Guitars Of The Week:
The Week of November, 20 2000 through November, 27 2000


Hollow Drop Top Classic
Maple Top on Swamp Ash
Transparent Orange with Binding

We assumed it was an ordinary Chinese restaurant when we walked in. I should have known something was up when Tom ordered Curry Chicken with Vegetables. It was almost closing time when we finished eating. In fact we were the only ones left when a small Asian man appeared from the shadows and stepped up to the table as if to clear it. He picked up the teapot, flipped open the lid and looking at the arrangement of the tealeaves, remarked to Tom, “You were born in the year of the Horse, were you not?” Tom replied, “I don’t know but I have always thought of myself as a monkey or a dog—yes, a dog.” The man who introduced himself as Huang T Lee, looked delighted and said, “It is extremely rare to meet a man who is a Horse but thinks he is a Dog. It is a good sign, a very good sign,” he continued, “especially because this is the year of the Drop Top.” There was a moment of total silence. We all looked at each other in amazement. “This is the year of the…what did you say,” asked Tom. “The year of the Dragon,” he said with a smile. He went on, “Much will be added and much beauty will come into the world in this the year of the Drop Top.” “I’m sorry, did you say ‘year of the Drop Top’?” Tom queried. “Dragon…this is the year of the Dragon”, he enunciated slowly. We all nodded. He went on, “All will become clear. New and great things are coming. Good for everyone. Make people very happy.” He cracked open a fortune cookie and laid the fortune on the table. It read, “You all have a gift to give. Give it.” Then he ate our fortune cookie and with a mouth full, thanked us graciously for dining with him. We smiled, returned his thanks and walked from the restaurant and out on to the sidewalk. Charles remarked to us, “What a fun guy. He kind of reminds me of my father—in a way.”

If you live and love what you do, inspiration has a way of effortlessly appearing before you to point the next direction. Such was the case earlier this year when a temporary shortage of koa wood left the door ajar for the beautiful walnut topped Hollow Drop Tops to make their astounding sonic and visual debut (see Guitar of the Week Archives for October 15, 2000). And let us not overlook the subtle infusion of alder backed Drop Tops or their monumental sonic contribution. They quietly begin to appear as Guitars of the Week right after the beginning of the year of the Dragon. Check out Guitar of the Week Archives for April 16, 2000 and May 21, 2000 for a couple of alder backed examples.

Every aspect of nature is continually renewing itself. It is the way. Everyday there is newness. In fact almost every cell in our bodies is completely renewed every 45 days. That means a new body every 45 days—Wow! As remarkable as that is there is yet another new spectacular manifestation of the Drop Top. Look upon these Hollow Drop Top Classics. We included a shot from behind because there is something-new back there. It is Swamp Ash! Yes, that is right. These Hollow Drop Top Classics have their entire sonic character inspired by a hollow swamp ash back. The sound is musically rich and jumps from these guitars. The ash character is clearly apparent abounding with lush, low frequencies, delicate mids and a sparkling, harmonically rich top end. The maple top allies with the swamp ash back to protect the ash character from being swallowed up in the mix because of its naturally breathy and soft middle. They posses all the sonic gifts of ash projected with the gentle authority of maple.

These two guitars were ordered, as a pair, by a guitar player named Brian. Both feature effortlessly playing, solid maple necks but Brian chose to have the neck back shapes unique to each instrument. The Bora Bora has a very refined 50’s feel with its “Large 50’s V” backshape while the 6120 Orange has something different to hold on to with its “62 Round Back” silhouette. They also differ as to how they listen to their expanded swamp ash tone. Bora makes use of 3 single coil-sized hum-canceling pickups, an SA1, SA1R and SA2+ and a Switcheroo switching system with a blower switch that “blows” to the neck pickup, instead of the usual bridge pickup, for soloing. The SA personality is mid-power single coil with a big, robust sound that’s never muddy—wonderful for swamp ash.

6120’s electronics takes this guitar to a different realm with its Hum/Single/Hum pickup configuration. The H1- produces throaty neck humbucking tone that is always beautifully musical due to its unique and masterful design and construction. The H3, located at the bridge position, takes no prisoners. It is a hot output pickup with buckets of usable tone for all styles of music—very rare from a cranking bridge humbucking but not from Tom Anderson. Brian chose an SA1 as the middle pickup to serve up single coil tones by itself or in combination with split humbuckings and he will not be disappointed in anything this guitar has to offer.

The only question remaining is what to expect next, in this the year of the Drop Top.

GUITAR SPECIFICATIONS:

 MODEL: – Hollow Drop Top Classic

 FINISH: – 6120 Orange with Binding

 BODY WOOD: – Maple Top on Swamp Ash

 BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same

 NECK WOOD: – Maple

 HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Natural

 NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin

 NECK BACKSHAPE: – 62 Round Back

 NUT WIDTH: – 1 5/8th-inch

 SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2th-inch

 FRETS: – Heavy

 BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo

 HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome

 PICKGUARD: – White Pearl

 NECK PICKUP: – H1-

 MIDDLE PICKUP: – SA1

 BRIDGE PICKUP: – H3

 SWITCHING: – Switcheroo

 PICKUP COVERS: – n/a

 PICKUP RINGS: – n/a

 STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – Custom

GUITAR SPECIFICATIONS:

 MODEL: – Hollow Drop Top Classic

 FINISH: – Bora Bora Blue with Binding

 BODY WOOD: – Maple Top on Swamp Ash

 BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same

 NECK WOOD: – Maple

 HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Natural

 NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin

 NECK BACKSHAPE: – Large 50’s V

 NUT WIDTH: – 1 5/8th-inch

 SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2th-inch

 FRETS: – Heavy

 BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo

 HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome

 PICKGUARD: – White Pearl

 NECK PICKUP: – SA1

 MIDDLE PICKUP: – SA1R

 BRIDGE PICKUP: – SA2+

 SWITCHING: – Switcheroo with Blower to Neck

 PICKUP COVERS: – n/a

 PICKUP RINGS: – n/a

 STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – Custom





Hollow Drop Top Classic
Maple Top on Swamp Ash
Transparent Orange with Binding





Hollow Drop Top Classic
Maple Top on Swamp Ash
Transparent Orange with Binding





Hollow Drop Top Classic
Maple Top on Swamp Ash
Bora Bora Blue with Binding





Hollow Drop Top Classic
Maple Top on Swamp Ash
Bora Bora Blue with Binding





Hollow Drop Top Classic
Maple Top on Swamp Ash
Bora Bora Blue with Binding






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