Neck is amazing. . .Terrific Instrument

Ok – I’ve had the Conti Entrada for a little over a week. A video review will do this guitar the justice it deserves but for now, I’m going to write out some bullet points to talk to later and to let Robert Conti know how things are going here.
Packing and shipping:
  • The guitar was meticulously packed both in the case and the case within the box. Great care went into packing the instrument.
  • All that was needed out of the box was to tune the guitar and go. The service level at the company is impeccable. The instruments gets completely set up and then Uncle Bob takes it for a test run (which I have on video). A pro player’s hands are the last one’s on it before I take it and play it.
  • Looks matter to me A LOT because it goes to quality.
  • No picture I can show you can really hammer home how impressive of an instrument this is.
  • The aesthetic is flawless.
  • The finishes are flawless at every little detail point as well. The details with the border binding around the guitar – flawless. The mother of pearl inlays with the abalone – flawless. The border around the fretboard (which I just noticed) flawless.
  • Did I mention that I got a whiff of the wood smell when removing the cover on the guitar? Don’t let the laminate finish fool you. It’s a high end laminate finish but beneath it is a three-ply maple body and it’s really well built.
  • The gold hardware is the highest quality and it really shows in person. What really jumps out at me is the way the tune-a-matic bridge looks especially compared to the cheaper ones on the budget guitars. You can’t even compare them.
  • The use of ebony on the guitar from the fretboard to the pickguard to the tailpiece matches beautifully with the blonde finish on the guitar (and that’s not even the best part)
  • I love the headstock on the guitar and really like the way it’s dressed – especially with the chalice.
  • Last – and more of a personal preference thing – I like the single pickup configuration. I never play bridge pickups and with a guitar like this, I prefer the simplicity of a single pickup and think a pick up switch detracts from the look. Not a criticism but not a fan on an archtop.
Playability/feel, etc:
  • My personal preference for an archtop is a thin body so the Entrada works perfectly for that.
  • The body size is PERFECT. It is an extremely comfortable instrument to hold and the size of the body puts my right arm in a very comfortable resting position making the guitar very easy to play.
  • The neck is amazing. The feel of it reminds me of my old ’60s Gibson archtop from years back and I’ve never owned a guitar with the nearly flat fingerboard radius. My technique may suck for now but it’s clear that this guitar wants to play fast and is built for it. I especially noticed it when switching strings playing some lines (felt like the transitions were easier).
  • This is also the first 24-fret guitar I’ve owned and the accessibility to the higher frets (by design) was a great move on Bob’s part. The shallow cut just isn’t for looks, it’s functionality.
  • It’s a sold guitar but comfortable (not a brick like my Epi Les Paul). It’s plays like a dream whether I’m doing single note lines, chord melody or just banging on some chords.
  • Remember I said earlier how the quality of the parts would indicate how the thing would sound – all I had to do was tune up the guitar and strum an open E chord and I knew I was on a completely different level. That was unplugged
  • The natural resonance and sustain blew me away. The whole damn guitar vibrated and just kept going. Warm, rich and full.
  • Plugged in – amazing. The Kent Armstrong Vintage ’57 is the perfect pickup for this instrument given that it nails that old school, warm PAF sound. The tones are crystal clear and harmonically rich. The pickup is also very responsive to dynamics and pick attack. I put this into my crappy Line 6 Spider practice amp and it made that sound good. With my 16 watt Class A tube amp – blew me away.
  • Along with the pickup is are volume and tone knobs that are very responsive to small adjustments. The tone knob has a very wide range of sounds you can get from it. LIke the rest of the guitar, the electronics are high end (CTS linear pots – 500K and I assume a CTS .0047 green capacitor)
This is a terrific instrument – a truly high end pro-quality instrument at a price where the bang for the buck factor is enormous. This thing punches above its weight class. You don’t have to spend $2,000 and up for an all-wood archtop in order to get a high-level instrument. These retail at $1,389 – by comparison, Gibson ES-335s are almost twice that and you’re not getting the quality or service level. For what I play and what I want, this gives me everything I could have asked more if not more. Perfect right out of the case. Now to learn to play the thing.
-Dave Ruggiero – Summit, NJ

Share This Post

Leave a Comment