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1996 Lacey Imperial

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Serial #: 0017, Los Angeles label

Nut Width: 1 11/16" Scale Length: 25 1/2" Body size: 18" Body depth: 3 1/4" Neck depth, 1st/10th frets: .78/.86

Materials: Solid bookmatched handcarved quartersawn spruce top; solid tiger flame maple neck and body; solid ebony fingerboard; multiply binding; polished bone nut.

Hardware: 100% original dark ebony hardware includes contoured tailpiece, bound stairstep pickguard, compensated adjustable bridge. Gold Grover Super Rotomatic tuners; engraved pearl truss rod cover.

Notes: Among the very most accomplished of modern American luthiers, Mark Lacey began his career in the mid-70's in London, building renaissance and baroque stringed instruments. After stints with Gruhn and Bill Lawrence, Lacey opened his own shop, first in LA and then in Nashville, where he currently resides. His artist roster has included notable jazzers like Herb Ellis, Howard Alden and Bruce Forman, and other clients including Jackson Browne, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Paul McCartney. Influenced by D'Angelico and D'Aquisto as well as the Gibson classics, Lacey was chosen as one of the top luthiers for the Chinery Blue Guitar project, and has earned a reputation as one of the world's premier builders of the archtop guitar.

In an era when many so-called 'acoustic' archtops are essentially glorified electrics, few contemporary instruments can compete with the full-throated beauties of the big band era. We are pleased therefore to report that the Imperial is not only one of the very finest sounding modern archtops we've played to date, but that it can stand respectably alongside many of the finest super jumbos of the classic era.

The Lacey Imperial is Mark's tribute to the legendary D'Angelico New Yorker, one of the most impressive and highly coveted guitars of all time. Weighing in at a phenomenal 5lb. 11oz., this instrument is quite likely the lightest super jumbo guitar we've ever had the pleasure to play: it simply floats on the lap with effortless balance. Maintained in gleaming condition, the guitar is 100% original, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear. The natural blonde finish is deeply ambered, and apart from a few wisps of checking on the top, and a tiny lacquer nick near the treble soundhole, shows few signs of play altogether.

Open and deeply resonant, the finely graduated tap-tuned X-braced soundboard produces an exceptionally rich voice, with remarkable depth and resonance, and powerful projection. The multi-ply grained ivoroid binding and the engraved art deco mother of pearl truss peghead inlay and truss rod cover all attest to an obsessive attention to detail. Even the pickguard is a faithful recreation of the D'Angelico original, with its signature stairstep profile. The body is crafted of outstanding AAA bookmatched tiger flame maple of highly symmetrical figure, and the neck profile is a marvel of playability, with a slim, elegant "D" profile and smooth low action over a fresh high-precision setup.

More remarkable still, this guitar has remained fully acoustic since it left the shop: no pickup or controls have ever been added to it. And a special plus: a deluxe white Calton molded ATA certified flight case: bulletproof protection wherever you may go.

We've said it before: you can spend many times the price and not find a finer archtop guitar. One only: call now.




















































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