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COLE CLARK TRUE HYBRID GUITARS AND THE STORY BEHIND THEM

Since forming in 2001, Cole Clark guitars have been combining classical construction with innovative design, sustainably sourced woods and the world’s most natural sounding pickup to produce unique instruments for the modern acoustic player.

For a company dealing predominantly in acoustic guitars, they’ve also been making some extraordinary technological advances with their pickup systems. Starting with the two way system in 2003, which was a world first, they then improved it in 2010 with the three way pickup.

In 2016, respected Melbourne-based guitar electronics guru Paul Gale joined the Cole Clark team in a significant coup for the guitar company. Having Paul at the factory allowed Cole Clark to move all of their electronics, engineering and research and development in-house. Paul quickly got to work and developed a vastly improved pickup system, the PG3. The acclaimed PG3 is now standard on all Cole Clark models.

However the story doesn’t end there! Paul Gale is one of those guys with an over-active mind. Ever inquisitive and chock full of knowledge, Paul’s next quest was to see if he could place a humbucker pickup into the bridge position of an acoustic guitar and make it work. Of course he made that a reality, a guitar which features the natural plugged-in acoustic sound Cole Clark is famous for as well as a no-compromise electric sound.

Consequently now in production are the Cole Clark Humbucker models. Available in their BLBL range of 2 series guitars, they have correctly placed and braced a Lollar Imperial humbucker as a second output giving you a killer electric tone to combine with their 3 way acoustic pickup.

Of course, Paul Gale, Cole Clark CEO Miles Jackson, and Lloyd Spiegel weren’t content to rest on their laurels and sought to develop the ultimate acoustic/electric guitar. What they didn’t want was an acoustic guitar that does a little bit of electric or an electric that does a little acoustic, they wanted equal parts, equal quality of both. At the 2023 Melbourne Guitar Show, they premiered the True Hybrid guitars, which feature the renowned PG3 preamp for the acoustic sound, plus a second output that runs to your amp and effects board as an electric output.

The big question for guitarists is… how is it possible to put acoustic strings on an electric guitar? Surely phosphor bronze strings won’t be recognised by the magnetic pickup. Enter Paul Gale again, who has invented a way of changing the magnetics to allow for the phosphor bronze strings to be heard by the magnetic pickups (Cole Clark patent applied for) and in doing so has created what Cole Clark are calling the most True Hybrid guitar on the planet. Cole Clark are chomping at the bit to take these guitars to the upcoming NAMM Show in April to show the world what they’ve created.

Models shown at the Melbourne Guitar Show were: The TL2EC-HSS model, which carries a humbucker and two single coil pickups, the TL2EC BLBL HH with two humbuckers and the TL2EC BLBL SSS which has 3 single coil pickups. More specs below. All 3 models are now available to order.

Australian Musician magazine has been privileged to follow the journey of Cole Clark’s True Hybrid guitars for some time and a while back we caught up with Cole Clark’s electronics guru Paul Gale, who gave us a detailed explanation into the technology behind the True Hybrid guitars. We also had a quick chat with Lloyd Spiegel at the Melbourne Guitar Show about the ground-breaking new models.

 

True Hybrid models include:

TL2EC-HSS
•AA grade Australian Blackwood back, sides and top & Nitrocellulose (natural satin) finish
•Queensland Maple [Neck Shape] neck w/ 25.5″ scale
•She Oak fretboard w/ 12″ radius & Abalone dots inlays
•21 frets
•44mm Graph Tech Tusq nut
•Grover tuning machines
•She Oak bridge w/ Graph Tech Tusq saddles
•Humbucker and 2 single coil Cole Clark balanced magnetic pickups w/ Cole Clark PG3 acoustic pickup system
•Tone and Volume controls, selector switches on face
•Includes Cole Clark hard case – Tweed
•Grain may vary

TL2EC BLBL HH
•All solid timber cutaway True Hybrid thinline Grand Auditorium with F.E.A internal bracing.
•Made entirely from sustainable timbers
•Cole Clark PG3 acoustic pickup system
•2 Humbuckers  (Separate output. Tone, volume and selector switches on face)
•Finish: Nitrocellulose (natural satin)
•Neck: Queensland Maple
•Top: AA grade Australian Blackwood
•Back and sides: AA grade Australian Blackwood
•Inlaid timber binding
•Bridge/Fretboard: She Oak
•Inlays:  Abalone dots
•Machine Heads: Grover
•Nut/Saddle: Graph Tech Tusq
•Nut width : 44mm
•Radius: 12″
•Scale length: 25.5″
•21 frets
•Strings: Phosphor Bronze 11-52
•Cole Clark hard case – Tweed
•Pickguard – Tortoise Shell

TL2EC BLBL SSS.
•All solid timber cutaway True Hybrid thinline Grand Auditorium with F.E.A internal bracing.
•Made entirely from sustainable timbers
•Cole Clark PG3 acoustic pickup system
•3 single coil Cole Clark balanced magnetic pickups (Separate output. Tone, volume and selector switches on face)
•Finish: Nitrocellulose (natural satin)
•Neck: Queensland Maple
•Top: AA grade Australian Blackwood
•Back and sides: AA grade Australian Blackwood
•Inlaid timber binding
•Bridge/Fretboard: She Oak
•Inlays:  Abalone dots
•Machine Heads: Grover
•Nut/Saddle: Graph Tech Tusq
•Nut width : 44mm
•Radius: 12″
•Scale length: 25.5″
•21 frets
•Strings: Phosphor Bronze 11-52
•Cole Clark hard case – Tweed
•Pickguard – Tortoise Shell

They’re available to order now. https://coleclarkguitars.com/

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