Near the abandoned highway spur in beautiful Burlington, Vermont, guitar maker Creston Lea builds intriguing interpretations of classic vintage guitar templates. Each one is a unique creation, designed in close collaboration with the players who will use them. No two Crestons are alike, because what would be the point of building a guitar that already exists? Known for meticulous finishes and careful selection of hardware and tonewoods, Creston says he wants to be excited about every guitar he builds. That makes sense to us because we're excited about every one of his guitars we play. At the end of the day, his subtle innovations on classic designs breathe new layers of musicality that weren't there before.
This Creston Traditional starts with a one-piece Ash Body, and its design is largely based around the Bigsby B16 tailpiece. The B16 was introduced in the '50s specifically for T-style guitars, and it continues to be one of the best options for adding an expressive vibrato to this single-cutaway body shape. Creston add the appropriate neck shim to optimize the neck angle for the B16, and even though The Bigsby B16 doesn't typically work with a Mastery bridge, he Creston took the effort to make that work, too. The addition of the shim and the Mastery make the Bigsby so much more usable. It's more expressive and has less effect on tuning.
From there, this Traditional has a three-tone sunburst nitrocellulose finish and a celluloid tortoise pickguard. Perhaps the coolest detail is a custom polished aluminum armrest on bass side. With the B16, the control plate, and the Lollar humbucker neck pickup, there's a lot of shiny metal, which contrasts nicely with the sunburst finish. It's eye-catching and would get noticed on stage
In the bridge position, this Creston has a Lollar Special—the perfect complement for the Lollar Imperial humbucker in the neck position. The control plate is reversed so that you won't accidentally change pickups while strumming or using the Bigsby. All in all, this is a well-intentioned, well-designed, and well-executed build. Very much in keeping with Creston's reputation—this guitar rips! Levy's gig bag included.
- Body - 1-piece Ash T
- Finish - Three-Tone Sunburst Nitrocellulose
- Neck - Maple / Indian Rosewood
- Scale Length: 25-1/2"
- Neck Shape - C
- Fingerboard Radius - 10"
- Frets - .095" x .047"
- Neck Depth at 1st Fret - .830"
- Nut - Bone, 1-11/16"
- Tuners: Gotoh staged Kluson-style, nickel
- Bridge - Master w/ long posts
- Tailpiece - Bigsby B16 w/ Bigsby Aluminum shim
- Bridge Pickup - Lollar Special
- Neck Pickup - Lollar Imperial
- Pickguard - 4-ply Celluloid Tortoise
- Pots - 500k CTS
- Tone Cap - .01 NOS Panasonic