Spotlight On : Feline Drop Top Lion
We are please to unveil an emerging new model variant to our line: The Lion DropTop.
Brought to life from a desire to make our single cut Lion Cub models more lavish and comfortable at the same time.
We had previously made some single cut Lion models where we had put a separate top on having done some light chambering inside the body.
In fact just such a guitar was reviewed by The Guitar Magazine.
We subsequently made a couple of very comfortable variants with some comfort contouring based on the old Gibson "The Paul" or "Firebrand Les Paul" and they were great but I had a feeling that I wanted to keep the comfort this design offered, yet take the design somewhere else.
An opportunity to do that cropped up quite soon, and aspects of it were inspired by a rather nice BC Rich Mockingbird that I rebuilt and loved the sound of, and made me want to build a new guitar using similar timber choices as the Mockingbird.
This new build incorporated a few style choices that echoed some of the BC Rich appointments:
It was built with a maple neck and a maple/sycamore body with some chambering and a slice of flamed maple for the droptop.
The Diamond inlays and style and positioning of the control knobs may may lead you to think that I been influenced by the BC Rich.
Having said that the back two controls and the switch are all in positions used by Gibson on their Les Paul models.
We simply made space for the bridge volume to come forward of the bridge.
Once it got a rather tasty paint finish, it looked and felt amazing, and I know we had a new model in the works.
The Drop Top concept was made popular by Tom Anderson and Warmoth in the late 1980s, and we took inspiration from those guitars and had the edges of the maple left uncoloured so they would look like a wooden binding
Having been so smitten with the maple example it was time to make one with a mahogany neck and body and a maple Drop Top cap.
With our 30th Anniversary looming, I took a confident plunge and decided that if I liked how this first one came out, then we would offer a couple of examples as part of our 30th Anniversary Line. So we set to work on the first one.....
Needless to say the first one was a bit of a stunner and sealed the deal to go forward with the model.
It was a bit thicker than the purple one at 46mm thick compared to the 41mm of the purple but still a nice weight.
Spoilt for ideas on possible finishes, we went with an amber double stain and the faintest of bursts at the edge on this one
The rear view shows the generous tummy cut and the enlarged control cavity that allows some options with the control layout, although I have been very impressed with the simple linear layout we have used so far as it is easy to reach all the controls.
The 30th Anniversary DropTops
Our next move is to make a couple of slightly more stripped down and workman like versions - simpler fingerboards and not so lavish on the top.
I'm thinking we will slim it back down to 40-42mm as I like the compact feel of the original purple guitar.
I find myself wondering if we could get an all mahogany version with a mahogany droptop which still allows some hidden chambering, and maybe do a single pickup version like a Cub with all the contours and a pick-guard.
But we welcome the DropTop as a model that I think we will enjoy having in the range.