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Friday, July 24, 2015

E. Lombardo Guitars ELB HH SN:02,...(Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from:Manufacturer
Street Price: $1,799 USD  with case + shipping

About:
E. Lombardo Guitars is a manufacturer of handcrafted, American made, custom, boutique electric guitars by master luthier Ernie Lombardo, in East Setauket, New York. 

This ELB has a one piece quarter sawn African mahogany body that flows into a 24 3/4 scale birdseye maple small 60's shaped bolt-on neck that is dresses in a 10.5 - 17.5 compound radius Macassar ebony dance floor featuring 22 frets with 6150 wire, abalone dot inlays with side markers and she is topped with a tusq 1 11/16 nut. 

Hardware:
Hipshot stainless "T" style string through body bridge, Hipshot open nickle machine heads, 2-way Donlop strap locks, and turned mahogany control knobs with set screw.

Electronics:
A set of hand-wound long alnico 4 nickel covered traditional style humbuckers (7.6K neck/9.1K bridge) ran through (1) 500K volume potentiometer with .001uf/150r volume mod/treble bleed circuit and (1) 500K tone potentiometer with a .022uf music capacitor on a 3-way toggle to the 1/4 inch mono jack wired modern.

Sound

Amp used:
Indigo McD 50 1x12

Cable used:
Conquest

Strings used:
Von York Kelvinite

Pick used:
Gravity Sunrise mini 1.3

Selector position 1: Just Neck
This is what I consider a true vintage (197o's) "Gibson" sounding neck, just without the "mud" making it very usable for all styles of play, with even string-to-string touch sensitivity. 

Selector position 2: Middle
A well balanced mix between the neck and bridge with a slight "quack" offering some heavy single coil characteristics -- making this a very usable middle tone, almost like a dark P90 with out the growl. 

Selector position 3:  Just Bridge
To me; it just doesn't get any better than a dirty traditional or slightly under wound bridge PAF/Humbucker... and that is exactly what this sounds like. Think Billy Gibbons / Slash on Appetite / Gary Moore with that high volume "talking feedback". This is that clear, bright, ballsy, refined lead tone that us vintage players dream about.  

Action, Fit & Finish:
This guitar features a natural wood grain with a gloss clear nitro finish. The action was low without any fret buzz and the intonation was spot on.  

Reliability & Durability:
This guitar is well made -- it is solid through and through. There was no hum or crackles from the electronics and all knobs and hardware were installed snug and proper. 

Impression:
This guitar was sent to be displayed at the Von York Strings booth at Summer NAMM and was mailed to Rosario (my co-host on Gear Guys Radio), who is the CEO of Von York Products. The plan was that he was going to put a set of his Kelvinite Cryo strings (10-46) on her and I would pick her up before NAMM to do this review; and well... that just didn't happen. He was so impressed with this guitar that he didn't want to let her go, and I got to play her for the first time at Summer NAMM. So on day two of NAMM, I got into the hall an hour before the show opened and plugged her into an Indigo McD 50 and turned up to stage volume. Immediately I noticed a few things. To start: this guitar is very light weight and is not chambered -- so I was expecting a LP Special HH thin kind of sound, but she has depth with a fat bottom, like a skinny chick with a fat ass... bonus! Next I gave her the sustain-vs-feedback test. I stood in front of the amp with her controls on 10 and amps volume on 3 o'clock (that is really fu*king loud) and started holding single notes to see where/when she would start to scream instead of sing. No one likes an obnoxious screamer, that sh*t can get embarrassing quickly. I was very surprised based on her thin body construction that I was able to hold every note for at least five seconds with "talking feedback" before she went off-note with the gain on the amp cranked, and I was facing the speaker. Last... I just played her until the sound police came over to let me know that I was enjoying myself too much and that needed to stop because there is zero tolerance policy towards happiness and fun at NAMM! 

Over all I am very impressed with the craftsmanship and design of this guitar. I was able to dial in many different tones from blues to jazz, country, rock and even metal without any effects/pedals (just the guitar and amp) -- but what make a company great is it's people and Erine Lombardo is genuine, friendly and knowledgeable

What I would change:
I would have liked to have seen a satin or raw wood finish on the neck, but that is just personal preference and this guitar is 100% the way she is. 

My advice:
If you are looking for an American handmade guitar that delivers traditional humbucker tones, you should try this E. Lombardo Guitars ELB HH before your next purchase.

Contact:
E. Lombardo Guitars  
22 Andrea Drive,
East Setauket, NY  11733
516.459.6733


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Posted 07/2015
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