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Baker Vs Paul Reed Smith Guitars

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Competing with Paul Reed Smith

In 2003 Gene Baker filed for bankruptcy, Ernie Ball was rumored to have bought the company. In actuality Ed Roman outbid Ernie Ball and purchased the name and all the rights associated with the name.

Up until that time Ed Roman was a Baker dealer. Ed & Gene collaborated on designing a lighter more modern model called the Bushwacker. Today the Bushwacker is called the B1 and is manufactured by Ed Roman and is sold through a network of dealers in Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA.

The evaluation in the graph below was originally done by Ed, when Gene still owned the company.

The new, Ed Roman Baker B1 sells for less than one third the cost of the original model. This fact served to aggravate Gene Baker and all of his pre-existing dealers. Many of these dealers have badmouthed the new ones probably because they have been made to look overpriced by Ed Roman's new lower priced model.


The new Baker comes with all the bells & whistles you would expect on a $3,500.00 guitar and only costs a little over $1,000.00.

Gold Hardware, Seymour Duncan Pickups, Ebony Fretboard, Matching Quilted or Flamed Headstock, 24 Frets, Block Inlays, Push Pull Pots, Bound Body & Neck, Solid Mahogany Construction, Set In Neck, Grover Tuners, Beautiful Quilted and/or Flame Tops, Tun-A-Matic Bridge and a 100% solid warranty.

This Evaluation is for the original Gene Baker Instruments, They were much more expensive than the new models. The new models are about 1/3 the price and they are about 3 lbs lighter than the originals. The Comparison between PRS & the New Baker is different than this one. (The Baker Still Wins Though)

GUITAR PRS McCarty PRS Singlecut PRS Custom Baker B1 Baker Bushwacker
Body Woods Mahogany Mahogany Mahogany Mahogany Mahogany
Top Woods Maple Maple Maple Maple Maple, Spalt, Many Choices
Grade of Top  Weak Weak Better Better AAAAA Top Grade
Body Thickness 1  1/2" 1  1/2" 1  1/4" 1  15/16" 1  7/16"
Average Weight Heavier Heavier Lighter Very Heavy Much Lighter
Neck Wood Mahogany Mahogany Mahogany Mahogany Mahogany
Neck Scale 25" 25" 25" Choice Choice
Number of Frets 22 22 22 or 24 22 22 or 24
Buzz Feiten $250.00 $250.00 $ 250.00 Standard No Charge Standard No Charge
Body Binding NO NO NO YES YES
Neck Binding NO NO NO YES YES
Hdstck Binding NO NO NO YES YES
Bridge Wraparound Wraparound Wraparound Tone/Pros Tuna matic Tone/Pros Tuna matic
Bridge Material Pot Metal Pot Metal Pot Metal Steel Steel
Inlays Dots or Birds Dots or Birds Dots or Birds 6 choices Anything at all
Inlay Material Abalam Abalam Abalam Real MOP or Abalone Real MOP or Abalone
Fingerboard Rosewood Rosewood Rosewood RW or Ebony RW, Ebony or Maple
Pickups McCarty Only   HFS & VB Black/Backs Unlimited Choices
Tone Chambers NO NO NO YES YES
Gold Hardware $340.00 $340.00 $340.00 $100.00 $100.00
Black Hardware NO NO NO YES YES

Final Evaluation

Gene Baker built a very nice guitar. His instruments were available through a dealer network. I used to carry Baker Guitars.  The Bushwacker model is exclusively available from Ed Roman. The Bushwacker is the result of several years of design collaboration.

The Bushwacker is lighter and easier to wield, It is the only Baker guitar available with 24 frets.