Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Equipment Notes - Part 2

The next two guitars I will enter as a set because they were both built by the same luthier, and I purchased them together. They were both hand-made by Dan Altilio, who is also the owner of Top Gear Guitar Pro Shop in La Mesa and one of the founders of DiMarzio pickups. The guitars are both thinline acoustic-electrics. One is a steel string model and the other is a nylon string.
The bodies are made of alder wood from the Pacific northwest. The wood was hand-picked for tone and light weight. The tops of the guitars are Alaskan Sitka spruce, the most popular tonewood for acoustic guitars.

The neck of the steel stringed guitar is eastern rock maple with an ebony fingerboard. It has an adjustable steel truss rod. The neck of the nylon stringed model is made of 30-year-old seasoned California redwood. The fingerboard of that neck is made from pau-ferro, which is a type of rosewood known for its hardness. This neck also contains a pair of carbon-fiber stiffeners to prevent warpage.

Both guitars are fitted with L.R. Baggs bridge pickups connected to a single volume knob, which I requested.

The steel string model is finished in vintage sunburst and the nylon string guitar has a natural finish.

The wood in the guitars is carved and tuned so well that they have a lot of acoustic volume and tone for such a thin design, but when they are amplified, they are unmatched by anything else I have heard. Dan has only built a few instruments, and I have #3 and #4. I would recommend Dan's guitars to anyone that is looking for a lightweight, thin, easy to handle instrument with a full rich acoustic guitar tone without feedback.

Here are photos of the two guitars:




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