The Step Sister All Mahogany features a chambered African mahogany body, coupled with a Honduran mahogany neck and a pau ferro fingerboard, plus the signature nickel-plated B&G brass bridge and tailpiece. The slightly shorter body shape compared to the Little Sister joins the neck at the 16th fret, and the fingerboard extends to 22 frets. The slimmer, yet equally robust neck heel grants the easiest access up to the last fret. A nimble, agile, sleek guitar.
The key difference with all other Step Sisters is the wood top, made in African mahogany. As all mahogany topped guitars, the Step Sister delivers a very focused tone, with a vocal midrange quality and a rounded, sweetened top end. The fundamental tone is pronounced, while the harmonic spectrum is slightly in the background. The slight dryer tone shines in translating the dynamics of the playing style. If played aggressively, the Step Sister All Mahogany is also capable of a raunchier "in your face" attitude.
The hand-wound, unpotted P90 pickups are just perfect for the Step Sister All Mahogany, with their balance between warmness and raw, throaty grit and unmatched airy quality. If you need absolute quietness in your tone, you can choose the hum-canceling Kikbuckers, for a very similar tone, slightly more solid and focused. If ordered with the vintage-style humbuckers, the Step Sister All Mahogany gains an additional openness, unusual for humbucking-style pickups, that cuts through the mix, and a rich, warm lower midrange.
The brass hardware – bridge, tailpiece, back cover and pickups covers – is nickel plated for a subtle and elegant look, further enhanced by the open-pore nitro finish.
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.
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.
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.
The Step Sister is all about playability. While keeping the classic 24-3/4" scale length, the neck joins the body at the 16th fret and the fingerboard grows to 22 frets. Available in the Cutaway version only, it grants easy and comfortable access to the upper freets for the most advanced rock, jazz, fusion and blues playing styles.
The neck joint affects the access to the upper registers significantly. The Step Sister sports a neck heel that grants the maximum transfer function of the string vibrations while virtually disappearing under the hands of the player, allowing the most comfortable reach up to the 22nd fret.
Mahogany topped guitars have a very distinct personality. B&G's air-dried, naturally aged mahogany is quite stiff, highly resonant and delivers a midrange-focused response with the fundamental tones being predominant over the harmonics. The resulting tone is dry and dynamic, very responsive to the touch, excellent for fingerstyle, but also capable of a certain degree of bark and aggression when played vigorously.
OPEN PORE FINISH
The nitrocellulose open pore is the lightest and thinnest finish possible, effectively becoming one with the molecular wood structure. It protects the instrument while not impacting at all its ability to vibrate. It offers a natural, silky-smooth appearance with the wood grain beautifully exposed.
Each B&G Private Build instrument needs time from start to finish. The guitar will need weeks to evolve from beginning the assembly of different wooden pieces to becoming a unique, vibrant, resonant entity. B&G instruments are built to last more than a lifetime; the 3 to 4 months needed to complete each one are definitely well worth the wait.
- Body thickness: 1.75" / 4.45cm
- Body length: 17.2" / 43.7cm
- Body width: 13" / 33cm
- Back wood: one-piece African mahogany
- Top wood: African mahogany
- Nut: TUSQ
- Scale length: 24 3/4"
- Fingerboard radius: 12"
- Neck joint: @ fret 16
- Frets: 22
- Neck wood: Honduran mahogany
- Fingerboard: pau ferro
- Fretwire: nickel-silver, width 0.080", crown 0.050"
- Inlay: pearloid
- Truss rod: traditional one-way, spoke wheel nut
- Tailpiece: solid brass B&G, nickel-plated
- Bridge: B&G solid brass ABR, nickel-plated
- Tuning machines: Gotoh
- Strings: Ernie Ball 0.10-0.46
- Potentiometers: CTS 500k
- Toggle switch: Switchcraft 3-way
- Jack: Switchcraft
- Wiring: 50s style
- Total: 7.7 - 8.8 lbs / 3500-4000 gr
- Total: 38.9" / 987mm
- Type: nitrocellulose open-pore
- Orientation: left-handed, right-handed
- Construction: chambered, solid
- Nut width: standard 1.68", wide 1.75"
- Neck thickness @ fret 1: standard 0.89", slim 0.86"
- Neck thickness @ fret 10: standard 0.96", slim 0.91"
- Neck shape: B&G soft V, custom
- Headstock: solid, slotted
- Pickups: B&G hand-wound P90s, B&G hand-wound humbuckers, B&G hand-wound Kikbuckers
- Wax potting: unpotted, potted
- Control layout: switch-volume-tone (default), volume-volume-tone (by request)