We had other plans for Guitar of the Week but this particular Drop Top Classic made certain that plans were to change, as the spell it cast upon everyone at the NAMM Show became too strong to resist.
It goes without saying that this Drop Top Classic makes an undeniably good first impression with the assistance of a stunning Quilted Maple top finished in Arctic Blue Burst—but that is merely icing on the cake for what lies within. Underpinned with an Alder-backed body, its natural wood signature is that which has defined much of the foundation for Rock Music since the beginning. Collaboration with a Maple top allows the tradition of Alder to present itself forward with more alacrity.
Not only does its +.030 T/A Standard neck grant you permission to play with uncommon speed and grace but its Eastern Hard Rock, all-Maple construction sweetly regulates the outer fringes of the musical spectrum—something relished by many live musicians who want to come through the mix in just the right spot.
All this lays the groundwork for the real stars of this instrument to demonstrate their magnificence—a balanced set of M-Series pickups—two M1s for the neck and middle positions and an M2 at the bridge. This way, flipping the 5-Way always results in a smooth and even response.
It is very important at this juncture to understand the role of M-Series pickups. The M1s and M2s do not output humbucker-type tone in any real way. The Ms bandwidth is wide and clear. Their tone and feel are that of a real single coil pickup. The result is an extremely easy playing, hugely rich single coil sounding, traditional instrument—but without 60-cycle hum.
To plug this guitar into an amp before the large crowds of the NAMM Show and demo was to surprise everyone within earshot. The middle and bridge pickup combination, put through a slightly-overdriven clean-channel, was to effortlessly bring forth “Lay Down Sally,” “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Footloose” timbre (just to name a few) and all other quintessential tones of that genre. But as your foot introduces the guitar to the lead-channel of the amp and you sweep the 5-Way Switch to the bridge position, Hendrix tones amazingly emerge from the same instrument. Slide the 5 to the neck setting and the corresponding M1 will assist with needed, throaty single-note duties.
We can make no mistake here, outfitted this way a Drop Top Classic becomes the ultimate S-Type electric guitar—an Uber-S, if you like!
Following the NAMM Show, this particular Drop Top Classic made its home at Willies American Guitars—for a few hours anyway, until it was plugged in for the first time—disappeared in a flash.
So have we taken you all this way just to tease you? Why no, because we can build you an Uber-S of your very own.
Top Secret Perk for those who read to the bottom of Guitar of the Week: Gelb Music in Redwood City, California, has just received an equally beautiful M-Series, Hollow Drop Top Classic with an unparalleled Arctic Blue Burst, Flame Maple Top. We can say no more!
• MODEL: – Drop Top Classic
• FINISH: – Arctic Blue Burst with Binding
• BODY WOOD: – Quilt Maple Top with Alder Back
• BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same
• NECK WOOD: – Maple
• HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Natural
• NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
• NECK BACKSHAPE: – +.030 T/A Standard
• NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16-inch
• SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2-inch
• FRETS: – Heavy—Exclusive Anderson Stainless Steel
• BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo with Powerbridge—for plugged-in Acoustic Guitar Tones
• TUNING GEAR: – Locking
• HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
• PICKGUARD: – Pearl White
• NECK PICKUP: – M1
• MIDDLE PICKUP: – M1
• BRIDGE PICKUP: –M2
• SWITCHING: – 5-Way with Bridge Splitter Switch & Add-Bridge Push/Pull—for 11 Sounds
• PICKUP COVERS: – N/A
• PICKUP RINGS: – N/A
• STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046 Elixir® with NANOWEB® Coating
• DESTINATION/LOCATION: – Willies American Guitars/St. Paul, Minnesota