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TogaMan GuitarViols - Hand built by Jonathan Wilson - Sylmar, CA - A.D. 2018

News of the Moment:

The Aoustic Series

A Note About Acoustic GuitarViol Models...

The acoustic models are the epitome of GuitarViols. They combine traditional design essentials, are hand built, and feature antique vibe with contemporary design features. The distinctive cutaway provides unhindered upper register access with other surprising sonic benefits. The sound ports at the waist spread the sound to both player and listener while also providing ample bow clearance. They are all about a rewarding life of sonic, aesthetic bliss and built to outlast us.

10X Beta CF
10X Beta CF - $4,990.00*
(Three project installments of $1663.33)

10 Carbon Fiber Builds 1.0.1 $4,990.00* US
Limited run of 10 (exclusively for “early adopters” at this rate they are selling--get on board!)
*Case (best available option TBD) or crate, shipping, and applicable tax (calif.) added to final installment.

Since 2002, Jonathan Wilson has been building TogaMan GuitarViols (guitar formatted violas bowed guitars modern Arpeggiones) for a who’s who list of recording artists, Film/TV/Games/Media composers. In those days, he was updating an early 90’s prototype for his own purposes and then a happy accident happened: Other players wanted one of their own and he has been backlogged an average of 9 months to a year in orders ever since! By their nature, GuitarViols are mass manufacturing resistant and each one has had to be built by hand. The mass minutia and man hours that goes into each fingerboard (when compared to guitars and violins) is staggering! (To date, there are no shortcuts). However, in recent times, Jonathan has been developing alternative fabrication processes with a goal of making GuitarViols more available (less scarce), repeatable, practical and exceedingly bitchin fun to play! Over the next couple of years, traditional wood master builds will be at higher end rates, fewer in production per year. Enter: a new era!

The 21st century presents it’s own hazards as well as solutions. When Antonio Stradivari was building violins, he did not have to deal with a world where fragile wooden instruments would be hurled around the planet in winged aluminum tubes flying at 30,000 feet, sub zero temperatures, highly varied climates on different continents, rough baggage handlers, uncooperative cabin crews that force gate checking of instruments (that could otherwise be safely stowed), wanton inspectors, draconian wood regulations etc. etc. etc. Yes, traditionally built wooden instruments are charming. Just not practical for the hazards of our world today. And, who wants to constantly worry about dry winters cracking wooden instruments and turning their studio a humidor? How about a high performance TogaMan GuitarViol for the 21st century? Bring it on!

Over the last several years, Carbon fiber guitars and violins/violas/cellos have come a long way! In March 2015, the Strad Magazine wrote of a carbon fiber violin that won a blind competition in Germany! The future is here and TogaMan is getting onboard! Any, you can be a part of this by being an “Early Adopter!”

To kickstart this project, a limited run of 10 TogaMan 10X BETA 1.0 builds will be exclusively offered to Early Adopters at a set rate of $4990.00. Each will have a signed certificate inside sound hull commemorating those who participated in laying the foundation bricks to this pivotal new chapter in the instruments history!

(This run will fund the tooling setup, a few trials, your historic GuitarViol, and a ground floor for the future!) In addition to having bragging rights to being an early adopter , you will also have a brag swag Tshirt to prove it! A blog and documentary will be set up as the project rolls ahead. Plus more stuff we have not thought of yet! Contact Jonathan for more details! Email Jonathan (Please put 10X Early Adopter at top of email) or call 8182685602 M - F 10AM to 6PM California time.

So, what will this thing be? No pictures? (This is why you are an early adopter! You get to watch the documentary, blogs, video, and periodic Google hangouts! You get to wear your 10X BETA CF early adopter Tshirt and brag to your friends that you are backing massive progress and getting an exceedingly bitchin TogaMan GuitarViol in a matter of months! You, Early Adopter , are making it happen!)

Picture this:

The 10X Beta CF GuitarViol will be an acoustic GuitarViol based off the Bastarda/Bistro models you have seen in the past. It will be 100% acoustic with an electronics package likened to the ElectroCoustic Series. The subtle design differences (aspects) for the new version will include:

The benefits of this construction approach:

A few are spoken for and (at this writing 12/31/2015) 7 spots for this 10X run are available. Contact Jonathan for more details! Email Jonathan (Please put 10X Early Adopter at top of email) or call 8182685602 M - F 10AM to 6PM California time.

Some anticipated FAQ’s:

Will you offer other scales/models?
That is the plan! But for now, I am setting up the initial proving ground on the standard 21” scale GuitarViol that has been my flagship since 2002. it may be a while! Shorter scale treble and larger bass models are on the horizon though!

Are you phasing out your past wooden models?
Not completely. I will eventually limit my wooden builds to a handful of ultra high end JW Master builds in a couple years. I have increased the rates for 2016 on the usual offerings as I’ll be emphasizing the new CF models and eventually scaling up production of those in 2017. The Early Adopter 10 BETA CF run will lay the foundation for the future!

