- Light Weight
- Rooted in Authentic Vintage Design
- Both Lollar and Porter Custom Pick-Ups
Comes with a Revelator custom embroidered G&G Case
Revelator Guitars was born in 2002 in the farms just about 20 miles south east of Philadelphia by Eric Stein. After working a multitude of jobs from building furniture to antique refinishing and carpentry, Eric decided to pursue his passion of building guitars full time. He’s owned, played, fixed, and finished vintage guitars most of his life. With musical tastes steeped in the old blues Masters, it’s only natural that the company’s name came from the old Son House song “John the Revelator” (hopefully you have heard Phil Keaggy’s amazing version).
At first Eric began by hand routing 50’s era correct Fender bodies from templates of his own vintage guitars. Next, he started building complete instruments, and actually was one of the earliest guys to make “relic” style guitars. Recently the company has taken on more employees to help facilitate Revelator’s future success. When I asked him about this, he replied, “We have steadily gathered steam, exposure, and taken on more artist endorsements. This year marked the release of the SuperTone, which is our take on past legendary offset designs, but with the Revelator flair.”
What is the Revelator flair, you ask? It seems Eric made the wise call to gather several unique aspects from iconic guitars and blend them into something new.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the SuperTone is how light this offset body guitar is (usually offsets average 8-10 lbs). I like lightweight guitars, but at 5.5 lbs, this one takes the cake! It is made of Sugar Pine, and I was already on board.
The guitar is well balanced and there is no “neck-dive”. Speaking of the neck, this model sports a hand shaped and contoured heavier C back profile made of maple (think authentic vintage Fender) with a rosewood slab board (yes, think Fender again) with the truss rod adjustment at the heel. The fingerboard has a 10” radius with hand fretted and leveled 6105 size frets (translation: medium size). High playability marks for this guitar too… action, feel, and fretwork. The headstock and body are painted Jet Black with a Nitrocellulose Lacquer finish (lightly aged). Eric uses gold Gotoh lined, Kluson style tuners and a gold Hipshot Strat style 6 saddle bridge. Next feature up is the brass tone bar that accommodates the “string through body” design.
The pick-up selection is where Revelator hits a home run as he uses two of my favorite boutique pick-up makers… I know them both personally and I was thrilled to hear that Eric smartly mixed the two together. The neck position is a Porter Pickups Gold Portertron Humbucker (think Gretsch Filtertron – full and rich tone) and the bridge pick-up is a single coil Lollar Special Telecaster Flat Pole (high output with a more rounded top end. More mids and bottom too. Roll back the tone knob some and head for P-90 land). Now, just think about that combination for a minute… lots of tonal versatility! This guitar also resonates well before you plug it in, with such a light body too!
To keep with the quality components theme Eric uses Emerson pots, caps, and vintage clothe style push back wire, a Switchcraft 3-way toggle pick-up selector, and a gold electro-socket jack mount. The tone knobs are more “Gibson-ish”, but I like them.
Topping off this vintage-meets-boutique motif is a 3-ply white/black/white “SuperTone” engraved pick guard. A little surprise for me was how much I liked the grip my right hand’s three last fingers got from pivoting them on the engraved pickguard Supertone logo when playing solos while holding a pick with my thumb and index finger. It gives you support.
I asked Eric to comment on what their guitars are all about. “I wanted to make gorgeous designs that aren’t just copies,.. beautiful, classic styled instruments that you think you’ve seen before. We wanted to make guitars that look familiar, but new. We also pride ourselves on our devotion to the musicians we serve. Originally our presence was mostly in the worship community, with builds done for guys like James Duke, Matt Podesla, and others. Recently our appeal has brought us into the Country market with Ben Helson of Dierks Bentley’s fine band, Daniel Donato, Solomon Littlefield, and some of our other favorite young players as well.”
Revelator’s goal as a boutique builder moving forward is to further perfect their processes, allowing them to really show what they can do with the new designs, colors, and options. On deck is a third new design to be released. Having made about 40 guitars in 2016, they have added skilled staff and are shooting for 75-100 for 2017.
“It’s very important to us that our guitars not only look really cool and play phenomenally, but that they inspire new songs, breathe new life into standards, and coax inspiration from your fingers just by holding them. A great axe will do that, you know. We are very fortunate to be in a position to love what we do and do what we love, and we don’t take that for granted.”
After playing this Jet Black SuperTone I whole-heartedly agree.