Everyone should know that a guitar can be tricked out in any number of ways to satisfy the desires of its keeper. Nearly any body design and permutation of pickups, wood type, hardware, neck style, etc. is possible. A jazzbo can get true tone, a prog rocker can get an ax that lights up. This is why custom shops, from the tiny boutiques to the famous tailor shops of Gibson and Fender, have an edge over assembly line ax factories. Guitars built with the amount of attention a custom shop offers are by and large better instruments.
Gene Baker, a Gibson and Fender custom shop ex-pat, has run his California-based Baker Custom Guitars operation since 2000, supplying the tone-obsessed with PRS-looking guitars. His years working at the old North Hollywood Gibson custom shop seem to have influenced him the most. Baker probably knows his way around a Les Paul better than the old man himself by now, and most of what he offers are solid-body electrics in the Les Paul vein more attuned to rock or blues playing than jazz. A couple of hollow-body Baker models are perfect for jazz guitarists with modern minds, however-the new JazzCat in particular.