"The goal of Retrograde Guitars is to explore the potential of the electric laminate top guitar, and to create a unique instrument with a clear and open voice. The design draws from the early jazz boxes of the 30s & 40s and the catalog guitars of the 50s & 60s. By using vacuum press technology, hand-carved necks, hand-rubbed colors and home-brewed varnishes, I combined modern building methods with old-world lutherie." - Glenn Nichols

We continue to be knocked out by Glenn Nichol's Retrograde guitars, specifically the Cambridge model. This is the model that made us immediately want to work with Glenn and represent his brand. For those new to these guitars, Glenn was the finish department foreman at Santa Cruz guitars, was in charge of French Polish restorations for renowned classical guitar maker Kenny Hill, and is currently Bill Tippin's only employee. In other words, Glenn knows a thing or two about building exceptional instruments.

The Cambridge is a very lightweight, balanced instrument and the tones and playability are really inspiring. It sounds like an old, perfectly seasoned guitar with a gorgeous acoustic voice. Seriously, you could play it happily for extended periods of time before ever thinking of plugging it in. 

Once plugged in, that same airy, open acoustic voice combines with the chime and output of a great goldfoil pickup, courtesy of a pair of McNelly Gold Foil pickups.

Woods, pickups, finish, specs....all that stuff aside, at the end of the day, the real question with any instrument comes down to - Do I want to play this? Does it inspire me? To use familiar language, does it have a vibe...mojo? The answer in this case is, unquestionably, yes. 

If you're into student model guitars, catalog-style guitars, but also want something that's light-years beyond it quality-wise, look no further. Priced with hardshell case. 



    • Top - 5-ply laminate with Mahogany core
    • Bracing - German Spruce 
    • Back - 6-ply Maple laminate 
    • Sides - Solid Maple
    • Neck - Port Orford Cedar
    • Fingerboard - Granadillo
    • Overlay - Madagascar Rosewood
    • Backstrap - Madagascar Rosewood
    • Scale Length - 24.9"
    • Nut Width - 1 11/16"
    • Neck Joint - "Catalog Style" 3-bolt
    • Frets - Medium Jumbo .100x .050 
    • Binding - Ivoroid
    • Headstock - none 
    • Fingerboard - Ivoroid/Black/Ivoroid
    • Inlay - Pearl Retrograde logo 
    • Fingerboard - Gold pearl dots
    • Side dots - Black
    • Pickups - McNelly Gold Foils
    • Volume, Volume, Tone, Tone, 3-way\
    • Tuners - Gotoh Relic Kluson style 
    • Bridge - Handmade adjustable 
    • Tailpiece -Antiqued Gold 
    • Nut - Bone
    • Strap Buttons - Ivoroid 
    • Hand rubbed antique varnish finish 
    • French Polish - neck
    • Custom Color -Light Violin Burst
    • .011-.052 D'Addario Strings
    • Hardshell case

Go back