Banker Guitars are handmade in Northern Georgia by a single luthier, Matt Hughes. Matt employs the same construction techniques that were used in the 1950's which many consider to be the golden era of guitar building. Banker Guitars is licensed by Gibson to make faithful reproductions of iconic and rare guitars such as the '58 Korina Flying V and Explorer. Original examples have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, well out of reach of the average musician. Vintage guitars look, feel, and sound remarkable for a number of reasons, primarily how they were built and with what materials. By creating his instruments utilizing old growth tonewoods and period correct hardware through a one-man handmade shop, Matt has pushed the magic of vintage instrument ownership into the realm of possibility for the rest of us.
The impact of old growth tonewoods is a subject of much debate among guitar aficionados and enthusiasts (i.e. one more thing for all of us guitar geeks to bicker about). However, if you have ever played a vintage instrument, there is an unmistakable sound, look, and feel. This is extremely difficult to replicate and nearly impossible to do in a factory. If a luthier is to take on the task, they must craft the instruments from tonewoods as old as the instruments that made them legendary. The guitars must be constructed with the same handmade methods as the builders in Kalamazoo, MI back in the 50's and 60's. The iconic Firebirds, V's, Explorers, and Bursts sound and feel like they do due to numerous variables from the wood to the magnets, materials, and number of winds in the pickups, to hardware chosen for each model. Matt has painstakingly recreated all of these elements and accomplished an incredibly faithful homage to the guitars that have inspired all of us in the hands of our favorite players.
Unfortunately, time travel is not an option for the guitar acquisition experience. We can't go back to 1958 and place a custom order with Gibson for an Explorer with a Redwood top or jump back to 1963 and order a Firebird with a Pelham Blue top and natural back and sides. Banker Guitars gives us the next best option without disruption to the space time continuum. With an incredible assortment of old growth tonewoods Matt has stockpiled and continues to acquire, the options are immense. The hardware and pickup options come from the best available suppliers and Matt himself fabricates the hardware that someone else has yet to masterfully recreate. Denver Guitar Exchange is thrilled to go down the rabbit hole of traditional specs and creative spins on vintage spec combinations with Banker Guitars. Contact us today to hear about what builds we have in process from Banker Guitars.
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