Potvin Guitars Bee Models
The bright colors of Mike Potvin’s latest solidbodies—(left to right) the Swing Bee, Killer Bee, and Super Bee—got our attention from across the room. The Swing Bee features TV Jones pickups, a Bigsby, and an f-hole, while the Killer Bee features a trio of P-90s and a vintage car emblem, and the Super Bee features a Tele-style bridge setup with a TV Jones pickup in the neck position.
Jeffrey Yong 10-String Acoustic
Moved by the tragic March 2011 earthquake in Japan, Malaysian luthier Jeffrey Yong designed and completed this 10-string guitar in his Kuala Lumpur shop in time to present it in Montreal. Yong used the Southeast Asian woods monkeypod (which is similar to koa) for the body and blackwood for the fretboard and bridge, and he says the armrest, side port, and lower-bout cutaway are standard features on his instruments. The headstock is an interesting half-slotted, half-pegged design, and the soundhole, back, and bottom strap button are appointed unevenly—all representative of a seismic shift. To get a chimey sound, its D and G strings have octave pairs, and the B and high E have unison strings.
Widman Custom Electrics Electric Banjo
John Widman’s electric 5-string banjo features a pau ferro compound-radius fretboard with 22 frets, a one-piece chambered mahogany body, and a maple top, in addition to a Lindy Fralin mini humbucker controlled by 500k CTS Volume and Tone pots and a 3-way selector. “They give the banjo players a chance to plug in, use effects . . . they really rock out on them,” says Widman.
Linda Manzer Pikasso Archtop
Linda Manzer built the original Pikasso guitar for Pat Metheny 27 years ago when she was asked to design a guitar with “as many strings as possible.” This 36-string archtop version was introduced in Montreal after being completed and strung up only a couple of days before the show. With a seemingly endless variety of notes and tones coming from the five string sets, including beyond the adjustable bridges, this masterpiece was created by Manzer, for Manzer. It took more than six months to build, and it boasts an ergonomic wedged body and a carved back and top.