In the heart of Marble Falls, Texas lies a workshop with a very skilled luthier, Aaron Brown, owner, founder, and luthier of Black Water Guitar Company. I personally became interested in Black Water Guitars after acquiring a build second hand, the Walnut Topped Double II Carved Top. Taking a bit of a blind dive into the world of custom made instruments on a brand that I had no first hand experience with was a leap of faith, but a refreshing one once I was able to get my hands on one of Aaron’s creations.

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One of the first things I noticed about that particular build was the meticulous attention to detail in even the smallest things that any player normally wouldn’t notice.  Things such as the binding, nut, contour shaping, gluing, and overall design are a few small parts of an instrument I wouldn’t pay as much attention to in the past with other guitars and overlook. Each and every fine detail is taken care of with as much precision, love, and care as the entire instrument and it shows.


One of the best things that any player picking up a Black Water Guitar will experience is the fretwork. I must feature a section of this article dedicated to this aspect of Aaron’s builds simply because of its’ finesse. Every guitar coming out of his shop features a smart slotting system that will never reveal the fret ends and tangs on his fretboards, bound and unbound alike! Along with not only the forward thinking installation method, each fret is carefully given a gorgeous ball end fret job. This allows for the smoothest and least abrasive fretboard edge available.

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In terms of playability, many will agree that very few guitars come close without needing work to be done. From a very low profile bridge piece, to a very well seated nut, and as mentioned before the kind of extremely precise fretwork allows for the best possible setups. In combination with an extremely smooth neck joint (no matter if you choose a Set Neck/Neck Through/Bolt On), you’re sure to have no trouble reaching the highest fret on your guitar’s neck. Speaking of the neck, beyond being flexible in modeling a neck to work for an individual, the default neck profile is a very comfy C shape (19mm @ 1st, 20mm @ 12th)

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Featured in the photos is one of Aaron’s most popular designs, the D(ouble) II electric guitar shape. A superstrat shape with several appointments that separate it from most other designs on the market enough to leave it’s own unique mark in an ocean of super strat designs. Along with the Double II, there is something for everyone in Black Water’s plethora of design options. Ranging from traditional shapes, to modern variations of popular designs with Aaron’s own spin on them. Recently adopted into the roster is a line of headless designs (HSi-SC, HSi-DC) to accommodate the surge in demand from the community’s desire for the headless guitar style. If a headstock is something you prefer to have on your guitar, there are several unique and interesting designs from which to choose.

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Seen on this page are a pair of Double II’s in a Carved Top and Flat Top Flavor, the specs for the builds featured here contain the following specs:

Double II Design

DII-01 Headstock Shape

Carved Flamed One Piece Top

Two Piece Mahogany Body

Five Piece Rosewood/Maple Neck (Action High: 0.7mm Low: 1.0mm)

24 Stainless Steel Frets

BWGC Neodymium Modern Covered Pickups

One Volume Knob (Ebony Knob)

One Tone Knob (Ebony Knob)

Three-Way Selector Pickup Switch

Hipshot Open Gear Locking Tuners

BWGC Hardtail Bridge

Weight: 5.6lbs

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Double II Design

DII-Split Headstock Shape

Flat Spalted Maple Top

Two Piece Ash Body

Five Piece Rosewood/Ebony Neck (Action High: 1.0mm Low: 1.2mm)

24 Stainless Steel Frets

BWGC Neodymium Modern Pickups

One Push/Pull Volume Knob (Ebony Knob)

One Tone Knob (Ebony Knob)

Three-Way Selector Pickup Switch

Hipshot Open Gear Locking Tuners

BWGC Hardtail Bridge

Weight: 6.2lbs

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Black Water Guitar Company also features various sets of pickups that can be ordered in 6 different types. Featured in both guitars here are the Neodymium Moderns, a pair of pickups that deliver the kind of crisp cutting edge that any modern player will appreciate, but the kind of versatility and dynamics that most guitarists look for all in the same package. Many pickups promise to deliver this wide selection of usable tones, but not many have achieved this as closely as the Neo Moderns. For the player seeking more high gain applications, the Elder Gods and AlNiCo Modern sets both have something in store that will surprise even the most experienced pickup aficionados. And on the other end of the spectrum, the user looking for more vintage tones can also look into the Pathos, Dirt Wizard, and Neodymium Vintage pickups offered by BWGC. No matter your need, there is something for everyone within the selections available! Pickups can be ordered individually and in sets aside from ordering them with a guitar build! Available at a very affordable price, and able to be had with plastic colored bobbins, various covers, as well as wooden bobbins and covers.



The Black Water Guitar Company is a refreshing business growing at a responsible and careful rate. Something that several other companies did not and do not currently account for in order to sustain their longevity and presence in the guitar industry. There’s nothing mythical here, except the fact that there is an extremely talented individual who can build an instrument that will kick ass in any regard possible. I cannot recommend working them enough, and I myself have had several wonderful experiences as a repeat customer with Aaron. A build from the wonderful people at Black Water will start at a base of $2777 USD, and features a few months wait once the guitar has begun to be built.

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Incredibly meticulous build quality

Receptive to ideas, suggestions

In-House component manufacturing

Very reasonable price tag

Exceptional Customer Service

6-8 Month build time


Large waitlist

Truss Rods requires a specific type of allen key + handle

Review/photos By Jonathan A.

Like this guitar? Check out our store for a wide selection of similar instruments!: http://shop.wiredguitarist.com/

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