If you have heard of Wechter, it might be from the custom instruments that Abe has handcrafted for John McLaughlin, Steve Howe, Al DiMeola, B.B. King, John Denver, Earl Klugh, or Jonas Hellborg. Or perhaps you heard about his work in Gibson's custom shop. Today, Abe's commitment is to provide guitar players with uncompromised tone, quality, response and innovation at prices working musicians can afford! I know Wechter lives up to this promise.

Recently I was in search of an acoustic instrument that would sound good [actually reach perfection] with and without amplification. I tried many guitars by as many makers. I was trying to avoid buying an instrument that sounded good acoustically and then having to install a pick-up while taking the chance that it would no longer sound good as an acoustic and possibly sound less than perfect amplified. I stumbled on the Wechter Pathmaker at Flynn Guitars in Evanston IL.

In the words of Wechter, the Pathmaker is a revolutionary acoustic guitar. Its double-cutaway construction (patent pending) provides a full 19 frets clear of the body in a design that is both inherently stable and visually striking.

The Pathmaker delivers a rich, fully balanced acoustic response. Optional Fishman Electronics enhance the natural tonal balance of the instrument. All models feature a fast playing neck with high profile fret wire. I tried a rosewood model that was satin finished as well as one that was gloss finished. They sounded quite good, not quite what I had hoped when playing it without amplification, but the best sounding amplified acoustic tone that I had heard on the market.

Stock Wechter features include:

  • A double-cutaway construction provides 19 frets clear of the body - 22 frets total!
  • Their unique convex headblock construction with integrated soundhole bracing produces the most stable neck and body joint found on any acoustic guitar today.
  • Each Pathmaker neck is built with a high-modulus graphite reinforced truss-rod assembly.  This lends unparalleled stability to the neck action.
  • Abalone graces the offset soundhole rosette adding to the overall elegance of the Pathmaker's design.
  • The latest in acoustic amplification technology - the Prefix -Plus- is provided by Fishman Transducers. The controls are right on the side of the guitar for easy access, and you just flip the control bezel open to replace the battery. Another option available is the Fishman

Onboard Blender which combines an under-the-saddle transducer with a built-in condenser microphone.

  • They use 100% solid wood construction on the top, back and sides of each guitar to maximum tonal response.
  • An arched top and back creates a perfectly balanced, lightweight construction.
  • Hand-scalloped bracing allows the soundboard to respond to even the lightest touch from the players hand.

I heard about a special Wechter Pathmaker that Abe had hand carved and fitted with a curly maple neck, back, and sides while the top was constructed from top quality spruce. Retail for this instrument was going to be around $6,000, a bit higher than the $1900 - $2200 range of the normal Pathmaker. However when you consider the hand carving, the price tag becomes a true bargain. After deliberating for about 30 seconds after playing it, the curly maple hand carved Wechter Pathmaker now lives with me. It sounds wonderful as an acoustic. Each note is clearly delineated and decays evenly from note to note. Amplified it is awesome, it cuts through and reveals its marvelous tone. Thanks Abe, I'm loving it!

Visit Wechter Guitars by clicking on the Pathmaker Logo below. Click here to return to my guitar page.