Cort updates Frank Gambale’s eye-catching art deco-inspired signature acoustic with Fishman electronics

Cort Frank Gambale Luxe II
(Image credit: Cort)

Cort has unveiled the Luxe II, a refreshed version of Frank Gambale’s signature guitar, the Luxe II. Revisiting this high-performance acoustic electric guitar, the South Korean guitar giant has swapped out the LR Baggs Element for a Fishman Flex Blend pickup and preamp system.

The Fishman Flex Bend system can be found across Cort’s top-line Gold series acoustics, and incorporates a Sonicore pickup with preamp controls for volume, blend, and tone, with push/pull functions for phase and tuner, so finding a useable tone for open-mic night should be a breeze. 

Elsewhere, the Luxe II is unchanged. Originally launched at NAMM 2016, the Luxe was exactly the sort of guitar to complement the Australian jazz fusion legend’s style. It has a concert-sized body shape, with a very generous Florentine cutaway; all the better to access those upper registers. 

Cort Frank Gambale Luxe II

(Image credit: Cort)

Its body comprises a solid Adirondack spruce top, buttressed by hand-scalloped X pattern bracing, with Australian flamed blackwood on the back and sides. Blackwood has the lower-midrange authority and warmth of mahogany, marking it out as a natural partner for the crisp attack of a spruce soundboard, but there’s a little more presence that makes it to some ears redolent of maple or rosewood.

A mahogany neck is affixed to the body with a dovetail joint, and topped with an ebony fingerboard with custom striped inlay. Cort has also used ebony for the bridge, and on the headstock you’ll find a set of gold die-cast tuners, and a Graph Tech Tusq XL nut.

The Luxe II arrives in what Cort describes as a “sonically enhanced UV” finish, a natural gloss that brings out the deep chestnut hues of that black wood back and sides. 

No prices have been announced just yet but for more pictures and details, head over to Cort. Cort has made a busy start to 2022, launching a comprehensive update to its electric guitar lineup. 

In recent weeks, we have seen new G290 FAT, Duality II and X300 electric guitars, with the X300s resplendent in eye-popping Flip Flop finishes, and very shreddable Duality II featuring a set of Fishman Fluence Open Core Classic humbuckers that have three switchable voicings. The Duality II was co-designed with Hedras Ramos, who demos it at the bottom of this page.

Furthermore, there were new KX307 multi-scale electrics, and a design first for the brand as it launched an EverTune-equipped KX700. 

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.