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2000 Comins Chester Avenue 18

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Serial#: 100, label and soundboard signed by the builder

Body size at lower bout: 18", Body Depth: 3 1/2" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut: 1 3/4"

Finish: sunburst finish, nitrocellulose lacquer type.

Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved fine grain Sitka spruce top; handcarved AAA flame maple back and sides; 3 piece tiger flame maple neck; solid ebony fingerboard; engraved pearl headstock logo; deluxe 9-ply body binding; 5-ply headstock and neck binding; chamfered f-holes.

Hardware: Hardware includes hand carved ebony tailpiece and multi-bound finger rest; gold Schaller 16X1 tuners with ebony keys, compensated adjustable ebony bridge; vintage gold DeArmond FHC pickup with tone and volume controls and endpin jack.

Notes: Serious archtop fans have long known that the traditional noncutaway body design remains unsurpassed for sheer acoustic volume and vibrant tone. More's the pity that so few contemporary builders are willing to produce the flagship super jumbos that once dominated bandstands coast to coast. So we're lucky Bill Comins is one builder not afraid to defy the fashions of the moment.

Comins has been making master quality instruments by hand at his Pennsylvania workshop for a number of years, building in the process a formidable reputation for meticulous detail and precision craftsmanship. Using the design concepts of Bob Benedetto as a starting point, Comins has evolved a line of instruments that reflect both his personal vision and his high standards for fit, finish and tone. This example of his top-line Chester Avenue model is a special presentation guitar designed to commemorate his 100th numered instrument.

Built in a traditional 18" body design, this big guitar evokes the spirit of the classic New Yorker, Super 400 and Emperor models, super-premium instruments that topped the catalogs of the prewar builders. This extravagant creation is constructed of bookmatched fiddleback flame maple, tap-tuned hand carved solid Sitka spruce, and hand crafted ebony hardware throughout. The peghead echoes the asymmetrical design of the prewar Epiphone Masterbilts, with finely engraved abalone and pearl inlay over a peghead facing of deeply figured walnut burl. The generous 3 1/2" body depth enhances the warmth and resonance of the voice, while the tap-tuned hand carved top is parallel braced for maximum projection. The compensated ebony bridge employs gold bushings around the bridgewheels for smooth adjustment, and the guitar is fitted with a genuine DeArmond FHC pickup for peerless vintage tone. The 1 3/4" nut and slim-depth D profile neck sit handily in the palm, and are finely tapered for effortless play, with smooth low action over freshly polished medium jumbo frets.

This example has been maintained in superb condition, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. Traditional design, modern performance, and peerless contemporary craftsmanship: all at a cost less than half of new. Truly a guitar for the ages.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge nickel roundwound strings (.012-.054). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings. The action may be lowered or raised to your requirements with the adjustable bridge.

Case: Original black plush hardshell case with custom case cover.











































































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