"As much as I enjoy making a "traditional" instrument out of the finest "tonewoods", I also love making instruments which push the boundaries and open new possibilities to musicians willing to explore and expand the scope of their music. The influences manifested in the Totemguitar line, to date close to 400 instruments, go back to Dada, Surrealism, collage and assemblage art, Pop art, and sometimes a more conceptual approach, along with the occasional dose of pure kitsch." - Michael Spalt
Another "wow" guitar from Vienna-based Michael Spalt!
Re-Imagined is what it appears on the surface - a master artist/luthier's reinterpretation of John Lennon's famous Les Paul Special. Unlike the Les Paul Special's "slab" body, Michael's Re-Imagined has gorgeous, flowing contours and more exaggerated curves which create a far more sensuous looking (and playing) instrument. This is what the "student model" LP Special looks like all grown up!
Like all Spalt guitars, the build quality is flawless and full of great detail work. The combination of the ebony board and excellent fretwork feels wonderful in hand and creates a slinky feeling guitar. Devil being in the details, we really love the bullseye side markers that Michael uses - the jet black ebony board really sets these off making something that can easily go unnoticed special. Other details that really stand out are the '30s French Galalith pickguard, Art Deco-esq volume and tone knobs, and metal back plate. There are also 24 frets on the 25 1/2" scale neck which isn't something you immediately notice - or expect - on a guitar of this style. Very cool!
Re-Imagined is a very resonant, alive feeling instrument. One strum unplugged tells you everything you need to know. It's punchy, solid, balanced, chimey, snappy....what's not to love? Plugged in, the Lollar Charlie Christian and Imperial humbucker combo balance really well. The bridge pickup yields classic, midrange humbucker bite without ever sounding bloated like some humbuckers can. The CC neck pickup melds the body and complexity of a great P90 with the bell-like top end and clarity of a great Strat neck pickup. You can cover a lot of ground stylistically with this guitar to be sure. Add to this combo a well-dialed in Bigsby and you've got one hell of a cool guitar on your hands!
As you can probably tell, we love this guitar and have only scratched the surface. Michael builds guitars that manage to be forward thinking (and dare we say modern), while retaining all the things that make great guitars, well, great. Highly recommend checking this guitar out!
Priced with hardshell case.