Glenn Nichols of MA-based Retrograde Guitars has been building a solid reputation for making soulful, musical, and simply beautiful guitars over the last few years. 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, he knows a thing or two about building exceptional instruments.
The Cambridge, #36 here, is a lightweight instrument with an ease of playability and tones that are really addictive. #36 sounds like an old, perfectly seasoned guitar with a gorgeous acoustic voice (and finish, of course). 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 and low end punch courtesy of a set of fantastic sounding Retrograde-wound "Old Soul" Alnico 3 P90s. With all this talk of possessing a beautiful acoustic voice, don't be fooled into thinking this guitar can't rock a little harder - it can - and boy is it fun when you do (Blues & Americana players take note).
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 HumiCase.
- Body Top - 5 ply laminate, Flame Maple with Mahogany core
- Body Back - 5 ply Maple laminate
- Body Sides - Solid maple
- Bracing - German Spruce
- Neck - Mahogany
- Fingerboard - Granadillo, Pearl dots
- Headstock & Backstrap - Madagascar Rosewood
- Scale Length - 24.9"
- Nut Width - 1 11/16", bone
- Neck Joint - Catalog style 3 bolt
- Medium Standard Frets
- Binding - Single Ivoroid body, Black/White Top Purfles and Back
- Pearl Retrograde logo
- Retrograde Old Soul Alnico 3 pickups
- Volume, tone, tone
- Tuners - Gotoh Kluson Relic
- Bridge - Handmade adjustable, granadillo w/ Ebony saddle
- Trapeze Tailpiece
- Pearloid Pickguard
- Finish - hand rubbed Antiqued varnish (body), French Polish (neck/overlay), Violin Varnish (color)
- Hardshell Humicase