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 Victor Baker 18" Special
   

Seven String Guitar

 

Click to enlarge

Notes: Victor Baker began playing guitar in 1980 and finished his study in Berklee in the early 90's. During this time he earned money by playing local gigs and doing guitar repairs. In 1993, he studied with jazz legend Pat Martino and switched to playing jazz full time. He spend a great deal as a street musician and also as a leader / sideman in New York's jazz clubs and was part of the NYC JVC Jazz Festival in 1995. But in the late 1990's Vic returned to Philadelphia and expanded his passion: making highest level guitars. It did not take very long until his breakthrough in 2001. Meanwhile approx. 300 of his "World Class Custom Tailored Jazz Guitars" were produced and f.e. Gilad Hekselman is playing Victor Baker guitars. Since June 2015 he is making some reproductions of vintage era D'Angelico models for the D'Angelico company.

Materials: 17 7/8" wide and 3" deep body made of Master grade woods, with solid Spruce soundboard, highest grade flamed solid Maple back and sides, highest grade figured solid two-piece tiger flamed Maple neck with straight-end Ebony fretboard, 2" nut width, 25" scale length, 20 original frets, VB initials inlayed with mother of pearl, 3-ply body binding b/w and red perloid, 2-ply neck white and red perloid, bone nut, Ebony accents including bridge - tailpiece - pegs - pickguard - truss rod cover - heel cap - knobs and headstock front.

Hardware: Golden Grover tuning machines, handwound Kent Armstrong humbucker floating pickup, output jack at rim side, height adjustable slanted Ebony bridge, Ebony pickguard with flamed Maple art deco insert (attached at neck side).

Facts: Handbuilt in Philadelphia with the best Master grade woods possible, serial number 67 and dated Nov. 14th 2002. In a way, the carving on the outside near the edges of the soundboard and back plate recalls the tradition of the German Luthier Artur Lang from the 50's and 60's but here, the curves are more round and not so much pronounced. The guitar has a honey blonde amber finish and looks overwhelming.

Condition: This guitar is in 100% original condition with very, very little playing wear.

Playability: Action is low, buzz-free and comfy. The neck has a D profile with smooth medium jumbo frets.

Tone: Rich, warm and buttery, deep tone only the big bodies can produce. When plugged in, the guitar delivers a strong, powerful and yet clear tone, thanks to its handwound Kent Armstrong pickup.

Case: Original TKL hardshell case with blue velvet interior in fairly good condition. All latches, hinges and handle work fine.

Setup: The instrument is strung with a new set La Belle flatwound strings (.012-.052 and 056 for the 7th string) and the fingerboard and bridge has been oiled.

To Summarize: The 7-string classical guitar had been around since the late 1700s, but George Van Eps is credited with bringing it to the jazz arena. His 7-string guitar, built by Epiphone in 1938 had an added low A string. Today, even players from the rock scene like Steve Vai use 7-string guitars. Well, this archtop has convinced us with its Master grade woods, with a modest and non-overloaded Benedetto style art deco design, a characterfull sound and exquisite craftsmanship along with noble solutions in small details.
 















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