The Search For A Lefty Begins...
I’m a left hander, and only other left handers will understand how difficult and frustrating it is to try and find a shop that actually has some you can try, lots of famous makes dont supply them. The island I live on in the Canary Islands (La Palma) has one guitar shop, and I’ve seen one lefty there in fourteen years. This year on a trip back to the United Kingdom, I went around central London. I couldn’t find one single lefty archtop. Sure, they advertise them online, but they never have them in stock. They are as rare as Hens Teeth!
I really didn’t want to spend a couple of thousand dollars on a guitar without trying it first. It would be crazy, wouldn’t it? But when you’ve been looking for over a year, you are left with no alternative and have to take a chance. So how do you decide?
Discovering The Heirloom
I surfed the internet for left-handers and eventually found the Conti Heirloom archtop guitar. I checked the specification, read the reviews, looked at discussion forums, etc. The clincher that really made me decide on a Conti Guitar was the fact that there are virtually none (and I mean NONE) available secondhand. So either Robert’s not selling many, or the people who buy them like them so much they don’t want to sell them!! (Now that I have one, I know that’s the case)
As it happened, it was my 70th birthday in November and I had decided to “invest” in a Conti Heirloom. Then my daughter and her partner insisted on buying it for me as a present. (Yes, I’m a lucky guy, must have done something right as a dad!)
I emailed Mike, he phoned me back said he had TWO leftys in stock (wow that’s unheard of) So cutting a long story short, it took four weeks to get to my door, due to nearly three additional weeks, delayed in Spanish customs. It arrived safely, and during the long wait there was much moral support from Mike who tried to alleviate my growing despair. (All the nice things they say about Mike are true as well)
About My New Guitar
There is not much to say about the Heirloom that hasn’t already been said, (it’s all true by the way) so I won’t. Except to say I wish I had ordered one of Robert’s guitars years ago!
You are very lucky to get this email, as I am so reluctant to put it down and do anything else other than play it! Wow, what a guitar! The quality, the craftsmanship, the sound – unplugged it’s great too. And it is so, so, so easy to play. Even with my arthritic fingers, I can’t believe the difference. When you feel that sort of difference, it gives you so much more enthusiasm.
Couldn’t have wished for a better 70th birthday present. I am absolutely delighted. Many thanks to all you guys for the help you have given me. I will send some pictures when I can tear myself away and find a camera ! ! !
Unlike most of the guys who appear on the website I don t have a long history or experience with guitars. I picked one up around fifteen years ago, bought one a while later and have been persevering since. Being retired I now have the time to do the things I want. Learning to play chord melody is one of them. My hands are arthritic so I’m never going to be like a lot of the guys in the videos, but that’s no excuse not not trying to be as good as you can. My level of ability can no way justify this quality of guitar, but it is so easy to play. I’ve had it four days and already I can play things I couldn’t play before.
So if anyone reading this is thinking of buying a Conti Heirloom, ask yourself if you want to leave the money in your bank as an inheritance for someone else, or invest it in a family Heirloom that you have the pleasure of enjoying.
The guitar remains a delight to play. I’m working hard on the “Chord Melody Assembly Line” and so far, my wife has not threatened to leave me!
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands