Our latest guitar from Glenn Nichols / Retrograde Guitars is a model he calls the Corralitos. A little larger than his popular Cambridge model, the Corralitos feels like the kind of guitar that wants you to play it through a cranked amp - maybe it's Glenn's hand-wound humbuckers, perhaps the semi-hollow construction...either way, it'll handle higher volumes with ease. (This is also the last Corralitos we'll see for a bit as Glenn is focusing on his Lexington and Cambridge models).
As you'd expect, the finish work is incredible given Glenn's years of experience as the finish foreman at Santa Cruz Guitars. It's a lightweight instrument, balances perfectly, and the tones and playability are really addictive. It sounds like an old, perfectly seasoned guitar with a gorgeous acoustic voice. You could easily play it happily for extended periods of time before ever thinking of plugging it in.
Plugged in, our initial hunch was correct - the Corralitos handles higher volumes very well (it reminds us a bit of an ES-335 in this way). The output is quite a bit higher than the Cambridge and had us riffing on early rock, jazz, an Americana tunes. Glenn's own humbuckers sound fantastic, allowing the Corralitos to cover quite a bit of ground but stays grounded in its student model roots (in a very, very cool way).
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.