Bartlett Retrospec (2017)


We're thrilled to have our first Tom Bartlett guitar in the shop - this stunning 2017 Retrospec model. Fan of 'Bursts? Don't want to sell your home to get one? Read on...

In Bartlett's own words...

"The Retrospec's design is the brainchild of the esteemed and talented Swedish industrial designer Magnus Malkersson, Kim Lafleur of Historic Makers, and Tom Bartlett. The guitar features all of the same qualities you would find in the most collectable and coveted of electric guitars, the 1959 Les Paul. The Retrospec is the same size and weight, same scale length, and made from the same materials as they were in the 1950's down to the plastic compounds in the binding and inlays. 

The Retrospec is made from old growth Honduras Mahogany, Eastern Maple, and CITES certified Brazilian Rosewood. Its hand-made in our shop in small batches using tried and true methods of construction. Hot hide glue and Uera formaldehyde is used to join the parts together insuring a tone response unrivaled in modern instruments. The plastic used in the fingerboard inlays comes from the same factory that made it for Gibson in the late '50s, and is the same recipe. The same applies to the fingerboard binding, and the body binding. 

The Retrospec is finished with true Nitro Cellulose Lacquer made specially for us without the added plasticizer used in modern Nitro Cellulose. Much of the hardware is and made in our shop, and it too is made from the same materials that were used in the late '50s." 

Excited yet? Long story short, the Retrospec is about as close to a 50s burst as you can get in a modern build. The only other builders getting as close are Gustavsson and Yaron - and if you know these builders, you know their guitars will set you back quite a bit more. 

If we're honest, we've never played a '59 Les Paul, but, in all fairness, not many have. What we do know, is the Retrospec feels, sounds, and looks amazing. It's an inspiring guitar to play and will certainly knock your socks off in a way that a modern Les Paul Historic simply won't. We're sold. Priced with hardshell case. 

On consignment, no trades please. 

Interested? We may have another on the way.
  • One piece Honduran mahogany body
  • Single piece neck with ‘ears’
  • Holly headstock veneer
  • Mother of pearl Bartlett signature inlayed into headstock
  • CITES certified Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard
  • .045" tall nickel-silver fret wire
  • Cellulose nitrate fingerboard inlays
  • Cream royalite body binding
  • Cream cellulose nitrate fingerboard binding
  • Nylon 6-6 string nut
  • Eastern maple carved top
  • Two-tone, two-volume controls with 3 way control switch
  • Double hum bucker pickups
  • ABR-1 style bidge, and lightweight tailpiece or Wrap-Around bridge
  • 1” long tailpiece studs and bushings
  • Kluson tuners
  • Super thin non plasticized nitrocellulose lacquer finish

Free Freight: The Music Emporium is happy to provide free ground shipping on all merchandise priced over $100 and purchased online at This offer applies to all merchandise shipped within the 48 continental US States.* If you wish to expedite your shipment or your order doesn't qualify, we provide competitive rates. Once you enter your shipping info, you'll be given a selection of services from UPS, FedEx and USPS.

Exclusions: Certain products are excluded from our free shipping offer due to manufacturer restrictions. Also, oversized items or large amplifiers weighing more than 75 lbs may incur extra shipping charges.

Approval Period, Taxes, Duties: Most instruments ship with a 48-hour approval** period during which time you can comfortably evaluate your purchase and determine if it's right for you. The prices listed on our website do not include shipping charges or any applicable taxes, duties, or custom fees. Instruments shipped within MA are subject to a 6.25% sales tax. All out-of-state shipments are tax-free though we do recommend you look into your individual state's tax codes to determine any tax liabilities.

The Music Emporium has been shipping guitars around the world for 40+ years. Your instrument will be expertly packed and shipped via FedEx, UPS, or US Priority Mail, depending on the destination and level of service. If you have a preferred method not listed here, please let us know and we'll do our best to accommodate.

**There are instances where the approval period does not apply. If you've played the instrument in our store and we then ship it to you, there is no approval period. If the item is a Sale Item (special discounted price, an item listed on our Specials Page), there is no approval period. There are no returns accepted on electronics (amps, pickups, pedals, etc.) unless the product is received in damaged or defective condition.

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