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Nik Huber Blue Whale Ltd.
The German luthier’s latest beauty is essentially a limited-run version of his Dolphin model, and it was built to benefit the Mingan Island Cetacean Study blue-whale research institution. It features an intricate blue-whale inlay with approximately 180 pieces of silver, mother of pearl, and black pearl. Other appointments include a one-piece, highly figured maple top, a Brazilian rosewood neck and fretboard, and twin Häussel humbuckers. The guitar is limited to 25 pieces that go for $15,000 each.
PMC Guitars Acoustic Byblos
This 11-string handcarved acoustic instrument comes from the mind of French luthier Pierre-Marie Châteauneuf. It’s a hybrid of an oud and a guitar, with the top five strings being either in unison or an octave apart, and it was designed to give guitarists access to Eastern sounds with the playability of a more familiar instrument. It has a spruce top with a soundhole, an African mahogany and padauk body and neck, and a fretless ebony fingerboard with padauk position markers.
XXL Guitars Gargoyle Trio
Luthier Marc Lupien designed this trio as a commission for a customer who wanted gargoyle- themed guitars. The designs were burned into the wood by a tattoo artist, and they create a scene when all three instruments—Longhorn, Longhorn Bass, and Roxy models— are placed side-by-side. The guitars feature mahogany tops with cedar cores and necks, and fretboards of bloodwood.
Michael Dunn Cubism Roux
Known both for his manouche-jazz guitars and for being an accomplished gypsy-jazz player, Canadian luthier Michael Dunn’s newest art guitar and 600th career build wowed all who passed it. Dunn’s nods to cubism and artist Juan Gris features 25 woods, including eucalyptus for the fanned fretboard. Other woods include rosewood, ebony, satinwood, blackwood, ironwood, bloodwood, sumac, mahogany, and maple. The back of the guitar has a Dunn-designed “sound slot” that runs the length of the body and pushes air up toward the player for superb note separation and a richer, more enjoyable playing experience.