We are very honored to be one of the very select dealers to get a pair of these very limited Bernie Marsden Signature Models. Only 12 made of each model worldwide. We got matching lucky number 7's. Nik attention to detail is always top notch, however, with these builds he was able top his already stunning work. Absolute beauty, tone and perfection!
It started with an unexpected phone call one night a few years ago. The phone rings, I pick it up, and there’s the voice of Paul Reed Smith asking if I’m up for getting some dinner. I had no idea he was even in Germany! But of course, I said yes (Paul and I go way back)
The surprises kept on coming. When I got to the airport and picked up Paul, he told me we just had to go round and collect Bernie. Bernie? Well, turns out he meant Bernie Marsden – they were doing a clinic tour together. So we swung by the terminal to pick Bernie up, and the three of us went out for dinner.
As you’d imagine, we ended up talking about all things guitar and music, and probably would have gone on into the wee hours, but Bernie was feeling a little under the weather (clinic tours are hard work!). Like most places, it can be tough here to get an appointment with a doctor at short notice, but I thought it was worth calling up my doctor and good friend, Karl. When I asked if he could squeeze in an extra appointment for a friend, he predictably told me it wasn’t possible – things were far too busy. But as well as being a great doctor, Karl is a lover of good music and all things rock ‘n’ roll. And a huge fan of PRS.
“You might want to wait to hear who my friends are before you say no, Karl…”
Once I’d told him Bernie Marsden and Paul Reed Smith were coming by, wouldn’t you know it, a slot opened up in his schedule. Thanks, Karl!
Anyway, with Bernie on the mend thanks to Dr. Karl, he and Paul continued on the clinic tour. We met up again during their stop in Aschaffenburg, and Paul sat with my son, Niko, for a long time, talking with him about progressing on guitar and what to focus on in his practice, which was a really nice moment.
It was fantastic getting to know Bernie, and we kept in touch. Not too long after the clinic tour, he called and asked if I was interested in making him a guitar. Naturally, I said yes! He even had some wood that he wanted me to use, and there was no need to ship it over – he was doing a gig at Guitar Point in Maintal, so he suggested meeting up there and he could bring the wood with him.
The show at Guitar Point was a lot of fun, not least because I got to get up on stage and join Bernie for a rendition of Crossroads, which was a privilege. After the gig was wrapped up, it was time to start talking about the guitar.
Bernie is very open and easy to discuss these sorts of things with. In fact, at first, he simply said “you know what I like”. It’s a pleasure to work with an artist with such a great attitude – it’s something we enjoy a lot here thanks to the fantastic artists on our roster – but there’s always a fair bit of fine-tuning and back-and-forth down the road with these things. After all, everything has to be perfect, and it can be tough to really nail down the particulars without a reference point. With that in mind, we sent Bernie an Orca ’59 (the closest of our models to his longstanding, go-to singlecut guitars) and from there started to get an idea of what to change and tweak, add and subtract.
The changes came together from there, including a new design for the heel joint, swapping to three knobs instead of four, and, naturally, the addition of Bernie’s signature Cream T pickups. Over time, the Bernie Marsden signature model started to come to life.
Of course, before all of this got underway, I called Paul to make sure he was happy for the project to go ahead, as Bernie’s previous signature guitar was with PRS. Paul has always been incredibly gracious and generous to me, and he was fully supportive of myself and Bernie working together.
Construction: Solid Body
Finish: Goldtop Semigloss Finish
Top: Maple Top (Eastern/Michigan)
Back: Fat Back Flamed African Mahogany Body (Gibson Thickness)
Neck: Madagascar Rosewood Neck
Neck Carve: Std. Orca
Fingerboard: Madagascar Rosewood - Curly Maple Fingerboard Binding
Radius: 10" - 14" Compound
Shape: Orca Std.
Nut: Bone 1.67"
Thickness: .92" 1st - 1.00" 12th
Inlays: Bernie Marsden Logo - Crown Trapez (Made of Mother of Pearl and Black Pearl)
Headstock: Ebony Veneer
Trussrod: Double Action (Single Rod, Compressed)
Bridge: KMS Tuneomatic and Tailpiece
Neck Pickup: Cream T - P90
Bridge Pickup: Cream T - P90
Electronics: 3-way Toggle Switch, 2 Volume and 1 Master Tone
Backplate: Madagascar Rosewood
Pickup Rings/ Switch Tip / Knobs: Cream
Tuners: Nik Huber 510 Open Gear
Hardware Color: Nickel
Case: G&G Bernie Marsden Signature Hardcase
Specials: Super Limited to 12 pieces worldwide, Madagascar rosewood neck and fingerboard, flamed mahogany body. Custom Case, Hand signed.
Weight: 7lbs 15oz.