SOLD – (NEW) Baleno Small Jumbo (SJ), Adirondack, East Indian Rosewood – SOLD

(NEW) One of the many fun things about being a “boutique” style guitar store, one that carries mostly small shop and luthier-built instruments, is that we get to introduce our customers to names they’ve never before seen on a headstock. It occurs daily that someone will stroll into AMW and say something like “I haven’t seen these before… Baleno? Made locally?”

Chuck Baleno is a name you may not have heard, but if you visit our shop or frequent this website, you’ve probably gotten a chance to see, hear or play one of his guitars. AMW has been the exclusive dealer and an outspoken champion for Baleno Instruments for about two years now, and we can honestly say that every guitar that we’ve had the fortune to handle has been a joy to play, to hear, and to look at. This latest, the Baleno “SJ”, is our favorite to date!

The SJ hasn’t really enjoyed the popularity that it deserves in the acoustic world, and we’ve made it our mission to evangelize the model at our shop. Chuck Baleno used the legendary Gibson J-185 as his starting point, but has made some subtle adjustments to its curves and made it his own. Most SJs have substantial volume, but the design’s tight waist can result in a somewhat well-behaved bass register, the guitar sounding something like an oversized OM… not the case with the Baleno SJ. The tone is balanced, yes, but this guitar has volume, bass presence and a great “rumble”, a true jumbo sound. It’s dynamic, responsive to a light touch but not afraid of a more aggressive attack (thank you once again, Adirondack spruce!) The best part about the tone of this guitar is that through his careful voicing, Mr. Baleno has captured perfectly the warmth and lushness of East Indian rosewood, with none of the blurry, directionless overtones that plague some larger EIR guitars.

Tech and specs: 1 3/4″ nut width, 2 1/4″ spacing at the saddle. Compensated bone nut and saddle for impeccable intonation up and down the neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. True bolt on neck joint. Two-way adjustable truss rod. Hide glue construction. Stainless steel frets. Vintage-style Waverly tuners with Ebony buttons. Curly Koa body binding and end-graft. Custom hand-cut rosette and backstrip marquetry. Nitrocellulose lacquer finish.

We’ve said it before, these wonderful Baleno guitars will not remain at this price point forever… and we don’t expect this beauty to be here long!

List price: $3225
AMW price: SOLD