Although he's been building since the mid-'80s, we discovered Pete Malinoski in 2018 at the NAMM Boutique Guitar Showcase. At the show, we were taken aback by the overall newness of his designs. Pete's not just building more copies of the same '50s and '60s guitars; his goal is to create something new, and his designs—while steeped in vintage influence—stand on their own. Each of his instruments also features his own hand-wound pickups as well as other fittings, hardware, and parts all fabricated by Pete. While other boutique builders use only the same parts you can buy for yourself, Malinoski takes the time and effort to go further and deliver a custom instrument that will inspire you in new ways.
In his own words, "The Saturn model is my new modern version of a better hollow body Stratotone, it keeps the best parts and improves the weird parts to make it an everyday go-to electric."
Saturn #425 features a lightly distressed Powder Blue finish with a tortoise pickguard and tortoise body binding. Malinoski constructs the Saturn's hollow body from birch, and like the vintage Stratotone, it has a block under the bridge. The pickups are Malinoski's hand-wound Type 13SC single coils. Their design is authentic to the DeArmond- Rowe pickups that equipped the vintage Stratotones, and their tone is clean and crisp. They respond to you touch and sizzle when pushed, as sweet as a gold-foil design can be.
But what's really different from the originals—and a huge improvement—is the neck. The neck is made of one piece of African Mahogany and an Indian rosewood fingerboard. It has a modern C carve that is .84” at the 1st fret and .89" at the 12th fret. A hand-shaped bone nut and gleaming Jescar 47104 frets (all finished in a satin Danish oil) complete a neck that plays fast and easy. The normal geometry allows for standard bridge string spread with standard studs and posts, so you're able to use modern hardware. This one has a locking roller bridge with the proper break angle for a silky Jag-style tremolo. It all works fluidly, smooth, accurate and silky. It's a lovely setup that the vintage instruments never had.
- Model: Saturn
- Color: Powder Blue
- Weight: 5 lbs 1 oz
- Scale: 24-5/8" (24.625")
- Body: Birch Laminate
- Control Plate: Tortoise Vinyl
- Neck: African Mahogany
- Neck Radius: 12"
- Neck profile: Medium C
- Nut: Bone, 1-11/16"
- Frets: Jester 47104
- Pickups: Type 13SC (6.2k neck, 8.2k bridge)
- Tuning Machines: Hipshot Open-Back Locking
- Bridge: Standard Tune-O-Matic Locking Roller
- Tailpiece: Jag-style Tremolo