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James Olson SJ Cutaway 2013

James Olson SJ Cutaway 2013

Price: $--SOLD

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hardshell case included

Jim Olson is remarkably humble, even though he is probably the most famous bespoke acoustic guitar builder working today. He works alone, crafting absolute gems for wonderful players who could, literally, play any guitar they wanted to, but who choose not just to own, but to play Olsen’s masterful instruments: James Taylor, David Crosby, Sting, Leo Kottke, Paul McCartney, Graham Nash - the list just goes on and on.

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CRAIG'S POV

Let me start by saying I just love Jim Olson. Not only his legendary guitars, which over the last 20 years I have had the great fortune of owning and playing, but also the man: his humanity and integrity. Jim is remarkably humble, even though he is probably the most famous bespoke acoustic guitar builder working today. He works alone, crafting absolute gems for wonderful players who could, literally, play any guitar they wanted to, but who choose not just to own, but to play Olsen’s masterful instruments: James Taylor, David Crosby, Sting, Leo Kottke, Paul McCartney, Graham Nash - the list just goes on and on.

When I opened CR Guitars I badly wanted to include Jim in my roster of builders. Not surprisingly, he was just too busy and in demand to build guitars on a regular basis for the shop. On top of that was the fact that Jim was considering closing his order books, which made getting any guitars virtually impossible.

But back in 2012, I had seen a picture of a new Olson that Zac Brown had just acquired and it made my heart skip a beat. It was simply stunning! A very elegant esthetic with clean lines and the most beautiful flamed curly mahogany (it was one of Jim’s last sets) I had ever seen on an acoustic. I immediately contacted Jim and using all my reserves of positive energy and noble intention, I practically begged him to make a similar guitar. Fortunately, I didn’t embarrass myself too much, and Jim, being the wonderful person he is, agreed.

This is the result. This truly amazing guitar was delivered in the fall of 2013, and has been enjoying its life in a perfectly humidified environment with occasional forays out of its case to inspire and give joy to some select players. I’ve owned and played many Olsons and this rare mahogany wonder is among the finest I’ve ever had in my hands.

Rather than a cedar top, I asked Jim to use his very finest Adirondack spruce. While I do love cedar, I often find that it compresses a bit when pushed. Cedar is great for fingerstyle, but often not open enough for strumming and picking. In my opinion, the premium Addy top along with the flamed mahogany allows a guitarist access to the entire tonal spectrum. Warmth, clarity, volume and personality are all here and ready to be accessed and enjoyed. Jim showed me some extra love by choosing his finest woods - not only for the body but all the other added appointments. As far as playability goes I don’t think any maker builds a guitar more user friendly; Jim is widely known not only for his tone but also the playability of his guitars.

Fantastic fit and finish, tonal quality to die for, along with Jim’s super comfy neck make this Olson a player’s dream.

This is an absolutely wonderful guitar. I only wish that I could offer these more frequently. If you are looking for something sublime, well, here it is.

If you'd like to find out more about this item, just call or e-mail me. It would be my pleasure to talk to you about it.

Bodycurly mahogany back and sides
TopAdirondack spruce
BindingBrazilian rosewood and top edge perimeter
RosetteBrazilian rosewood center ring
End wedgeBrazilian rosewood
Head back veneerBrazilian rosewood
PurflingWBW
TunersGotoh chrome with ebony buttons
CaseCedar Creek AVS tweed
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