Rick Turner has been building guitars for an astounding 50 years. How does he stay interested and further develop his passion for fine guitars and basses? He keeps it fresh! Always looking for new and exciting ideas, Rick over the years has built 10 different limited edition guitars. Whether it's the Limited Edition Lindsey Buckingham 40th Anniversary or the heralded Icon Series Model 1’s, Rick is always coming up with new and exciting ideas to enhance the Model 1 and the Renaissance line of guitars.
So, what's different about the all new California Series being released April 2021? Well for starters, you’ll get two guitars, not one. That's right, Rick is combining his two most popular instruments: the Model 1 and the Renaissance RS6 Stage Acoustic. These guitars will be sold as a twin set of collector's instruments.
"I have a couple of favorite things about the series," Turner tells us. "First, our use of California and fairly local woods -- the Curly Redwood and the Black Acacia. I moved to Pt. Reyes Station in Marin County with my very pregnant wife, Amber, in June of 1968. I moved from Topanga Canyon in LA up to Santa Cruz in 1997. Three things really [provided my inspiration to move to Santa Cruz]. One, Jessica and my dear friend Martin Simpson lived here. Two, Richard Hoover had encouraged me to consider Santa Cruz. And three, I love being near an ocean...and forests!"
The woods are locally grown Northern California timber. The primary wood is Big Curly Redwood reclaimed from the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Redwood will be used on both the top of the guitar as well as the facia for the peghead. Also from California is the Santa Cruz grown, Black Acacia which will be used for the tail piece and pick up surround. For both guitars the body core is to be made of Mahogany. The fretboard will be made from Ipe, which is harder and denser than Ebony. Donning the 7th Fret of the guitar is the “Golden Bear” inlay from Ricks favorite California Pub he used to frequent when he first moved to California. An inspirational dive bar where all the locals would hang,” Turner says. "My introduction to California was when I was playing guitar with Ian and Sylvia and we came out to Huntington Beach to play at a great folk club, The Golden Bear." It was there he became accustomed to the “California Vibe” not present in his native New York.
Let's talk electronics. This limited edition gem is loaded with the full electronics package. Starting with the Turner “Hot Humbucker”, this active pickup will give you everything from pure, clean and pristine cleans to the screaming and burly, heavy tones your favorite tube amplifier can handle! The Piezo pickup with blending electronics allows you to rotate back and forth (and in-between) from the Hot Humbucker to the undersaddle Piezo for those more acoustic tones. Also on board is a Semi Parametric EQ allowing you to really shape your tone with the boost/cut function. This offers you everything from the crisp and clear acoustic sounds, or when you’re ready for it, crank the boost to “10” to get that natural overdrive that will “tickle” the front end of any tub amp giving you a nice burly break up that distorts the hard your dig in.
The neck is Rock Hard Maple topped with tuners from Schaller. This guitar is truly an inspiring instrument that can literally do it all, which is why many agree, the Model 1 is potentially the most versatile guitar on the planet!
The Renaissance Guitar is the ultimate stage acoustic. Incredible clean, pure tones at any volume without the unwanted acoustic “quack” so often attributed to amplified acoustic instruments. The body is hollow with a Cedar “block” running through the center of the guitar to aid in eliminating on-stage feedback. Having an acoustic guitar with this much headroom will help you cut through any mix! Light as a feather, this acoustic comes in at just about 5 pounds. When you strap this thing on your shoulders, you'll barely know it's there!
Why is Rick offering these special edition guitars together as a set? The plain truth is, most Model 1 customers come back for the Renaissance, and most Renaissance customers come back for the Model 1. This is the ultimate package to cover all your musical needs. "A remarkable number of our end user/customers wind up with both an Model 1 and a Renaissance RS-6. This gives folks the chance to have matching instruments...a cool thing! Imagineyou could get a matching set of a Martin D-28 and a Fender Strat! With us, you can, sort of!"
Rick collaborated on this project with Brendan Smyth of Heartbreaker Guitars ( A life long Turner fan). Rick and Brendan understand and appreciate the fact that these guitars (individually) are quite expensive. So the idea was when creating this project they wanted to keep it at a price point that just made sense. Coming in at under $10,000 for 2 hand made, limited edition collectors pieces was really quite a feat. No expense was spared in order to offer the ultimate Turner guitar set that will create endless inspiration for any musician.