This guitar is a big archtop (17 inches). With it I wanted to finish a project that I started when I was 17: a guitar similar to Barney Kessel’s ES350, perhaps the player that I enjoy most.
As all the guitars here, this one is just an example. If you want something similar but it is not exactly what you see, please take into account that you can change a lot of things, many without additional cost. Email me and we’ll talk!
Carved curly maple back, bent curly maple sides. Barney's modified ES350 had laminated construction.
European spruce top. Different from Barney's ES350, that had a laminated maple top.
Curly maple neck, with 25 1/2″ (648 mm) scale. The bone nut has a width of 1 11/16″ (43 mm). The fingerboard is made of ebony, with mother-of-pearl inlays and Gold EVO frets.
Plastic bindings and purflings.
The tailpiece is similar to the one in the ES350.
Ebony bridge. The original in Barney's guitar was rosewood, and one of his very first modifications was to replace it with ebony.
The jack is here, at the side.
Barney also changed the original round knobs with chickenheads. It is easier to know where they are set, even with low lighting.
For this guitar I decided to use a pickup that looked similar to a Charlie Christian, instead of the original, that would have needed holes on the top. Barney didn't use a pickguard, so I had to design a way to fix it to the neck. Fortunately, the CC pickup is very wide, so this can be done with a brass plate screwed at the end of the neck:
Schaller M6-135 machines with ebony buttons. They are not exactly old Grovers, but they look really nice anyway.
D’Addario EJ21 (12-52) strings
Nitrocellulose finish (Votteler), traditional sunburst.