This new b3 Guitars SL59 makes some pretty bold claims and has its sights firmly set on recreating those classic tones of the late ’50s. It has all the specs you’d expect from a traditional ’50s singlecut model, but the body shape may not be for everyone.
b3 Guitars SL59
Available in either a Faded Cherry or Dirty Lemon finish, the new b3 Guitars SL59 was designed by Masterbuilder Gene Baker and is his take on the old ‘Burst singlecut models from the 1950s. It features an old-growth mahogany body with an Eastern maple top, an old-growth mahogany neck with a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, and a Holly headstock veneer. You also have a deep-set neck tenon, along with a 17-degree headstock angle, all the things purists want from a guitar of this vintage style design.
Hand crafted from only the finest materials and incorporating vintage correct appointments, the SL59 is the definition of “Burst Killer” – b3 Guitars
The guitar comes loaded with a pair of b3-designed PAF humbuckers, with bumblebee capacitors and wired via a twin volume and tone layout with a three-way toggle switch. For hardware you get a TonePros AVR-II bridge with an aluminium tailpiece. So pretty much all the kind of specs you would expect from a guitar of this ilk. It’s clear that these models are going straight after many of Gibson’s own Les Paul models and, potentially, trying to eclipse them in terms of tones.
These could well turn out to be swans, but the design is very ‘ugly duckling’ to my eye and personally, I’m not sure it really works. On paper the specifications are all very high-end and nice, but the images of the new SL59 models just aren’t doing it for me and I think they look pretty oddball.
They may well be “Burst Killer” material, but aesthetically I think they lack a lot of what I’d be looking for in a boutique guitar. Especially at this price point. For my money, I’d be looking at a boutique brand like Ivison Guitars who, for me, nail classic guitar designs, but without ripping off existing ones by cloning them.
Let us know what you think of the new b3 Guitars SL59 in the comments section below. Is it a winner or a sinner?
RRP – from USD 6400