Guitars Of The Week:
The Week of April, 9 2000 through April, 13 2000

Hollow Drop Top
Koa Top on Basswood

I could hear their loud voices just outside. The pounding upon the large door, which now seemed flimsy, was almost deafening. The local townspeople had found me. The glow of their torches illuminated the crack around the door. I had sequestered myself in this room merely looking for a place with great acoustics in which to hear the full bouquet of this elegant instrument. Why they want me is unclear. Maybe it is the guitar they want--and why not? Look at it!

The first thing that grabs you is that beautiful Koa top. Koa is a wood indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands. This one is painted “Cherry Shade” which lends an autumn-red bursted edge to Koa’s natural color. Koa produces a hard, clear tone that is pure magic when used to top a hollow chambered basswood body. The resulting tone of this Hollow Drop Top is spectacular—full and very lush with an extremely pleasing upper-mid clarity that has just a touch of crisp snap.

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. It is located off the eastern coast of South Africa. It is there that Tom found an exotic rosewood with a beautiful reddish hue. This rosewood adds an open, breathy quality to the sound of an electric guitar when used as the fingerboard on an eastern hardrock maple neck. This particular neck’s backshape is our sleek, slim T/A standard with a 1 11/16th-inch nut width. The feel is effortless, fast and easy to play and the overall weight of this guitar is very light.

Now imagine this amazing woody-sound picked up by our hum-canceling SA1R, SA1 and H2+ pickups and sent on to your favorite amp. The SA1s emphasize a strong, full-bodied single coil tone that doesn’t lack clarity while offering a rich percussive attack reminiscent of only the most expensive acoustic guitars. When the 5-way switch is flipped down to the 5th position (bridge)—affectionately called the “Blower” position—the H2+ humbucker roars to life with a volume increase and a more powerful sound that takes over the room. Yet, the H2+ never sounds bloated or muddled, just strong and thick. Position 4 (middle and bridge pickups) yields a wonderfully plucky combination sound when splitting is selected from the “master splitter switch” located in between the volume and tone knobs.

The crowd noises from the outside are growing louder. I’d better write faster. This stunning Koa Hollow Drop Top is going to Willie’s American Guitars in St Paul, Minnesota. If you can go to visit this guitar you will meet Nate, Skip, Michael, Woody and the self proclaimed Anderson-crazy-man, Kenny. They are very nice and knowledgeable guys. Welcome aboard Willies.

The pounding on the door is becoming even more intense. Rather than be overrun by an angry mob, I have decided to face them with guitar in hand. I turn the handle, open the door just a crack and peak out. There stands Tom and Jesse. “We’d like to wash our hands,” Tom exclaims pleasantly. “You’ve been in this bathroom for an hour. Could you possibly write in another room?”

Hollow Drop Top
Koa Top on Basswood

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