I NEVER NEVER buy a guitar over the internet sight unseen. I waited years for an all-original Johnny Smith to show up locally. I bought my Conti Guitar sight unseen from you because I inherently trust you, and with good reason. I am surprised by your guitar, only because it exceeded my (already high) expectations, based on all your other products. You outdid yourself on this one. Thanks again so much for how you took such interest in making sure my new guitar was in my hands tonight.
I must say that after talking to Robert on the phone (fascinating conversation), I got a chance to spend some time with the new guitar. It is amazing! I played it unamplified, which is what I normally do at home. I only tried it through my amp to make sure there wouldn’t be any “surprises” the next time the band gets together next week. What I found was that the same settings I use for my Johnny Smith, work well for my Conti Guitar.
Anyway, this really is a great instrument. The Johnny Smith is a different instrument – smaller but thicker body, different pickups, etc. but I would say that the Conti is every bit as capable an instrument in a gigging situation. To say that the Conti Guitar will easily replace my Johnny Smith on gigs is not an extravagant claim and I would think any experienced player would readily see the wisdom of that if they have any concerns about damaging or losing to theft such a fine instrument as a Johnny Smith. However, nobody would take a poor quality guitar in its place on a gig because nobody wants to sound or play badly. Therefore, the Conti Guitar must be really decent if I am gigging with it. I have absolutely no qualms grabbing my Conti Guitar to “play out” with instead of my Johnny Smith, and it will always be what I play with the band. There is a certain “something” about vintage high end instruments, so the Johnny Smith is certainly special in its own right. However, the Conti is a quality instrument and I can honestly say that as the owner of a vintage Gibson Johnny Smith, I appreciate a fine instrument, and the Conti Guitar is a fine instrument in its own right.
A local respected professional jazz guitarist, told me that most people who endorse instruments swap out various parts, especially pickups. He told me I would most likely want to swap out the pickups on my Conti Guitar. He has never played one, but said that he has heard nothing but good things about them, and he said in that price range, the pickups are usually one place that cost cutting is done. He will be surprised to hear my Conti Guitar. I have no reason to consider changing anything on it except strings when they need changing. I know he will be impressed by my Conti Guitar.
One last comment – I am very fortunate to have the wife I have. If she were anybody else, I would have a tough time justifying why I still have my expensive Johnny Smith after she heard your guitar, since “vintage high end” is not her concern. Luckily, I was able to sell other guitars to pay for the Conti guitar. The Conti guitar is very affordable, yet the quality is very high. The Conti Guitar is a serious instrument anyone looking for a decent quality archtop should consider