The original design of the Little Sister is the archetype of the B&G approach. We distilled the essential elements that made so unique those vintage Parlor acoustic guitars from the Pre-War era and electrified, amplified them. We wanted the warmth, the vocal qualities, and the personality, with that sweet roughness, those resonances. We also wanted the best possible playability, with perfect intonation as required by today's quality standards.
All this translated in the Little Sister: a small body guitar, with a chambered African Mahogany body with solid Maple top, in her elemental form. The Litte Sister can be ordered in the ancestral Non-Cutaway shape, with a slightly thicker body, as well as in the Cutaway version, for better access to the highest of the 20 frets.
The Little Sister features a slotted headstock, as an homage to the traditional look of those old-time guitars. The 24 ¾" scale, calculated with the historic ‘Rule of 18', offers the classic feel of a well known, familiar instrument.
The beautiful brass hardware serves the double purpose of making the instrument as beautiful as a handmade piece of jewelry, and to add a precisely calculated element of resonance and overtones to the acoustic voice of the guitar.
The success of the Little Sister has been overwhelming, for such a young and relatively small company as B&G Guitars. And together with success, we received so many requests for a sleeker, slightly more modern version of the Little Sister, that we could not ignore them; instead, we gladly accepted this intriguing challenge!
And there came the Step Sister.
Yes, she shares most of the same DNA as the Little Sister. The same building techniques, scale length, hardware, electronics, and pickups. The same uncanny attention to the details, to the wood selection, to the quality of the finish. But somehow, the Step Sister can be meaner if pushed in the right direction.
The most evident difference is the longer neck with 22 frets. Then the body shape: very similar, but slightly shortened, to join the neck at the 16th fret instead of the 14th. This, together with the redesigned neck heel, allows unrestricted access to all the 22 frets.
The Step Sister also features a solid headstock, while the slotted version is available as a custom option.
Finally, the body construction: the Step Sister offers the broadest range of options in the family: she can be either chambered as the Little Sister, with or without the F-holes, or solid body.
The solid body Step Sister is built with a specially reserved, ultralight Mahogany selection, to match the same weight of the chambered version. The top can either be figured Maple or figured Maple with a ‘sunk-in' overlay in exotic woods like Hawaiian Koa or Ziricote.
We even offer the solid body Step Sister with F-holes, for those who want a more classic look, but also don't want a chambered body. In such case, the F-holes just open up onto two small cavities in the body wood, for a purely aesthetic purpose.
So what all this makes a difference to you, the player?
The chambered body Step Sister gains a little more definition and detail, and a slightly tighter tone in the bass range, trading off a bit of the roundness and warmth of the Little Sister. The midrange and treble ranges remain expressive and vocal, with a delicate balance of sweetness and clarity. The neck pickup placed closer to the bridge because of the extended fingerboard, delivers a leaner tone on its own, and a beautiful hollow quality in the middle position when joined to the bridge pickup.
The solid body Step Sister goes one step forward, with a drier character, a sharper attack, and a crispier tone, that cuts greatly through the band. The enhanced access to the upper frets and the sleeker neck heel make the Step Sister a perfect axe for rock and fusion solos.
All in all, the Little Sister may be sweeter, with a more gentle tone that shimmers with harmonics, and when pushed hard, can develop a throaty grit that sits in those root-styled blues, rock, folk and Americana genres. The Step Sister can also rock harder, especially in the solid body version, exhibiting a brighter, more focused tone.