News & Reviews
Welcome to 2013!! After a blistering latter half of 2012 (in a year which saw all of our previous sales figures smashed!!) it's all systems go into this New Year! Firstly we're proud and very honored to welcome on board two very well-known guitar-toting stars! One is a household name ~ the other is one of the current acoustic slide guitar masters.
Mark Knopfler, who needs no introduction to music-lovers, has been using an 'Ultimate' hand-blown lead crystal slide for the last two & a half years, bought as a gift for him by a good friend in the U.S......until it met it's sad demise on a Milwaukee stage early last December. An emergency call to us pointed his crew towards Spruce Tree Music in Madison, Wisconsin ~ and Mark had a replacement on his finger the following evening! A whole new set of 'Ultimate's are now with Mark & we're delighted to announce he's our latest 'Diamond Bottlenecks' endorser.
Our good friend & string-twangin' maestro, Catfish Keith, is now aboard the good ship Diamond!! We've personally known Catfish for almost twenty years now & a 'Signature' bottleneck with his personal logo engraved into the glass will be offered from both of our website's very soon.
We have a stockist in one of my favorite places in the World!!! We're honored to announce Austin Guitar House in our latest U.S. dealer / stockists team ~ a warm welcome to Oz and his team in Austin, Texas!!
....onwards & upwards!! 2013 is going to be a fantastic year for us, both here and in our France workshops - new slide & tone-bar designs are underway at this moment by our team of glassblowers, so ~ watch this space and please call back often!!
Autumn already!....and our slides sales figures have now surpassed those we hit by the end of last year!!! Our heartfelt thanks go out to our customers, supporters and 'slide-a-holics' who contact us with such lovely comments about our service ~ and slides!
New stockists are now onboard, so a warm welcome to Maple Leaf Music in Brattleboro, Vermont; and also Mike Snowden of Snowden Guitars in Marietta, Georgia....Mike creates some of the sweetest Cigar Box Guitars in the World, so please check out his work! A big 'Hello' also goes out to the guys at Vintage & Rare Guitars in Denmark St. London, and also to their sister store in Bath, Avon ~ welcome aboard Ron & his team in London, and Chris & the team in Bath!!
But ~ sometimes the good news goes hand-in-hand with not-so-good news.
We knew around 18 months ago that Cobalt Blue authentic bottlenecks would be phased-out in the not-to-distant future - and it's sad to announce the end of the line for our 'Blue Diamond' bottleneck, with the Cobalt Blue version of our 'Original' and 'Redhouse' bottlenecks not too far behind.
Unfortunately, due to the ever-increasing costs involved in mining cobalt minerals,
most commercial bottle manufacturers are abandoning cobalt blue glass in favor of traditional green, brown & clear glass....the cobalt blue bottles now cost more than the contents!!! Other bottle manufacturers who use cobalt blue bottles as a 'trademark' are resorting to the new design of 'screw-top' bottles instead of traditionally 'corked' bottles. This allows for much thinner glass to be used in the manufacture of 'screw-top' bottles - and we will not compromise our good name by offering paper-thin glass bottlenecks that would not be considered a usable bottleneck slide!!
This will not affect our 'Ultimate' hand-blown lead crystal slide range ~ Cobalt Blue will always be on offer thru our 'Ultimate' webpage ~ the quantities of cobalt minerals our glassblowers use are small compared to commercial bottle manufacturers!!
Well into 2012 now and we're really flying! Our new 2012 'Ultimate' crystal slide range has been amazingly well received, warranting their claim to be the "best glass guitar slides in the World" ~ and our 2012 'Next Generation' solid crystal tone-bars are being mentioned by professional lap-sliders as the best overall tone-bars on the market....nice praise indeed!
We welcome the awesome Brian Kramer as a new Diamond Bottlenecks 'Signature' endorser ~ Brian has endorsed our glass guitar slides for a number of years now, and we're honored to welcome Brian on board - please check out his fantastic slide-playing on our 'Video Vault' webpage.
New slides & tone-bars are being created for us right now & will be featured here very soon....watch this space! And ~ rumors are abound that a certain Mr. Joe Bonamassa is currently in pre-recording - using one of our 'Evolution' slides!!
Please pay a visit to our Facebook page - many very kind comments are being posted about our slides ~ we'd love for you to visit us....
Another new year ~ and happily celebrating another record-breaking 12 months here at 'Diamond Bottlenecks Home for the Elderly' (....and slightly crazy!).
