Every month, we compile a few lists of guitars fresh out of the oven. Here’s one dedicated to the latest electric and acoustic guitars.
1Boden Metal Sarah Longfield Edition
Built for rising shred artist Sarah Longfield, this headless beast comes in six-, seven- and eight-string configurations. While it’s built to suit Longfield’s incendiary style, this Boden’s pickup configuration was selected to cover a range of genres. The axe features a pair of Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers: alnico at the neck and ceramic at the bridge. This Boden is also a looker, sporting Longfield’s very own Black Doppler artwork finish.
2Orangewood Guitars Highland Hudson
This Californian builder may only have launched a couple of years ago, but it’s already causing a stir with its affordable yet well-appointed instruments. Its latest creation, Highland, is its first all-solid acoustic guitar and is available in three shapes: Hudson (dreadnought), Ava (grand concert) and Sage (grand auditorium cutaway). Each has a torrefied solid spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck and ebony fingerboard.
3La Grange The Wheel
La Grange has updated the Wheel model with Sheptone Heartbreaker humbuckers. These Jimmy Page-inspired pups replace the P-90s on the older variant, and are said to produce a PAF-style tone with thick low-ends, sparkling highs and tasty mids. Apart from the pickups, most of the axe’s design features have been retained: solid korina body, C-shaped maple neck with purple-heart stripe and ebony fingerboard.
4Ball Family Reserve Majesty Blue Steakhouse
This month’s BFR line-up includes a gorgeous John Petrucci model. The highlight of this Majesty variant has to be its large spalted maple top that provides a stark contrast to the carbon charcoal blue-finished mahogany back and sides. The cream pickup covers, which encase DiMarzio Dream Catcher and Rain Maker humbuckers, are also a deft touch.
5Fender Quilt Maple Top Stratocaster
The Quilt Maple Top Stratocaster is the latest addition to the Fender Rarities Collection, the brand’s high-end collection for the year. Highlights of the axes in this family tend to be choice tonewoods and pickups. For this Strat, Fender has opted to go with a beautifully textured quilt maple top as well as Pure Vintage ’65 Gray-Bottom single-coils. The latter, according to Fender, produces a “sweet and articulate tone”.
6Rubato Guitars Lassie
If you’re in the market for a lightweight axe, South African builder Rubato Guitars may have a solution for you in the Lassie. This double-cut electric is made with carbon fibre and weighs only 2.5kg (or 5.5lbs). On top of weight benefits, the brand also claims that carbon fibre offers “virtually no bend”, so the axe does not require a truss rod. The material is also resistant to changes in temperature and humidity, so warping is not a concern.
7Balaguer Guitars Espada T-Bar
The Espada T-Bar is Balaguer Guitars’ signature model for The Word Alive guitarist Tony Pizzuti. This baritone instrument’s highlights have to be its high-output Truenobucker humbuckers as well as its aesthetics. On top of the Gloss Metallic Cool Green finish, Balaguer has opted for cream block inlays on an ebony fingerboard, providing a vintage-leaning contrast.
8Gibson Custom Shop Eric Clapton 1964 Firebird I
Gibson Custom Shop has brought Eric Clapton’s 1964 one-pickup Firebird back to life for a limited run. According to the brand, the guitar features a newly developed alnico V Firebird pickup – designed to recreate the tone of the original – but still features “authentic construction methods and precise dimensions”. The resurrected axe also features a Clapton-signed backplate and a replica of the strap used with the guitar.
9PRS Private Stock Crossroads Pre-Factory Santana I Limited Edition
This extremely limited release – only six instruments have been made – is inspired by the very first axe Paul Reed Smith built for Carlos Santana. Honouring the decades-long partnership, this axe is a pre-factory body shape that’s said to be the precursor to the one featured on Santana’s current model. Other highlights include a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, curly maple top and green ripple abalone purfling.
10Martin D-45 Woodstock 50th Anniversary
Martin has unveiled a few Woodstock 50th Anniversary tribute models this year, but this is by far the most lavish. Priced at about $14,000, this D-45 is built with East Indian rosewood back and sides, a Sitka spruce top and abalone inlays. Its Woodstock features include a “1969-2019” etching on the fretboard, a peace sign on the heelcap and a dove motif on the headstock. Only 50 instruments have been made.
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