NEWS Whittemore Guitars: custom archtop, semi-hollow and solidbody guitars hand crafted by Ned Whittemore in Costa Mesa, CA

 

HOME  |  NEWS  |  GUITARS  |  FOR SALE  |  ORDERING  |  ABOUT  |  LINKS/FRIENDS  |  CONTACT

NEWS

Guitars

Recent activities --- scroll down for more.

Terry S. buys Kalamazoo K165C-deLuxe archtop!


Terry contacted me about the K165C-deLuxe after finding Whittemore Guitars on the internet.  He was looking for a hand-crafted, carved-top electric archtop with the classic Gibson sound - but better.  My email answer led to a series of phone calls with Terry to discuss specific features of the guitar (pickups, tailpieces, bracing patterns, neck dimensions, etc etc etc), to talk about my build philosophy, and to discuss purchase details.  Terry is a skilled and experienced player who gigs 3-4 nights a week and who owns a number of custom built archtops by other builders.  He was looking to find a guitar that had particular sonic and playability features, and for a guitar that could solve various issues related to his main gigging guitar – an X-braced all carved archtop by a well known east coast builder (name not given here out of respect). 


Terry had never seen or played one of my guitars, but was impressed by the LA jazz cats who have played my guitars (with videos on this site!), and this gave him confidence.  (Thanks cats!).  After his careful due-diligence, Terry decided to purchase the guitar, with the added confidence of the 48-hour return policy for mail-order guitars.  Terry received the K165C-deLuxe by mail and sent me a video clip within an hour with a subject line “soooooo gooood”.   He played it at a solo guitar gig that same night, and sent me this:


Terry’s testimonial.


I played my new Kalamazoo K165 at my gig tonight, and it sounded great, played just great.  I love the guitar, and the tone puts my custom X-braced archtop to shame frankly.  


I came home from the gig and A/B’d the two guitars.  My custom X-braced guitar (flamey, blonde, all carved, etc.) looks great and plays fine, but sounds muddy and flat next to the K165C, and wants to feed back easily.  It does not have the fat yet elegant sound with presence nor feel that your guitar has.  I dig the girth on the high strings yet the Kalamazoo 165C is clearer sounding at the same time.  The difference and improvement in tone was glaring.  The K165 has much better sustain and plays very easily for me.  The 25.5" scale is nothing to adjust to from the 25" I'm used to and the neck fits my hand.  Also your guitar's neck is more comfortable than any of my 1-3/4" wide necks.  Hand fatigue was non-existent tonight (with some guitars my hands get crabby after 3 hours).


I might be experiencing new car smell here, but I know my ears and hands are not being fooled.  I know I'll be selling a few guitars soon and the X-braced guitar is one.  If I didn't hear the K165C next to it I would be okay with it but once you hear the difference it's like night and day. 


Bottom line my new Kalamazoo is fun to play!  Makes me sound better.   Thanks for your artistry Ned


Thank you Terry!!

©2016 Whittemore Guitars  |  All Rights Reserved

Barry Zweig picks up ALL NEW “BZ Custom Archtop”!

Barry and I have been collaborating on a new design - a small guitar with a big sound --- and Barry came by the shop November 29 to take delivery on the #1 prototype.  The video below is Barry playing the guitar for the first time --- minutes off my workbench.  THANKS BARRY!  Look for Barry playing this fine new instrument in LA area, and particularly GUITAR NIGHT with John Pisano Tuesday December 1, 2015.  SEE YOU ALL THERE!

 

Three new guitars have just come hot off the workbench!

New Guitar #1: Barry Zweig Thinline (prototype). Incredible new design that I have been thinking about for years: small-bodied archtop with a big full jazz voice.  15” x 2-3/8” guitar with laminated top and back, solid high flame AAAA maple sides, Honduran mahogany neck, Honduran rosewood fingerboard and matching headplate, figured mother of pearl inlays in fingerboard and headplate, and single Lollar Imperial.  Finished in nitrocellulose lacquer with my custom Naked California Beach Blond shading (unadulterated lacquer), hand buffed to a mirror finish.  Hand made in a true one man custom shop.   Big jazz voice in a small package -- just like Barry!

