Fortunately for us, Grez Guitars founder Barry Grzebik's lifelong love of guitars, woodworking, and product design led him to guitar making and the creation of the Mendocino model (prior to guitar building, Barry was Director of Engineering for Apogee Sound where he designed, and oversaw the design, of everything from rack-mount digital signal processors to power amplifiers and critically acclaimed professional loudspeakers). The idea was to create a guitar that fits in the ES-335 world, but is lighter and has more depth of tone - somewhat between a great ES-335 and an archtop.
To help achieve this goal, a gorgeous walnut body is hollowed out (with the exception of a narrow center block) and topped with a piece of exceptionally beautiful 500-700 year old reclaimed Redwood, in this case a sinker Redwood top.
The results are spectacular - the Mendocino is really lightweight, balanced, and very alive and resonant (no surprise here given Barry's background). Simply put, this is the kind of instrument that makes you want to play more. It's beautifully made, has a chunky, late-50's Gibson-esq carve with a slinky overall feel, and sounds amazing both unplugged and plugged in.
Speaking of tones, the Lollar Goldfoils are a perfect match for this guitar. Open, airy, killer chime...clean tones are a no-brainer. Plugged into a Victoria 2x10 Club Deluxe, there's both an articulation and fatness to the tone that does remind us of an ES-335, but with a more open/chimey tone. With some gain? Classic low-fi swampiness that's incredibly fun and inspiring.
If you're looking for something new that's both beautiful, alive, a blast to play - and - made by a luthier with an eye towards sustainability? You need to check out the award-winning Mendocino. Priced with a Reunion Blues gig bag.
- 13.25" semi-hollow body, 1.75" depth
- Sinker Redwood top. flame Maple biding
- Walnut body & neck
- 25" scale length
- 21 EVO Gold jumbo frets
- Lollar Goldfoil pickups
- TonePros AVR2 bridge
- Grez tail piece, 2 gauge stainless steel
- Nitro finish
- Reunion Blues soft case
- SN 2205E