Renowned master luthier, Saul Koll, known for his electric guitars, has a few unexpected tricks up his sleeve - archtops.
781-860-0049 | 165 MASS. AVE. LEXINGTON MA
CALL OR TEXT: 781-860-0049 | OPEN TODAY 10/9 ~ M-F: 11-5 SAT: 10-5pm ~ SUN: Closed
There are many things we love about Saul Koll's guitars - each one is unique, beautifully designed and constructed, with effortless playability, and fantastic tones.
Something we admire about Saul - as a builder - is his versatility. If you're only familiar with his work in passing, you'd be forgiven for thinking he's an electric maker, period (to be sure, that is his primary focus). However, digging a little deeper reveals that this isn't actually the case, as Saul has designed and built anything from archtop ukes (!) to the remarkably creative RE archtop (look it up) to this gorgeous, more traditional, New Rose archtop.
A common thread amongst Saul's instruments, whether electric or archtop, is an inherent musicality. These guitars possess an "old soul" feel, if that makes sense, and pull you in as a player, rewarding creative explorations of dynamics and tone (via volume and tone knob manipulations).
Having played a lot of Koll guitars, this quality isn't surprising given that this is a central objective of Saul's work - he wants them to feel great right off the bat, and ultimately, be a guitar that he himself wants to make music with.
We tend to qualify archtops, very broadly speaking, as being either lightly built (which has a more acoustic feel and tone) or more robust (which is better for loud, amplified environments a la an ES-175). The New Rose falls more in the lightly built category. While truly lightweight at 5lbs 7oz, it's more in the feel and acoustic voice department that we're referring to when we say light. You can play as soft or hard as you'd like and the New Rose is right there with you. Some archtops require you to really dig in to get the best of them - not so here (we're not very heavy right hand players, truth be told).
The neck carve feels like a chunky C in our hands (it measures .88″-.95", though still comfy and agile. It's great for chord solos and rhythm work (ie, tricky chord voicings) though single note playing is a breeze as well.
Plugged in, the Kent Armstrong floating pickup delivered fat, yet articulate, tones via our Victoria Club Deluxe combo. Dialing in your tone with the volume/tone controls is easy, yielding a range from Jim Hall-like air to rounder, fatter Joe Pass-like tones.
If you're in the market for a truly handmade archtop made by an incredibly talented, well regarded luthier? As in, you're looking for a one-of-a-kind / rare as hen's teeth archtop? This is your guitar. Brilliant stuff!
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