Editor’s Note: The Following Text is excerpted from a talk given by Roy, from Tom Anderson Guitarworks, while attending a presentation at the Temple of Tone, located in an undisclosed and remote region of the Himalayas. The audience is unaware of who he is as it is tradition that no one gives their name for the first three days of the visit. We are not responsible for the content below—this is just the way it went.
With the slightest fragrance of sandalwood in the air, the talk began:
Roy of TAGW: Peace and blessings to you. Welcome…welcome…thank you all for coming—for making the long journey—and some without the use of supplemental oxygen—very impressive. Now that you are seated cross-legged on your mats and ready to begin, there is green tea and cookies—formed and baked into the shape of Anderson Drop Tops—on the table at the back of the ashram. Everyone is free to eat a Drop Top and have a cup or two of tea—but please do not feed your yaks in the temple, thanks.
Roy of TAGW: May I see by a show of hands: Who knows which guitar maker created the very first fancy Maple Top, S-Style guitar with comfy full-body contours?
Roy of TAGW: Anyone?
Roy of TAGW: They did this so players could have—for the first time—an instrument that was exceedingly comfortable to hold and play and yet breathtaking to behold in everyway, as stunning quilt or flame maple crowned this achievement—a real break through—a real player’s guitar—an instrument of beauty—with no compromises in playability—very nice.
Roy of TAGW: Anyone?
Roy of TAGW: Yes, you in the back with you hand up, thank you. Would you like to share your knowledge with all of us?
Audience Member 1: May I have another cookie, or is there only one apiece?
Roy of TAGW: Oh…did you feed your yak your last cookie?
Audience Member 1: No…yes…I mean no…well…no, I didn’t really feed him but he did sort of nibble on it when I wasn’t looking and then…you know…
Roy of TAGW: That’s fine, there’s plenty for everyone. The Drop Top cookies are made with whole grain goodness so Drop Tops are good for you—and your yak too. But let’s get back to the original question, shall we?
Roy of TAGW: So, who was the first guitar maker on earth to create an S-style guitar with a gorgeous Maple Top and also have comfortable full body contours? Here is a hint…it was almost 20 years ago today.
Roy of TAGW: Hands? Anyone?
Roy of TAGW: Yes, you in the front row eating an oatmeal/raisin Drop Top—do you know?
Audience Member 2: Was it Sergeant Pepper?
Roy of TAGW: Well…good guess, but no, Sergeant Pepper isn’t a guitar maker.
Audience Member 2: Oh, right…is it Dr. Pepper?
Roy of TAGW: Do they have that up here? How about some goat’s milk for you instead?
Roy of TAGW: Someone else have an idea? Yes, how about you, standing on your mat with your hand up…with the handsome palm tattoo and long rather, fake-looking beard that makes you unrecognizable…do you know?
Audience Member 3: Technically, it was a Drop Top from Anderson Guitarworks. The name Drop Top is actually derived from the technology that led to this astounding leap forward. The beautiful maple (or other exotic wood) top is actually dropped (or bent) over the forearm relief, creating a perfectly sculpted and wonderfully comfortable, swooping contour…and, of course, it has a complementary body-back cut-out as well. The guitar practically hugs you.
Audience Member 3: It is the Drop Top Classic, however, that garnered all the notoriety, as a Bora Bora Blue, Drop Top Classic appeared as the focal point of Anderson Guitarworks’ first magazine ad nearly 20 years ago. As it was many’s first glimpse into the world of Anderson, it became “the look” of Anderson Guitars at that point in time—very significant.
Audience Member 3: But now Drop Top Classic has taken another quantum leap, with almost impossible-to-believe improved playability, sustain and sound. The reasons for this are actually too numerous to expound upon here—the most notable and significant points are:
• An Anderson-assembled, vintage-style Tremolo Bridge that imparts richness and substance to all frequencies while minimizing string breakage and emphasizing tuning stability—no one else has it.
• Another Anderson-only feature is the A-Wedgie neck joint which vastly improves structural stability of the neck-to-body joint while sustain is transferred from end-to-end more efficiently—you can feel it when you play—besides having easier and sleeker access to the upper frets. The neck on an Anderson Guitar can never, ever (even if your girlfriend beats it on a curb in the pouring rain—more on that later) move a micron—unless you smash it to bits. Just beautiful to play!
• And there are now 7 new complete lines of pickups to emphasize your Anderson-ness to the world. As an example, on the Drop Top Classic that is here in front of us now, I see two SC1, hum-canceling single coil pickups in the neck and middle positions—enveloped in coffee-dipped pickup covers—and the chrome shrouded HC2 humbucker at the bridge. SCs are angelic in their tone with soft, swirling, musical highs—that are never harsh—full, rich low-mids, for warmth that leaves nothing out. Flip back to the HC2 and its concentrated musical frequencies roar to life, proving that you can have pure, sweet, musical tonality and focused humbucker muscle in the same ultra-impressive package—as exemplified by this new Deep Bora Bora Blue, Drop Top Classic’s demonstration here at the Temple of Tone.
• Superlatively functional and simple-to-operate 5-Way switching draws forth all the attributes of these monster pickups in a myriad of ways. The 5-Way operates normally and is intuitively easy to actuate. For a full understanding, check out the simple chart posted on the back wall of the Temple to see how to get 15 usable sounds from a 5-Way setup
Audience Member 3: And yes, with all these Anderson advancements this does lift the Drop Top and the Drop Top Classic to a whole new level of performance—enhancing all your performances with ease and grace.
Roy of TAGW: Ah, yes…well…all right then…thank you stranger with the funny beard and A-logo palm. You certainly seem to have an extraordinary amount of knowledge concerning Anderson Guitars...thank you. By the way, has anyone seen Tom around lately? I’d like him to be able to get one of these Drop Top cookies before they are all gone.
• MODEL: – Drop Top Classic
• FINISH: – Deep Bora Bora Blue 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: – Even Taper
• NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16-inch
• SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2-inch
• FRETS: – Medium—Exclusive Anderson Stainless Steel
• BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo
• TUNING GEAR: – Locking
• HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
• PICKGUARD: – Pearl White
• NECK PICKUP: – SC1
• MIDDLE PICKUP: – SC1
• BRIDGE PICKUP: –HC2
• SWITCHING: – 5-Way with Add-Bridge Push/Pull & VA Boost—for 15 Sounds
• PICKUP COVERS: – Coffee Dipped and Chrome
• PICKUP RINGS: – N/A
• STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046 Elixir® with NANOWEB® Coating
• DESTINATION/LOCATION: – Eddie’s Guitars/St. Louis, Missouri