Other Guitars

NGD Brown Bear Guitars .strandbear*ger

1

I got the new guitar built for me by Jesse Brown (johsonrod on Gretsch-Talk) at Brown Bear Guitars. It's an ergonomic guitar modeled after the Boden 6 by Ola Strandberg. The chambered body is highly figured swamp ash with an also highly figured quilt maple top. The neck is maple, from a Steinberger Spirit guitar, as is the vibrato tailpiece. The pickups are a TV Jones PowerTron in the neck and PowerTron Plus in the bridge, in black finish. The bridge pickup is splittable via a push-pull on the volume control. No tone knob. The finish is tung oil.

As many people can testify, Jesse builds great guitars. The body exactly fits the template I sent him. The finish is well done and smooth, beautifully highlighting the grain on top & body. The parts fit together well. The whole guitar weights 6.5 lbs but feels much lighter on the strap. As might be expected from an ergonomically designed guitar it hangs in perfect playing position seated or standing, with the lower curves aligning it with my thigh seated, either in classical style or traditional rock playing position.

The PowerTrons are a perfect match, Gretschy but with more midrange. The coil split adds a thinner sound to the bridge pickup without too much of a volume loss. No one would mistake it for a true single coil pup, but it's a nice alternative. I mostly play blues and classic rock so this guitar fits that.

Another great piece of work by Jesse.

For the details of this build - look here:

New Build Project (non-Gretsch)

The name is a mashup of .strandberg*, Steinberger and Brown Bear.

3

Here's the Strandberg original:

The most radical Strandberg design innovation is his EndurNeck. You can't see it on the front view, but the neck isn't round, it's trapezoidal with an angled flat centerpiece. Keeping the thumb on the centerpiece and following it up and down also keeps the hand in the proper position. Unfortunately Strandberg has not allowed that neck design to be copied. I opted to go with the Steinberger neck for now.

The EndurNeck™

There also are fanned frets with different scales for bass & treble sides, to improve intonation across the fretboard and enable better hand position in the Boden 6. This month Strandberg releases a Korean made version of this guitar at a lower price.

4

Nice looking guitar. Congrats. Does the headless aspect feel okay to you? I have a headless bass and found it to be a bit different and am just wondering about your opinion.

5

Hey! Great Idea for a guitar. I actually just came across this builder as Im in the search for a custom esquire build. I think by reading your words that you would highly recommend him. Anything you could tell us about your process with him or the build or anything? Thanks!

6

Nice looking guitar. Congrats. Does the headless aspect feel okay to you? I have a headless bass and found it to be a bit different and am just wondering about your opinion.

– Baba

The headless part is okay with me, although it does take a little getting used to. With the small body too, everything is closer. I've over-reached the end of the neck, thinking there was more there. I had the Steinberger that donated the neck and vibrato for a few months so had time to adjust.

7

Hey! Great Idea for a guitar. I actually just came across this builder as Im in the search for a custom esquire build. I think by reading your words that you would highly recommend him. Anything you could tell us about your process with him or the build or anything? Thanks!

– BeachRat

This is the second guitar Jesse built for me, the previous was a Jet-based model:

He also built an Astro Jet neck for me.

He's good to work with, good communication, very good pricing (a custom built guitar for less than a production model), willing to try anything, makes good suggestions if something's not going to work. This build was nothing like he'd done before but he was game to try and it turned out well. He mostly builds Teles and Cabronitas but has done a few Jets and a few one-offs like this. Quite a few others on Gretsch-Talk have bought guitars from him.

9

I'm late seeing this thread but I love the EndurNeck design. I read the link and it appears have a thicker/more comfortable profile, which as a Strat player, is always a definite challenge. What are your thoughts on the neck? Certainly the shape is different but as far as playability could you compare it to something else.....maybe a Les Paul with a thick profile?

10

I'm late seeing this thread but I love the EndurNeck design. I read the link and it appears have a thicker/more comfortable profile, which as a Strat player, is always a definite challenge. What are your thoughts on the neck? Certainly the shape is different but as far as playability could you compare it to something else.....maybe a Les Paul with a thick profile?

– NJDevil

I would love a Strandberg with a EndurNeck. This one has a regular Steinberger neck.

The Korean made models are available for order now, with the EndurNeck. I'd have to sell some stuff.

https://strandbergguitars.c...


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