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2015 Shelley Park Elan 12, Bearclaw Top
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SN#: 309, dated February, 2015, signed by the maker
Body size at lower bout: 15 3/4" (40cm) Scale length: 25 1/4" (640mm) Nut Width: 1 11/16" (43mm)
Materials: Bookmatched solid bearclaw Sitka spruce top; solid Indian Rosewood back and sides; African Mahogany neck; solid ebony fingerboard; rosewood bound body.
Hardware: All original hardware including solid ebony bridge; DR Selmer style tailpiece; gold Schaller tuners with grained ivoroid buttons.
Notes: Vancouver, BC based luthier Shelley Park has built a worldwide following for her exquisitely crafted gypsy jazz guitars. And before she retired from the Northwest Manouche group Pearl Django, Shelley had at least as many fans of her relentless rhythm guitar work. Like many of the current BC builders, Shelley studied her craft with the legendary Michael Dunn, and has perfected her elegant style with a series of classic designs.
The Elan 12 is Shelley's tribute to the original Maccaferri's design of the early '30s. The D-hole body produces a warmer bass response for comping, and the short scale neck facilitates nimble fingering for the soloist. This particular example was made with the most extravagantly figured bearclaw spruce soundboard we have ever seen, on any guitar. Perfectly bookmatched, it's an unusually dramatic accent for this tastefully designed guitar.
Tipping the scales at barely 4lb (1.8 kg), the guitar is a delight to hold, and deeply resonant. The body is straight-grained Indian rosewood of the highest grade, and the truss-rodded African Mahogany neck is graced with handsome end-grained facing on the back of the peghead. The bridge and fingerboard are of solid ebony, and the body is accented with elegant rosewood binding.
This gleaming example is in showroom condition, and shows no playwear of any kind. The neck profile is a comfy gentle D, with smooth low action over a fresh high precision setup. The voice is rich and warm, with excellent bass response and projection, and power to burn. An unusually attractive and musically compelling instrument, from one of the most gifted builders working today. Claw your way to the top of the heap with this featherweight powerhouse. One only: call now.
Setup: This instrument is strung with light gauge silvered steel strings, and will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference.
Case: Original deluxe black contoured plush lined hardshell case.