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Kopo Lutherie Perle
French luthier Frédéric Pons designs his guitars for comfort and simplicity. This special-ordered 7-string Perle is derived from one of Pons’ standard models. The striking open headstock has been a mainstay for Pons over the past 15 years, and it was designed to reduce weight, increase string angle at the nut, enhance tuning stability, and look really cool, to boot. The instrument features a mahogany neck and body, and has two custom mahogany-veneered Benedetti P-90s. The ebony bridge also contains a Fishman piezo pickup, and there’s a Blend control for mixing output from the three pickups. An active output lets you send the bridge-transducer signal to an acoustic amp or a PA, while a passive output on the rear of the guitar enables you to send the P-90s to an electric-guitar amp.
Dmitri Tenev Double-Cutaway Thinline Archtop
US-based Bulgarian luthier Dmitri Tenev used reclaimed wood for this stunning double-cutaway archtop. The top is redwood with some splaying—a fungus-caused phenomenon that creates intricate black lines— and the back and sides are carved from claro walnut. Though sapwood was once destined for the scrap pile, it’s enjoying a resurgence because of its aesthetic appeal and the general consensus that it has no negative affect on tone. Here, Tenev’s fretboard and appointments are crafted from African blackwood with sapwood highlights. This guitar also features a fanned fretboard, a 26" scale on the bass side, and a 25.4" scale on the treble side. Electronics consist of an onboard preamp for the humbucker and active piezo transducers.
Dudley Custom Guitars
Luthier Peter Dudley uses inlays to make his guitars conceptual works of art. He says he doesn’t worry about getting too close to the edges of a fretboard with his inlays—in fact, he likes having the artwork exceed the bounds of the part it originates on. This 24 3/4"-scale guitar’s 100-piece splatter inlay is rendered in ebony. The hybrid archtop/semi-hollow mahogany body is finished in handrubbed nitrocellulose. The pickups are Peter Florance Voodoo ’60 handwound humbuckers. Dudley also showcased a beautiful snowflake model that pays tribute to the snowflake inlay of pre-war Martins—only his version resembles a snowstorm falling down the fretboard. Dudley’s attention to detail goes beyond intricate inlays, though: Both guitars feature handcarved mahogany necks, RS Guitarworks Superpots, Jensen paper-and-oil capacitors, and Gotoh 510 hardware.
Sandberg Guitars “Photoshopped” California TM Bass
This eye-catching 5-string by Germany’s Sandberg Guitars was inspired by a Photoshopped poster designed to showcase the available options for California series basses. After fielding multiple requests for the real thing, they decided to make it happen. The bass is made from four blocks of wood that are glued together prior to being shaped and then finished separately. Appointments include a beefy Sandberg bridge and Delano T-Style and M-Style pickups controlled by a push-pull Volume (for active or passive tones), a Balance knob for blending the pickups, Treble and Bass knobs, and a coil-tap toggle for the bridge pickup.