The long scale—Bedell dealer Megan Peters makes her dream come true
Special Edition 14 Fret Parlors in Honduran mahogany and East Indian rosewood—available now!
Megan Peters loves her Bedell 1964 Parlor but admits she’s more of a classic basher than a delicate fingerstylist. So, as a player, she decided to go the custom route and make a few changes. As the owner of Acoustic Music SLC, she decided to share those changes with her patrons, and now you can acquire one of these distinctive new diminutive beauties from the Salt Lake City-based shop, by phone or in person.
Here’s what Peters did, she kept the parlor body, but traded up for a 14-fret neck design, with a longer 25.5” scale measurement, which adds a certain brightness and snap.
“I do mostly cowboy chords,” she says, “and while I can play a 1 & ¾” nut, I like a smaller one myself, because I’m mostly just a strummer. So, basically, I was just trying to get a comfortable OM scale guitar with a tinier body.”
The result, available with back and sides in your choice of Honduran Mahogany or beautiful East Indian rosewood, is uniquely powerful, matching a bold voice with the singing treble and ringing sustain offered by a long scale instrument.
“I call it the mountain couch cuddler,” Peters beams, well satisfied with her collaborative creation.
The ‘mountain’ refers to the instruments’ most outstanding visual feature—a graphic representation of the Wasatch range that stretches from frets 11–13. Set off against a stark, but lustrous ebony fingerboard, decorated only on its edge with side dots, the mountain—fashioned from Hawaiian koa, reconstituted turquoise and figured maple—is elegant and mesmerizing in its trademark Peters simplicity.
“I don’t like to play a guitar that wears more makeup than I do,” she laughs. “I live right up in Olympus Cove and I look at the mountains every night. Being from Utah, I am a turquoise girl, so just that little bitty touch of it I thought was really classy.”
In many ways, Peters alterations take a fingerpicker’s delight and morph it into an everyperson’s secret weapon.
“For me, it’s kind of like when you change prescription glasses,” she explains. “When I go to a 12-fret instrument, from a 14 fret, it just takes me a while to get adjusted. I love how I can now go straight from this little parlor to my dread and my hands still know exactly where to go.”
As the combination of scale length and the narrower 1 & 11/16 nut width remind her of a Bedell 1964 Dreadnought, the surprisingly huge sound does, too.
“Yep. It’s punchy, man. It. Is. Punchy.”
Peters is an avowed mahogany fan and she says her first such model, which arrived last week, went out the door two hours after it arrived.
“It was an amazing guitar! I’ve been promoting them on my social media, and people were really excited. I said, ‘They’re here.’ Three people immediately came into play them and one of them went home like that.”
The Rosewood edition, which features a back so glorious Peters was using it to catch reflections of her shop’s guitar-studded interior, is subtler, but richer, with a sweep of parlor style overtones countering the hog’s strong, clear voice.
Both, being based on Bedell 1964 models, ride under sustainably sourced premium Adirondack spruce tops. No clear-cut woods are used in any Bedell guitar.
But, Peters points out, a 14 fret long scale parlor is quite the different beast.
“They definitely had to change the bracing. This thing just reverberates forever.”
Since she was busy whipping up her own recipe, she didn’t stop there, making a number of other revisions based on anything but whim—some practical, some solely aesthetic.
“I can change set of strings in seven minutes,” she boasts. But not with a slotted headstock, the standard on a Bedell 1964 Parlor. Hence, a solid peghead, albeit one upgraded with nickel button Waverly tuners.
“I’m a banger,” she says, ready to rip up any top that comes in contact with her fierce pick-wielding right hand. Hence also something of a curiosity in the Bedell world. Peters’ builds are equipped, at the customer’s request, with a small teardrop Tor-Tis OM style pickguard, to be installed by an Acoustic Music SLC luthier on purchase.
An ebony belly bridge balances out the look of the hand voiced, Sound Optimized ® instruments, chiming in with the austerity of the clean fretboard and unadorned Bedell-imprinted headstock overlay on a semi-gloss Honduran mahogany neck.
Figured maple purfling, on top, back and 3 & 7/8” soundhole, brings the guitar together, a particularly enchanting combination, Peters says, against the character of the East Indian rosewood.
“It really shows off the rosewood so amazingly. It’s just so beautiful.”
Peters, a prominent Bedell dealer who also stocks many high-end lines from other makers, starts with sound. That’s a given. And even she is knocked out by the results of her dreaming with these new exclusives.
But she also knows that a pretty guitar calls out to be played.
What’s most attractive to Peters is the true, raw beauty of tonewood. As she has done in the past, she ordered these instruments with only clear gloss finishes. The honeyed golden hues of the Adirondack shimmer. The straight-grained mahogany is as resonant visually as it is sonically. And the rosewood, proof of nature’s magic, hypnotizes.
“I just like seeing the wood. It makes me really happy, the organicness of it. I’m a traditionalist and we’re a traditional shop, so these are perfect. I wanted this model to be a functional, easy, comfortable guitar, and it’s all of those things.”
Call Peters today at 801.531.7066 or visit Acoustic Music SLC (www.acousticslc.com) to get your handcrafted Bedell Special Edition 14 Fret Parlor today.