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DYNAMIC Series : Metropolitain VSB

The same exotic Amboyna Burl as used on Rolls Royce dashboards. 

And we've heard they're pretty good cars. 

Our newest Original Design, the DYNAMIC Metropolitain features Retro-Euro styling and appointments

inspired by some of the earliest pre-WWII innovators of the modern archtop jazz guitar.

Asymetrical headstock, full block Pearloid fret markers, double-line bound Ebony fingerboard with finial tip,

Ebony knobs with Parisian-eye insert, extra-wide multiply body bindings and Art Deco-esque "fluted fan" tailpiece

are among the rich decorative stylings inspired by early European archtop jazz guitar makers.

Metropolitain models feature a thinline arched top body with two F-holes, wide open cutaway,

full-scale Ebony fretboard with 22 easily accessible frets and SR (Smooth/Round) Neck Heel.

But Why?

        I've always loved electric guitars, and especially the aesthetics of the old big box archtops...the gorgeous curvy lines,

fancy bindings, classic f-holes and beautiful woods and finishes. I've played many many of them, most all of them, over the years. 

As a young kid, starry-eyed by the Beatles I started out on the requisite entry-level electrics of the day: Duo-Sonic, Melody Maker,

Les Paul Junior. Perhaps due to some early violin lessons, who knows, but along with the usual Cowboy Chord positions

I also enjoyed taking advantage of the entire fretboard, playing way up the neck into the wide open cutaway, stretching that

22nd fret in full Santana mode. To me those frets obviously seemed meant to be played along with all the other ones, of course.

Discovering Tal, Wes and Johnny (Smith) in my late teens I so dug that jazz archtop style I sold my Les Paul and started in on playing those big hollow boxes. They were a bit big and bulky, but man they were cool. But the one real drawback I found I always struggled with them was... upper fretboard access. Or lack thereof. 'Cause gosh, even my lowly intro-level guitars had easy, full fretboard acess, and I was very used to playing those. And so my ongoing dilemma began.

First off, there is no 22nd fret on an L5. Actually, almost all jazz-style guitars only have 20 frets, with a neck/body joint way down

at the 14th fret. Even as a young player I used to think, 'why'? I discovered there are 22 frets on a short-scale Byrdland. But hey, ever

try to easily get above even the 17th fret on a shallow cutaway Byrdland? (Maybe Ted Nugent could do it, I couldn't.) 'What's the point of those extra frets if you can't reach'em?' I recall asking the music store guy. 

Yes, there are all the thinline ES-style guitars et al, a more comfortable size really, especially once you've gone full-on electric,

but they normally only have mid-scale length (24.75") boards, and I greatly prefer the full 25.5" jazz scale. (As did Leo.) 

So began decades of ever-searching for that elusive full-scale jazz-style (f-holes) guitar with full access to 22 frets.

Quick, one! Any? OK there are a few around now, the odd Hofner Jazzica or Johnny A somesuch. But by then

I'd already given up searching and decided to design one myself, and exactly how I wanted it to be.  

...Introducing Our New DYNAMIC Series.

The wide open cutaway is inspired by the sometimes almost flat cutaways of European-style jazz and Gypsy guitars, offering enhanced access to the upper reaches of the Full-Scale, 22-fret Ebony fretboard. The higher register has has been further unfettered with our new SR (Smooth/Round) Neck Heel. The unique, enlarged semi-hollow body shape features an Arched top with twin bound

F-holes and Retro-Euro appointments. One neck BergerBucker II humbucking pickup offers smooth warm jazz tones, while a Push/Pull Tone Knob splits the coils for lighter brighter tones reminiscent of early European jazz guitar recordings. 

( Addendum: also check out our new DYNAMIC Caravan models for the Ultimate in Upper Fretboard Mayhem. )

Exotic Amboyna Burl. Sort of scary exotic looking, in an scary exotic looking sort of way.  

Somehow you just know you're not in the tree farms of Michigan anymore.

 The Story on Amboyna Burl

Pterocarpus indicus - also known as Burma Padauk,

New Guinea Rosewood or generically "Narra" - is a wood species native to the Western Pacific Ocean Islands ecoregion, growing extensively throughout the Malay Archipelago. When in rarer burl form, the wood from the Curly Narra tree is referred to as Amboyna, considered one of the most splendid and among the most expensive and sought-after of all burls. The name is derived from Ambon Island, where the exotic figured wood was first discovered by Dutch merchants in the 16th century. 

In the book "Veneers, A Fritz Kohl Handbook," produced by the Fritz Kohl Veneer Mill in Germany, Amboyna burl is described as "one of the rarest and most expensive woods in the world," adding that "the burly part of the log is often very small." The scarcity of burl in the logs translates into rather high prices, as do its demand for use in high-end woodwork. According to the handbook’s authors, Amboyna burl is used for the "highest quality architectural woodwork" and that it was the first burl wood used for dashboards by Rolls Royce.

Why anyone would want to waste this beautiful wood on anything other than a guitar top is beyond me.

But here's a couple OK examples anyway, I guess. 

DYNAMIC logo in colorful Abalone. Deeply pitched headstock angle reflects high level of craftsmanship.

Custom Design SR (Smooth/Round) neck heel offers a modern performance enhancement to the upper fretboard.

Uniquely placed Volume and Tone controls facilitate quick adjustments and less time off the strings.

Push/Pull split-coil function in upper bout Tone knob expands tonal palette.

Je'aime plus Paris - mais j'aime le Metropolitain!


DYNAMIC Metropolitain VSB


PTB Custom Design Arched Top Thinline Semi-Hollow Body (15" wide body)

Exotic Amboyna Burl Top, Narra-wood Back & Sides

PTB Custom Design SR (Smooth/Round) Neck Heel

Multiply Binding, Double-bound Front & Back with Bound F-holes

"Cordovan" Vintage Tinted Thincoat finish 


Full-scale (25.5") 22-fret Ebony fingerboard

Full Block Pearloid Fret Markers

Double-line fingerboard binding with Finial Tip

Abalone Logo on Black Laquer Bound Headstock

1 11/16" Bone nut. 6130 Medium/Jumbo frets

Slim Taper "Modern D" neck profile 


Gold Hardware

VR 18-1 Ratio Sealed Tuners with Black Satin Buttons

Bergerbucker II Neck Humbucking Pickup

Push/Pull Split-Coil tap on upper bout Tone Knob

Ebony Knobs with Classical Parisian-Eye Insert

Uniquely Placed Volume & Tone Control Knobs facilitate jazz and fingerstyle playing

Floating Adjustable Wood Bridge

Euro-Retro Fluted Fan Tailpiece

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