Found on Reverb: Ritter Princess Isabella "Blue Dragon #6"

Many visitors to this year's NAMM show in January took note of the growing number of high–end artisan guitar builders represented on the trade show floor. At every corner of every hall there seemed to be another luthier showcasing their elegant instruments, coming together from every corner of the globe to create a wonderland of innovative and whimsical guitar designs.

Of this class of builders, Ritter Instruments of Deidesheim, Germany brought arguably the most intriguing selection of instruments. Originally a bass–only operation, Ritter began building guitars like today's Princess Isabella model in 2010 and has earned a global reputation for producing some of the most artful and unique guitars currently in production anywhere.

As evidenced by his work, Ritter strongly believes in building instruments as functional pieces of art. His limited edition and one–off designs frequently incorporate rare and precious materials, along with a finely honed list of construction techniques and electronic components that make these guitars as musical as they are aesthetically impactful. One of his basses has even found a home in the Smithsonian's musical instrument collection.

In the case of the Princess Isabella model, Ritter specifically sought to create a solidbody guitar with the tonal properties of a hollowbody instrument. The body is noticeably thin, with a "semi–floating bridge" designed to replicate the attack and sustain of a hollowbody. The pickup is a Haeussel Custom Fat–Jazz that also works to prime the tone for warm, jazz–worthy deployments.

More unique still, this particular Princess Isabella model is one of only 25 that carries the "Blue Dragon" finish, which uses a distinct blue and gold fabric to wrap the guitar. As Ritter outlines on his website:

"I was in London a few years ago. It started to rain like crazy, and I was looking for shelter in a little shop downtown I just passed by accident. It was specialized in vintage fabrics for upholstery. I bought the whole stock of this beautiful vintage gold brokade fabric, which gave this limited instrument series instruments its name."

While not the only Ritter instrument currently for sale on Reverb, the Blue Dragon #6 is certainly the most eye–catching. That said, Ritter builds about 60–75 instruments per year, and many of which are at least as spectacular as this one.

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