Okay, let's start this by acknowledging what some may be a little embarrassed to admit - who is Bernie Marsden? Perhaps the name sounds familiar but you can't quite pin it down? Let's cut right to chase - you have for sure heard Bernie's music. How can I be so sure? Know the tune, "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake? Bernie co-wrote that tune with David Coverdale (be sure to check out the 1982 version).
In addition to writing some of the biggest hits ever, Bernie shares a mutual friend with Nik Huber - Paul Reed Smith. The trio found themselves hanging out in Europe during a clinic tour chatting about guitars (naturally) and shortly after, Bernie phoned Nik to ask if he would be interested in building him a guitar. After getting Paul's blessing for a Huber / Marsden signature model (PRS has also made a signature model for Bernie), Nik and Bernie began chatting about designs.
Known for playing solid-body guitars, namely Les Pauls, Nik naturally sent Bernie an Orca model to check out, but Bernie was after something a little different with his Huber - more of a hollowbody. It just so happened that around this time Nik had been experimenting with new ways to chamber guitar bodies, specifically a style called 'honeycomb' routing.
"I’d seen it on surfboards, and it’s also cropped up in the world of guitars before. I was curious about where you could go with it next in terms of routing a body; the possibility of having length-grain and cross-grain connections between the body and the top can create something distinct from either a semi-hollow construction or a standard solid-body."
What Nik and Bernie ultimately landed on is a pair of Orcas that meld the best of hollowbody guitars - an airy tone with a slightly different note attack - with a solid-body guitar's heft and punch. In addition to the internal honeycomb chambering, Nik and Bernie incorporated a new design for the heel joint, three knobs instead of four, and, naturally, the addition of Bernie’s signature Cream T pickups.
The resulting guitars - limited to 12 pair, a Burst and a Goldtop - are truly special instruments that re-imagine what a set-neck style guitar can be.
- Master-grade Eastern flame maple top
- Flame mahogany body w/ honeycomb routing
- Madagascan rosewood neck
- Madagascan rosewood fingerboard
- Orca neck profile with custom heel joint
- Eastern flame maple binding
- Black pearl crown fingerboard inlays with sterling silver surrounds
- Ebony headstock cap
- Black pearl Bernie Marsden logo with sterling silver surround and signature headstock inlays
- Faded sunburst semi-gloss finish
- Cream T Bernie Buckers
- Brushed cream pickup rings
- Nik Huber 510 open gear tuners
- Tune-o-matic bridge with aluminium tailpiece
- Madagascan rosewood backplates with white snake inlay and carved snake, signed by Bernie Marsden
- Certificate of authenticity signed by Nik and Bernie