This is an extra-special Guitar of the Week. Why so special you ask? Well, come here for a minute. We have someone we’d like you to meet. He is actually quite legendary—in an Anderson sort of way. Many men (and probably women too) have called him great. Others wish they could be just like him and still more are in desperate need of his expertise. A lot of you may already know who he is but have never actually seen him and the rest of you are going to be thrilled to make his acquaintance.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may we introduce to you the one, the only, Bruce! Bruce is the “Mod-guy” here at Tom Anderson Guitarworks. The what-guy? Allow us to elaborate.
It occurred to us how perfect it would be if manufactures, the same brains that designed and manufactured your cool sports car or truck or giant V-twin motorcycle, actually had a factory mod-department. Utilizing their knowledge of even the most intricate details, they could customize your ride or return it to like new performance without missing a single aspect because they know everything there is to know about their own products. Oh that would be so good. Wait a minute! We could do that! And who better to run this factory-mod operation than Bruce.
Bruce is a great guy. On top of that he has been with Tom for many years. He began in the pre-assembly department where he prepped guitars for final assembly. His work was so amazing to behold that his excellence could not be denied. Being aware of Bruce’s goodness, Tom knew it was time for Bruce to pull the proverbially sword from the stone. Bruce stepped up and, grasping the handle of the blade that so many had failed to extract before, easily pulled it from the stone. Bruce became a “Master Assembler” at Tom Anderson Guitarworks. For many years he helped bring forth many of the world’s finest guitars. But Bruce was being called, not only called to build but to modify as well—to help those with Tom Anderson Guitars already in hand—very noble I think.
Hollow Ts most often boast a basswood backed body equipped with H1-, SA1 and H2+ pickups. This combination is extremely popular and offers a very versatile sonic pallet that will complement almost all styles of music. I knew this Hollow T that Bruce assembled was destine to be Guitar of the Week because he was so impressed with this instrument’s unique make-up—a Hollow T with a mahogany-backed body and HO humbuckers. Bruce may have put it best, “It kind of has this Cobra thing going on but it is still a Hollow T. I really love the HO pickups, they sound so sweet. Because they are vintage output humbuckings, they allow the wood to breathe. You hear the wood and not so much of the pickups. My first impression was that the guitar sounded rich, round and woody. This is due to the sound of the pickups plus the warmth of the hollow mahogany/maple topped body working together.”
Bruce handed it to me and I played it unplugged to hear what the mahogany back had to say for itself. I picked it up and held it close. From the first strum I could actually feel the low rumble of the maple/mahogany body. Its unaffected tone was solid with power being delivered from the lower midrange. Every note rang out loudly with round fatness and a touch of naturally soothing compression. Even the high notes spoke with a broad, clear authority. The bandwidth was noticeably more focused than that of a basswood or alder back yet the Anderson “Extended Bandwidth” and virtually infinite sustain would not allow this guitar to go unnoticed in any musical situation.
Bruce picked it up again and plugged it in. He is one of those guys who has an almost magic touch when he plays. Every note gushes with so much rich tone. This guitar was no exception from the moment the pickups came to life. The HOs speak with a clear, smooth, vintage voice and also offer surprisingly lush single coil tones when splitting alone or running in combination with the SA1 pickup that resides in the middle position.
A Hollow T appointed this way is definitely an instrument to be coveted. This particular one is on its way to the Mesa/Boogie Factory Store in Hollywood, California where it will be delivered into the hands of its eagerly waiting owner. However, take heart, we can easily make another one just as wonderful and Bruce can take care of it, should the need ever arise.
MODEL: – Hollow T
FINISH: – Tortoise with Binding
BODY WOOD: – Maple Top on Mahogany
BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – Translucent Brown
NECK WOOD: – Maple with Indian Rosewood Fingerboard
HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Matching
NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
NECK BACKSHAPE: – T/A Standard
NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16th-inch
SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2th-inch
FRETS: – Heavy
BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo
HARDWARE COLOR: – Gold
PICKGUARD: – n/a
NECK PICKUP: – HO1-
MIDDLE PICKUP: – SA1
BRIDGE PICKUP: – HO2
SWITCHING: – Switcheroo
PICKUP COVERS: – n/a
PICKUP RINGS: – Black
STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010