups across long guitar cables, especially when going through multiple effects pedals. The on-board effects loop is an added bonus feature that essentially works like a send/return on an amp, except that it’s on the guitar, allowing for post-effect volume adjustments from the guitar.

Lessons Learned 

I’ve learned that guitar players have an incredible amount of patience and appreciation for what we do, especially when it comes to custom work and small-batch guitar runs. 

Phred DockStar Koa

Phred DockStar Koa

What’s The One Thing You Want Musicians to Think of When They Think of Your Brand 

I want musicians to think they’ve discovered something special when they think of PHRED Instruments.

Average Price Per Instrument


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