19" Master 400

The beginning

Years ago I was invited to play rhythm in a local Count Basie big band project. As I needed a proper guitar for the job, it lead me to research the fine art embedded in these great 19" Stromberg Master 400 guitars.
As you may know, Freddie Green used to play this Grand Piano of Archtop Guitar by Charles and Elmer Stromberg.

But since the Stromberg guitars were discontinued in mid1950s, in order to get one, I decided to order it from myself.

Single brace

Soon my research put me in touch with the most famous collector of Stromberg guitars, Doug Green, whom helped me to get all the secret dimensions and details just right.
The guitar has a very unique single brace top, resulting in huge bass, and a great projection which allows the inner strings to cut through a big band setting, forming a perfect mix with bass and drums.

 

Special Guitar

So this is a very special archtop. Apart from the stock Grover Imperial tuners, nothing else is regular: no binding is the right size, no pickguard nor tailpiece can be bought from any supplier. And for the size alone you need cello sized woods! I was really hooked with all the details, and I wanted to make them just like Charles and Elmer had done.

Personally I prefer to play it fully acoustic with heavy bronze strings and high action. But, it can be set up with low action, strung with flat-wounds, and fitted with a Rhythm Chief style single coil pickup as well.

Got to have a case

In fiberglass, yes – and covered in two-tone lizard skin on the outside, with a leopard fur pattern on the inside. No lizards or leopards were harmed in the making of these cases, but the look is real. 

Options for this guitar

Back & sides: Solid masterclass flamed maple
Body size: 19 inch
Bridge: Brazilian rosewood-adjustable, with original style m.o.p. inlays
Fingerboard: Ebony with m.o.p. inlays and side dots
Finish: Nitrocellulose, Available on Natural, Aged or sunburst color
Frets: Jescar FW5509
Hardware: Tailpiece handmade in brass
Inlays: Mother-of-pearl
Neck: Solid masterclass 5-piece maple & rosewood, original headstock design
Neck dimensions: 43mm at the 0-fret, 54mm at the 14th fret
Pickguard: Yes !
Scale length: 25 1/2"
Top: Solid European spruce
Truss-rod: two-way adjustable