The Meridian is an evolution of Mike Baranik’s older models. To quote Mike: "I wanted to continue my asymmetrical body designs and take it a bit further. I also tweaked the bouts and waist, making the lower bout just a bit wider than a CX (15.5") while reducing the waist and upper bout width. In return it creates a guitar that feels smaller and more comfortable, most people can't believe it is a wider than 15".
By changing the shape and air cavity it makes for a very well balanced sound with excellent volume and projection. I really feel I have made some great improvements with this model."
Except for the first build (Cornerstone) all builds will have no abalone and the "bling" will be in the wood (as it also is in the Cornerstone) and the unique expression of the particular Luthiers craft.
The Meridian will have a Florentine Cutaway (probably all my builds will have) and a sound port as well. While I enjoy the benefits of a sound port, if the particular Luthier is not a fan of them then we leave it out but Mike loves them and believes there are benefits to them, as do I.
I was fortunate enough to secure the last piece of Black Cocobolo that Mike had in his wood stash, after being persuaded by his enthusiasm for this wood. Mikes comments on the Black Cocobolo over a few e-mails:
“I may have another set of Black Cocobolo available, jet black and dense, makes a fantastic sounding guitar. As it is extremely rare and not replaceable I have paid a fair amount for it. The upcharge is $ but in my view well worth it. I have tried to research the reason for the Black colouring. Two wood experts have agreed that the tree or log was submerged in a river, bog, or mud hole. The wood has a distinct iron smell to it as it seems to have absorbed it into the woods cells. The wood is well quarter sawn and tight old growth grain, which tells me it's very old and probably was discovered after years of being submerged. Sides have a bit of sap that is a grey colour. I will send some pics but I'm not sure I can capture how awesome it is this way.
The Black Cocobolo taps differently than other Coco, this stuff has a bright tap with sustain for days. This wood was milled and rough sanded in the earl nineties. When I sand it down it will turn a purple grey colour and then oxidise back to black. The pics are not very good and make it appear a splotchy Brown Black. I assure you it is awesome and will in the end be very close to jet black. You will still be able to see grain under the finish. The sides have a nice grey sap stripe running along the edge.”
So here are a few pics of the Black Cocobolo: