“A rock machine with boutique, hand-built craftsmanship... it's exactly what I was hoping it would be”: Dweezil Zappa gets a “microphonic” signature Shabat guitar with some tricks up its sleeve

Shabat Guitars' Lynx DZ model
(Image credit: Shabat Guitars)

California’s Shabat Guitars has created a signature guitar for Dweezil Zappa, the uniquely-spec'd Lynx DZ.

Zappa says the Lynx DZ project began when chief luthier Avi Shabat presented a prototype model – based on the former's heavily modded Lynx – to the guitarist “out of the blue.” 

Aesthetically, it maintains that after-market chop shop vibe, thanks in no small part to the intensely relic’d look that chips away at its black nitrocellulose Lacquer finish, and its mismatched white and gold three-ply pickguards.  

Electronics-wise, the instrument shows its Zappa-esque character with an HSS configuration and a secret weapon hidden in its middle pickup.   

Those pickups comprise two Lollar Special S single-coils and a Lollar El Rayo humbucker in the bridge – preferred for its “percussive quality” – which has more in common with a single-coil, tonally, than it does a traditional P.A.F-style ‘bucker. 

ALL-NEW Dweezil Zappa Signature Model Guitar | Shabat Lynx DZ - YouTube ALL-NEW Dweezil Zappa Signature Model Guitar | Shabat Lynx DZ - YouTube
Watch On

There’s a five-way switch to get the most out of the pickups, with a push-pull phase shift helping turn the middle pickup into an octave pedal. 

“You will hear an octave sound pop out and that's super unique,” Dweezil Zappa explains. “[It’s] kind of like an Octavia without any pedal.” 

The tonewoods for the 25.5” scale length guitar stay close to a classic Strat build, with an alder body, quarter sawn hard maple neck, and a maple fretboard that sports 22 Dunlop Nickel Steel 6105 frets.

Its fixed bridge – a gold-finished Vega-Trem VT1 Ultra Trem standard – continues the Stratocaster theme and comes with a whammy bar. 

A single-knob setup means there is no Tone knob, while Kluson Deluxe turners, and a TUSQ XL nut round out its hardware.

“Something about this says ‘rock machine’ but [with] ‘boutique, hand-built craftsmanship,’” Zappa continues. “This is a very special guitar, it's exactly what I was hoping it would be. It sounds really alive.”

Shabat Guitars' Lynx DZ model

(Image credit: Shabat Guitars)

In the demo, Zappa begins knocking all over the instrument, with the guitar audibly picking up those “microphonic” interactions, saying it “makes you feel the guitar more.” 

This was achieved by adding 20 percent more body to the guitar, according to Shabat, helping eliminate feedback in the process.

“I've put a lot of time and effort into thinking about what this guitar could be,” Zappa continues. “It's got a vintage feel but it's got personality: You need to be drawn to the guitar. This is the ultimate rock machine – you feel like you can dig in and make this thing scream.” 

Shabat Guitars' Lynx DZ model

(Image credit: Shabat Guitars)

Unlike other signature guitars, the Shabat Lynx DZ is made to order, with fans able to choose from several parts of its spec, including its finish color – Black or Olympic White – and its aging. 

Head to Shabat Guitars to learn more. 

Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to ProgGuitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.