Sure, it’s great to pick up a vintage Strat or Les Paul and marvel at its aged patina. It’s also a wonderful feeling to pick up a customized, totally handcrafted guitar. And I can’t think of many custom guitars that are as hip and original as the Linc Luthier Impression – it’s a singular playing experience.
Who exactly is Linc Luthier? Linc is a guitar builder in Southern California who makes electric guitars, basses, and baritones, each with the distinctive Linc body shape and headstock (he also makes modern-looking upright basses and violins). Frankly, with a body this original, either you’re going to love it or you’re not – a ’52 Telecaster, this ain’t. The sweep of its enormous horns reminds me of an ancient Greek lyre or a similar harp-link instrument, while others may see an upside-down B.C. Rich Mockingbird. Personally, I find the shape very alluring. If I was playing a gig and wanted to be noticed by everyone in the joint, I’d bring the Impression. It’s a showstopper.
Like many Linc Luthier guitars, the body on our review instrument has a chambered body composed of exotic hardwoods – just check out those unique f-holes. The chambered construction also makes for a deep body – about 2″ from back to front. The top and back are made of dark, bookmatched Zirocote wood with walnut-colored Prima Vera sides. The headstock and neck is a sandwich of Zirocote and flame-maple pieces, with the maple continuing through the body to the endpin, allowing for a totally smooth heel for upper-fret playing. The neck scale is 2511/32″ and the radius is “completely flat,” according to the builder.
The fret dots are made of black mother-of-pearl and the side markers are thin, inlaid maple strips. The nut is pink ivory – the rarest wood in the world, according to Linc’s literature – and the circular crown on the headstock is a sandwiched section of Paua shell, Koa, and flame maple. It’s clear that Linc spares no expense when it comes to materials. (Heck, if I had the space I’d also tell you about the plush, handmade case that comes with each Linc Luthier instrument. Trust me – it’s sweet.)
Pick up the Impression, and again that word comes to mind: “distinctive.” Grab the neck and note the ergonomic, offset-V profile that sits comfortably in the palm. The smooth heel and 24 frets invite you to play fast and precise all over the neck. Although you can play any style of music on it, the Impression would definitely be at home with sophisticated progressive and fusion players,