2011 drew to a close as our best-ever year regarding sales - many thousands of slides & tone-bars left our two workshops to very happy customers & stockists. We re-introduced our pinky-finger sized 'non-pyrex ~ real glass' Pill Bottle Slides, and are literally sending hundreds Worldwide to electric sliders wishing for a Pill Bottle Slide that fits snugly on the pinky...we're glad to oblige!
Our new 'Ultimate' glass colors and patterns are now featured in the 2012 'Ultimate' Gallery, and the new 'Next Generation' Crystal Tone-Bars are also included here on site - please check out the relevent pages. We're endebted to our talented photographer Richard Herbert for the digital images, and the genius that is Ian Parry at Alistic Solutions for his website hosting, hard work and continuing patience in coping with our demands :D
Introducing another 'new face' to the Diamond Bottlenecks team, Chickenbone John ~ although he's certainly a well known figure amongst the U.K. acoustic blues scene! Due to the constant production demands in our workshops, we struggle to lose days appearing at guitar shows & trade events.....so - step up Mr. Chickenbone!
John is a terrific acoustic blues slide guitarist, guitar builder and #1 'main man' in the U.K. regarding the funky Cigar Box guitars ~ his instruments are stunning! ~ and has kindly offered to take a selection of our bottlenecks to most U.K. guitar shows under his 'Chickenbone John's Blues Parlor' banner!
We welcome 'Homesick Mac' to our growing 'Signature Series' range, and new stockists include Peach Guitars in Essex; Little Bad Dog Guitars in Norfolk....and a small but famous guitar producer in San Luis Obispo, California U.S.A. ~ National Guitars....thanks for having us on board Don!
Lots more to come during the next few months ~ including all-new Crystal tone-bars and the fabulous 'Bombay Sapphire' bottleneck!!!!
With warmest wishes for a great 2012 ~
Ian, Richard and Tom ~ the team at Diamond Bottlenecks U.K.
Brett and Donna Taylor ~ the team at Diamond Bottlenecks France.
Chickenbone John ~ our 'man on the road'
Here's something we're all VERY proud to announce ~ our first '5-Star Gold' award from "Guitarist" - Europe's #1 guitar magazine, which enjoys Worldwide circulation.
"Guitarist" magazine reviews many hundreds of guitar products over the course of a year...but only a handful are considered 'flawless', with no negative points at all ~ we've been very close with other products over the last several years, but our Pill Bottle Slides and 2011 'new generation' solid lead crystal tone-bar range have blown away the reviewer.....his comments are posted on the relevent product pages here on our website.
In the words of our local rock legend, Robert Plant ~ "It's been a long time, been a long time....."
I'll begin by bringing some sad news...our good friend & slide guru; afficionado and R & D main-man Barry Weber passed away last year from bladder cancer. A much-loved man and wonderful slide guitarist, Barry will be sadly missed by all and we'll be keeping his picture in his memory lower down this page.....
Our brand-new 2011 lead crystal tone-bars are really stirring up a storm! Specially created for us by our glassblowing team, they offer excellent durability, superb workable weight due to the 'heavy glass core' and tougher outer 'skin', and are available in a dozen fantastic colors & patterns.....pictures will be added to this website shortly, but in the meantime if you're interested in one of these amazing new bars, please contact us & we'll e-mail a selection of photo's to you.
We welcome Will Scott, an awesome Americana / Roots / slide guitarist into our stable (www.willscottmusic.com) ~ Will is a well-known recording & touring artist and now a Diamond Bottlenecks endorser....hope to catch up with Will when he tours the U.K. later this year!
We're very honored indeed to welcome the legendary New York producer / session guitarist Tony Davilio (www.tonydavilio.com) into our endorsers stable ~ check out Tony's back-catalogue of amazing work!
We're also pround & honored to welcome Matt Umanov Guitars in New York City as our first East Coast U.S.A. 'Diamond Dealer' ~ one of the most famous guitar stores in N.Y.C., Zeke & Alex will be happy to demonstrate our sliding glassware to their customers!
We're honored to welcome three of the finest acoustic guitarists in the world to our 'Signature Series' slide range, featuring their very own glass slide choices ~ Kenny Sultan; Adrian Legg & Matthew Fox.
Every serious acoustic blues / slide guitarist will know Kenny ~ renowned guitar teacher, Martin Guitars and National Reso-Phonic Guitars clinician & one half of the famous ragtime / blues duo Kenny Sultan & Tom Ball.
Kenny is a long-time endorser of Diamond Bottlenecks, using his custom heavyweight lead crystal Cranberry Red 'Ultimate' on every show & clinic during the past five years ~ Kenny's 'Signature Series' slide is a reworking of his faithful 'workhorse' Ultimate.
