By Everett P. Lima, Freeport, MI
Well, I've had my B&G Little Sister for a few months now, I think that I can give this beautiful guitar a proper review.
First here is a little background on me, I just turned 53 on 22, June of this year and started taking guitar lessons from the late, great jazz player Joe Pass when I was eight years old.I started my professional career as a musician at the age of 10 by playing on live public television in Miami, Florida to fill in the spots between television shows and to provide backing music during taped segments.I've toured, recorded, written and produced every type of music imaginable and currently own and operate Static Attic Entertainment, with two locations, one in Palm Beach, Florida and the other just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan.I have an extensive guitar collection that consists of well over 300 guitars and approximately 180 different amplifiers.
I'm not one to use pedals, I was taught in the 'old school' just guitar, amplifier, and a cord connecting the two.So there is a brief bio about me, now on to the instrument.........
When I first heard of the Little Sister I thought "how or why would someone pay so much for a guitar that has not been in the marketplace for any length of time".
The company was small, still very new and it hasn't made a mark in the guitarist arena yet.
I will admit that the original video had much to do with me keeping a close eye on the guitar, as I was looking for something to use on my upcoming tour, something that had to be different, yet take the place of my '57, 58, and, 59 Les Pauls and pre-CBS Stratocasters.
I immediately reached out to Gibson's Memphis team and had them ship me a few ES Les Pauls, including the only one made with a Bigsby B7 vibrato.
Still that video haunted me, I kept asking myself "does the Little Sister really sound that good, or was the sound processed post video production?"
I kept up with reading the reviews and saw so many great reviews with such positive feedback I just had to give the LS a serious look, as with any guitar player, I like to touch, feel, and even smell my guitars, or at least one like it before I buy, but traveling to Tel Aviv was not an option.
I decided to contact B&G the person I spoke with was Avi Goldfinger, who answered all of the questions that I had, he was extremely helpful and very polite, I had made up my mind to go ahead and place an order for a cutaway Little Sister with double-coil pickups, as I would be using it both live and in the studio.
Little Sister number 88 was mine! I can tell you that I haven't been so excited about a custom built in many, many years, I liked opening my e-mails to get progress reports and finally the day came when it was time to choose my top.
I have had many custom guitars built, but have never had the option to decide on my actual top, after much thought and research I picked a highly quilted top, so quilted in fact that a carpenter friend of mine said that in his 30 years of being a carpenter he had never seen such a beautiful piece of wood.
I was proud, the project was coming along perfectly until I got an e-mail saying that during the "F" hole routing process, one of the holes came out slightly larger. I asked to see pictures, as I was curious as to how bad it was, now at this point I must say that most custom manufacturers would have just matched the smaller hole to the larger hole and that would have been the end of story, I even asked them to just go ahead and do that but Eliran called me and after we talked I realized his commitment to excellence and understood why he would not ship a guitar that he felt was not up to B&G standards....something I now realize is extremely high. So a new highly quilted maple top was ordered and the wait began. After a few weeks I was sent some photos of the new samples that were ordered just for my Little Sister and chose another top, this one just as highly quilted as the last and simply stunning. After speaking to Avi again I told him that because I was only looking at photographs of the top that I would like the painter, someone who knows how stain will interact with grain patterns, to actually choose the final finish for my guitar. I liked the idea of not knowing what to expect, it's like when you are expecting a child and you decide that you don't want to know the sex until after its born.
After a few weeks I started receiving e-mails again about where my Little Sister was in the build process and I was getting exited again, not only was I getting one of the first 100 production Little Sisters, but I'm pretty sure that mine is the only one that is out of sequence, what a nice touch!
I received notice that my LS was finished and shipped, I spent the next few days wondering when it would arrive, strangely enough on the day that I posted in this group that I figured it would be another week or so, it arrived that day!!
I opened the door to find my package, it had traveled such a long distance, in so many ways.
I wanted to savor the opening of this, just like a child does when opening the last Christmas present.
Carefully I opened the box and unpacked the contents.
I put the case on my kitchen table, under the white L.E.D. lighting and when I opened the case I couldn't believe my eyes!
In all the years, of all the guitars I've ever seen, I have never seen anything quite so breathtakingly beautiful.
I was almost afraid to take it out of the case, but after a few minutes of just staring at the perfectly unique paint and how it really made that quilted maple stand out I removed the guitar.
Unlike most people, I had to examine it before playing it, I looked the guitar and its workmanship, fit, and finish over and over again, in amazement at how stunning this instrument was, I couldn't find a flaw, nor imperfection anywhere.
Now it was time to play it!!
The first thing I noticed was the neck profile, it seemed familiar, comfortable, like an old friend, then it struck me that the neck profile was exactly the same as that of my first guitar, a 1954 Gibson ES-125.
I still have that guitar and many like it so I actually checked to see if it was really the same, and sure enough, perfect to the last detail! Instantly the Little Sister was at home in my hands, the neck, the string spacing, everything pointed to a vintage guitar type feel but without all the problems that would go with a 75 plus year old guitar.
I tweaked the tuning and checked the intonation and it was time to plug it in.
What better amplifier to plug it into than my original Fender Tremolux.
Instantly I was taken back to being an 8 year old boy whose Grandfather had just given him his first Gibson and Fender amplifier, except now I could play and play I did.
I didn't put the guitar down for three days! I found every aspect of the guitar to exceed my expectations, the volume and tone knobs are so very responsive the hardware amazing, with such a vintage vibe.
Most importantly the TONE, where I thought that the tone in the original video might be enhanced a bit, I found I was wrong.
The Little Sister has tone, and tone to spare! It is so lightweight and versatile that it has become my go to guitar, every guitar player that has been to the studio has to pick it up and play it.
Because of its solid construction it has been totally unaffected by humidity, climate, and temperature changes.
I take it out quite a bit and get many compliments on it, always followed by "how old is it?" As for buying a guitar without playing one first, if it is a B&G I'll never worry, the craftsmanship, quality, and most of all care is noticed and felt when playing this guitar.
I plan on ordering several more, and even have asked Avi to reserve serial number 777 for me (my lucky number).
It's nice and refreshing to see that quality and craftsmanship is alive and well at B&G Guitars! Thanks guys, keep up the great work, and Avi, I still want the first Goldfingerburst!!