We all love a good unboxing, and what’s better than unboxing a brand-new guitar from a company you’re experiencing for the very first time?
There’s nothing better, if you’re Justin Johnson. Which is why we hooked up the blues picker with a Baldacci Bighorn and let him go to town.
“I’ve actually never played a Baldacci guitar – I’ve just heard about them recently,” he says at the top of video. “But after seeing the kind of passion they put into their instruments I’m really excited about checking this out and sharing it with you guys.”
Right away, Justin is struck by the Bighorn’s looks. “I love the figure to the top,” he says. “Beautiful contours. The binding really sets off the shape of the body. I also love that they have this real simple but really artistic inlay on the 12th fret. That’s something I think the owner of Baldacci designed when he was eight years old and drew for his grandpa when they went to the Bighorn mountains in Wyoming."
Hence the name of this offset, double-cut model, which boasts a maple top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard.
Regarding the Bighorn’s construction, Justin says, “It’s got enough weight to where you feel it and you know it’s going to sustain, but at the same time it’s pretty thin considering how sturdy and balanced it is.”
And then there’s the finish, which a beautiful shade of blue that Baldacci calls…well, they don’t call it anything – yet.
“This is the first guitar they’ve put this color tone on,” Johnson says. “It’s so new that they’ve decided to open it up to my fans to name the color. So if you think up any cool names, write them in the comments section and they’ll pick one as the new name.”
But enough about the Bighorn’s impressive looks and specs. It’s time for Johnson to plug it in and let it rip.
He begins by playing in the middle position, with both pickups – a pair of Baldacci Mountain humbuckers – on.
“The guitar has a really sweet, really mellow but really pronounced high end. I’m really digging it,” he says.
Johnson then explores different settings, flipping over first to the neck humbucker and followed by the bridge, and adjusting the tone knob from completely closed to fully open.
Next, he retunes the Bighorn to open E to have some fun with a slide.
“I love it,” Justin proclaims. “It just screams, and it’s got great sustain, too.”
In summary, he says, “The best word I can think of for this guitar is ‘responsive’ – it just responds to your every nuance. And that’s a tough thing to do from a building standpoint.”
To check out the Bighorn for yourself, head to Baldacci Guitars. And who knows? You may even get to name the finish.