"Building guitars with your own hands, as good as possible and beyond, is nothing a career counselor suggests in high-school (at least not a responsible-minded one). Guitar making is more a calling than a profession, but it is not about 'more, more'. Our constant craving is better, better, better."
We love Nik Huber's take on the classic Les Paul. It reminds us a bit of how really forward-thinking chefs can trick your senses/expectations by presenting food that resembles one thing but is actually something else entirely - a tomato that's been made to look like a strawberry, for example. The same slight-of-hand is present with the Orca '59 in the way the guitar feels, sounds, and performs. If the Les Paul is a classic muscle car, the Orca 59 is a Lamborghini. Okay, enough analogies for one day....
At first glance, the Orca '59 is all Les Paul. Gorgeous maple top, mahogany body, Brazilian fretboard, and dual '59 Haussel humbuckers. The moment you pick it up, however, you realize there's something very different going on. The build quality is immediately apparent. It's an incredibly clean and precise build (though far from sterile) that exudes a feeling that all of that attention to detail is to showcase the gorgeous materials being used. It's as if every aspect of the guitar has been reduced to its purest, truest form and the results are stunning.
This guitar is incredibly alive, resonant, loud (this is acoustically, btw). The top's semi-gloss finish and "barely there" finish on the back of both the body and neck feels amazing. We hate using the term organic to describe guitars, but in this instance it's really fitting. It's an easy guitar to connect with this guitar due to this style of finish. The neck carve is fat but narrow feeling and extremely well shaped - it never feels overbearing or fatiguing. The playability, fretwork, and feel is exceptional.
Plugged in, think Les Paul meets Tele. The 25" scale adds some beautiful snap and clarity to the traditional Les Paul punch and heft that's also present in this guitar. Add the humbucker coil tap to the mix, and some surprisingly Tele-like tones start to surface. This guitar won't replace your Tele by any means, but you've got a wealth of very usable tones at your disposal, not just Les Paul tones - this guitar sounds much more open and dynamic.
From the elegantly presented woods, to the fit and finish (be sure to check out the neck joint!), to the playability and tones...it's an incredible expression of a master luthier's vision for what an LP-style guitar can be. Priced with hardshell case.