 

The series of photos below were taken with a new lighting system and a Canon 7D DSLR camera by the great nature photographer John Guastella.  THANKS JOHN for the photography expertise!

New Guitar #2:  Blonde Kalamazoo K165C. AVAILABLE FOR SALE.  Hand-carved full body archtop - 16-1/2” x 3-3/8”.  AAAA European maple top (with a bit of bearclaw figure), flame maple back and sides, 5-ply maple neck, Ebony fingerboard and head plate, figured pearl inlay on fingerboard and headplate, black multi-line binding, and single Lollar Imperial.  Finished in nitrocellulose lacquer with my custom Naked California Beach Blonde shading (unadulterated lacquer), hand buffed to a mirror finish.  This guitar is inspired by the venerable L5-CES - but is a true hand made custom guitar.  This guitar will take your creativity to the next level!

 

New Guitar #3:  Whittemore JazzMonster My first J-style solid body.  Made mostly to standard J-Master specs, but with a few special alterations:  (1) custom hard-tail tailpiece (in copper for tone!) (2) tunomatic bridge, and (3) stealth Lollar P-90 pickups under j-master style pickup covers.  Standard “two circuit” j-master wiring.  Swamp ash body, maple neck / rosewood fingerboard, nice beefy neck profile.  Two tone sunburst in nitrocellulose lacquer, hand buffed to a mirror finish.  Fully handmade in a true one man custom shop.  This is the first J-master style guitar that I have ever liked --- with exceptional voice unamplified that comes alive thru the amp.  A monster gigging guitar for jazz / blues / and any style of music where tone is king.   Stop messing around and do yourself a favor.

T-63 SOLD at Laguna’s famous Guitar Shoppe

Another astute buyer with good taste started 2016 out on the right foot by purchasing a beautiful Whittemore T-63 -- sold by my good friends at the Guitar Shoppe in Laguna.  Fantastic instrument.  The woods.  The workmanship.  The feel.  The sound.  You could follow this lead........

Whittemore Guitars now for sale at the world famous Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto!
Gryphon is one of the best guitar shops in the known universe.  Get there and check it out for yourself if you have never been!! 


For sale now at a discounted price: Whittemore Kalamazoo K165L archtop guitar!  Contact any of the incredibly knowledgable team at Gryphon for information on ordering.  Here is what they had to say about this guitar:

Ned Whittemore, a talented luthier from Southern California, built this great playing arch top out of gorgeous heavily flamed maple. This instrument, constructed with a laminated top fabricated by Roger Borys, combines a strong acoustic sound with high quality Lollar Imperial pickups. The neck is easy to play and comfortable from the first fret to the last. The soft Venetian cutaway is a perfect look for this classically shaped arch top with a lower bout width of 16 1/2 inches and a 3 3/8 inch depth.


We snapped up this demo from Ned on his last trip to Palo Alto and, since it is a demo, we are offering it at a reduced price. There are a some small circular dents in the finish near the end of the bass f-hole in the area of photo #13, but they don't show up on the photo. You can blame John Pisano, Pat Kelly, Barry Zweig and Bruce Forman for the dents, since they all played this guitar at the LA Guitar-Night gigs.


Steve S

The great Barry Zweig playing his new Barry Zweig Model at John Pisano’s Guitar Night February 8, 2016.  
There was a huge turnout for Mr. Popular’s annual BIRTHDAY GIG. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BARRY!!!


To get a feel for the public’s reaction to this man’s great playing, I got an unsolicited email from somebody I don’t know (email address “wesfan”) who was at Barry’s gig at the Speakeasy in Venice Beach a few nights later.  The email was direct and to the point:


I’m at the Speakeasy and Barry is playing the f--- out of your guitar.


THAT IS HIGH PRAISE!  Nice work Barry!!

 

Whittemore Guitars now for sale at the world famous Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto!
Gryphon is one of the best guitar shops in the known universe.  Get there and check it out for yourself if you have never been!! 


For sale now at a discounted price: Whittemore Kalamazoo K165L archtop guitar!  Contact any of the incredibly knowledgable team at Gryphon for information on ordering.  Here is what they had to say about this guitar: