By Steve Rider
Darko Milojevic is the craftsman and the creative mind behind Leo Guitars, a boutique guitar company based in Germany. He has a reputation as a master luthier and an experienced vintage guitar expert. He has an ability to capture vintage guitar tones by sticking to old school equipment, methods, and crafting technique. He has such skill with finishing that other well-known luthiers have called upon his “vintage finish mastery” to use on their own instruments. Darko makes limited runs of his guitars each year, keeping to about twenty to twenty-five annually.
The new Luthier’s Choice Standard Model is an example of all the outstanding luthiery skills Darko Milojevic possesses, brought together into a single artisan instrument. The Standard Model combines elegant and timeless Les Paul style lines with Darko’s own creative imaginings, adding a distinctive hooked horn to the cutaway. The neck and body are made of Spanish cedar, while the top is hand-carved solid maple. The signature “Nicotine White” color and nitrocellulose VOS-light relic finish flow around the perimeter of the top. This provides an impression of an aged instrument that has been meticulously cared for, despite being brand new. The matte ochre finish on the sides and back of the body and neck further carry out the Luthier’s Choice motif of a barely perceptible aged effect.
The neck heel is unique, being of Milojevic’s own design, along with the hidden neck tenon. The nickel-plated hardware has an aged feel, displaying a muted patina on the the pickup covers, the stylish, brass ABM wrap-around bridge, and open back Gotoh SE510 tuners. The pickups are a unique Leo Guitars Pickups “ZEITWERK” matched humbucker set. The electronics are impeccable: handmade original Leo Guitars PIO caps 2 x Volume / 2 x Tone controls, 3-way toggle switch, the highest quality pots, switches and wires, with a fully shielded control cavity. The icing on the cake comes in the form of a 3plly binding, flame maple pickup rings, and an ebony/maple burl pickguard that highlight and contrast against the classic nicotine white finish. The guitar sports an ebony headstock veneer with pearl inlaid Leo Guitars logo above a Birdseye Maple fretboard. The instrument has a compensated 24.75” scale length and 12″ fretboard Radius, with 22 mixed frets 6100/6105 – extra hard, open book/trapezoid pearl inlays, and a 2-way adjustable single truss rod.
Customers of Leo Guitars are fanatic about their instruments. One customer shares this about his Leo Guitars Grand Dillinger model,
“The Leo Guitars Grand Dillinger is one hell of a Blues Machine. With its chambered mahogany body and beautiful maple cap (with natural binding) and stunning fretboard inlays it grabbed my attention right away. The neck feels comfy and broken in from the first moment I grabbed it. The pickups give me all that vintage tones I need. The airy and warm P90 neck pickup that´s great for bluesy leads, the sweet jangly middle position perfect for rhythm playing – whether clean or distorted – and the big mag single coil bridge pickup that rocks with authority. No matter if you play Blues, Roots, Alternative, or Classic-Rock, Funk, Fusion or Jazz. This guitar can do it all.”
To learn more please visit: leoguitars.com