Here's a design for which Kari Nieminen shares credit with the organization which requested its prototype, Musiikin Edistämissäätiö (the Finnish Music Foundation). That first Swan 6 Baritone is now part of the instrument collection of Musiikin Edistämissäätiö. While this may be a museum quality instrument, it's one that really wants to be played, and for very good reason.
The Versoul Swan 6 Electric Acoustic Baritone blends the best qualities of a traditional archtop guitar with unique features only found in a Versoul instrument. Consider the advanced laminated curly maple top and back and solid curly maple sides, specially braced to deliver that warm yet bright sonority of a classic archtop. Bring to that an extended scale length (26.75") to create baritone depth. How deep? You can tune as low as A to A! Despite its extra length, this instrument is surprisingly lightweight and superbly balanced for playability — it's not neck-heavy.
The graceful neck (this is a swan, after all) is quarter sawn curly aspen and curly maple and offers two adjustable truss rods. The East Indian rosewood fingerboard is maple bound, and multiple wood bindings deliver both beauty and strength. Retro chic and creative innovation partner here. Versoul's uniquely shaped headstock, crowned by a 23-carat gold leaf 'midnight sun,' blends the new and Nordic with a nod to the classic in Grover Imperial chrome-plated tuners. Versoul has kept the voluptuous body shape beloved by Duane Eddy (among others) but added some bold new touches. You can't miss the Googie-style batwing/boomerang sound holes.
Versoul's trademark pickups (single coil and humbucker) bring this guitar to rumbling life as an electric. The warm finish is vintage amber-colored nitrocellulose lacquer. The bridge is a Gotoh tuneomatic. The pickguard is tortoise shell, and completing its rebel-rousing potential is a Bigsby B3 vibrato arm. Add flat wound strings and you've got a richly resonant instrument that can easily echo the classic baritone sounds of the '60s or create as yet unheard tones of tomorrow.
- Top: laminated European curly maple
- Back: laminated European curly maple
- Sides: solid European curly maple
- Bridge: Gotoh Tuneomatic w/ Versoul ebony base plate or East Indian rosewood
- Tailpiece: Bigsby Vibrato B3 unit
- Neck: curly aspen/curly maple/curly aspen, two-way steel truss rod
- Fingerboard: ebony (12" radius) or East Indian rosewood
- Frets: 20 / Dunlop 6130 or similar
- Tuners: Kluson waffle back nickel plated
- Pickguard: tortoise shell plastic
- Pickups: dual Versoul single coils or humbuckers
- Controls: two volume, master tone, 3-way switch
- Finish: vintage amber colored nitrocellulose lacquer
- Peghead veneer: visa birch
- Decorations: 23 carat gold leaf
- Strip inlays: green abalone shell
- Bindings: maple/black fiber
- Inlays: gold leaf
- Nut: moose shinbone
- Neck width at nut: 44 mm
- Scale length: 26.75" (679 mm)
- Lower bout: 430 mm
- Upper bout: 330 mm
- Depth at side: 65 mm
- Overall length: 1120 mm
- Gold plated metal parts
- Versoul tailpiece