The story of the Little Sister® began from the puzzling question of how the early delta bluesmen were able to fascinate a listener with only one guitar and their simple, yet soulful vocal lines.
Understanding that these players' fat and throaty guitar tones often came from playing small-body parlor guitars, B&G decided to uncover the secret of these instruments and embark on a journey back to the crossroads. While obsessively collecting all sorts of original guitars from the 1920s and '30s, many of which were in poor condition and needed complete restoration, B&G began to create the special design that would best serve the guitar sound they had become hooked on.
They wanted to create an instrument that would be versatile enough for players who use a pick, and for players who are fingerstylists. It needed to be superior in terms of playability, and it had to be gimmick free; it had to be lightweight, comfortable and unique. Ultimately, they decided that it should be a small-body parlor guitar because these were the instruments that they kept playing again and again. And if she looks like a jewel, it's because she was designed by jewelry artist David Weizmann.
The Little Sister Private Build production is limited to 30 guitars per month, to ensure B&G's ability to provide the best wood material, careful attention to detail and accuracy in every guitar.
GOLDEN ERA LUTHERIE
B&G Private Build guitars are hand-built using the traditional techniques of the "golden era" of electric lutherie, delivering a vintage feel, look and sound right out of the case.
You get to pick your preferred maple top, the finish that best fits that individual top, and every other aspect of the guitar. Since the number of custom options can be overwhelming, Destroy All Guitars will gladly support you in choosing the right build specifications.
The Little Sister design is a reinterpretation of the pre-war acoustics. B&G's goal was to create a classic yet fresh and unique instrument, as easy and cozy to play as those almost mythical guitars. Hence the neck joint at the 14th fret, the slotted headstock, and the classic non-cutaway body shape.
CHAMBERED LIGHTWEIGHT BODY
The carved, chambered body, in African mahogany, delivers unique acoustic features. It reaches a delicate balance between body resonance and resistance to feedback that delivers an organic, vocal quality to the sound, and an almost tactile, responsive playing feel. The guitar is by consequence feather-light, without any compromise on her stability and strength.
Glue is one of the critical elements in the building of a guitar. Traditional hide glue for the neck joint, fish glue for the frets and urea formaldehyde for the top all crystalize like glass when dry and create a substantially thinner layer between the different parts. These glues allow for optimal string energy transfer -- significantly better than modern synthetic glues can achieve.
Single rod, one-way truss-rods are lighter and require a smaller channel in the neck. This building technique also requires neck woods that are perfectly aged and accurate installation of the truss-rod. Private Build B&G guitars only use this specific truss-rod design for improved tone transfer and sustain.
NON-CUTAWAY VS. CUTAWAY
The Little Sister Non-Cutaway has a thicker body (2") to project a warmer, more acoustic tone. The cutaway version is thinner (1 3/4") and has a slightly more direct and focused, somehow more elctric tone.
The vintage recipe for the best looking, thinnest and most resonant finish, is still the best one. Nothing compares to an adequately sprayed and buffed traditional nitrocellulose lacquer, the only finish that ages together with the wood, becoming thinner over time, merging into the wood molecules and allowing them to vibrate freely.
Private Build pickups are developed and hand-wound in-house, to ensure that specific nuance of vintage tone. P90s, Kikbuckers or humbuckers either potted or unpotted based on AlNiCo magnets and 42AWG lacquered enamel copper wire are voiced to perfection. Even the brass cover is included in the tone equation and, together with all the other aspects, allows for the unparalleled airy warm and organic tone of a B&G guitar.
Brass is a beautiful metal for guitar hardware. It offers a great tranferring function of the entire frequency spectrum without sounding too metallic. This is the reason why B&G manufactures the bridge by milling a solid block of brass, yet another B&G exclusive feature.
The B&G solid brass tailpiece is built to resonate, delivering a world of overtones just like a natural reverb. A piece of jewelry conceived to look just as good as it sounds.
RULE OF 18
The vintage-sized frets are precisely installed on the fingerboard using the historic "rule of 18" (24-3/4 scale) to ensure the comfortable playability that only a vintage instrument is able to deliver.
- Serial #: 1810832
- Body: right handed
- Construction: chambered
- Body thickness: 1.75" / 4.45cm
- Body length: 17.7" / 45cm
- Body width: 13" / 33cm
- Back wood: one-piece African mahogany
- Top: category 4 top upgrade
- Tailpiece: solid brass B&G
- Bridge: B&G solid brass ABR
- Pickguard: brass
- Strings: Ernie Ball 0.10-0.46
- Tuners: Waverly model 3500 w/ ivoroid knobs
- Nut: TUSQ
- Scale length: 24 3/4"
- Fingerboard radius: 12"
- Fingerboard: Indian rosewood
- Neck joint: fret 14
- Neck wood: Honduran mahogany
- Fretwire: nickel-silver, width 0.080", crown 0.050"
- Inlay: pearloid
- Truss rod: traditional one-way, spoke wheel nut
- Headstock: slottedpeghead, head plate from top wood
- Potentiometers: CTS 500k
- Toggle switch: Switchcraft 3-way
- Jack: Switchcraft
- Wiring: 50s style
- Pickups: B&G hand-wound P-90s
- Weight: 7.0 lbs