Last month we dined Chinese and were amazed to learn that this was, in fact, the year of the Drop Top. On October 15th the walnut topped Hollow Drop Top thundered onto the scene with its koa-like clarity and low-end rumble. November 19th saw the harmonically rich swamp ash backed Hollow Drop Top Classic make our acquaintance with finesse—prominent low strings, delicate mids and a sparkling high-end complexity. Our time tested mahogany backed Drop Tops still spoke with an authoritative focused midrange while our most popular basswood back/maple top version commanded an even response throughout the entire bandwidth. And the ever-popular koa top still asks basswood’s hollow chambers to present its upper midrange for everyone to hear.
With all this sonic activity it was easy for the new alder back Drop Top to surreptitiously appear on the scene and go virtually unnoticed while extensive sonic tests were covertly conducted. First up were the in-factory tests which demonstrated a new instrument with something very pleasing to offer. The next phase of the testing involved sending alder outfitted Drop Tops to select players who were originally expecting a basswood back to be defining their tone. The response to this Anderson application of alder was overwhelming with some proclaiming it the best sounding Drop Top of all time.
Very flattering but a wise man once said, “Opinion should never be confused with fact. Doing so can lead to heartache. Fact is built upon a strong foundation of solid rock and is unmovable but opinion is built upon sand that shifts and moves with the winds of change.” What is he talking about anyway? In guitar terms I think he means that the color, 3 Color Burst is not intrinsically more correct that Translucent Amber or Red is not better than Blue. Sonically it is the same; swamp ash is not inherently superior to alder or basswood greater that mahogany but they are all wonderfully unique musical colors. In fact when one Anderson player was asked why he was buying yet another guitar he replied, “ Crayons! A box of Crayons is filled with not one but many different colors so you can bring your pictures to life.”
Now that we are clear on this point let us climb to the top of Bony Mountain together. It is from the top of this majestic mountain that I would like to proclaim, at the top of my lungs, “This Bora Bora Blue alder backed Drop Top Classic is the best sounding Drop Top in the world!” Okay, okay, I’m better now but that is how I felt from the moment I picked this one up. I said felt! The darned thing has been haunting me for days. Even at night when I was driving home it would whisper to me saying, “Remember me. I was the instrument with the beautiful maple top that still had that familiar alder signature.” I had to admit I have never heard a figured-wood topped guitar do that before. “When you played me you heard my alder back influencing every musical passage. It added midrange strength that seemed to be brought forth from deep within the lower-middle register. It gave your tone a vintage-influenced timbre and girth. Also, remember how my maple neck trimmed and tightened the high, highs and low, lows into a fully usable sonic package. You loved it. And don’t forget how my gorgeous maple top also added just a touch of overall fundamental purity for control and focus of the spectacular H2+ humbucker and lavishly rich and legible SA single coil-sized pickups. “Alright!” I audibly announced. “Stop taking to me. You can be Guitar of the Week.” Some guitars can be so pushy—nice, but pushy. I guess you can get away with behavior like that when you’re so beautiful.
I can’t decide whether I’m mad at Keith and Erik at Gelb Music in Redwood City, California right now or not. You see this guitar was ripped from my grasp and sent to their wonderful store. Okay, I’m not mad but perhaps just a bit envious of the player who will take this one home.
MODEL: – Drop Top Classic
FINISH: – Bora Bora Blue
BODY WOOD: – Maple Top with Alder Back
BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – Bora Bora Blue
NECK WOOD: – Maple
HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Natural
NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
NECK BACKSHAPE: – T/A Standard +.030
NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16th-inch
SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2th-inch
FRETS: – Heavy
BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo
HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
PICKGUARD: – White Pearl
NECK PICKUP: – SA1R
MIDDLE PICKUP: – SA1
BRIDGE PICKUP: – H2+
SWITCHING: – Switcheroo with Vintage Voicing
PICKUP COVERS: – n/a
PICKUP RINGS: – n/a
STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010