Luttrell/Jones Gambler 003 Birth
This is the 3rd Gambler guitar and sports the improvements made in the final templates and molds. Compared to the first prototype there are very little changes to the naked eye. I can tell the body weighs a few more ounces and I can hear the increased throaty sound from the slightly larger capacity. The bridge plate which is about a 1/16" farther to the rear is now one piece maple with a double taper. The shape of the body was refined and perfected into one of the best looking small body shapes I've ever seen. It measures 14.25" wide and almost 4 inches deep putting it into the grand concert size class when compared to the original OS Stella designs. This is slightly larger than a Martin 00 guitar but slightly smaller than an Martin OM/000 guitar size. Perfect for almost any country blues musician whether in the studio, a parlor or a live show. The original Stella guitars in this size are the most expensive and sought after but they were not made to the standards these are. The way we tension, radius the bracing and rake the body and neck on this guitar requires a much more time consuming labor process with close attention to detail. The result is evident. You won't get this kind of guitar from a production line or factory made brand. Nuff said.
When Ralph and I first selected these woods for #003 and then tapped the body again after bracing and assembly we knew it was going to sound like it does. You could hear the ballsy throaty tone even then. The guitar below will ship to a loving home in a few weeks after we finish it and a few more just like it. We want to hear serial number 3, 4, and 5 side by side before we move on to others. In the video below you cannot hear the full range of the guitar but it does give you a good idea just how "Stella" like this little tone monster is. Once I play it a few days it will go back for any setup fixes that I can identify and get the final buffing and prepared to ship to a customer.
FIRST VIDEO OF Gambler #003 right after birth
Below: Ralph stringing up #003 for the first time.
Below: Reaming and slotting the bridge to fit the unslotted pins is a lot of labor but worth it when it comes to a lifetime of changing strings with ease and maintaining maximum tone and minimum wear on the bridgeplate.
Below: We are comparing just how subtle the size and shape changed from the first prototype. Also how stark yet very tasteful the non-decal design looks. It just rings of the old Kalamazoo look. A burst around the sound hole is on our list of things to do next. In fact we have a whole lot of ideas we just can't let out of the bag yet.
Below: Woods for experimental builds we have planned. I cannot reveal anymore info on it but trust me it will be cool! Using #003 here to show the contrast in wood colors to the black. Trust me if you have some idea about a design chances are we already thought of it ;)