Double NGD: When a Raspberry Archtop met a Purple Tremonti


Ministry of guitar
Apr 13, 2017
So to be clear they arrived a day from each other. But why let facts get in the way of a good story.

Part 1:
I'll start off with the Archtop. That model of guitar has always been a little bit of the one that got away. A few years ago, I encountered a natural Amber one locally but at the time I wasn't very familiar with the model. Also at the time I figured, if I get a hollowbody, I'll get one with a piezo. However I always regretted not getting that guitar.

A few years later, my piezo needs have been more than fulfilled with my pair of Cu24 Piezos and HB2 Piezo. So I was always looking for one in the right colour and at a reasonable price. I spotted this one in a dealer in the UK and when I looked it up further, I was quite intrigued to find it had some history on the forum and part of a limited NAMM'99 run of 21 guitars all in the same colour. I didn't think too much further and then the deed was done.

The guitar is in great nick for near to 25 years of age. The colour is incredible, somewhere in between wine red and cardinal. You could call it very dark pink but you could call it slightly violet too. Works very well with the gold hardware. Very different from the Scarlett red HBII I have.
Sound wise, I have been very surprised by how 'acoustic like' it sounds amplified, with a very broad range of frequencies. There's a certain sense of capturing the high notes like I feel sometimes on a Gretsch 6121 Chet Atkins I have. Speaking of which, Mr. Sandman would be great on this guitar with some reverb. However I have to confess I have only played Enter Sandman so far. Also the pickups warm up nicely with the tone knob giving it great range.

Part 2:
I like purple guitars. I like Singlecuts. I like trems. Somehow all three had never found their place on one guitar. Until this day.
This is a 2022 Wood Library Purple Mist Tremonti with a matching stained maple neck and an ebony fretboard. And incredible Abalone birds. If I had to spec a Tremonti to exactly my spec, this would be it. Also I have always regretted selling my original Black and Gold Tremonti so it's been one of those things.

The post 2019-2020 upgraded PRSs continue to amaze me. This guitar is much more musical sounding out of the box than my previous Tremonti. The Tremonti bridge pickup can have a bit of an edge. This TCIed (I am assuming) pickup has the same bite but is somehow never harsh even on a bright clean tone as the original can be sometimes. The CAB (nitro over cellulose) finish smells great. And the weight is exactly what it needs to be, which is of a light Les Paul yet substantial.
The only criticism that I have of this guitar is that the top could be a touch more figured given it is a Wood Library with a 10 top but hey, one can't have everything.

I do have a mod planned for this guitar though. I managed to snag a couple of 58/15 LT TCIs locally from a dude at a steal. These pickups aren't sold separately so think it is quite a coup. Since Tremonti's don't have coil splits from the factory and I operate exclusively in them for clean ambient tones, I plan to swap in the 58/15 LT into the neck and get my tech to split both the bridge and the neck, 594 style. Then the guitar will be truly complete, with my favourite neck and bridge pickup, as I have on my Private Stock 594 Trem with a Tremonti bridge pickup.

All right enough blabber. Let's get on with the pics:

I had the 99 raspberry Santana from that NAMM show. Dibs on the Archtop!

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Congrats on two awesome guitars. That Tremonti is hot! I love the contrast with the top and natural back. Your neck pickup idea sounds awesome and I would love to hear a comparison when done.
I think a Spruce is still missing. One day when the stars align
If you are looking for some awesome Spruce PRS action, may I humbly suggest you consider finding a JA-15 model. I can't help but smile every time I plug mine in! While it doesn't have coil splits, that big hollow singlecut body with 53/10's will do gorgeous clean sounds in a different way!

And beautiful new guitars: looking forward to hearing what you think of the 58/15LT's in the Tremonti! My favourite PRS pickup is the original 58/15. Sadly, I see them turn up even less than the LT's.