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Four incredible new Spalt Instruments come to TNAG!

One of my favourite aspects of working at The North American Guitar is constantly being introduced to the craft and artistry of outstanding masterbuilders such as Michael Spalt, of Spalt Instruments, who's work instantly drew me in with the huge range of concepts and stories that accompany each and every instrument that emerges from his Vienna based workshop.

On my first day here, I was drawn in to something quite unlike anything I'd ever seen that was hung up on our wall. The guitar itself was a G 1807 'Metamorphosis' and it completely changed my perception of what I thought I was looking for in a guitar, what combination of materials would yield the sonic bliss I was chasing and just how garish a guitar could be while still retaining a classic and affable feel to it.

Since then I've been fascinated by Michael's builds and the incredible emotional investment and artistic sensibility that every guitar has poured into it, and with each and every guitar being completely unique, this doesn't feel like a trip that's going to end any time soon!

When I found out we had four new Spalt Instruments arriving I jumped at the chance to unbox them and I must say, the sheer variation and personality in each guitar made every case a roller-coaster ride of expectation based on the case/shape/size quickly followed up by surprise, and then intrigue upon opening the case up and finding something I couldn't ever have dreamt up.

Here's a closer look at these four, incredible new instruments:

Spalt Instruments G 1901 'Souvenir' Electric Guitar - £4,650

The first guitar of the bunch is an incredibly colourful character, given the name 'Souvenir' by Michael due to the inclusion of objects found in a flea market during a trip to Japan.

The body is made up of Mahogany, with Michael's signature resin top construction, which tonally doesn't sound dissimilar to a maple cap and gives him the freedom to feature objects and materials of his choice in the fabric of the instrument.

'Souvenir' features a maple neck with a beautifully figured Flamed Maple fretboard, with multi-coloured dot inlays running the length of it and adding to the bold, colourful aesthetic that gives this guitar such a joyful character.

The pickups consist of a vintage Gibson Mini-Humbucker in the neck position, and a Spalt Bone-Top Tele pickup in the bridge. They make a truly inspiring pair and between them cover a whole host of tonal options, from smooth and creamy through to rich and bright.

  • Mahogany body
  • Maple neck
  • Maple fingerboard, 25 ½"scale
  • Gotoh vintage style tuners
  • Vintage Gibson mini humbucker in neck
  • Spalt BoneTop Tele pickup in bridge
  • Vol, tone, 3-way switch
  • Tele bridge w/ compensated brass saddles
  • Dunlop Straplocks
  • 3.6kg

Spalt Instruments G 1903 '3 Ball' Electric Guitar - £4,495

The next of our gorgeous new additions goes by the name of '3 Ball', and I'm sure you can guess why!

Made up out of Old-Growth Redwood for the body, with an oil finish that Michael says 'will over time acquire the feel and look of well worn leather'. This is of course topped with the iconic Resin Top pioneered by Spalt Instruments, allowing for objects such as the 3ball to be set in to the guitar itself, while retaining a tone comparable to a maple top.

With a Maple Neck and Rosewood Fretboard, carved to an exceedingly comfortable neck profile, the guitar is an absolute dream to play, with great access and clean, articulate fretting across the board.

The Loller Gold Foil pickups are a magnificent choice for this formidable instrument, and offer a huge range of dynamic capability, with a stunning frequency response and bell-like chime.

Clean, they sound crisp and full, with a completely unique feel to the timbre and nuances they pick up in your playing. When you pile on the drive, they open up into a full-bore harmonic richness that really does need to be experienced to understand.

  • Old Growth Redwood Body
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard, 24 ¾" scale
  • Gotoh vintage style tuners
  • Lollar Gold Foil pickups
  • Vol, tone, 3-way switch
  • Hipshot fixed bridge
  • Dunlop Straplocks
  • 3.5kg

Spalt Instruments C 1901 'Vienna Custom' Electric Guitar - £4,650

This Vienna Custom from Spalt Instruments is a truly gorgeous single cut.

Made up of a Semi-Hollow Mahogany Body with a beautifully finished Spruce Top, it's a worthy deviation from the world of Resin Tops and inset objects that we've always adored Michaels guitars for.

The Mahogany Neck and Ebony Fretboard give this guitar a very classic feel, and with a superbly comfortable profile and fantastic fretwork, the guitar plays as smooth as they come, with great access and fretting all the way through.

The set of Spalt BoneTop pickups make for a very versatile instrument, a fact furthered by the inclusion of a push/pull on the tone control for series mode, giving you a passive 'boost' when using both pickups and a extra string to your proverbial bow of tone.

With heaps of clarity and definition in the clean sounds these pickups achieve, you can expect the same from the guitar when the amp is pushed into overdrive, save for all the more harmonic content and rich saturation.

  • Mahogany Semi-hollow body, Spruce top
  • Mahogany neck, Ebony fingerboard, 25 ½" scale
  • Gotoh vintage style tuners
  • Spalt BoneTop pickups
  • Vol, tone w/push-pull for series mode, 3-way switch
  • ABM wraparound tailpiece
  • Dunlop Straplocks
  • 3.1 kg

Spalt Instruments G 1808 'PlayinJane' Electric Guitar - £4,650

The final newcomer is possibly the most unexpected of the four, at least for me personally, with it's HSS pickup configuration and Hipshot tremolo system.

It's an absolutely incredible instrument, with all the versatility you would expect from this classic 'hot-rodded' pickup configuration top mounted into the beautifully adorned Alder Body.

The finishing on this guitar is truly exceptional, it really does feel like you're sitting down with a true work of art, and the best part is, it plays like an absolute dream!

The Maple neck topped by a Rosewood fretboard, with it's 25 ½" scale, feels very snappy and familiar, like an old friend with a gorgeous carve to it that really is an effortless treat to play.

The Lindy Fralin Blues Specials in the neck and a Lindy Fralin Unbucker in the bridge, this guitar has a deeply versatile range of tone at its disposal, perfect for everything from funk cleans through to gained up, saturated rock tones.

  • Alder body
  • Maple neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard 25 ½" scale
  • Gotoh vintage style locking tuners
  • Lindy Fralin Blues Special SC in neck and middle
  • Lindy Fralin Unbucker in bridge position
  • 5-way switch, vol, tone w/push-pull for HB activation regardless of switch position
  • 7 sound options
  • Hipshot tremolo
  • Dunlop Straplocks

The journey so far with these guitars has been an absolute joy. From the unboxing all the way through to plugging these wonderfully creative instruments in and winding the amp up into tonal nirvana.

I am truly excited to see where this journey will take us, and always find a wealth of inspiration in these guitars whenever I'm blessed with the time to take one down off the wall and get some quality time in.

I hope you find yourself with the same opportunity in the near future, and I can assure you that any one of these instruments will bring out something new and exciting in your playing!

Until that time comes,

Have a great weekend!

Brian Love

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