The result of four years of prototyping and collaborating, the Jim Hall Guitar is designed for the working musician as well as the discriminating collector.
Sadowsky Guitars has maintained Jim’s guitars for over 15 years. Roger and Jim began to collaborate on a Sadowsky model and were committed to the idea that this would have to be a guitar that Jim would want to play, not just endorse. The Sadowsky Jim Hall Guitar meets all of Jim’s requirements as a player.
After several prototypes, Roger refined the Jim Hall Guitar by reducing the thickness of the top and back to provide a more acoustic response. He reduced the depth of the body to control feedback, designed a new ebony tailpiece with a string ground, and shaped the neck until it felt just right to Jim.
Incorporating Roger’s sense of aesthetics and design, the result is a beautiful looking, feeling, and sounding guitar that has been enthusiastically received by Jim Hall and many other players worldwide. Sadowsky Guitars is honored to have this association with the premier jazz guitarist, Jim Hall.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the origin of the Jim Hall Guitar?
Roger Sadowsky: I have been maintaining Jim Hall’s guitars for over 15 years. Several years ago, I began to think about designing an instrument based on Jim’s guitar that would be affordable for jazz players. I told Jim of my idea and he was very encouraging. After almost four years of prototyping, I finally created a guitar that Jim was happy to play and put his name on. In blind listening tests, Jim and his friends consistently chose the Sadowsky.
Where is the Jim Hall guitar built?
The Sadowsky Jim Hall guitar is being made in Japan under the supervision of the head of my Sadowsky Tokyo workshop, Yoshi Kikuchi. The Sadowsky Tokyo shop was established ten years ago to meet the demand for my instruments in Japan. Yoshi spent a year working at Sadowsky Guitars, NYC before returning to Japan to set up and manage the Sadowsky Tokyo shop. Yoshi is one of the most highly respected instrument makers in Japan and all of the guitars are personally inspected and set up by Yoshi at the Sadowsky Tokyo workshop before they leave Japan.
Why is the guitar made of laminated wood instead of solid wood?
a) Jim Hall’s D’Aquisto is made of laminated maple.
b) Jim’s previous guitar was an ES-175 which is also a maple laminate guitar.
c) Jim and I (and many other players) believe that a laminated top sounds superior to a solid wood top when played through an amplifier, with less feedback as well. Of the original prototypes, one was built with a 5-ply maple top, and the other with a spruce top. The 5-ply maple was the clear winner when played through an amp.
I have been successful in designing a top and back that is considerably thinner than any other laminates available. The result is greater acoustic resonance without any sacrifice in feedback resistance.
Why don’t you use a floating pickup?
As a guitarmaker, it always bothered me how difficult it was for a player with a floating pickup to try a different pickup on his guitar. It is always a very labor-intensive procedure, and there are few pickup choices. I want to know that if a player would like to try another pickup in his Sadowsky, it is relatively simple to install another one and have a listen. I would agree that on a carved spruce top instrument, a floating pickup would be more appropriate. In the case of a laminated top, I do not feel a set-in pickup affects the tone or structural integrity of the top.
What pickup is on the Jim Hall Guitar?
The pickup is based on the original pickup in Jim Hall’s D’Aquisto and is made to my specifications by DiMarzio.