The Ribbecke 40th Anniversary Archtop Guitar, the only one made, represents the pinnacle of Tom's practice as one of the industry's best luthiers. The design goal was for the woods to be the star and prominently showcased.
In the tradition of the masters before him, this 18" archtop architecture with 3" body depth showcases Tom's acoustic archtop voicing.
The woods are extraordinary. The top is of close-grained Italian Spruce with exceptional Michigan birds eye maple back and sides. When finished in Tom's nitrocellulose "Zeidler" honey blonde it brings out the natural colorings of these beautiful woods.
The trim woods truly complement the top and back. Curly koa purfling, the rarest and most interesting of the koa variations adorns the body top, back, fingerboard, S-holes and headstock complemented with double B/W layers The headstock, tailpiece, and pick guard are of outstanding quilted mahogany from "The Tree". The Cameroon Ebony fingerboard has striking light streaks.
The inlay on Tom's Anniversary Guitar has a time-based theme. With inlay by Larry Robinson, the 40th has a Ribbecke Logo in solid Mother-of- Pearl. A spiral clock made of Abalam with an awabi rim and silver hands finishes out the design and looks outstanding against the quilted mahogany.
The fingerboard is a Mother-of-Pearl hourglass with silver dust sand and an image of two of Tom's unique contributions to the craft - his "Blue Guitar" and his unique Ribbecke Guitar Corporation Halfling Architecture made from stabilized wood and black Mother-of-Pearl parts. The bottom of the fingerboard conveys an image of restful islands. The tailpiece commemorates the 40th with a 1-piece solid Mother-of-Pearl scripted inlay. The tuners are Gold Gotoh 510 with Ebony buttons.
The neck carve is absolute perfection - a 1 3/4" nut with careful E-to-E spacing and a "Johnny Smith" like thickness just perfect for fingerstyle jazz, comping or blazing solos. The floating pickup is a Ribbecke by Bartolini Floating Pickup Mounted System with concealed volume and tone control wheels to dial in that special sound.
The 40th is very resonant and a true joy to hold and play. With the resonant Italian Spruce top, the 2nd harmonic is predominant from the soundboard. The Italian Spruce produces a thicker, warmer, fatter sound.
40th Anniversary Ribbecke Specs
Scale: 25.5” (650mm)
Bridge Spacing: 2 1/16”
Lower Bout: 18"
Weight: 7 lbs
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