Gilad L. Palen Performer

I purchased a used Carved Palen with a floating pickup and a new Palen Performer (which is also hand carved, but has a set humbucker). So far, I have been enjoying my new amazing guitars for the past 3 weeks at home and at local gigs. I have done the review with Harmony Central:

FEATURES: Just play one and you will not feel you need to adjust anything.

SOUND: Absolutely brilliant. Uniformly rich and warm all across the fret board. Even the high notes sound “fat” and punchy. Very clear attack and beautiful sustain all through. The Carved Palen with the floating pickup sounds more acoustic and the Performer with the set humbucker more presence and has more of that jazz “electric” tone- though it is really a matter of taste. I love them both.

ACTION: Very smooth and playable. Though action can be adjusted, I found both my guitars to be adjusted to my personal taste

RELIABILITY: Can’t tell you as I have not had them for long but so far. They remain perfectly in tune.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Lou Del Rosso has been very attentative and flexible and is pretty much a straight forward man, which is extremely important to me. I have never met Nelson Palen although he was flexible enough to finish my Palen in time for me to pick it up on my trip to New York. I don´t forsee any problems from the way that everything was taken care of so far.

Overall: I am not a professional musician, but it has been more than a hobby for me. I´ve been playing guitar for over 30 years and jazz guitar during the past 6 years. I´m a big fan of the current stream of guitarists like: Peter Bernstein, Jessie Van Ruller, John Hart, Jonathan Kreisberg and Corey Christiansen to name a few of my favorites.

Naturally I am seeking to reach that beautiful sound in my playing as I study music. I´ve always thought that I needed to buy a better Gibson, maybe an expensive 50´s or 60´s model. But then I started checking what kinds of guitars my favorite player were using. The world of fine handcrafted archtop guitars is very new to me.

I traveled to New York on September 2007 just to find out what these luthiers who made expensive guitars are all about. Before this, the closest that I got to one was playing my 90´s Gibson ES175 which is OK, but really nothing close to the sound I´m hearing from all those amazing players. Before traveling, my mind was set up to buy one really fine archtop or another good laminated one for gigs (probably a 50s-60s ES175 or L5) I had less than a week but I´ve managed to check out 5 of the main archtop dealers in the NY and NJ area and I´ve tried about 60 to 70 guitars ranging from $2000 to 20,000. The only guitars that played as good as a Palen were the every expensive ones 15-20k, though I still preferred the sound of the Palen.

– Gilad L.; Nigeria