Gene Baker is a legend in the boutique electric guitar world. He cut his teeth alongside Roger Giffin at the Gibson Custom Shop and soon moved over to Fender's Custom Shop, eventually working his way to Senior Master Builder during what many consider to be one of that shop's golden periods.
Those familiar with the Premier Builders Guild will also recognize Gene's name - he was the builder responsible for building the PBG guitars who's designers included Saul Koll, Johan Gustavsson, Dennis Fano, amongst other heavy-hitters.
This is the first Baker we've had in the shop and we're really blown away by it (though we have had several of the PBG guitars and were always knocked out by those as well). A Gene-built B1, made famous by one Robben Ford, in a beautiful see-through purple. NOTE: Robben Ford signed the back of the headstock.
People's first reaction to the B1 in the shop is that it is PRS-like. While we understand that comparison, we do feel Gene's work feels very different in your hands. There's more of a lively, resonant quality to Gene's guitars though the quality rivals PRS to be sure.
The neck feels great and seems to split the difference between a 59 LP carve and a 60 LP carve. The fretwork is excellent and all notes ring cleanly and clearly in every register. The 25 1/2" scale length brings a nice snappiness to what is essentially a LP formula - mahogany body, maple cap, set-neck construction, and two humbuckers. In this way, the B1 is an excellent guitar for Strat lovers who want to get into a Gibson but never like short-scale guitars.
Plugged in, there are a lot of tones on tap thanks to the ability to coil-tap the Dimarzio humbuckers. The bridge position sounds like a killer Les Paul and the neck position has a really cool, pronounced midrange that sounds gorgeous either overdriven or clean. With a clean tone the neck pickup does a pretty great archtop impersonation. The coil-tapped tones bring in some Nile Rodgers approved out-of-phase sounding funk tones which we had a lot of fun with.
Condition: Very good overall condition, some small indentations scattered around the body, the neck is smooth and free of dings, the frets are in excellent condition with some extremely minor wear showing on the first few frets, and all electronics work as they should. The tone knob was replaced (black knob) but we believe all else is original.
This is a very cool guitar that would make any PRS or Gibson fan very happy - check it out! Priced with hardshell case.