At first glance, the Deluxe Bob Weir Bedford is unassuming enough. Three knobs, three pickups, one five-way selector. But look a little closer, and the variety of tones quickly becomes expansive.
Let’s start with the pickups. In the neck and bridge positions, a Seymour Duncan Stacked P-90. In the middle, a Lollar Blonde—“brighter than a thousand suns,” as Bob says. Easy enough, but it gets a bit complex from there.
Since D’angelico introduced its first solidbodies last year, we’ve been big fans of its fresh approach to guitar design, melding aspects of triedand-tested formats with inspiring new shapes. The Brighton is the latest to join the mid-priced Premier line-up and, although it looks to be the most conventional yet, the features it shares with its D’angelico brethren set it apart from the crowd.
That shape, then: the Brighton’s horns echo a 335, but the body has a whiff of Yamaha’s SG2000 and Revstar outlines, albeit packing Florentine rather than Venetian cutaways, and a lighter weight owing to the basswood
The D’Angelico Premier SS Stopbar comes from a long-established company that is not necessarily known to every guitarist. But D’Angelico is undoubtedly a legend of archtop construction, and musicians like Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Bucky Pizzarelli, Chet Atkins, Joe Pass, Chuck Wayne and many others made the brand a cult. Founder of the company was John D’Angelico, who saw in 1905 as the son of Italian immigrants in New York the light of day. At just nine, he trained as a violin and mandolin maker with his great-uncle Raphael Ciani and continued to run the company for a few years after his death. In 1932 he founded his own company “D’Angelico Guitars” on Kenmare Street 40 in Manhattan.Here, the Archtop guitars were crafted together with only two other employees by hand – more custom shop does not work. In the 1930s, he made an annual number of 35 instruments. John died in 1964 at the age of only 59, whereupon his colleague Jimmy D’Aquisto continued the legacy until his death. The last D’Aquisto guitar was completed in 1996 by John Monteleone, then the brand fell into a deep sleep until 2011. The new owners expanded the assortment with solidbody and acoustic guitars as well as electric basses and moved part of the production to the Far East.