Instruments & Gear: Fine Lutherie

Preston Thompson D-BA CRL

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A signature model dreadnought for rising flatpicking star Chris Luquette.

by Teja Gerken
December 30, 2019

Whether he’s performing solo, with his band, or with Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Chris Luquette is a young flatpicker to watch. And while Chris’ chops speak for themselves, a big part of his voice isthe Preston Thompson D-BA CRL signature model that has been his main guitar since 2015. Built with “shipwreck” Brazilian rosewood back and sides and an Adirondack spruce top, the guitar is based on Thompson’s vintage-style dreadnought model, but it features a few details that Chris requested. Most noticeable is the guitar’s reddish sunburst finish and lack of fingerboard inlay, but it also features a slightly more V-shaped neck than Thompson’s standard, it is voiced especially with Chris’ dynamic playing style in mind, and the guitar features L.R. Baggs Lyric electronics. 

Chris recently stopped by the Peghead Nation video studio, and before shooting a couple of tunes with his trio (check out their performance of “Union Valley”), he took time to demonstrate and discuss his personal D-BA CRL. In this video Chris plays blazing solo versions of “Big Sciota” and “Billy in the Lowground,” and he talks about working with the late Preston Thompson on designing the guitar, as well as his other gear, like Elixir Strings and D’Addario’s Cradle capo.  

“It’s such a diverse sounding guitar,” Chris explains. “I can find myself in hardcore bluegrass scenarios, and it sings, and then just sitting around playing solo, it’s got a really nice warm rich sound, all the way across the neck, anywhere I play it.”

SPECS: Dreadnought body. Adirondack spruce top with scalloped, prewar-style X Adirondack bracing. “Shipwreck” Brazilian rosewood back and sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.4-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₁₆-inch string spacing at the saddle. Nickel Waverly tuning machines. Made in the USA. $13,500.


Category: Instruments & Gear

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