The Bartlett Retrospec pays homage to one of the most collectable and sought after guitars, a Les Paul from the 1950s. Based in Ontario Canada, Tom builds these by hand, following and reproducing as much as possible, the methods, components and specs used in Kalamanzoo in the 50s. The ultimate goal was to recreate the vintage approach on these guitars into a stellar instrument and be like a time-machine to bring you back to how they were done back in the 50s.
Right out of the box, the guitar feels comfortably worn-in. Yet, there is a certain aura and strength in holding it, almost as if you'd already knew that it is a tone-monster in and of itself. The finish on the guitar is something to behold. It is done with a formula of nitrocellulose lacquer that was used in the 50s and it makes all the difference. The ultra-thin finish lets the guitar breath and roar like it was supposed to without inhibition. If you would like an opportunity to play a Les Paul from the 50s without the current prices that they sell for, this is the closest thing.
-One piece Honduran mahogany body
- Single piece neck with ‘ears’
- Holly headstock veneer
- Mother of pearl Bartlett signature inlayed into headstock
- CITES certified Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard
- .045" tall nickel-silver fret wire
- Cellulose nitrate fingerboard inlays
- Cream royalite body binding
- Cream cellulose nitrate fingerboard binding
- Nylon 6-6 string nut
- Eastern maple carved top
- Two-tone, two-volume controls with 3 way control switch
- Rewind A-5 P90s
- ABR-1 style bidge, and lightweight tailpiece or Wrap-Around bridge
- 1” long tailpiece studs and bushings
- Kluson or Grover tuners
- Super thin non plasticized nitrocellulose lacquer finish
Note: There is a small dent on the case of the guitar (last photo) that happened during shipping. Guitar is otherwise flawless and undamaged.