Guitar maker Daniel Slaman produces New Vintage guitars, inspired by classic pre-World War II archtop designs.

“The Gibson L5 is a masterpiece of design, in function as well as aesthetics. A perfect blend of form and function, it is equal in design quality to the Porsche 911, the Coca-Cola bottle, the Volkswagen Beetle and the Fender Stratocaster… there is nothing you can do to improve on the original design.

“Though the Slaman model closely follows the Gibson L5, it is not an exact copy. My aim is to build a vintage-style guitar with modern playability.

Daniel Slaman

“The neck has a comfortable C-shaped contour with a more modern feel than many of the old ‘baseball bat’ or V-shaped necks. It retains a 10-inch radius fingerboard where most modern guitars have a 12 inch radius. The frets are medium high and wide, so they will last longer then the thin fretwire you find on old guitars.

“Making my guitars is like travelling back in time. Everything is done by hand, just as in the old days, one guitar at a time. I tune the top and back with a combination of experience and intuition. The Cremona Brown finish is achieved by spending a whole one day on the colour coats. It’s an almost lost art to achieve the deep, lustrous and vibrant sunburst that set the pre-war 16-inch L5 guitars apart from all other guitars.

“The wrapover tailpiece is a labour of love handmade by one of my customers and friends, Dirk van der Meij.”