Wow!! I suppose we're all here for the same reason....that top!! Insanely beautiful, no? Ok, ok...focus man...here goes...
This gorgeous guitar just arrived from our good friends at b3 Guitars in California. b3, founded by famed Fender Custom Shop Master Builder Gene Baker, calls this model an SL Deluxe. The idea was to take the best bits of a Les Paul and a Strat and roll them into one. In our experience, the SL is essentially a Gibson-style guitar in it's feel, construction, tones, and appearance, but with a Strat's comfy ergonomics. Yes, please.
We're loving how this Transparent Copper beauty leans in a more modern direction than some of the more "Burst-minded" SL's we've gotten from Gene and crew (be sure to check out the current, and previously sold, guitars here - they are gorgeous).
This one is a hollowbody build featuring a really beautiful 5A quilt maple top, eastern flame maple neck w/matching Transparent Copper finish, ebony fingerboard with no fret markers (something we love), 6105 stainless frets, Lollar Imperial pickups w/satin covers, black plastics, a 12" radius, short scale, 1.687" nut width, all weighing in at a whopping 6lbs 15oz. Though very lightweight, it balances perfectly.
It's funny, our first impression when sitting down with this guitar is that it reminds us a bit of a great, high-end archtop due to the flamed maple neck, lack of fret markers, ebony board, neck carve and simply the resonance of the guitar. That said, this guitar can definitely do more than jazz - it can rock as hard as anything - it's simply the vibe the guitar puts off, and what a vibe it is.
It's super easy to play, snappy, alive...it reminds us a lot of b3's take on a jazz-leaning session player's guitar (Jon Herington, Walter Becker, etc...). Smart, designed with a player in mind, versatile, sophisticated....you get the idea. It's very, very cool and just a joy to play.
An outstanding guitar that should be on your radar if you're into playable art, as they say. Priced with hardshell case.