The "Tortoise" Monaco III - built for Private Reserve Guitars

Designer's note:

"We wanted a guitar that begs you to stop and smell the roses. Then it hit us. The Tortoise! Like the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where "Speedy" the rabbit gets his butt kicked by the tortoise. It's a metaphor for how to live a meaningful life. This beautiful guitar is our tribute to slowing down, enjoying the journey and just being human."

(click each photo for a larger image)

Starting with an Ultimate grade quilt maple top, we added trim of cellulose "tortoise shell" binding around the entire guitar. We love the dark and smoky look. Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with thirty genuine pearl inlays. Three black P90s and a Bigsby. With the carved top and rich earth tones, it almost looks like a reptile.
Here's another angle that really shows off the figure. Because this top was color shaded rather than stained, the figuring of the top changes with the light. This is more of that "slow down and smell the roses" sort of idea. You really get the sense that there is more to learn from this guitar than what initially meets the eye.

Just to prove the point, here's another look. The deep lacquer gloss is deceptive, as it is extremely thin which allows the guitar to resonate. The back and sides are honduras mahogany, and are tinted a warm brown color to compliment the top. You can see the warm glow of the highlights in the binding too.
The traditional snake head shape is outlined in hand formed cellulose binding. You can see the depth of the material in this view. The tuners are Schaller—expensive, but worth it. The hand shaped bone nut it tailored and polished to a high gloss to prove we care about all the details. Speaking of which, the logo is inlaid pearl—a decal would be an insult!