Update: A previous version of this post referred to the model discussed here as “The Spitfire” – we’ve since been informed by Neil at Ivison that the company has decided to rename the model to “Hurricane” due to legal issues. We’ve amended this post accordingly.
The latest design from Ivison Guitars in the UK is a great looking handmade model called The Hurricane. It combines elements of the much coveted ’59 ‘Burst, the Junior, and Special designs from across the pond. We think this might be one of the prettiest boutique singlcut guitar we’ve seen this year.
Ivison Guitars’ The Hurricane
UK company Ivison Guitars has a brand new model that combines elements from three classic American instruments to achieve something that looks familiar, and yet still manages to make its own unique stamp in the boutique guitar world. The Hurricane uses nothing but quality materials throughout. It has an African Mahogany body with a bound, subtly carved Eastern Maple flame top, paired with a Honduran Mahogany neck with a Premium AAA Indian Rosewood fingerboard. The calibre of woods is high throughout the build and certainly helps give the model a premium look.
The body shape and carve looks very well balanced to my eye, and you can see hints of all the models that inspired this guitar. The one-piece Honduran Mahogany neck has a vintage 17 degree headstock angle, and the neck profile is hand-carved using a guitar from 1956 (with rolled fingerboard edges) as a template, and so should have a nice worn-in feel. It also has Jescar 45100 fret wire, genuine 50’s celluloid dot inlays, plus a vintage correct single action truss rod. Purists looking for a quality vintage-inspired single cut guitar are likely to appreciate these appointments.
The guitar is finished in vintage correct aniline dyes and a proper vintage formulated nitro-cellulose lacquer, which has then been subtly faded and ever so lightly aged, to give it the correct look of an older guitar. It isn’t over-the-top ageing like the recent Gibson Murphy Lab guitars, and complements the guitar perfectly.
Electronics & Hardware
The Hurricane has a Sunbear Pickups True Vintage Spec PAF Humbucker in the bridge, matched with a Sunbear Pickups Low Wind P90 in the neck position, along with TS True Vintage Taper 500k pots, Ivison PIO capacitor, and a Switchcraft switch and jack socket. Art of Ageing control knobs and pointers are used, along with a Faber Aluminium Compensated bridge and studs. Nothing has been scrimped on, and that’s exactly what I would want in a high-end guitar.
Verdict… The Best single cut of the year?
I have not played this guitar yet, but I would love to. The specifications and choice of woods, pickups and hardware are all top notch, and a huge plus is that it is hand-made using proper vintage finishing techniques. Add all of this up and I am amazed that Ivison Guitars can make The Hurricane for £3495, as many of the larger US builders cannot come close to these specs at this price point. For a hand-made boutique guitar, I think this is perfectly priced.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Do you think this is the best single cut of the year so far?
RRP – GBP 3495 inc Hiscox Liteflite Case