Fans of jazz guitar have no doubt noticed more and more players moving towards smaller, easier to manage guitars, specifically the Fender Telecaster (the brilliant playing and tones of Bill Frisell and Julian Lage are certainly what's behind this "movement").
As much as we love our Telecasters and use/play them regularly, we have to admit there are times when the sound and feel of a great archtop are called for, either for the gig, session, or just purely for the enjoyment of making music on this classic style of guitar. But - and you could hear it coming - but...much like a great dreadnought, the physical stature and string tension of a traditional archtop can make these guitars quite difficult for new or even seasoned players to manage.
Enter Pasadena, MD-based luthier Tim Bram. We've been following Tim's work for a few years and marveling at his concept, design, and execution - and let's face it, these guitars are gorgeous. You've probably gathered what he's up to just based on the pics - it's a Tele shaped, and sized to some degree, archtop. Ie, a smaller, more manageable instrument that's a breeze to play and delivers classic archtop sounds.
"Brilliant! I love the idea of a smaller archtop that captures the vibe and tones but is way easier to play!"
We said the same thing, reached out to Tim, and here we are - our first Bram Tribute Archtop. Simply put? We are thrilled to be representing Tim's work.
The Tribute is exactly what we hoped it would be after looking at (drooling over) pics over the years. The build quality is very high, it's lightweight, the neck is super comfortable, and most importantly for us...it's incredibly musical, beautiful sounding, and really, really fun to play. That's really the whole point, no?
You'll find specs below but let's skip to the good part...how does it sound? We asked our longtime friend and Berklee teacher, Jim Kelly, to come in and take it for a spin. Be sure to watch the video below.
These will be limited with regards to how many we'll see per year so don't wait if you're responding to Tim's concept - you won't be disappointed! Priced with hardshell case.
- Curly Maple back, sides, and neck
- European Spruce top
- 14.5" Lower Bout
- 25" Scale
- 12" Radius Fretboard
- 1-11/16" Nut
- 2" Sides for standard model
- Vintage Amber Nitro Cellulose Lacquer Finish
- Hand-wound Kent Armstrong PAF-style pickup
- Ebony Fretboard, tail piece, bridge, and finger rest
Martin Retro strings, 12-54