Guitars Of The Week:
The Week of September, 18 2000 through September, 25 2000
Maple Top on Basswood
Translucent Forest Green with Binding
Everyone in the house had retired early for the evening. I took advantage of the quiet and played my Classic, unplugged, for several hours. It still never ceases to amaze me how much tone comes from an unplugged Anderson. It had grown late. I thought I would work on one more lick and then go to sleep. I laid my head back just to rest a minute before continuing. I roused an hour or so later in my darkened studio. I thought I heard a noise. I must be dreaming. No! There it was again. I sat up and carefully set the Classic aside. A gloved hand clamped over my mouth and a voice whispered, “Do not make a sound and I’ll remove my hand.” The voice was familiar, Steven Segal? No, Sylvester Stallone? No, Tom Anderson? Yes, that was it. Just then a flashlight was clicked on to not only reveal Tom but Jesse, Chuck and Bob as well. They were all dressed in black Tom Anderson Guitarworks T-shirts. My mouth was released and Bob, in an official manner, asked me for my clearance code. I replied, “Clearance code?” Bob responded, “Just checking to see if it is really you.” I assured him that I was really me. Tom said, “Now that that is settled, let’s go. We’ll fill you in on the way.”
We leaped into Bob’s black Mustang and headed out into the night. We drove deep into the darkened forest. Dense pine trees lined each side of the secluded road. Chuck explained that there is something I must see and that it is for Anderson-eyes-only. My curiosity was definitely piqued. I asked Jesse if he knew what it was. He just smiled and said, “You’re going to love it.” We abruptly turned from the main route onto a virtually invisible side road. We pulled up and parked next to a grove of maple trees as the sun was just beginning to light the sky. We all jumped out of the car and Tom led the way inside the grove. There, hidden within, was a small building. Jesse unlocked the door and we entered.
The interior was an exact duplication of the Finishing Facility at the Anderson factory and there in the middle of the dimly lit room I could make out the silhouette of a double-cut-away guitar standing upright. We stood motionless and Chuck spoke, “Wait for it.” “For what,” I questioned. “Wait,” Tom repeated holding up his index finger. Just then the first sunlight of the new day broke through the skylight above and shone on the guitar. “Behold,” said Jesse, “our new Translucent Forest Green finish.” Bob looked at me and said, “This has to be Guitar of the Week.” I felt a shiver run up my spine. I approached slowly to get a closer look. Why should it even amaze me that Tom and Chuck had done it again. Traditionally, it is extremely difficult for a dark color to demonstrate dramatic grain contrast but this new Translucent Forest Green’s maple figuring is stunningly pronounced.
Does a guitar that is this beautiful even need to do anything else well? If it is an Anderson it does! I picked it up and hugged it to my body—so comfortable to hold. With one strum I was reminded why there is no equal! Absolutely effortless playability originates from its perfectly formed and finished T/A Standard neck and the tone that rings forth is complete—meaning that it lacks nothing or leaves you wanting for anything more. It commands rich low frequencies, present midrange and delicately sparkling highs.
A Drop Top can be ordered with 3 different bridge types, the most requested being a vintage tremolo. Popular belief holds that a Floyd Rose-style locking tremolo bridge can diminish tonal quality, sounding rather small, but this has not been our experience. As a matter of fact the sound is loud with great sustain accompanied by a large, clear low-end, a strong middle and a clear top end. The lows may even be slightly more pronounced that those of the more traditional bridges. What the Floyd also brings to the sound is a brand-new-string clarity. This is really its defining tonal character. So if this is a sound that you enjoy, don’t hesitate because for many players who require a flawlessly functioning tremolo system, this is still their bridge of choice.
This very first Drop Top, finished with our new Trans Forest Green paint, is complemented by the slightly reddish-brown hue of a Madagascar rosewood fingerboard. This species of rosewood adds to the sonic character of the beautiful maple topped, basswood backed body by richening the low-end frequencies, slightly softening the mids and adding just a hint of lush sparkle to the highs. All this natural tone is ushered to the amplifier by way of the Anderson designed and built SD1R neck, SD1 middle and H2+ bridge pickups. The SDs are a hum-canceling, single coil-sized pickup that, thanks to the Switcheroo switching system, can be run series, split or parallel. They have a wonderfully vivid and dynamic character with a pleasingly soft percussive pluck accompanying every note. The H2+ is a medium-power humbucking pickup that will flat-out rock but refuses to give up sonic beauty for power. Even its split (single coil) sounds are jaw dropping.
The next question is an obvious one. Where is this very first “New Forest Green” guitar now? Well, I don’t think I’m suppose to tell but…it has been secretly sequestered at the Mesa/Boogie Factory Store in Hollywood, California.
MODEL: – Drop Top
FINISH: – Forest Green with Binding
BODY WOOD: – Maple Top with Basswood Back
BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – Dark Green
NECK WOOD: – Maple with Madagascar Rosewood Fingerboard
HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Matching Color
NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
NECK BACKSHAPE: – T/A Standard
NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16th-inch with R2 Locking Nut
SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2th-inch
FRETS: – Heavy
BRIDGE: – Floyd Rose (sunken)
HARDWARE COLOR: – Gold
PICKGUARD: – n/a
NECK PICKUP: – SA1R
MIDDLE PICKUP: – SA1
BRIDGE PICKUP: – H2+
SWITCHING: – Switcheroo
PICKUP COVERS: – n/a
PICKUP RINGS: – n/a
STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010 to .046
Maple Top on Basswood
Translucent Forest Green with Binding
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