2010 Campbell American Transitone

Dean Campbell was building this toward the end of the time Dave Sëuferling was putting together my thinline. If I’d had the Sëuf when we got started, I’m sure I’d have had Dean put a mastery and either a B5 or a floating vibrato on this as well.

Dean’s Green Ghost freshly apotheosized with elgtsco 11-49 standards.

I’ve never entirely meshed with strat style vibratos, and they can never feel quite like home to me, though I’ve gotten better at getting them to act more like I want them to, but this guitar was meant to do the things strats do in ways that’d be harder for me to resist. It does.

I swapped the solid Gotoh saddles for bent steel Callahams. The toggle adds the middle Charlie Christian, so there are six combinations–none of which is the middle pickup alone–whoops. 

We used the American Linden Dean favored for is breath, resonance, and sustain with an oiled maple neck and ebony board. It has locking Sperzels where these days I’d have spaced Klusons, but they work great. The neck is fast, comfortable, and shockingly like a 70s Les Paul despite the 25.5″ scale.

Custom Lollar Charlie Christians in mint green.

The mint pickups sound every bit as good as they look. Better! The finish, which Dean called ghost green, was based on the smoke green tops of Gretsch Anniversaries. That’s a tough color to get just right. Dave, who is a coatings engineer, had the recipe, which Dean was kind enough to pull out for me when I needed it again years later, paying the finish favor forward. It was photogenic enough that it landed in a book a few years later.


As is virtually always the case, this great guitar got better again when I strung it with Gabriel Tonorio’s hand-wound strings. Run and get ’em.

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