It is our continued goal to present you with the utmost in quality no matter what guitar you purchase and answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to read through the information on the Customer Service page and the FAQ's, and you may find the answer to your questions. We will provide common FAQ as updates are needed. Please read the Ordering information thoroughly prior to calling. Thank you once again.

Peace and God bless. Kevin L. Pederson


1) What is the difference between a hollow body and an archtop?

A hollow body starts with a solid body type and then interior of the body is routed away or carved out. This makes the interior hollow and then the top is added on and carved. The archtop has sides that are thin and are bent to the body shape and put in a form to hold the shape. There is a separate back plate added and a separate top that is added. So both are hollow, but there are two different types of construction.

2) Why do you use Seymour Duncan pickups?

Seymour Duncan pickups are simply outstanding. They are perfectly matched for boutique guitars and have a clean sound. They come standard in Pederson Custom Guitars (formerly Abyss Guitars); however, you can get other manufactured pickups as an option.

3) Hand made vs. production-type CNC guitars

Although CNC guitars do involve hand work, the hand work comes from assembling pre-made parts and sanding pre-made parts. The CNC machinery makes the parts and less skilled people assemble the parts in an assembly.

Most people that work production start out at a station so they can master that one skill. Eventually, they may go from station to station and learn to assemble the whole guitar. But the machine is the one creating and duplicating precision parts. Workers can be taught to assemble pre-made parts and these companies are very efficient, so they have the ability to make lots of guitars. That is why they generally charge less, but some of their prices may be comparable to boutique guitars. Buyer beware.

Since we produce our guitars by hand, we cannot ever be as efficient as a machine. But we can be precise and exact with our production. Naturally, our production volume of guitars is lower. The main difference between CNC guitars and our Pederson Custom (formerly Abyss) guitars is that they depend skill of the craftsman who creates the parts and THEN assembles them. He has master control of all elements of the construction: from building the neck and hand carving the neck, to bending wood for the sides to inlay, to putting on a master grade finish—the list goes on an on!

I would chose a hand made guitar crafted by a skilled artisan, even though it may cost a little more, because the finished result will truly be custom. Unlike a CNC guitar, a boutique guitar is made for YOU. It is unique, and few guitars in the world are similar to it. You won’t find that at a generic, mass-produced guitar company.

4) Presentation Elect vs. Custom guitars

Really, the only difference is where the idea for the guitar originates. If you send me your ideas, then it is a custom guitar made for you with your specifications. The Presentation Elect guitars are conceived by me, from design to inlay, they are awesome unique guitars. They are 100% collectable and 100% playable. Both the Presentation Elect and Pederson Custom (formerly Abyss) guitars are investment pieces.

5) What is your current build time?

For the Standard electric, the wait is approximately 9–12 months. For custom guitars, archtop and others, the wait period is about 12–18 months.

6) Do you make left handed guitars? Is there an extra charge?

Yes, and no, there is no extra charge.

7) Will you inlay something on another guitar brand?

Yes, but I won’t do any fret work on the guitar. You will need to have the frets pulled and then you will send me the guitar with the artwork. I will then do the inlay job and send the guitar back, ready to have the frets installed.

8) Do your archtop guitars feed back like other brands?

No, in my experience of building over the past several years, I have recently started carving and bracing my tops so that they can actually be run through a higher gain amp and not have unwanted feedback. You can’t stand in front of a Marshall stack with the gain turned to 11, but you can get that nice rich sustain that people look for without the added unwanted squeal. It is a trade secret so I am not going to say too much about it.

9) If I pay you the full price up front, can I get the guitar faster?

Not necessarily. I always have a backlog of orders, and I try to fulfill them based on the order in which they were placed. I treat all my customers as if each was the most important one, and I want to treat you the same way.

Guitar Setup

Tone Pros Wrap Around Or Tune-o-matic Bridges

We follow a consistent method to set up the guitars. Using standards and measuring tools we set them up to a factory standard. You can adjust the guitar how you would like once you get it. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, or lack experience, we recommend that you take the guitar to a qualified repairman in your area.

