Baker Junior Chambered (BJC) - Gold Top, Prototype
Anyone keeping a semi-regular eye on my web site knows that I love Bakers. I've had some stupendous Bakers come through my shop, and I honestly wish that I could look up on my wall right now and see them all hanging there. But alas, in the business I am in, I must exercise lots of discipline. Thus, I have somehow managed to keep the number of Bakers that I "own" to one. And for a long time, this Baker Junior Chambered has been THE ONE. The first Baker I ever got my hands on was a B1 '59. And of course, like all California Bakers made by Gene, Gil and the crew, the craftsmanship was impeccable, and the tone was sublime. But I found it a little heavy for me, at least for long periods of playing - I like to get maximum tone per pound, and when this sexy BJC came along, I fell in love. Not only is it one of the best Bakers I've heard tone-wise, but it's also very light, with a chambered Mahogany body. This guitar just sings - you can tell from the moment you pick it up and play it acoustically that it's going to be a seriously responsive instrument. After playing many different California Bakers, I've developed a great affinity for the BJC model - it's certainly not the most ornately appointed of the line, but damn, does it sound and feel great.
And this particular BJC is the very FIRST BJC. This is the original BJC prototype, completed in April of 2001. It is certified as such by Gene Baker, who has signed the inside of the control cavity cover. Original warranty card, Certificate of Authenticity and the original dealer specification sheet are also present and included.
This guitar has never been in circulation - it was originally purchased directly from Wild West Guitars by my friend, who happened to be there the day it came in with a larger shipment. He was there when they opened up the box, and everyone collectively said "what the heck is this?!?" He bought it that day. He's a Baker nut himself. He traded this guitar to me as part of a deal we made concerning a very special acoustic guitar. He was very eager to put together the right deal for me, but I know he winced a bit when I settled on this guitar as one I wanted. He has always described the BJC as a 'desert island Baker' - the one he'd want if he could have no others. He has kept another BJC in his Baker collection - one that was custom-built for him. And now, the time has come for me to part with this special BJC myself. I love this guitar - in fact, I view this listing, and the exhaustive series of pictures that go with it, as my homage to this guitar. I know I am going to be looking back at pictures of this guitar long after the deal is done. But I'm ready to move on. I recently acquired another B1 '59 - with a longer than normal scale than is found on most Bakers (25.5", rather than the more common 24.625".) I'm really digging that guitar a lot - I love the longer scale, and I like the chunky neck feel. Maybe I just enjoy the change and will regret selling this BJC at some point down the road, but back to the discipline thing - I can't keep a house full of guitars "just in case."
This guitar is serial number 54/100, and was completed in April of 2001. It has a plain Maple cap over a chambered Mahogany body, and the neck is also Mahogany, with a 'standard C' profile (.830/.980). The controls are dual volumes and a single tone, with a three-way switch. The knobs are Gold Bells. Bridge and stop tail piece are Tone Pros, and the tuners are Schaller Rotomatics. The pickups are Virtual Vintage PAFs... and of course, they sound wonderful. Scale length is 24.625", and this guitar has the Buzz Feiten tuning system.
One particularly cool thing about this instrument is that four months ago, I was able to have it set up personally by Gene Baker himself. Gene's a very busy guy, but by special arrangement with the previous owner, Mr. Baker went over the guitar and gave it a fresh set up to his specifications. He offered to add coil-tap capability - I almost said yes (that would be so cool) but ultimately, since this instrument is the prototype BJC, I decided to keep it completely original.
Condition on this instrument is excellent to mint. The body itself is spotless. There are a few light dings on the neck edge near the fret board. These were present on the guitar from the moment it arrived at WWG - I'm putting them down to marks of pedigree, indicating the prototypical nature of this guitar. But it certainly does not feel or play like a prototype. It feels like a phenomenal Baker... which is exactly what it is.
Includes original hardshell case, Warranty Card (unfilled), Letter of Authenticity, and Dealer specification sheet.