Mike Moss Palen Performer

Review of Palen Performer

Overall Rating: 11

I first played a Palen Jazz Performer in May 2006 at the Long Island Guitar show. I told Lou Del Rosso, owner of Guitars n Jazz, that I loved it and would order one immediately. I did. I received the guitar in September 2007. It was well worth the wait. I love this guitar.

Here’s a telling comment about this guitar. I play in a quartet and have used several archtops at gigs. I showed up at a gig with the Palen and after the firts set a couple of the guys said, “Man, that thing sounds great. What is it?” The amp was the same, my playing was the same. What was different was the guitar. It caught their attention. It already had mine!

This is my second Palen. I have a 2003 Palen 7-string. So maybe I am biased. But I will tell you this: if you haven’t played a Palen, you are short changing yourself. I’d buy one if it were double the cost. Palen’s are that good, folks. I am not kidding. This guitar stands out. It’s a keeper for me. What a sound.

Features: 10

One set Kent Armstrong pickup. 17″ body. 1 3/4 nut width. Hidden volume and tone controls just beneath the pickguard. It has everything I wanted. I am a straight “flat” player – only like a touch of reverb. It has all the features I need.

Sound: 15

This is what it’s all about (in addition to “feel”), right? This guitar has punch, and beautiful note separation/articulation. I like punch. I think this is Palen’s signature/indelible mark on a guitar. It’s got some snap, too. But it can be warm and lush when you need to make a ballad cry. Just a great, great sound from this guitar.

Action/Fit/Finish: 10

I lived in New Jersey for 16 years. All I can say about action/fit/finish: “foggettabbooudddittt”. Fantastic. Nelson’s attention to detail is among the best. He can rival anybody – anybody.

Reliability/Durability: 10

So far so good. It’s young yet. Durability?? If you treat it right (keep it in its case when not playing, e.g.) it’ll be good to go for years. It’s made so well.

Customer Support: 10

Lou’s a prince. You need something, he’ll work it out with you. Nelson, I am sure, if I needed a tweak or two, would fit me in.

– Mike Moss