Is it only because of it´s beauty? No, not really. Abalone is actually a very musical material. Very hard and crisp and on my PearlVibes – paper thin. Like a thin hard veneer of thin choice rosewood or hard rock maple. I discovered the musicality by chance and found that it adds a bit of „snap“ to the tone. Kind of like the difference between a maple and a rosewood neck. The maple neck adds more of that percussive quality, more snap to the attack. Most guitarists like this percusive snap and are actually looking for it when buying a vintage tele or strat. I´m not imagining the difference in tone. I´ll take two swampash bodies from the same tree, same weight etc. Combine them with similar flamed maple necks of the same weight. Use the same pick-ups, strings and electronics. The only difference is that one body has an abalone top. That one has a more percussive quality. I´ve seen this quite a few times and have grown to accept it. So, not only is abalone one of the most beautiful materials on our planet but also quite musical.
If you´ve seen this website or seen the PearlVibes on Youtube or the Web you are probably asking:
„Are they for real“ are they genuine“? Must be a trick here - right?
In the words of designer and builder of Ray Gerold pickups after spending a day inspecting and test the Pearlvibes: "The most fantastic and beautiful guitars I have ever come across in over 30 years in the guitar business.They and sound as great as they look." He repeated these superlatives over and over.
ALL PearlVibes are made out of the finest woods with the tops made out of genuine hand picked costly New Zealand Abalone, Green Paua, Awabi, White Abalone and Mother of Pearl. The fitting of the hundreds of individual strips of shell are all done exactingly and tediously by hand.
You take some well dried swampash,sugar pine or red alder and cut out a one to two piece body made exactingly to vintage Telecaster or strat specs. Same shape, thickness and design as the original 50´s design. Weight – 2 Kilogramms or less. Vintage specs, right?
Now the fun starts!
Vintage lightweight handpicked bodies cut to vintage dimensions and shapes: swampash, red alder,and sugar pine bodies. All are one to two piece and cut out to old tele or strat shapes. The edges are rounded or softened through extensive sanding and shaping.
Tops are completely covered in either MOP, abalone, awabi, New Zealand Paua abalone, white Abalone. These are very thin veneers that shine but do not take away tone.