Seth Baccus Guitars: Instruments of Distinction

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Seth Baccus Guitars: Instruments of Distinction

Words by Eric Foreman

An introduction to Seth Baccus Guitars, which have found a home at Sydney's one-stop-shop for the guitar community, the Gladesville Guitar Factory.

Nestled in the Lower North Shore of Sydney sits a one-stop-shop for the guitar community, the Gladesville Guitar Factory.

Now I know, it seems like a big call, but when you’re talking about a history steeped in guitar repairs, a wide array of acoustic, electric, and classical guitars, niche brand and instrument offerings, and a substantial music education department, it’s not too big a claim. All of which culminates in the country’s longest running guitar store under the same ownership.

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With early groundings as a guitar repair shop operating under the name of DeKroo Bros Music in the ‘60s, they quickly gained a reputation as one of the top repair shops in the New South Wales capital. Working with some of the top retailers of the time as well as CBS, their workshop was entrusted with around a dozen Fender resprays a week. 

When the business changed hands in 1972, DeKroo Bros Music became the Guitar Factory we know and love today, operating as a family owned business in the last five decades since. 

Since then, the Factory situated just up the road from Banjo Paterson Park has maintained a deep focus on the niche market, including an extensive array of folk instruments such as banjos, mandolins, and ukuleles. So much so that they remain Sydney’s only specialist store for banjos, mandolins, bluegrass, and folk instruments.

Beyond folk and bluegrass, their heart still lies within specialising in guitars. While still bringing in the venerable Fenders, Gibsons, Yamahas, Martins, Taylors, Matons… the list goes on and on, they also bring across a swathe of boutique and niche brands to Aussie shores.

This point of difference is emanated in their handmade amps, luthier-built classical guitars, and boutique effects pedals to name a few, but one of the more interesting offerings includes the Seth Baccus line of guitars. The namesake of the brand had quite the apprenticeship through step father and well-respected luthier Andy Manson and his brother Hugh, working at the world-famous Manson’s guitar shop for over a decade. During his education, he also worked as a technician for Led Zeppelin during their 2002 reunion tour, but it’s his work with Muse’s Matt Bellamy that really stands out.

Growing up a few houses down from Bellamy in Exeter, Devon, Baccus was able to watch Muse evolve into the ‘Supermassive’ band they are today. Part of their intergalactic rise can be attributed to Bellamy and his affinity for Manson guitars, which Hugh was a vital component of. 

“From Hugh and I delivering the first Delorean to real world studios during the recording of Origin of Symmetry, right up until the launch of the MB1, I was proud to be part of Hugh’s team,” Seth recalls.

When 2009 rolled around, Seth decided to go out on his own and start Seth Baccus Guitars. In 2012, the flagship Nautilus was released, Baccus’ first set neck single cutaway model. More recently, the Shoreline range has been at the forefront of the Baccus brand which contains the Shoreline T and Shoreline JM lines.

The Shoreline T doesn’t need to be intently analysed to posit a guess as to what the ‘T’ might stand for. The iconic Tele pickguard and the distinct control knob layout, it oozes class. It teeters on the line of tribute and innovation with a lightweight body and a maple neck bolted on, while also boasting a range of modern features like its hand-carved heel design, medium jumbo frets, 12” fingerboard radius, and intonated brass saddles on the bridge. Bare Knuckle pickups are standard which Seth describes as “really open-sounding pickups, very warm and hollow in the neck and all the clang and twang you could want in the bridge”.

The Shoreline JM comes with a totally unique view and is the newest model in the range, expanding the bolt-on neck designs on offer from Baccus. Boasting the same modern features of the Shoreline T like its hand-carved heel design, medium jumbo frets, and 12” fingerboard radius, the elegant curves of this original body shape are said to be well balanced and set this line apart visually. The Shoreline JMs are available with a number of options, such as pickup configuration, bridge set up, and fingerboard woods. Not to mention a wide variety of finishes and scratchplate materials including tortoise shell and parchment. 

Comprising the Gladesville Guitar Factory Seth Baccus collection are two Shoreline T guitars, both with rosewood necks and parchment plates, with the Aged Sonic Blue finish boasting double binding, while the classic Sunburst finish sits pretty by itself. There are four Shoreline JM options to dig your teeth into with a combination of pickup and plate differences. Leading the way with the line are the two dual humbucker options with tortoise shell plates, with the Aged Black axe being the point of difference with a maple neck compared to the rosewood seen with the rest of the collection. The remaining two contain a humbucker and P90 combination with parchment plates. “Heirloom quality, built with love” is their motto, and it’s certainly on display with the Shorelines on offer.

If all of the above hasn’t convinced you Gladesville Guitar Factory is a one-stop-shop for the guitar community, then surely considering their music tuition facility will make it such. One-on-one lessons for guitarists of any age, level, or style, and some highly trained teachers (bass and ukulele lessons available too), you’ll have a hard time not being helped at the Factory. 

For more information, head to Gladesville Guitar Factory.