Two Killer Takes on Another Plank of Wood.
Our Topanga is inspired by another of my favorite guitars the, (well never mind the name, let's just try to keep the various guitar company lawyers off my case.) Firstly, I just really wanted one and it had to be a great one. So like always we started with the best lumber I could get my hands on. We already had the Ash so I got some mahogany, real mahogany. Then started to design what would be a better version of the classic. We needed to address the headstock breakage issue, the neck pocket, and we had to come up with our own, distinctive three-on-a-side headstock design.
To try to eliminate the headstock breakage issue that is so prevalent on mahogany necks we added a beautiful hand-shaped volute, inspired by Scarlett Johansson's upper lip. A picture of her here at the shop serves as inspiration. We placed the volute well behind the nut so it would never interfere with your hand while playing.
Next, we addressed the neck joint. We needed one that was a clear improvement over the old style. So after a lot of revisions we came up with a perfectly matching pocket that doesn't need to be hidden under a pickguard. There is no gap at all and it's a gorgeous joint that produces a very tight fit and a great glue-line. Most companies just put a giant gap between the end of the neck and the body. This is usually tucked under a pickup or a pickguard to hide it. We don't do that. We leave ours where you can see it. We still put a pickguard over it but we don't have to in order to hide our tracks.
Last but not least is our headstock. This part was tough and I drew many, many variations before settling on what you can see now on our guitars. One big difference between ours and others is that the top edge is angled like a banjo headstock is. It makes for what we believe is a much classier look.
After, a lot of playing, listening and revising, we settled on what we think is the best possible bridge for the Topanga; the Graph-Tech ResoMax wraparound bridge. It's super light, sounds great and can be intonated perfectly. Another feature of the ResoMax bridge is that all of its surfaces are rounded so you can rest your palm on it without the uncomfortable feel of the sharp edges that many other bridges have. But the tone was the deal maker on this one. We love it and we think you will too.
We developed a fine set of hand-wound P-90 pickups for our Topanga guitars that captures the vintage sound and then some. They break up early but clean up nicely. The perfect combination of grit and grease.
Our original Topanga is made from mahogany and so far all the bodies have been made from single-piece lumber. We try to do that whenever possible. The necks are also mahogany. This is the usual way to make this type of guitar and it has a deep round tone. If the vintage tone is what you are looking for, then this is for you. But because we like our T Bones so much, we decided to try out a Swamp Ash body/Maple neck version of our Topanga. And as you might guess (since we started this whole thing with our T Bone), we liked it. A lot. This little darling is like a T Bone on steroids. Tele-like highs and definition with growl. Both versions have a 24 3/4" long scale length.
These guitars all have a traditional 12" radius, rosewood fingerboard and we put our standard, 6105 frets in them.
Since their introduction these guitars have turned heads and opened eyes everywhere they've turned up. Get one in your hands and you won't let go...
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