Will the 10X Beta CF come with a case?
Case will be separate and will be on a “TBD/best available option at the time” basis. Cases are also in development and may/may not be ready concurrent with 10X Beta CF GuitarViols are run. (Maybe) *I should point out they will fit in most acoustic guitar gig bags and could be placed in a generic ATA flight case in the event of mass travel. Working on it though!

Will the 10X Beta CF sound as good as earlier Bastarda/Bistro acoustics?
Maybe better? It is subjective but I will guarantee the very best GuitarViol currently available in the world. Period. Hopefully my instrument’s legacy of legions of Film/TV/Game soundtrack composers routinely using my instruments since 2003 for major media projects says a little ;) We do know this: CF has been done successfully with Guitars, Cellos, Violas, Violins. No good reason the 10X Beta CF GuitarViol will not be awesome! (Many took a chance on my early work and history has been pretty impressive so far ;)

Will the 10X Beta CF come with a bow?
I will include an matching incredibow CF bow for these. I do encourage experimentation over time!

Will the 10X Beta CF have a pickup system?
Yes! I plan on a best match of one’s currently offered in ElectroCoustic models and Current Acoustic models.

Will the 10X Beta CF be available in both EADGBE or BEADF#B tunings?
Yes! I will have to set it up to designated tunings! (5 string CGDAE cello tuning can be done as well!)

7 String Version?
Not for a while! (Will require another set of tooling)

Will the 10X Beta CF be available in different colors.
Not for this run! (Anything as long as it’s black CF) Later runs we can go wild!

Will the costs go down or up after first 10X Beta CF run?
Not sure. Estimating the average build time on a new medium is a wild guess at best. To really know will require swimming the channel multiple times for a precedent to go by. It could be that I am grossly underestimating it.

How long the first run likely take?
Again, at this point, it is a guess. The first ones always take the longest. I am shooting for a runway of 6/9 months but we may be talking 12 months (based on my 12 year average wait). The idea is to change that status (part of the purpose of this project! i.e. having available models or at least shorter lead times that’s the goal anyway!). Let’s just say that I am beyond highly motivated for this project and will push the shorter end of ASAP (I want mine too!).

Are you hiring apprentices/assistants?
Yes, hit me up. I am looking for an assistant of herculean, heroic skills and integrity. Contact Jonathan for more details! Email me Get my attention in the headline! ;)

Happy 2016 and look forward to massively awesome things!

Contact Jonathan for more details! Email Jonathan (Please put 10X Early Adopter at top of email) or call 8182685602 M - F 10AM to 6PM California time.


Bastarda - $9,777.00*
(Three project installments of $3259.00)

Bastarda: “….a highly virtuosic style of composition or extemporaneous performance …”

The Bastarda model (watch video demo) features Jonathan’s classic braced flat back/arched top/cutaway design. It’s tone can generally be described as having “a deep and sweet tone with harmonic complexities that create emotions which are, at times, too personal to describe” (often tears of sonic bliss!). From simple long notes to Advanced virtuosic bow work, this rare wonder will take you on a challenging and rewarding musical journey unlike any other.

More Specs

A Word about French Polish and Rustic touches:

Unlike mass produced factory perfect finishes (Nitrocellulose, Polyester), French Polish is a delicate finish and one of the worlds oldest. It predates more modern perfect factory finishes and has genuine old world "Vibe" and "rustic" in appearance. Old world beauty for sure! Think of old violins. It is delicate and will not impede the tone of the wood in any way (in fact, it enhances it!). It is an intensive hand working process and color layering is a fine art form itself. There are no shortcuts!

The Bastarda and Bravura models are each unique. There are subtle details, and carving touches done by Jonathan Himself. He does not repeat the aesthetics of any two builds even though pattern essentials are essentially the same. No two pieces of wood are the same and Jonathan follows his muse on each one. Every piece is a unique one of a kind work of artistic expression and limited in number (making Bastardas and Bravuras rare indeed).

Bravura - $14,777.00*
(Three project installments of $4,925.66)

Bravura: “….something artistic done in an exciting or innovative way….”

The Bravura series (watch video demo at right) is distinguished by the classic “violin” style carved back construction. It’s sound can be described as “punchy” “immediate attack“. In sound essentials, it is likened more to a modern (post Stradivari) Viola with a true “Viola bark and growl”. If you opt for a truly rare and special instrument, the Barvura is for you!

More Specs

New! Lyric Acoustic pickup (actually an internal mic) with outboard power supply!

What is it? It is a (post factory modified) LR Baggs Lyric with an outboard 9 volt power supply/standby switch (EMG ES-9). The Lyric is technically a mic and those geniuses at LR Baggs really figured out how to dial out those tubby frequencies; leaving the true sound of the instrument well intact! It is as good as it gets for live performance or as a second DI mic for recording applications. Since the power supply to the preamp is powered through an external source, there is no battery panel to butcher the side of the instrument and no playing "Ship in a bottle" to change a battery! No physical alterations to the GuitarViol, all reversible as technology progresses (not that that will happen soon, this thing is amazing!!). No "built in obsolescence". The Lyric GuitarViol ensemble features:


$350.00 installed