(copied from /s/ - didn't want the guy to sign up here and post a review as his first post.)
BOWES SFLx 7-STRING
Construction: Set-neck @ 26" scale
Body: Figured European Ash
Neck: 5 Piece Maple / Purpleheart
Fingerboard: Figured Ziricote w/sapwood
Frets: 25 with half scallops from the 12th to the 25th
Pickups: Nordstrand Humbuckers (modeled off a Duncan Distortion)
Electronics: Vol/3-way switch
Bridge: Hipshot bridge, string thru-body
Tuners: Exposed Hipshot Tuners
Color: Natural with Tung Oil
Been playing this for about a month now, really enjoy the passive Nordstrand humbuckers. Have BKP in all my guitars, but will leave the Nordstrands in this guitar. Well balanced, and they compliment the Ash body. A very equal tone throughout the lows, mids and highs.
Even unplugged, guitar resonates very well. Plugged into my amps, the Bowes can sing quite well. Very, very happy with the sound of this axe.
Action, Fit & Finish:
Guitar arrived with the strings de-tuned. Tuned up to standard 7 tuning, action was pretty much perfect for me. I usually have to play around with a factory set up to get it to my liking, as we all do i'm sure, but I have zero issues with the setup. Intonation was pretty much bang on, had to do a few minor tweaks, nothing out of the ordinary.
Really happy with the Tung oil finish, guitar has an awesome one piece figured ash body, and the Tung really brings out the figure and flame. Pictures, again, don't do this any justice.
Went over all joints, fretwork, etc, and have found minimal issues. Brian let me know that this was his first prototype, and informed me well ahead of time about any blemishes. Honestly, they are very few, and very insignificant.
Guitar seems to be built very well, I was really impressed with the construction of this guitar. Brian will be very busy in the near future, I can assure you. And I am really looking forward to watch his creations get better and better.
I really see no issues with this guitar, at all. Seems to be very reliable. Neck is stable, haven't had any warp, and I don't foresee future issues.
Brian was a pleasure to work with, and deal with. I specified using stainless steel frets, which he tried to accommodate, but eventually played havoc on his tools, essentially ruining them. He constantly updated me with statuses about once a week via Facebook.
Honestly, I believe he is a luthier that truly enjoys his craft, I bought the guitar for next to nothing for the amount of time he put into building it. Throughout the process he reassured me that if I had any issue with the guitar, he would take it back and build another. To say Brian went above and beyond what was required to keep me informed is an understatement.
4/5 - Can't be perfect, there are a few cosmetic issues, which are very, very minor as mentioned. I'm really enjoying playing this guitar, very comfortable neck, scarf joint, and heel. The heel is really smooth, similar to a KxK, and access to all frets is simple. Sounds big and has clarity. Body is very thin, most likely around a Blackmachine (even though i've never played one) but is thinner then my KxK.
I really feel that Brian is going to accomplish a lot through Bowes in the future, and if he continues his builds and dedicates himself to the company, the sky's the limit.
Damn, that thing looks awesome, man. I am a big fan.