All the Pederson Custom (formerly Abyss) Guitars have a dual action truss rod that can correct up bow or back bow (relief). Use an 1/8” Long T-handle allen wrench to make the adjustments.

Most guitars are set up with either .009-.046 string gauge ore a .010- .046 string gauge. If you change string gauges you will have to use the following procedure to set the guitar up properly.

Tune the guitar to standard tuning. (Use a good tuner!) Sight down the neck looking at the tops of the frets from the nut to the last fret at the heel. You should see some slight relief. Relief is a "down bow" or a "back bow," where the frets in the middle are further away from the strings. If you have a straight edge, put it on the bass side and hold the guitar in the playing position.

With the straight edge on the fret tops on the bass side, tighten the truss rod (clockwise) until the frets in the middle of the neck touch the straight edge. You now have the neck dead straight, or you are trying to get the neck dead straight.

Re-check the tuning of the guitar. (Again, use a good tuner!)

Now proceed to setting the action at 2/32” on the treble side and 5/64” on the bass side. This is a factory standard recommendation.

You can now intonate the guitar. Check the 12th fretted note position with the plucked open string tuning. If you are flat on the 12th fretted note position, move the saddle forward towards the nut end. If you are sharp move the saddle backwards towards the butt of the guitar.

Retune the open plucked string to correct pitch, then re-check the 12th fret position until they are both in tune. (everytime you change the action height you have to re-intonate).

Re-check tuning.

Once all the strings intonate to your tuning you can add a little relief back in the middle of the neck if you want. This would require loosening the truss rod ever so slightly so that the frets in the middle of the neck have a slight gap under the straight edge. You can measure .010 at the 8th fret if you want using a feeler gauge. Or if by sight, ever so small gap.

Re-check intonation set up, adjust any necessary strings.

Re-tune the guitar.

Play the guitar!

Take your time doing set ups. It may take days and even sometimes weeks for the guitar to settle into the set up.

Remember that you are working with wood and wood will react to your climate differently than it will in another climate, so expect these changes to take place over time and give the guitar a chance to react to the changes.

Archtop Models

The set up on the archtop guitar is complete at our shop and are very accurate. They have a bone saddle and are compensated according to the action height. They are very accurate according to our set up. Once the guitar has settled into your climate, you may have to re adjust it to these set up standards.

Using the same action set up 2/32" on the treble side and 5/64" on the bass side with .010" of relief will get the guitar set back up to factory specifications and your intonation should be correct at those measurements. If you require further adjustments, take it to a qualified repairman and you will be responsible for these set up charges.

On another side note, there is a silver or gold mark on the truss rod nut at top dead center. With this mark at top dead center, this is where the rod needed to be set up here in Iowa at the factory for the set up to be done correct. You may have to change the rod, but this marker can be a reference if you need to start over with the factory set up. For instance, this truss rod in California may need to be loosened to get to the same factory settings.

Wiring Info

The standard guitar is wired with a master volume, a master tone and a three way pickup selector switch. The master volume also has a DPDT switch, which is a pull (you pull up and out on the knob). This wiring set up is called “coil tapping” and this master splits both humbucking pickups so you can now select in single coil mode, with the three way switch, either front, back or both coils. Simply push down and you can alternate between humbucker mode and single coil.

Another option is the five way pickup selector.Piezo is an acoustic pickup system. When you purchase the piezo option, normally the control X blends the two separate signals (from the piezo and the magnetic pickups/humbuckers) to a mono mix at the output jack. You can blend the signals to come up with some sweet combinations. Most other wiring options are available at extra cost.