There are many words written about U.K. fingerstylist Adrian Legg - one thing you can't do is 'pigeon-hole' Adrian to one style ~ he's a master of them all!
We welcome Adrian to our long list of endorsers, Adrian choosing a brand-new crystal glass design from our glassblowing team for his 'Signature Series' model.
We've known Matthew Fox for several years now ~ a wonderful musician specializing in Americana folk & blues music and an all-round lovely guy. Matthew is also a National Reso-Phonic clinician, touring the U.S. & recording beautiful music....welcome to the team Matt!!!
Matt has chosen another incredible new design from our glassblowing team for his 'Signature Series' crystal glass slide - please check out all of these new 'Signature Series' masterpieces on the thumbnails to the left of the page.
We receive many hundreds of testimonials here from delighted customers about our sliding glassware, and we keep them all on our database to add to the growing list on our 'Testimonials' web-page.
Occasionally we'll receive a testimonial that is so heartwarming, it makes us realise how much something as simple as an 'Ultimate' glass guitar slide can make a person's quest for guitar tone complete. My thanks go to Steve (Mac) McPeters for his kind permission to replicate his testimonial here in it's entirety...
"Okay, it's a nasty Fall day here - rainy, chilly & my butt hurts from the operation & everything. The family, they are all off doin' their things - Will at Julliard where he is studying bass. Charlie off at a percussion workshop and my wife at the Met where she works in Greek & Roman. So i'm at home feelin' crappy. The mail comes. I see Chris carrying this yellow envelope. I think it's stuff from school, Yuk! But no, it was one of the greatest things i have ever received. A piece of art and i know something about that. A piece the craftsman should feel elated about. My slide came!!! I pulled out my Epi, one of the new jazz things with one pickup, full hollow body & started playing, and ring, ring, ring every note. It's just f*****g beautiful.
I sat after playing for an hour or so and just looked at it. I'm nobody really, just a schoolteacher who really wanted to be a musician but didn't like the life, but playing with this slide, well i realize that with the right tool or good tools like with paints, i too can play what i hear.
This is a beautiful piece Ian. I wish i could shake your hand. It really is nice. It took a moment to get used to it but once i did i was wailing. I was actually pretending i was Peter Green way back. This slide is incredible! Thanks you thank you thank you. And if you ever need anyone over here to stand for your product i would gladly be that person. From just the craft side it is great, balanced and smooth. The fit is right on the money so hitting the notes is so easy. With the girth of it, it is so easy to vibrato on and off a note or slide slowly into one. It is a thing of beauty Mr. McWee, a thing of beauty and thank you...... This fall day turned out to be spectacular.
.....no, thank you Mac...
We 'oldies' are adapting to the wonderful world of technology pretty well! We now offer a pre-order photo service whereby we can e-mail you a picture of our currently available custom glass colors or patterns which don't appear on our website.
When we receive our hand-blown crystal glass shipments from the glassblowers, there are always some awesome 'one-off' glass colors & patterns in the mix that are not listed as 'stock' colors on the website...if you wish to see the amazing pieces we have to offer, please drop us a line & we'll e-mail you a photo!
We’re proud and greatly honored to be associated with these truly wonderful musicians, all choosing Diamond Bottlenecks as their #1 preference for sliding glassware!
World Music Statesman & slide guitar legend, Bob Brozman;
Renowned teacher, performer & Grammy-winning recording artist, Mike Dowling;
U.S. avant-garde guitarist and recording maestro, Henry Kaiser;
The awesome Hindustani slide guitarist/teacher, Debashish Bhattacharya…
...all phenomenal players – and our good friends. Please visit our Links page to find the associated website addresses for more information on all of our sliding glassware endorsers.
We've been honored to receive input here from a valued member of our guitar slide research and development team, the awesome slide player from New York City, Barry Weber.
Barry was a guitar slide afficionado, collector, designer and co-hoster of the U.S. ‘ToneFest’ festivals (www.tonesociety.com)
In Barry’s own words “…In the years that I’ve been playing slide I’ve worked my way through chrome, brass, pill bottles, bottle necks and all manner of hand made glass slides. Diamond Bottlenecks are the only company that can make the dream slide in your head a reality on your finger! When it comes to custom glass slides made just the way you want, they get the job done…”
Barry Weber aka Frankenstrat2
R.I.P Barry ~ 1951 - 2010
Ian & the 'Slide Guitar Collective' team doing what they do best & enjoying the day!
Stamford Guitar Festival, June 2009.
'Guitarist' Magazine - 2004;
We're honoured to receive this 'five - star' product rev
"Great neck, huge versatility, immensely playable"
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