If You Like Rand Guitars
You Will Love The Abstract Caligula
Abstract Caligula Replication Of The Rand
Principal Improvements on the Caligula over the Rand
|Rosewood fingerboards only||Ebony, Maple, Brazilian Rosewood, Fingerboard|
|Glue in set neck only||Neck Through Body Design|
|Floyd Rose Bridge Only||Choice Of Floyd, Kahler or Tun-a-matic|
|1 Inlay design||Your choice of any inlay design|
|EMG pickups only||Seymour Duncan, EMG's or anything|
|Graphic finishes & opaque colors only||Translucents, pearls, graphics, anything|
|Right handed only||Right or lefthanded|
|Binding not available||Binding available on neck & headstock|
|1 Humbucker, 1 single coil only||Choice of pickups HH HSS HSH or HS|
|Not available In a string through body model||Available in string through body model|
|Only available in Maple||42 different types of tonewoods|
remember when I first checked out a Rand Guitar back in the
80's, I really wanted one. They were pretty spendy, but I
really liked the style & design, The only reason I held back was I
felt that for as much money as it was I wasn't going to settle for a
cheap rosewood fingerboard. I really am not a fan of rosewood, It has
it's place I guess. Just not on any of my guitars. The contours
and body carve were a real work of art.
I finally successfully duplicated them after trying about 4 times. The compound contours are trickier than a German carve. The balance is excellent and the neck stability on the Caligula is an improvement over the Rand set neck.
The original Rand Guitar was probably the slickest guitar ever to come out of the eighties, Built by a small builder "Rand Havener" out of Pennsylvania. Rand was also responsible for building those incredible guitars that Doyle & Jerry of "The Misfits" used exclusively for years. This guy had a real eye for design and detail. I dedicate the Caligula to him and his radical designs.
The original guitars were quite well built but they were not neck through body designed the way the new Abstract Caligula is. The original Rand guitars were all built using a Pau Ferro fingerboards. Also I have never seen one that had a bound neck. The Abstract Caligula model offers stability & features that the Rand did not.
Neck thru body & solid tonewood construction makes this guitar a real contender in today's market, Ebony fretboard & modern electronics really put this guitar over the top.
Both guitars are sleek, light, elegant & comfortable to play !!!
There is no point in building something unless you can do it better !!
Ed Roman & Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, Holding Rand Annihilator Models !!!
|Hi Ed -
I know you're a stickler for truth, accuracy and the American Way - so I'd like to correct a few items in your description of Rand guitars on your website.
1. Only available in maple: Rand used basswood on at least some of the California-built guitars of the mid '80s, but was open to alternatives if that's what the customer wanted. I requested the heaviest piece of mahogany he could find, and he obliged.
2. H/S pickup combination only: That was in fact standard, but did you see the first one he built for Vivian? 2 - H. I could have gotten that also but like the H-S combination.
3. Built in Pennsylvania: I believe all of the approximately 70 guitars of the design shown on your website were built in Rand and Stacy's Newbury Park, CA shop which was located near Tom Anderson's shop. That's where mine and Vivian's were built.
4. Pickups: He usually installed Tom's pickups in the above-mentioned instruments, With a heavy body the bridge unit was a bit too nasal for me. I replaced it.
Mine was one of the last guitars he built. I took delivery in the summer of 1988, which is also the date on the headstock. I actually like the Pau Ferro fretboard. As you probably know, he's planning to start building again. And you're right, these instruments were ahead of their time. The trem-setter was an especially good feature.
The red example that you at one time had on your site looked very much like the second one he built for Vivian. Do you still have it?
I appreciate all the informative links on your site and hope business is OK.
ED ROMAN RESPONDS
Thanks for your letter, when I met Rand at the NAMM show in the 80's, he told me he was located in Pennsylvania.
I agree with you I never liked those Tom Anderson pickups either. They sounded compressed to me. Maybe it's those oversize magnets he uses. I thought about making pickups, it's easy and cheap to do. I just keep using Duncan, EMG & Tom Holmes because I feel they sound better.
Personally the only thing that bothered me about the Rand guitar was the set neck and the Pau Ferro Fingerboard. Pau Ferro is just a fancy name for Bolivian Rosewood. A premium expensive shred guitar should use ebony on the fingerboard. If you have read any of my articles on my site, I don't believe in set necks either. The glue in the neck joint effectively separates the neck from the body causing a loss in sustain and tonality.
Don't get me wrong it's still a great guitar, but there is always room for improvement.
You are right he has started building them again, $7,000.00 for a set neck guitar just doesn't cut it my book, But I am sure he will do OK because a lot of people will buy it just for the name.
Back in the 80's I wanted to buy some of them, I resisted because Sam Ash had bought some. I know how they operate. Usually they would take on a vendor like Rand for example and sell them for very high money. Then a year or so later they would get into an argument with the Vendor because they would try to bully them into selling their product too cheaply. So they would then dump whatever inventory they had at below cost prices just to mess up the market. I saw them do this with BC Rich 3 times, I never could figure out why BC Rich went back and got beat up over and over again.
Today older BC Rich & Rand guitars don't bring the money they are worth because they were marketed improperly. The people who get hurt the most are the consumers because the value of something that is more than 20 years old should be a good deal higher. Especially a quality made guitar like a Rand that is made at least 30% better than a Les Paul.
Check out one of my Caligula guitars, I
guarantee more Sustain and more overtones at half the price.