String Change Instructions

On all models with a tailpiece, the strings get fed through the top side of the holes and strung through towards the body of the guitar, then up over the bridge. This is to get more down pressure at the bridge, which gives more string vibration at the bridge. This will give you more sustain since the string is more taut at the break angle behind the bridge. You will get more "snap" in the strings. (Note: The older hollow body and archtop guitars may have a slightly different tailpiece. In any event, this is the way you will change the strings.)

Prior to getting started with at string change, place a piece of 2” blue tape or masking tape right behind the bridge, somewhat under the tailpiece, to protect the top of the guitar while you string the guitar up. This will prevent the string from scratching or gouging the guitar top's finish.

guitar string change

1. First, put a small bend in the string so when you feed it through the tailpiece you will not stab it into or drag it across the top, damaging it.

guitar string change

2. Feed it through the tailpiece as shown in the picture.

guitar string change

3. Grab the string with your other hand. Using the right hand to feed the string, pull with the other hand making sure to not let the string slack drag on the top.

guitar string change

4. Continue to pull the string through the tailpiece with the left hand as you feed with the right. When you come to the end, place the ball end of the string, in the proper location on the tailpiece, to seat it. Tune the string up to your required pitch.

Caring for Your Pederson Custom Guitar

To make the most out of playing enjoyment with your new Pederson Custom Guitars (formerly Abyss Guitar Company) guitar, please follow these instructions carefully.

Make sure the guitar has had no shipping damage. If the box appears to be damaged, call UPS back. Have them come and open the box for you in case there is any internal damage to the guitar. This way, they can witness it when they open the case. If you do open it and there is internal damage, call UPS right away and have them inspect it.

The guitar was tuned and set up at the Pederson Custom Guitars (formerly Abyss Guitar Company) shop, but it may need to be re-tuned after the long journey it has taken to reach you. The truss rod may need minor adjustment, which can be done by a qualified technician in your area. Most rods require a 1/8” allen wrench, and some of the older Standard Electrics require a 3/16” allen wrench.

Always put the guitar in the case when you are done playing it, even for a short period of time. The environment inside the case is more consistent than leaving it out on the couch. You will have fewer problems with tuning and truss rod adjustments. This will also ensure the finish does not become marred.

For high gloss finishes, you can buff small scratches with 3M 05973 buffing compound and a buffing rag, both available at an automotive store. If you just want to shine your guitar and take off the fingerprints, or after using the 3M 05973 buffing compound, you can use the 3M 05996 Foam Polishing Pad/hand glaze. Use a new rag to keep your guitar in perfect shape and an ultra high gloss.

For oil/satin finishes just take some 600/800 grit sand paper and lightly brush over the scuff and apply some oil then wipe off the excess, repeat if necessary.

The guitar was strung with .010’s-.046’s or .009-.042’s. When you change string gauge or action height you will need to re-intonate the guitar and adjust the truss rod. We suggest that you when you change strings do them one at a time by taking one off and putting the new one on, then do the other five the same way. If you are experienced at set up, you can change them all at once. If you have any apprehension at all in doing guitar set up, take it to a technician. If something goes wrong, this is not covered under the warranty of the guitar.

For maple fingerboards use tung oil for conditioning. For rosewood and ebony, use the Stew Mac fingerboard conditioning oil. Wipe off and buff with a rag.

If you follow these simple instructions you will have maximum playing pleasure.

Serial Numbering

There is not a specific serial numbering system. Generally, we try to number the order sequence according to models. For example, there is a number one Last Supper guitar and a number one Crucifixion guitar. A guitar numbered #1104 would mean it was the eleventh guitar made in 2004, but this is not always the case. To verify you will need to send the number in an e-mail, with a picture if possible. That way it can be identified.

Distributor Info

Our normal operation of sales is directly to the customer/purchaser of the guitar. We have, in the past, sold to some dealers in various parts of the country. If you are interested in distributing Pederson Custom Guitars (formerly Abyss Guitar Company) you can call us, and we would be happy to provide you with the information for dealer buy in.

If you want to find out if there are distributors out there with guitars available for immediate delivery, you can also contact us.