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Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Black Pearl Custom Maple Jumbo Acoustic Guitar .... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $1,999.00 USD with case + shipping

Black Pearl Guitars is a manufacturer of handcrafted, American built electric and acoustic guitars by master luthier Dennis MacPherson from MacPherson Guitar works.

This Custom Maple Jumbo is based on a thin body J-200 platform featuring a solid sitka spruce top with
forward scalloped x bracing, solid fiddleback flamed maple sides and back with a dove tail mahogany neck dressed with an ebony fingerboard wrapped in a quilted sapele binding ending with a vintage bone nut on an ebony headstock

Ebony bridge with Boltron pins, chrome Shaller DaVinci machine heads, double action truss rod.

Fishman Matrix Infinity.

Bole Herringbone soundhole and purfling with MOP (mother of pearl) position markers featuring  MOP stars at the 12th and a MOP eagle at the 21st. 

Action, Fit & Finish:
This guitar has a beautiful clear semi gloss lacquer finish. The guitar was spotless and in perfect condition. The intonation was dead on and the action was low without any buzz.

Reliability & Durability:
The guitar seems to be well made, everything has a perfect fit.

When it comes to the appreciation of a well built guitar I am more of a fan of acoustic guitars than electrics. The craftsmanship needed to color the sound and tone just right to give her a beautiful voice is an art in my opinion. Anyone can build an electric guitar (to a certain extent) and change the tone with pickups -- but to get that lush full bodied sound naturally it takes a trained luthier with an eye for detail and an ear for perfection. 

This Custom Maple Jumbo is out of this world. It is slightly thinner than the J-200 platform that is was built on, making her playability easy and comfortable for long periods of time. The maple back and side give her a loud bright sound that is rounded out by her mahogany neck without losing any of her voicing or tone. The guitar is beautiful in tone and design with spotless hand carved MOP inlays and bole herringbone soundhole and purfling. These are features that you just do not find on guitars under $2000.00. 

Acoustically this guitar is top notch all the way, I would have no problem using her in a jam or band setup without using an amp.  If I decided to plug her in she is equipped with Fishman Matrix Infinity and in my opinion it just doesn't get any better then that. 

Not only does Dennis MacPherson make an excellent product, but he is a nice guy with a good old fashioned work ethic. This $2,000 guitar will be given to a local high school in NJ after we bring her around for our readers to play. 

What I would change:
Nothing - not one damn thing   

My advice: 
If you are in the market for a hand-built guitar you need to play a Black Pearl. They are trusted by many musicians from Toby Walker to the Jonas Brothers. 

Dennis MacPherson
MacPherson Guitarworks
Makers of “Black Pearl” acoustic and electric guitars
62 Colfax Drive
Ringwood, NJ   07456
Posted 08/2012