The guitar arrived perfectly. In a first inspection there was a couple of notes that had a buzz in the fret, but it is already solved. My impressions:
- The design of the guitar is very nice. The combination of the black color with the gold pickups makes it look elegant and distinguished. It is comfortable to play and well balanced. The single cut shape makes all 24 frets accessible.
- The neck is excellent. As Robert Conti said in the video it is the same as that of Equity. It is one of the best necks I have ever played. Very low action and a flat fingerboard makes it a butter to play.
- The body of the guitar is very nice. It looks small but not as small as a Les Paul. As the whole body is mahogany, without a maple top, I think it influences (along with the pickups) that the sound is very deep and warm.
- Kent Armstrong pickups have quite a good output and can be a bit dark. You have to play with the tone control to fine-tune the sound.
- The knobs are different from a classic LP setup. It is fine for the volume ones to be at the top and the tone ones at the bottom. But I didn’t like the tone controls. If you turn the tone all the way down, the volume of the guitar practically disappears. This is easily solved with other capacitors, which are also very cheap… I did like that with the pickup selection in the middle (both pickups sounding), if you remove the volume of one of the pickups, the guitar continues to sound with the other (but the tone of the pickup that is without volume does work: a little strange), and it does not happen that the guitar stops sounding, as it happens in a classic configuration like an LP or type 335: good idea.
- Ultimately, I think this prototype is a solid guitar geared towards jazz sounds (and beyond) with the benefit of solving the problem of feedback in an archtop. With slightly better electronics, I have no doubt that it will become one of my favorite axes.
- I hope that when all the pandemic problem ends, this guitar will become a standard model in the Conti range. I think that many musicians (pro or amateurs) are waiting for something like this at a more than reasonable price.
I can only add my thanks to the entire team for their kindness and great work, and especially to Robert Conti. Take care and I hope everyone is safe.
Carles Vidal – Barcelona, Spain