Peerless Imperial Carved Series Archtop Guitar

We have been waiting to get our hands on an Imperial for some time now. Peerless confirmed that the first few consignments had all been on back order, meaning that they were pre-sold and we were in a queue. So was it worth the wait? The Imperial comes with a solid carved spruce top and a solid carved maple back. Both are twopiece and, surprisingly, both are braced, but there is no central post as on the earlier pressed top models. The maple neck is scarf jointed and supports a bound ebony fingerboard with 22 medium/heavy frets, while the tailpiece and pickguard are also in ebony, leaving the adjustable, intonated bridge as the Imperial’s only piece of rosewood. The generic black cased floating mini-humbucker has been voiced well into the “mellow” range and is connected to a volume control mounted on the pickguard with a turned ebony cap. The action on our sample was perfect, but the 42mm nut rather cramped my somewhat hamfisted style. Intonation and articulation was excellent. Soundwise, the Imperial is very well balanced and has a beautifully sweet, warm and rich tone with bags of sustain. Perhaps that extraordinary bracing to the back of the body really does help after all. As I was half expecting, Peerless have upped their game yet again and the Imperial is the undoubted current leader of a very playable pack.

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