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Johan Gustavsson BM-S

Johan Gustavsson BM-S

Price: $--SOLD

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a perfect tobacco burst

If you’re familiar with Johan’s guitars, and are trying to wrap your head around how the S model might sound, think Bluesmaster with more air and woodiness surrounding each note. The tonal palette is wide. The guitar is very touch sensitive, with a truly sweet - almost syrupy quality. It’s just soaked with a rich throatiness.

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From Johan Gustavsson:
"My objective with the Bluesmaster-S was to add some air around the notes. I have maintained the familiar Bluesmaster '59 perimeter, while radically altering the construction, utilizing a solid center block with a carved top and back. The semi comes standard with mahogany back, sides and a carved eastern maple top. The Dotmaster Limited uses the same construction and design features as the Bluesmaster-S, with a white limba back and sides with western maple top and a mahogany neck. The select bound rosewood fingerboard features dot inlays."

CRAIG'S POV

By now I think it's clear that I have a deep fondness for Gustavsson guitars. My experience with his Bluesmaster, Futuremaster and Fullerblaster models have given me a deep respect for Johan's supreme skills as a builder, and I’ve been knocked out by the transcendent quality and mojo of the guitars themselves.

Each of his guitars I've played has its own personality and yet shares something very special. Some people call it the feel and sound of old wood, which is something that only shows up in either great vintage guitars or with a very few fine modern builders. I've always referred to that special quality as a guitar with a "wooden spine"  - a sense that there is this wonderful resonance from end to end. It’s as if there was a spine in the guitar that connected every vibration, giving it a woody-connectedness that is hard to define. At the same time, every player knows and feels it when they experience it. I once asked Jimmy D'Aquisto, the master archtop maker, about that because all of his guitars seemed to have it. He told me that if you start with the right choice of materials all you need to do after that is get the geometry right and put it together perfectly. Every glue joint has to be solid. Every curve needs to serve a purpose. Basically I think what he was saying was that a builder has to be in tune with all the little things that make up a great guitar and then perform every procedure with art and skill.

You can imagine, then, that I was really excited to play Johan's new model, the Bluesmaster-S. He nailed it. Simple as that.

This brand new example is in one of my all time favorite 'burst finishes - a late '50s Gibson-like tobacco burst. With an absolutely beautiful curly maple top with enough mineral streaking to satisfy any vintage enthusiast, this guitar has it all.

The beauty that you expect from this builder, the kind of playability that inspires, the finest materials, wonderfully rich tones that come from a perfect set of Throbak pickups that drive every note and nuance from this beauty’s "wooden spine," - it's all here.

If you’re familiar with Johan’s guitars, and are trying to wrap your head around how the S model might sound, think Bluesmaster with more air and woodiness surrounding each note. The tonal palette is wide. The guitar is very touch sensitive, with a truly sweet - almost syrupy quality. It’s just soaked with a rich throatiness.

And don't let the F-holes fool you. This doesn't sound like an 335 to me. It has a more nuanced and sophisticated quality to its sound. More soul, more vibe.

The Bluesmaster-S is a guitar that brings out what you put in. Your sound, your heart, and your inspiration. It's an instrument meant to be played. Well done Johan!

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.

ABOUT JOHAN GUSTAVSSON GUITARS
It's probably fair to say that there have been few builders who’ve made as deep an impact on the contemporary guitar world as quickly as Johan Gustavsson. He’s taken the ’59 burst to a level that you likely haven’t experienced from any other builder. Johan's first exposure to a fine guitar was via his teacher, Robert Larsson, who had (as Johan puts it) “an old beaten up 1960 Les Paul Standard.” It was then he realized just what a great guitar could be. The experience continued when Johan got a part time job at one of the few places importing vintage guitars to Sweden from the U.S. (fifties Gibson Les Paul Goldtops, Juniors, pre-CBS Strats, Teles and Jazzmasters, etc). The exposure to that level of guitar and to that many great instruments had a great influence on his work as a guitar maker. Again – the quality of those guitars showed the possibilities inherent in the instrument. Johan has always been more attracted to the Gibson style of making guitars (with carved maple tops and glued in necks), and this is reflected in his most famous, and current model, the Bluesmaster Custom 59. A Gustavsson guitar is a Gustavsson guitar. His shop consists of Johan and an able assistant who was trained at the London Guild Hall University (and is a wonderful guitarist). That’s both good and bad news. The good news is that Johan’s genius is evident in every guitar he creates. The bad news is that since he makes them all himself, there are never many available. It’s a rare treat to play one. Simply superb.

Serial #33914
Bodymahogany
Topmaple
Neckmahogany
Bindingcreme colored royalite
Nut width1.685"
Neck profile'59 rounded
Scale length24.75"
Fretboard radius12"
FretboardBrazilian rosewood
PickupsThrobak SLE-101 MXV
Pickup configurationH/H
TunersKluson Deluxe Keystone tuners
BridgeGustavsson wraparound bridge
Finishtobacco sunburst nitrocellulose
Weight6.6lbs
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