Guitars Of The Week:
The Week of April, 2 2000 through April, 9 2000


Hollow Classic
Swamp Ash Top on Hollow Ash Back
Desert Sunset

I guess we all owe Ben Franklin a nice thank you. He was the one who originated the idea of daylight saving time. He gave us extra light in which to do fun things. By his 41st birthday his early experiments first revealed that electricity has both a positive and negative charge and would be great when used in conjunction with the coolest of musical instruments (I think).

The way the saved daylight reflects off this beautiful Hollow Classic reminds me of a sunset--a desert sunset to be more accurate--which is probably why Chuck, our amazing man-of-finishes, named this color Desert Sunset.

When I popped open its case there were many things that intrigued me about this particular guitar. First, of course, is the warm glow that the Desert Sunset treatment brings to this traditional looking burst. It just seems to have a richer, antique look to it. This shade is especially nice over the naturally light color of the swamp ash wood used for the body.

Holding this lightweight guitar reveals perfect body-hugging contours and with one strum its rich, resonant tone gives away the secret of hollow sound chambers hidden within the body. On a 25 ½-inch scale guitar, swamp ash’s natural tone is harmonically complex with abundant overtones, a beautiful, sparkling high end, scooped out, delicate middle and rich low frequencies—very musical. This is a “players guitar.” The hollow chambers further increase the overtone content and add richness to the entire swamp ash character while softening the attack a bit more. The deep colored Madagascar rosewood fingerboard maple neck is a perfect sonic compliment to the sound of the hollow ash body adding breath and more low-end fullness. Notice the optional color matched headstock that breaks with a traditional look to add a touch of class.

What really made me want to hear this guitar was the interesting choice of pickups. A closer look reveals black covered Anderson vintage VA1s in the neck and middle positions to match with the black HO2 humbucker in the bridge position. I knew this guitar was going to sound good. I plugged it in fully expecting to love it. I was so surprised. You’d think after all this time I’d be use to how great these guitars sound, not to mention play, but the tone just left me shaking my head in awe. Through the amp you could hear every nuance of the hollow Swamp Ash tone but these lush pickups delivered it with rich, gushing vintage timbre that gives a sweetly percussive attack to each note. Switching to the humbucker did not diminish this pleasingly percussive quality. Even the combination tone of the middle VA1 and split HO2 left nothing to be desired except to keep playing. The full power of the HO2 is a nice volume balance with single coils and rocks with the output of an over wound vintage humbucker.

The switching is our B5 system with the optional add-bridge push/pull switch located at the tone control knob. You get all the traditional 5-way pickup combinations, plus full power humbucking whenever you hit the 5-way to the back position. The push/pull further allows access to all three and neck + bridge pickup sounds.

When Eddie at Music Loft in Raleigh, NC heard that this guitar was ready to come and visit their store his comment was, “This is a guitar that could make any amp sound good”—a wise man that Eddie and his friend Ben too.



Hollow Classic
Swamp Ash Top on Hollow Ash Back
Desert Sunset






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