If there is one guitar on this earth that makes you stop in your tracks, it is going to be this one. This is a one of a kind work of art, let alone a musical instrument. We’re talking about the Lava Guitars Black Amber Drop #1, which quite simply made our heads spin when we first laid eyes on it at the 2017 NAMM show. This work of art is the creation of builder Rapolas Gražys. His mission? ….to build a guitar that connected the past and the future while also giving a nod to his home of Lithuania, where black amber from the Baltic sea is harvested.
The guitar is constructed from a single seamless piece of sapele for the body and neck with an ebony fretboard and 24-3/4” scale length. The neck has a truss rod that is reinforced by two rods of carbon fiber. The sapele has been routed out in the body to house the 4.5 pounds of Baltic black amber, with a 5mm rim around the inlaid amber. Baltic amber is over 45 million years old, produced by the Pine trees which grew in Northern Europe and around the Baltic Sea. It is also considered by many to have therapeutic properties due to its high level of succinic acid, a compound said to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The fact that the Baltic amber is millions of years old is humbling to say the least when you pick this instrument up to play.
Dont let the showstopping appearance fool you, this guitar plays beautifully, and offers a very fast and striking response to notes and chords, likely from the rigidity of the amber. The neck has a rounded neck profile, with large frets that give way to fast riffing. Equipped with Lace Alumitone humbuckers, you won’t have any shortage of tone. Lastly, the compelling appearance is complimented with gold hardware and a 24 karat gold Lava Guitars headstock logo. The Black Amber Drop #1 includes a certificate of authenticity crafted from aluminum, along with a bracelet crafted from Baltic black amber, and gold Schaller straplocks.
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