It was the January 13, 2002 Guitar of the Week in which we made the bold statement: “The Classic is the supreme ruler of the vintage world in which nothing can even begin to offer it challenge. Lavish vintage tones, that you only secretly wished were possible, gush forth from these instruments in boundless abundance while Anderson’s legendary playability insures effortless expression of your musical vision.”
Those are big words, “…the supreme ruler of the vintage world…” but it is tonally (I mean totally) real. If you are looking for uncorrupted, rich and extremely resonant classic tones, The Classic is the way of truth and manifestation.
Known principally for softer rock guitar-style hits, Christopher Cross is a much more impressive electric guitarist than most people suspect and his live performances convincingly demonstrate this fact. He is an artist who is fond of alder vintage-based electric tones. And with as much live playing as he does each year, he is very clear on what his sonic needs necessitate. But, as many others, he has always been enamored with the look and romance of a stunning maple top and so has tried a few Drop Tops in the past. But the Drop Tops of just a few years ago were primarily solid basswood backed/maple topped instruments geared more toward a modern/traditional sound. Although he enjoyed and respected their beautifully even, more contemporary tone and wider bandwidth, they did not fully align with his 50’s/60’s tone-wood preferences.
But at Tom Anderson Guitarworks things always increase in depth and quality and Drop Top could be no exception. As I’m sure you know, Drop Tops and Drop Top Classics are available with visually undetectable hollow sound chambers. But they are now offered with a variety of different backing woods. These new-to-Hollow Drop Top woods, along with a number of other undisclosed functional changes, has led to a visually radiant instrument that can be sonically tuned for lush personal tonal preferences. The hollow chambers allow the backing wood to decree the tonal character while the maple top gently insures that this specific sonic character will not go unnoticed.
Chris, now very happy with his alder Classics and Pro Ams, was still haunted by visions of maple topped guitars dancing in his head. We reiterated that the purest form of vintage tonality on the planet is outputted by The Classic but we could not deny that Drop Tops have entered a whole new realm never before touched by instruments of such visual prestige. He ordered a Transparent Black, Hollow Drop Top with an alder back and maple neck. He picked it up at the very end of the year, acclimated to it and disappeared on a tour of Germany where he did 20 dates with his band and an orchestra back up.
Returning from his tour and readying himself for the next leg, Singapore and Japan, he popped in to have Bruce check out his guitars and make sure all were race-ready. After a few minutes of greetings and catching up he said, “Oh by the way, my Hollow Drop Top is my number one guitar now. That thing sounds so great. It has that alder vintage sound that I love but with just a little bit of added dimension. I can’t imagine playing without it. I need to order another one right now.” Color was the only question so together we perused the Guitar Gallery section of the Anderson web site. He already has a Transparent Black so guess what he chose? Should I tell you now or should we just wait to be surprised?
MODEL: – Hollow Drop Top
FINISH: – Transparent Black with Binding
BODY WOOD: – Quilted Maple with Alder Back
BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – Black
NECK WOOD: – Solid Maple
HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Natural
NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
NECK BACKSHAPE: – +.030 T/A Standard
NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16th-inch
SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2-inch
FRETS: – Heavy
BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo with Fishman Powerbridge
HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
PICKGUARD: – n/a
NECK PICKUP: – SA1R
MIDDLE PICKUP: – SA1
BRIDGE PICKUP: – HO1+
SWITCHING: – 5-Way Christopher Cross Custom
PICKUP COVERS: – n/a
PICKUP RINGS: – Black
STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046
DESTINATION/LOCATION: – Artist