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RESO SUN 12 STRING ACOUSTIC BARITONE RESONATOR GUITAR

Here’s an instrument daring to boldly go where none has gone before! In the early days of resophonic guitars, there were only a handful of custom order 12-strings made. Baritone guitars were completely unknown then. This instrument melds three largely disparate strands of guitar design: the resophonic, the 12-string, and the baritone. Admittedly the potential existed for this blend to sound like a muddy mess, one set of overtones clashing and clanging with another. Fortunately, luthier Kari Nieminen breathes acoustic design and was equal to the challenge of making this work.

He brought the standard Versoul baritone 26.75”scale length into play, along with his unique framing of the National-style resonator cone in a body that’s much more than a plywood shell: the top is two-piece solid European spruce and the back and sides are either solid East Indian rosewood or solid European curly maple. The fingerboard boasts a 16” radius, and the wide neck (46.5 mm at nut, 60 mm max width) and string spacing optimize ease while fingerpicking and slide playing. The result? Instead of sonic mush, there’s crisp tonal clarity and sweet sustain. A delight for the eye as well as the ear, there are several unique Versoul visual design appointments on hand, not the least of them a stunning cover plate offered in either a laminated birch veneer with a gold leaf finish and sunbeam soundholes or a steel cover plate with laser cut soundholes depicting ancient Finnish shamans. Both are beauties. Other options to consider are Versoul’s unique percussion device, the Rattlenator (see our Reso Sun 6 entry for details) and amplification via a transducer AKG C411PP contact condenser microphone.

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