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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

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. 

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.

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.


Amp used:
Indigo McD 50 1x12

Cable used:

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. 

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.

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

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Posted 07/2015
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