"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

This Cambridge, #12, was sold immediately upon arrival at the shop but we wanted to share it with you as it's too cool to keep to ourselves. A few tweaks to this Cambridge make it unique among the one's we've had - mahogany neck (vs maple), Lollar P90s (most have had gold foils), and a Varitone. We absolutely loved what these tweaks did to the feel and tone of the guitar - which is already outstanding. We're only going to see a handful of these guitars each year so get in touch if you'd like to discuss acquiring one for yourself. 

While the name Retrograde Guitars may be new to you, Glenn's work likely is not. 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.

We're thrilled to introduce you to a model Glenn calls the Cambridge. This is the model that made us immediately want to work with Glenn and represent his brand. While stunning visually - and as you'd expect, the finish work is incredible - it's when we sat down with it that we were just knocked out. It's a very lightweight instrument, balances perfectly, and the tones and playability are really addictive (we had a similar experience with Joe Yanuziello's instruments). 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 muscular midrange punch of a mahogany neck and P90s. The varitone allows for a wide range of tones that only make the appeal of this Cambridge even greater. 

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
  • Back - 6-ply Maple laminate 
  • Sides - Solid Maple
  • Neck - Mahogany
  • Fingerboard - Granadillo
  • Overlay - Madagascar Rosewood
  • Backstrap - Madagascar Rosewood
  • Scale Length - 24.9"
  • Nut Width - 1 11/16"
  • Neck Joint - "Catalog Style" 3-bolt
  • Frets - Jumbo
  • Binding - Single ABS on body
  • Inlay - Pearl Retrograde logo 
  • Fingerboard - Large Black Pearl dots
  • Side dots - White
  • Pickups - Lollar P90s w/nickel covers
  • Volume, Volume, Tone, 3-way, Rothstein Varitone
  • Tuners - Gotoh Relic Kluson style 
  • Bridge - Handmade adjustable 
  • Tailpiece - Vintage Gretsch Style 
  • Nut - Unbleached Bone
  • Hand rubbed antique varnish finish, body
  • Satin open-pored mahogany with antique burst, neck
  • French Polish, overlay
  • Custom Color - Violin Burst 
  • .011-.052 D'Addario Strings

Go back