Bedell is a guitar company that has an interesting back story. It is said that the company owner, Tom Bedell, started Bedell guitars in the mid sixties, but he soon gave up on this venture to run the popular fishing gear manufacturing company of his father. Cutting the long story short, Tom successfully sold the company for $500 Million and decided to go back into the guitar building business, the result is Bedell Guitars.
It seems that the company’s main objective is to provide more value for money instruments that will outclass the features found on other guitar brands of the same price points. And the company is able to achieve this by having his guitar built overseas, while utilizing high-end tonewoods that at times Tom himself hand selected.
The Bedell 1964 Parlor is a good example of the company’s bang per buck emphasis, featuring all-solidwood construction and premium appointments at a more realistic price point.
The 1964 Parlor is constructed using conventional tonewood combination, featuring a Sitka spruce top and Honduran mahogany for the back and sides. To get the parlor guitar feel and vibe right, Bedell utilized classic building methods, mimicking how luthiers and manufacturers crafted their parlor guitars the mid-60s.
Because of their “eco-friendly” approach to getting raw tonewoods, Tom Bedell and company did not just get any spruce, rather he utilized Sitka spruce soundboards that were salvaged from downed trees in Alaska, reducing the need to cut down live trees.
About this Alaska sourced spruce, the official description says, “Sitka spruce has been the primary top wood for U.S.A.-made instruments for many decades — it is strong, light, and gives an extended harmonic content that nearly equals the power of Adirondack spruce.”
Supporting the Alaskan solid sitka spruce top are Honduran mahogany back and sides. The official description says, “It is said to deliver a balanced, resonant tone with a thick bottom end, rich midrange, and a controlled, warm top end.” Tom Bidell takes pride in his eco-friendly material sourcing, saying that no forests were clear-cut to build the 1964 parlor guitars.
This parlor guitar is said to be an all-solid wood instrument, and as such it features a solid one-piece mahogany neck topped with solid African ebony fretboard. Important specs include a nutwidth of 1.69″ and although it’s not mentioned on the official site, the 1964 Parlor has a short scale length of 24.7″, similar to their other parlor guitar models. Following traditional builds, the neck meets the body at the 12th fret via a dovetail neck joint.
The guitar’s headstock features ebony veneer with logo inlay, and Bedell open gear antique brass tuners. Other features include solid African ebony bridge, bone nut and saddle, and solid East Indian rosewood binding! Giving the guitar the ability to plug into amps or PAs, the company equipped it with the K&K Pure Mini pickup system.
With it’s ethically sourced tonewoods, solid wood construction and premium appointments, this guitar is currently retailing for $1,990, and comes bundled with a hardshell case. Visit Bedell Guitars for more information.