Pagelli Andre Archtop and Ekolette Solidbody
Few luthiers design with so little regard to boundaries—real or perceived—as Swiss builder Claudio Pagelli. He builds inspired acoustics,
archtops, and electrics with an irreverent aesthetic that rarely stays on one path very long. The Andre archtop (left) was built to celebrate
his 30th anniversary in business and features a body and neck of Canadian maple, a top crafted from moon-cut Swiss alpine spruce, ebony
binding, Schertler tuners with tagua-nut buttons, and a Häussel pickup. Like so many of Pagelli’s designs, it pulls off the tough act of
being classic and deconstructionist at once.
As for the Ekolette (right), it seems to be a blend of the extroverted stylings of Italian electrics from Bartolini, Eko, and Gimelli. Its
name, says Pagelli, is a mix of Eko and Echolette—a German amp company from the ’60s and ’70s—and the shape is based on a bass
design from years ago. “We always thought it would be a great shape for an electric guitar.” Specs include a mahogany body and neck,
a maple top, an Indian rosewood fretboard, Q-tuner neodymium pickups, Gotoh bridge, and Kluson-style tuners. “The back and sides
match the color of the pickups,” Pagelli explains, “but the rest is covered with vintage-stock Italian mother-of-toilet-seat [pearloid]. The
sound is very open and clear—almost acoustic—but with lots of sustain.”
(LEFT) Gibson Les Paul
Fans of growling baritones channeled
via brawny 496R (neck)
and 500T (bridge) humbuckers
have cause to celebrate at the sight
of this 28"-scale beauty with a
“’50s Rounded” neck profile and
Grover tuners. Finished in pretty
honeyburst, this thump machine
looked bossy just hanging there.
(RIGHT) Lâg Imperator
Michel Lâg Chavaria brought his
guitars to the US just two years
ago, but they’ve been something
of a fixture in Europe for decades.
The new Imperator I3000 Master
has a mahogany body with a
spalted, quilted, or flamed maple
top, a choice of hardware finishes
(“black satin,” nickel, or “antique
gold”), and DiMarzio, Seymour
Duncan, or EMG pickups.
PRS Bernie Marsden SE
Hardworking former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden has been
honored with a signature PRS this year. This SE has a 24 1/2" scale,
PRS SE 245 humbuckers in the bridge and neck positions, and a Wide
Nick Page Guitars Strich-II
Berlin-based Nick Page had some of the most stylish guitars
on the Musikmesse floor this year. Though some of his designs
pay subtle homage to classics from Supro, Zemaitis, and
Rickenbacker, they’re dressed up with custom hardware and
Page’s unique slotted headstock. The Strich-II shown here has a
fiberglass body, vintage 1960s Filter’Tron pickups, a 3-way selector,
Volume and Tone knobs, a Bigsby-style vibrato, and a maple
neck with a rosewood fretboard and Dunlop 6105 fretwire.
Nik Huber Krautster II
When we visited Nik Huber at his workshop in Rodgau,
Germany, after Musikmesse (keep an eye out for the forthcoming
video tour on premierguitar.com), he told us the back-to-basics
Krautser models (the one-pickup Krautster I and two-pickup
Krautster II) have become his most successful designs.
So it only made sense that he update the line a bit. Both
versions are now available with an optional veneer of thin, oxidized
silver (left and middle).
Perhaps the single most innovative guitar development at Musikmesse came from the folks at
Duesenberg. The Rezobro features a semi-hollow mahogany body with a spruce top, and it
enables you to blend remarkably realistic resonator tones with the electric tones from its bridge-position
humbucker and neck-position P-90. While some in this day and age might expect this
feat to be accomplished with digital processing or modeling, the Rezobro does it mechanically: A
metal plate attached to the stop tailpiece extends up to the one-piece bridge, and two piezo pickups
under the plate transmit the vibrations between it and the bridge. For more tonal variety, the
metal plate also has adjustment screws for a tighter or looser resonator sound. Controls for the
electronics include Master Volume, magnetic-pickup Volume, dual piezo Volumes, and a Master
Tone knob, as well as a piezo toggle, and a 3-way magnetic-pickup selector. Other cool features
include Duesenberg Z tuners and a nut with height screws for easily setting up slide-friendly
action. The Vintage White version shown here was custom-built for Keb Mo.
(LEFT) Blasius Guitars
Hungary’s Blasius Guitars—which has primarily offered basses until this year’s
Musikmesse—unveiled a new line of ornate custom solidbodies with deeply carved bodies
and highly figured woods. The guitars shown here feature Sublime pickups (with matching
wood covers in the left two models), and the guitars on the left and right feature a
Schaller Hannes bridge.
ESP had a bazillion guitars on the show floor.
But none were quite as arresting as this touch