Nick van Dyk's Conklin Experience
Around the time that Redemption started picking up speed, just after the release of our second CD The Fullness of Time in 2005, I remember my producer, who doesn't mince words and is pretty picky, looking at the guitars I used. �They were high end product (stock product, not custom shop) from a major manufacturer -- but he referred to them as firewood and suggested I chop them up and use them for kindling.
That was what made me decide to look for a guitar company that I could work with. �I spoke with several folks in the industry that I respected and looked into half a dozen companies. �From my very first communication with Bill and Mike at Conklin, I knew they were the people I wanted to partner with.
What can I say about these instruments which are handcrafted musical artwork, not simply instruments? �Everything, from the quality of the wood to the immense care given to fit and finish, is superlative. �I wanted instruments that were bright, had a warm and rich sustain, were visually striking without looking gimmicky, and used the best possible materials. �Conklin delivered in all of these areas.
Since those first two beautiful quilted maple guitars, I've had three additional instruments made, and each is a masterpiece. �Bill and Mike treat me like a friend and have been wonderful to deal with. �I'm constantly looking for an excuse to have them make more instruments for me.
My Conklins have been used to record our third CD, The Origins of Ruin, and three of them went on tour with me when we supported Dream Theater on their Systematic Chaos US tour -- including one that was hand delivered to me in Kansas City by Bill and Mike. �They also appear in our concert DVD / live CD, Frozen in the Moment: Live in Atlanta. �And they have been used in the studio for a new CD that should come out in 2009. �
I never got around to chopping up those old instruments -- but they collect dust now. �And as for my producer, when he sees them, he goes through them. "Firewood...firewood...firewood...now THIS..." he says as he picks up a Conklin, "this is a different story altogether."