Up for sale, a Wildcard Mimosa Hybrid flattop acoustic guitar, brand new and hand-crafted in Oakland, CA. While acoustic guitar building traditions go back hundreds of years, luthiers like Wildcard's Steve Card are crafting compelling and wholly unique instruments that are tailor made for today's players, while still satisfying the tonal desires of vintage purists. The Mimosa Hybrid is the 55th guitar crafted by Steve, and although his workshop is now based in Port Angeles, WA, this particular guitar was made while he resided at his old location in California.
Designed with hybrid X and fan bracing, this guitar is purposefully made for fingerstyle acoustic Jazz players, with light bracing that endeavors to deliver optimal volume and tonal nuance for .010 and .011 gauge bronze strings. With a solid Sitka spruce top, bubinga back and sides, a mahogany neck, and wenge fretboard, the Mimosa makes the most of these exotic tone woods, and is designed as a "hybrid" of both Old and New world guitar building, boasting a clock-key bolt adjustable german-style pivoting neck and a body style meant to deliver tones similar to an early 20th century Washburn. In Steve Card's own words, the unique bracing and soundhole placement was designed
"to relieve the soundboard (top) of structural responsibility so that the top can be thinner, more responsive, and freer to vibrate in all directions. Soundholes are necessary to allow airflow, but they don’t necessarily need to be on the top. Since we’ve gone to great lengths to stiffen the top and make it more responsive, putting a soundhole in the middle of it would detract from this intention by weakening the top and lessening the vibrational real estate."
With the two soundholes carved into the bubinga side and facing the player on the bass side upper bout, the experience as a player is wholly unique, with these soundholes acting like mini monitors that let you gauge your sound. The unique features and meticulous build quality of the Mimosa adds up to a guitar that is a joy to play, extremely resonant, and notably articulate. The string to string clarity is astounding, with a piano-like quality and a sound that is equal parts glassy and rich. There's a certain midrange heft when you dig in, and the most complex chord voicings ring out with a balance and warmth few guitars can match. Since the Mimosa was particularly designed for fingerstyle playing, the bass strings have a fullness and treble response that you typically only get with a pick, but surprisingly even comes through if you're picking out notes with the pad of your thumb. The floating Bill Lawrence humbucker adds further versatility, and the pickup is jaw-droppingly clear and warm. Whether you're playing through a vintage tube amp or more modern solid state acoustic preamp, this pickup has perfect balance between the wound bronze and plain strings, with a far more convincing "acoustic" sound when plugged in than the vast majority of pickups can manage.
The mahogany neck has an asymmetrical profile, with more depth on the bass side which fills the palm and allows for quicker, more effortless lead work when navigating the treble side of the board. The neck meets the body at the 12th fret, with 22 frets total, a generous cutaway for easy access to the higher registers of the board, and a floating fretboard extension from the 14th fret onward. The scale length is a full 25 1/2" and the generous slab wenge fretboard measures a full 1 13/16" at the nut. The fretboard radius is extremely flat, and the fretwire has moderate width and perfectly rounded crowns, while still being shy of a medium jumbo in terms of overall width. The slotted mahogany headstock has a wenge veneer, along with a set of gold plated tuning machines that turn very smoothly with ivoroid buttons.
On the body, the hand-carved wenge bridge is beautifully shaped, with small "dimples" on the wings, and a compensated saddle for optimal intonation. There is a clear pickguard on the treble side of the pickpath, and the Bill Lawrence humbucker is wired to a single recessed volume knob. Visible through the soundhole, the Wildcard label is hand-signed and numbered by Steve Card. While the neck has a smooth matte finish, the body is finished in a high gloss, accentuating the deep quilt figuring in the Bubinga. Another player-friendly feature of the Mimosa Hybrid is that both the top and back are "bent" on the bass side of the body, making the bass side of the instrument slightly more slender and comfortable where the forearm crosses the top.
While this is a new instrument, it has been in the Wildcard showroom for some time, and as such, there are a few tiny nicks on the body, but nothing of consequence that could be adequately captured with a camera lens. This instrument is a unique and expertly crafted acoustic, proudly made by hand in the USA!
The original hardshell case is included.
Back and sides: Bubinga (african rosewood)
Top: Sitka Spruce
Neck: mahogany clock-key bolt adjustable german-style pivoting neck.
Negative neck angle to body (parallel to back)
Bridge and fingerboard: wengé wood
Floating Bill Lawrence acoustic neck pickup
Scale length: 25.5"
Neck width: 1 13/16"
Made for fingerstyle acoustic jazz players
Bent back and top (narrower on the driver side for comfort)
Assymetrical neck profile
Soundhole placement: side of upper bout
Sound: bright flat-top acoustic (early 20th century Washburn)
Designed for .010-.011 gauge bronze strings
Bracing: x-brace / fan brace hybrid
Armature locks neck to heel block for structural support
Herringbone inlay back seam pattern
Recessed volume knob
"Hybrid" refers to the hybrid bracing as well as the fact that the neck style is German while the body style is American.