Lipe Guitars with a dash of Florent Atem On Top

Lipe Virtuoso

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Who is Lipe Guitars?

Founded by Mike Lipe who has been building guitars for over 35 years, was taught by a violin builder, and has worked for several well known manufacturers including Ibanez, Yamaha, Hofner, and Fender, and currently works with Zemaitis in addition to running Lipe Guitars.  He has also built guitars for pretty much any big name guitarist you could throw out there including Vai, Satriani, Brian May, Richie Kotzen, Frank Gambale, Michael Angelo Batio, and beyond bunches more.

The California native Lipe Guitars has been established since 2000 by Mike Lipe who personally hand builds all guitars.  Mike has also stressed that when he says hand built he means specifically hand built as opposed to the use of the term in a more metaphorical, not completely mass produced fashion.

And what of the guitars?

Currently Lipe offers five different models.  The Virtuoso, Classic Virtuoso, Soldato, Twisted Soldato, and the Ivo as can be seen in the pictures.

Because the guitars are all custom built there isn’t a specific stardard of materials used for one model over another.  It doesn’t make it any easier to summarize everything considering the vast variety of materials Mr. Lipe works with.  Mike personally selects among alder, mahogany, swamp ash, and korina as the body woods with flame, quilted, or spalted maple, koa, redwood, walnut, or Hawaiian mango.  The resources for neck woulds include hard rock maple, mahogany, and korina, and rosewood, cocobolo, maple, and pau ferro for the fretboard.

His preferred selection of pickups and hardware is a bit easier to digest, however.  His go to pickups are Amalfitanos, though he does indulge in Dimarzio single coils.  His choice bridges and tuners are Hip Shots, though as is the case with any custom hand building manufacturer, alterations can be easily accomodated.

He also offers a few bass models which share the same attention to detail and can be customized to your exact specifications as well.  If you would like more info on Lipe Guitars then swing by the appropriately titled and see the real deal for yourself.

That’s fine, but will Lipe be at NAMM

Funny you should ask such a specific question.  As a matter of fact Lipe Guitars will be holding a demonstration on Saturday, January 21st in hall E where Florent Atem will be performing for them while demonstrating his own developed slide picking technique.  If you’re like me when I first heard of that and you’re wondering “what the crap is that and why should I care?” then feel free to consult the embedded video for a quick 411.

Florent Atem isn’t exactly a household name.  Who is he?

For the sake of giving you an idea of who we’re talking about here is a conveniently placed, brief biography of the Tahitian terror known as Florent Atem, he’s been playing guitar for just shy of two decades and along with his sister Carole they have a discography of 4 albums, which have garnered awards, nominations, and a performance alongside Michael Angelo Batio.  If you want more info swing by for the full scoop.

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Kyle Smitchens

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.

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10 years ago

Thank you !!

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