Legendary Kamloops guitar maker Riversong expanding into bass and electric models for 2020 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Legendary Kamloops guitar maker Riversong expanding into bass and electric models for 2020

Mike Miltimore of Riversong Guitars has stuck with creating signature acoustic guitars but is now expanding his repertoire.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/ Mike Miltimore

A Kamloops company makes world-renowned guitars that have various famous and royal owners, and have made cameos on national television. Now, this traditionally acoustic company is expanding to include an electric and bass guitar to its fleet.

Mike Miltimore, the owner of Riversong Guitars, has been creating award-winning guitars since 2006 and is now making the leap into unchartered waters.

Traditionally, Miltimore has created acoustic guitars that push the boundaries. He has created various models that use innovative technologies to create a great sounding, easy to play and completely unique piece.

Currently, he is working on creating an electric guitar that will be presented at the NAMM trade show in California, which will then be produced for sale.

“I tend to do forward-designs when it comes to pushing the boundaries of traditionalism and I built a couple of guitars for a guy in New York state last year and he absolutely loved them, they were acoustic and he said, 'Well, all you need to do now is make an electric guitar.' At first he was kind of joking but serious and he kept pushing me,” Miltimore says

The customer’s persistence worked, and Miltimore is now creating an electric guitar that will be showcased at one of the world’s largest music trade shows, the NAMM show in Anaheim, California. The event takes place Jan. 16 to 20, and Miltimore says he is getting down to the wire.

“When you’re building the first of anything, it takes a long time. You have to build moulds, you need to figure out all the angles… we’re doing what’s called a graduated scale so all the frets are different angles and they have to all be cut by hand, it’s a really precise thing, you’ve got to figure it all out,” Miltimore says. “I have it pretty much figured it out, I think I’m getting down to the wire, it’s the 12th I’m leaving.”

He is dubbing the first two electric guitars the ‘Miltimore Riversong Electric Custom Series One and Two,’ but he is asking for the public’s help in finding a name for his electric guitar series that will follow. The two guitars he’s creating now are all made from sustainable B.C. woods, and for the electronics, he is working with a generations-old company from California who helped Leo Fender create his very first electric guitar.

“What we usually do is we build two guitars, I build one for myself and one for him, and we share the woods between the guitars so they’re kind of like linked guitars and it’s a limited series of two, but out of it comes there always comes the regular production model,” Miltimore says. “It’s torrefied Sitka spruce that has bear claw in it, so this is wood that has been cooked during this really crazy process so it actually closes the cells of the wood and makes it lighter, it makes it a little bit brittle but the tone of it is bell-like, it's fantastic and we put… black walnut for the fretboard and this beautiful torrefied quarter-sawn maple neck. They’re stunning, and they smell so good when you work with them.”

Credit: FACEBOOK / Mike Miltimore

Miltimore says he is always eager to try new designs and looks forward to showing off the electric guitar, as well as modified versions of his classics, like the Pacific Series, 2P Deluxe, and the G2 series, which features a new skeletonized bracing. Miltimore says he has been going to NAMM since the early 90s with his family and is eager to show off his unique work to some of the world’s biggest players in the music industry.

“Making really great instruments is first and foremost, but we’re adding some innovative features like the body design, we have a new neck joint that I’m working on with these guitars, which I think it will make it much better,” Miltimore says. “Armrest bevels are on there to make it really comfortable, the underside of the body is squared off so it doesn’t slide off your leg if you’re playing it sitting down, little things like that make for a much better feeling instrument.”

He says his fans have been pressing him for different types of guitars, and after the trade show he will unveil another first - a bass guitar.

“The design is well underway and we’ll be probably presenting it in time for March,” Miltimore says. “I don't have a name for that one ether yet, but well come up with a name for that one I’m sure.”

If you have a name suggestion for the electric or bass Riversong Guitars, let us know in the comments.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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