Mik Bondy’s Scarlet Fire Tiger 007 – First Look

Leo Elliot of Scarlet Fire Guitars in Dallas Texas was hired in 2016 to build the closest replica of Jerry Garcia’s iconic Doug Irwin guitar, called Tiger for me (Mik Bondy, guitarist of The Garcia Project) as a gift from a loyal fan. Kat and I drove to Dallas in 2016 to get measurements of my hands, and to choose a neck and talk about electronics and frets and tone with Leo.

The tiger was delivered to me on 7-22-17, at a friend’s house in MA. Here is some information on the build:

• Mexican cocobolo
• set-neck configuration
• inlaid and outlined w/ 1/16th inch brass
• Tiger inlaid on an ebony oval, accented with brass
• Neck is curly maple, accented by a vermillion center stripe and accented with thin layers of vermillion and maple
• Gabon ebony fretboard is inlaid with the classic Tiger motif
• Rear of the guitar is a brass outlined, quilted maple and cocobolo oval -The maple oval has a 1/16th inch red, yellow and blue marquetry strip around its circumference. The cocobolo oval is inlaid with an art deco style flower of two types of abalone, MOP, and brass.
• Electronics cover is cut out of the same piece of cocobolo as the back and is outlined with brass.
• Pots are NOS military surplus. The volume pot is a 25k value with a logarithmic taper and the neck and bridge tone are controlled by a custom manufactured, 250k/500k value Allen Bradley style, dual Mod pot just like the original. The other tone pot is a 500k value linear taper.
• onboard effects loop (OBEL) that allows the output signal from the pickups to be sent to an effects chain and return to the instrument before the volume pot. This was a personal invention of Jerry’s that allowed his signal to remain consistent when using the master volume and it allowed certain FX, like the Mutron III to always see a full input signal no matter what the master vol. on the guitar was set on.
• Unity gain buffer circuit made by wald-electronics.com.
• DiMarzio single-coil pick-up in the neck and two DiMarzio superdistortion humbuckers for the middle and bridge. I cut a one-piece cocobolo surround to mount the single coil, neck pickup in to the humbucker sized hole on the triple ring.
• Kluson reproduction harmonica bridge
• Gold Schaller M6 tuners

Here is Mik Bondy performing on the “Scarlet>Fire Tiger” for the first time on Jerry Garcia’s 75th Birthday Celebration, Presented by The Jerry Garcia Family:

Here is the “unboxing” video:


The Tiger needed a battery, so I put one in and tuned it up. I had a small fender travel amp to try it with. Take a listen to the first song played on Tiger here:

I am looking forward to plugging Tiger into my rig. My current rig is a modded 1967 Fender blackface twin for my pre-amp, a modded 2100 Mcintosh solid state amplifier for my power, two well used JBL e-120 speakers in a handmade Hard Trucker style cabinet, and effects rack with a MuTron, Boss Octive, Boss Delay with tap tempo, MXR Phaser with rate foot pedal mod, Boss Turbo Overdrive, Tubscreamer, Boss OD-1, rack tuner and ground control loop and pedal board. The rig was built and designed by myself over the course of three years.

Here are some photos of Tiger. If you want to hear Tiger through my rig, come on out to a show! The first public show that I will be playing Tiger at is the Jerry Garcia Family official 75th Birthday Celebration on August 1, 2017 at The Brooklyn Bowl. [GET TICKETS HERE]  The Garcia Project will perform a full Jerry Garcia Band show and Andy Falco and friends will perform selections from The Pizza Tapes and more!

Here are the photos of the build of the guitar:

Want your own Tiger, Wolf or Rosebud? Get in touch with Leo Elliot here: http://www.scarletfireguitarsllc.com/tiger/

  1. Wow!!! The Tiger is truly a work of art!!! Sounds great on your little travel amp, cant wait to hear it live!!


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