This may seem over-the-top, but here goes: my Pledger Slope D is simply the most exciting acoustic guitar I’ve ever played, new or old. Period.
When I work in a group, I know that everything I do will cut through with amazing power and clarity. When I perform solo, each note is distinct, ringing, and impossibly full. Many guitars with this amount of horsepower suffer from a boxy or honky tone, but the Pledger rings like a silver bell.
The guitar has looks to go with all that sound: it is gorgeous and wonderfully simple, with an unbelievable 3D stained top that one can stare at for hours. Trim is old-school minimal, sporting subdued ivoroid bindings and a wide, vintage-style neck with a marker-free ebony fingerboard. When the case opens, the jaws drop.
I’ve been playing for 42 years, and have often imagined a guitar that performed like my Pledger. A few vintage instruments came close, but this one – this one is the real deal. If that weren’t enough, Clayton is a friend and an incredibly nice man who bends over backwards to make things right. I couldn’t have been more fortunate, and I am grateful to Clayton that he could make this happen!
It’s great to finally have a “desert island” acoustic guitar.
Clayton managed to find that zone where you can get both warmth AND clarity, and it translates to recordings. It sounds great with mics, and the pickup is actually useful for a change. I’m psyched to finally have a steel string whose nut is wide enough to accommodate nylon-style fingerpicking, strumming or flatpicking styles comfortably. Plus, it’s just purdy.
Composer for TV/ Film/ Web
I came into the guitar buying process looking for an instrument that not only sounded great but was as natural and organically true to the trees it came from.
If it could be French polished, even better. I quickly found that it might be impossible to get the guitar I wanted... Until I found Clayton. Every piece of the guitar came from a source I could be proud of. The body from a Sitka spruce in Alaska and a century plus old walnut tree (both salvaged, which was really important to me) and the neck from a joist taken out of a 100 year old house in Portland. And yes, he French polished it.
Probably also worth mentioning -- the guitar sounds beyond amazing. It transcends all of my low quality recording technology and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to just play it in my backyard and feel the world soak in all of its beautiful sounds. Clayton was also just super cool and wonderful throughout the process. Not often you can have a beer with a guy who made you such a good looking and great sounding guitar.
Musician / Composer
Clayton's not only a great guy and easy to deal with, he's got a very special touch as a luthier.
My guitar looks like a work of art - more importantly, it sounds beautiful both acoustic and plugged in. It's a pleasure to play, has a wonderful resonance, and sounds great on my recordings. Being able to participate in the building process was especially cool, right down to choosing the reclaimed Doug Fir top. Big thank you.
Beacon Sound - Record Store and Label
3636B North Mississippi Ave
Portland, Oregon 97227
As a long time player, the experience of now owning one of Clayton Pledger's Auditorium model acoustics, has been a revelation (a game-changer).
A veritable renaissance in both my appreciation for the instrument and my desire to play. The sound is bright, warm and beautiful. The action, effortless. My Martin, which had been my mainstay for years, now sits second seat to Pledger's handy work. I could not be happier.
Greg Antrim Kelly