Guitars Of The Week:
The Week of May, 7 2007 through May, 21 2007

Atom Special
Sage Green Metallic

Thank you all for coming. It is nice to have you here. Those of you in the very back of the room, can you hear me all right? I can just barely make out your faces. Mike, is that you? How’s it going? Great? Great! Well that’s as it should be.

Let’s get right down to the heart of the matter shall we? You have come here to find out one thing and one thing only—if you guessed correctly or not. Yes, last week we asked the question, “…And whom do you suppose it is that runs from the pickles?”


Wait just a second! Hold it! That was not the question from last week but merely ramblings of my mind. Or was it?! Another clue perhaps? One can never know for sure. There are many things hidden deep within Guitar of the Week that go unnoticed or appear as frivolity but nevertheless hold deeper meaning.

Let’s try again.

It read: “…And to whom do you suppose belongs this Sage Green Metallic, Anderson, Atom Special?”

Now let’s see, Sage Green Metallic is green and pickles are green, so that must mean…

Will you please stop with the pickle thing?

Okay, sorry, I’ve got it under control. Let us see by a show of hands; last week when we asked the question, “…And to whom do you suppose belongs this Sage Green Metallic, Anderson, Atom Special?” how many of you said—and be honest now—Herbert Heinz, inventor of the pickle?

Enough pickling! I’ll ask everyone the question since you cannot seem to focus here.

Last week when we ask: “…And to whom do you suppose belongs this Sage Green Metallic, Anderson, Atom Special?” how many of you—and let us see by a show of hands now—how many of you said, “Tom Anderson,” himself? If you did, you were absolutely and totally correct. Yes!

Congratulations! Please stand and take a bow. Don’t hit your head on the monitor. Applause please.

But if you said, “The man who runs from pickles,” you were also correct for they are one in the same. And you thought we were kidding about the pickle thing.

Yes, as many of you have been asking, Tom’s favorite Anderson to play—for the moment anyway—is an Atom Special.

The foundation for the master’s formidable sound is based on an all-Mahogany body and Atom’s 24 ¾-inch scale length. As you have no doubt noticed, his is a 2-pickup layout. A closer look reveals an M1 in the neck position to make easy work of pulling giant single coil tonalities from every pore.

The bridge pickup is another matter, as a mid-power H2 presents from vintage to saturated humbucker tones—open enough to be very musical and not overwhelmed with a flood of focused midrange—yet with power enough to speak singingly—a very nice complement for his fingers.

All of the gifts these two Anderson-built pickups have to offer are under the tutelage of a 5-Way switch, Master Volume and Master Tone Control with Push/Pull switch. Also, hidden within this guitar is a Kickback circuit.

Top Secret: Kickback allows the full power of the M-Series and bridge-position Humbuckers to be kicked back, or cut back in midrange output. This gives voice to a much more realistic traditional-output single coil tone than customary humbucker-splitting is able. And with no hum in any position.

Twin pickup Atom switching operates thusly:
(Let’s call position 1 of the 5-Way the neck position for this discussion)

• Position 1: Neck—M1—full power—giant single coil tone
• Position 2: Neck—M1—kicked back—vintage output-type single coil tone
• Position 3: Neck + Bridge—M1 + H2—full power combination
• Position 3 with Push/Pull Tone Control engaged: Neck + Bridge—kicked back for vintage output-type single coil combination
• Position 4: Bridge—H2—kicked back—vintage output-type single coil tone
• Position 5: Bridge—H2—full power—big humbucker tone

Another added advantage of this man’s Atom Special comes from the Anderson-modified Bigsby that tracks wonderfully well and plays in tune—administering effortless tremolo whenever needed. And it does give the guitar a pretty cool retro look.

And what neck does Tom like to hang onto these days? This Atom Special happens to have a 60’s Vibe with a 1 11/16-inch nut-width. But for Tom, almost any Anderson neck back-shape will do just fine. If it plays like lightening—and all Andersons do—many of the different Anderson neck back-shapes are welcoming to the hand.

Neck wood (as some of you noted last week) does not appear to be standard Atom-issue Mahogany with Indian Rosewood fingerboard. So either the camera was just having a little problem getting the natural neck-Mahogany wood tones to look just right or there are some things better left unsaid. As you might expect, Tom is always about the business of pushing the tonal envelope.

So there you have it. The mystery has been revealed. This guitar does belong to Tom. And if you forget the part about the pickles, we are all good.


• MODEL: – Atom Special

• FINISH: – Sage Green Metallic

• BODY WOOD: – Mahogany


• NECK WOOD: –? Back with Indian Rosewood Fingerboard



• NECK BACKSHAPE: – 60’s Vibe

• NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16-inch

• SCALE LENGTH: – 24 3/4-inch

• FRETS: – Small—Exclusive Anderson Stainless Steel

• BRIDGE: – Wraparound—Exclusive Anderson/Pigtail

• TAILPIECE: – Bigsby—Anderson Modified

• TUNING GEAR: – Locking






• SWITCHING: – 5-Way with Push/Pull Switch & Kickback—for 10 Sounds



• SWITCH TIP: – Cream

• STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046 Elixir® with NANOWEB® Coating

• DESTINATION/LOCATION: Anderson Guitarworks

• 10-TOM-06

Atom Special
Sage Green Metallic

Atom Special
Sage Green Metallic

Current Guitars Of The Week

Guitar Of The Week Archives