Bernie Lehmann’s creations hold a unique corner of the already highly individualized world of modern lutherie. Not only does his Master Model 2000 feature a vaulted back (here comprised of Brazilian Rosewood ribs) and chip-carved appointments across a Sitka Spruce top, but it’s also got a bolt-on neck, grained ivoroid-bound soundport, and spirit varnished body. A blending of lute traditions with contemporary design that yields extra projection and colorful bass without deepening the sides to cavernous proportions.
Lehmann adds an extra dollop of juicy goodness to the trebles with the addition of a bone block on the bridge plate (which also serves to protect the plate from string wear); dovetails sweetly with a very articulate and balanced middle register. Fingerstyle machinations in standard tuning and beyond feel right at home, but the setup has enough give to allow for smooth transitions to and fro with flatpicking.
25-year-old Sitka Spruce on top, Brazilian Rosewood back and sides that Bernie’s held onto since the 1980s, and a slim fighting weight of 3lbs 13oz—our latest Master Model 2000 is in a class all of its own.
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