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JGT Masterworks: Mirabella’s Oval Hole “Sativa”



Today, with nearly 38 years of experience, Cristian Mirabella is considered one of the premier modern archtop builders. Jazz Guitar Today spotlights the Oval Hole ‘Sativa‘.

Bob Bakert, Editor: The Rocky Mountain Archtop Festival this past September (produced by Peter Henriksen of Henriksen Amplifiers) was a huge hit in so many ways.  I met so many great players and builders among them the incredible “world class” young luthier Cristian Mirabella.  His lineage takes him back to the old New York masters and his instruments are superb.  Check out his incredible art.

Jazz Guitar Today continues our series of highly desirable guitars.

Mirabella Satvia Guitar
Hand cutting the Abalone for the headstock and fret inlays.

Cristian Mirabella speaks about the Sativa: “I have the pleasure of working with many players and clients who have first and foremost demanded the tone and playability of an exceptional instrument. While that is the given, the second and almost equally important desire, is for Art! A dear friend and player came to me with an order for an Archtop, he had two things, a color, and a name! Many of the Mirabella Guitars are given names, from “Whale Watching” to “Sagittarius A” and “Carmella”. This guitar would be called “Sativa” and then, of course, it had to be Green. For the “given” Sativa would need to be a versatile guitar with a full and powerful voice, yet clear, articulate and balanced on every note of the neck.

Cristian continues – Sativa would be asked to have the fullness and warmth for chord work and the punch and clarity for fingerstyle, so for this player’s demands, Sativa would be an Oval Hole Archtop. With the Acoustic Science of the instrument planned, the eye tuned to the desire of Visual Art. Abalone inlay work, multiple wood laminated accent and interior sides lined with Abalone and “Art Nouveau” styled hand painted smoke would come together with the lines of the guitar to create the “Art”! In the end, “Sativa” would come to be all we had envisioned, an exceptional instrument for performances and recording, and “Art” that was just as inspiring to see as it was to hear…

Maribelle ‘Sativa’ Guitar specs:

Top-German spruce  

Back and sides- European Flamed maple , hand painted interior.

Fingerboard- Ebony with abalone oval inlays

Bridge- Wedge bridge, Ebony with maple saddle

Neck – Two piece Quarter sawn Flamed maple 

Binding- Northern Flamed maple and Ebony 

Headplate- Ebony with Abalone and Ebony trussrod cover

Rosette-Northern Flamed Maple 

Tuners- Schallers Chrome

Scale Length- 25.375 

Nut width- 1 3/4

Bridge Spacing- 2 1/8

Upper Bout- 13 

Lower Bout- 17

Body length- 20 1/4

Overall length- 42 3/4

Body Depth – 3 1/8

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