Michael Spalt Vienna Style Gate Guitar #36


"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

Our latest guitar from Austria-based builder Michael Spalt is simply stunning and the first of his 'Gate Series' we've had. In Michael's own words:

"The gate to our new location in Vienna needed replacement. To me, it looked like prime guitar making material. Nice weathered pine boards - resonant and light - with a wonderfully textured surface! This run of builds will be a limited series of 50 which will commemorate our move. 

The body shape is based on a template for a parlour-type acoustic guitar my friend Andreas Neubauer here in Vienna got from an old local luthier's shop, ca. 1870s. The body is hollow except for a block under the tailpiece, with an inset top of the old pine gate wood, finished with a resin coat. I call the guitars in this series the "Vienna Style" as the graceful curves and the hand-rubbed finish are reminiscent of the classic well-worn Viennese coffee house chairs."

We're really loving this Gate Guitar! Michael's guitars are very complex creations. We're always discovering new things about them not only visually, but also with their feel, versatility, tones, etc...They challenge any preconceptions you may have of what an electric guitar should be. 

To get one thing clear, this is a remarkable guitar by any measure, vintage or modern. The fit and finish is as good as any guitar we have in the shop. Michael's guitars are what hand-made, boutique guitars should be - organic feeling, highly musical, atypical, addictive....This guitar checks all of those boxes with ease. 

The attention to detail is obvious from the second you pick it up. It just radiates quality and there are lots of subtle touches that reveal themselves upon further inspection (note the sprayed red splash of color on the body - this is from a bit of graffiti that was on Michael's fence. Too cool!). The fretwork is fantastic and helps lend to the slinky, slick overall playing experience. The neck is fat and somewhat late 50's Gibson-like and the satin finish is incredibly smooth and ratchets up the luxurious playing experience, not dissimilar from modern makers like Suhr or Anderson. 

Acoustically this guitar has a loud, snappy voice that alludes to good things to come re: plugged in. Plugging into our favorite '66 Princeton Reverb, we were greeted to gorgeous, complex tones. The beautiful bone covered P90s deliver great midrange bite while not being excessive. Punchy, fat, yet with a really musical, articulate top-end....we were hooked. This is such a fun, musical, and killer sounding - and looking - guitar! Ronnie Wood could have easily sported this guitar back in the day.

Michael Spalt is making wonderfully unique instruments that should be given serious consideration for those willing to embrace new ideas about what an electric guitar can, and should, be! Highly recommended. Priced with hardshell case. 

Interested? We may have another on the way.
  • Mahogany body w/weathered pine board
  • Mahogany neck, set-neck construction 
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • 22 Frets
  • 25 ½” scale
  • Tone Pros adjustable wraparound tailpiece
  • Spalt BoneTop P-90 style pickups 
  • 3-way switch, volume, tone/w push-pull for series mode
  • Dunlop Straplocks
  • Hardshell Case
  • 6lbs 13oz

Free Freight: The Music Emporium is happy to provide free ground shipping on all merchandise priced over $100 and purchased online at themusicemporium.com. 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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