True, Tom Anderson Guitarworks is a small American company dedicated to creating the world’s finest feeling, playing, sounding and looking guitars but few are aware of their enigmatic and far reaching global facilities network. It was only the tip of the iceberg when the existence of their Left-Handed Factory was revealed on May 13th 2001. Now, once again we get a quick glimpse into the empire that is Tom Anderson Guitarworks.
Let’s take this exquisite and exotic Hollow Drop Top as an example. Drop Tops most often impress audiences with their compelling tone and show-stopping Maple top…but not always. Sometimes a much more unusual and wondrous Hollow Drop Top will appear on stage and take control—an instrument known only as Hollow Koa Drop Top.
Koa is a wood found only one place in the world—the isolated upper slopes of Maui and the Island of Hawaii. As you can see, koa has a very unique and intricate appearance ranging in color from golden-reddish to dark-reddish brown with streaks of dark brown and black. Finished in its natural color with a lightly shaded perimeter, this one shimmers with beautiful, fiery hues. Many times the figuring in koa is “direction sensitive” and induces an almost holographic effect as it moves through the light. We photographed from different angles and with defused lighting to demonstrate this effect.
A koa-topped body’s sonic traits are quite different than that of its maple topped sibling. Koa embellishes the backing wood’s tonal attributes with clarity and fullness of midrange and upper-midrange frequencies while its high-end remains low-key and very well mannered.
Tom feels strongly that each and every one of his all-American guitars needs to be actualized in an environment that is conducive to and in complete harmonic accord with the indigenous materials used to bring forth each guitar and its unique tonal signature. The terrain where koa trees are found is very difficult to access and it is not uncommon to find a finger of lava rock running through the middle of these forests from volcanic eruptions of the past. That is why Tom felt it best to establish yet another shrouded base of operations—this time for koa derived instruments—a facility that would allow them to breathe and manifest in the environment that originally granted them life. Affectionately dubbed “Secret Koa Tree Fort,” we have managed to obtain a long-range surveillance photo of the plant.
Manufactured in Anderson’s Far West compound this magnificent example of all that is wonderful about Hawaii, perfect playability and resounding timbre is due to arrive at New York’s Guitar and Bass Boutique for your musical pleasure.
Editors Note: Even though koa is the second most common tree in Hawaii, the harvesting of koa is carefully controlled by the Hawaiian government to insure that the world will always have a bountiful supply. Anderson Guitarworks fully supports these beneficial efforts. This is why koa’s availability can vary.
MODEL: – Hollow Drop Top
FINISH: – Light Shaded Edge with Binding
BODY WOOD: – Flamed Koa Top with Alder Back
BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same
NECK WOOD: – Maple with Madagascar Rosewood Fingerboard
HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Matching
NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
NECK BACKSHAPE: – +.030 T/A Standard
NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16ths
SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2-inch
FRETS: – Heavy
BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo
TUNING GEAR: – Locking
HARDWARE COLOR: – Gold
PICKGUARD: – n/a
NECK PICKUP: – H1-
MIDDLE PICKUP: – SA1
BRIDGE PICKUP: – H2+
SWITCHING: – 5-Way with Add-Bridge Push/Pull and Master Splitter
PICKUP COVERS: – n/a
PICKUP RINGS: – Black
STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046
DESTINATION/LOCATION: – New York Guitar & Bass Boutique/New York, New York