The Yul Ballesteros is a mid-size archtop guitar (16-inch), based on my Odeón model. One of Yul’s requirements was that it should not have a large soundbox, so that he could take it in the plane cabin during his frequent trips. We decided to reduce the thickness of the sides to 64 mm, which is around the minimum to still keep the dovetail joint at the neck. And we specified two versions: a basic one (Standard) and another, more exclusive, to which this model belongs. Still, it is possible to make modifications; this can be appreciated in this guitar, that has a scale length of 25 inches instead of the 25.5 of the YB specs. It also has a different pickup, its own binding scheme and a custom neck profile.
A fundamental objective during the design was to keep the costs as low as possible without compromising the quality. Yul and I don’t want instruments out of the reach of musicians. We think that it would be great that his fellow guitar players as well as his pupils could have instruments of the highest quality at affordable prices. The YB line of guitars is is our compromise with what we love. All the instruments with the YB on the peghead have a special price.
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!
Spectacular curly maple carved back, with equally amazing curly maple sides. The custom version includes this wood quality.
Carved european spruce top. I chose a piece of wood with bearclaw, which is the curl of this wood species.
European curly maple neck, with a center lamination of hard maple. The scale length is 25″ (635 mm), which is not the most common for this model (25.5", 648 mm). The bone nut has a width of 1 11/16″ (43 mm). The fretboard is made of ebony, with stainless steel frets (Jescar FW47104SS). My client specified the profile of the neck so that it adjusted as much as possible to a guitar that he considered very comfortable.
As all my guitars since some time ago, this one includes carbon fiber reinforcements below the nut and, for the first time, at both sides of the truss rod end:
The bindings are curly maple, with black (dyed) and natural maple purflings. For the fretboard, I took the precaution of vacuum potting them in epoxy. This avoids their decline and even rotting due to the player's sweating hands:
The peghead face is ebony but, instead of the black variety, it is a colorful cut that I find much more interesting and beautiful. The YB inlay is made of white mother-of-pearl.
Ebony tailpiece, with ground connection of the strings:
Ebony bridge. The string spread is 53 mm instead of the usual 54.
The jack (Switchcraft) is here at the tail end:
The controls are below the pickguard:
My client wanted a conventional humbucker (vertical coils) of the type H232D, glued to the pickguard:
Gold Schaller M6-135 machines, with ebony buttons.
D’Addario strings, the ones Yul prefers.
Nitrocellulose finish, with a very light amber dye.