Lipe Guitars Virtuoso

  • Overview
  • About Mike Lipe
  • Specs & Upgrades
  • Hardware
  • Body Woods
  • Body Tops
  • Neck Woods
  • Fretboards
  • Reviews

The Virtuoso is a stylish modern version of the classic double cutaway body shape. The Virtuoso offers unsurpassed balance, focused mid range, and versatility with a graceful look. The Virtuoso best suits guitar players who refuse to be boxed into a specific category. This model takes your concept of a dream guitar to another level with the ultimate freedom of expression.

Lipe Guitars Virtuoso Review In Vintage Guitar Click Here To Read

Click Here For Specs Gallery | Click Here For Photo Gallery

Available With Bolt On Or Set Necks, Carved Top, & Chambered Body.

Roasted Woods A Base Option On All Models | Click Here For More Info |

roasted ivo

All Lipe Guitars Are Available In 6 String, 7 String & 8 String


Fan Fret 6 String, 7 String & 8 String


Mike Lipe is one of the best and most respected Luthiers in the world. He has more than 35 years experience building and customizing guitars for some of the biggest names in music. Mike masterfully builds each guitar by hand from beginning to end.

Starting in the mid 70's, working in a music store, Mike learned the demanding craft of woodworking and finishing from an old violin maker. After eight years at the music store Mike left to work for guitar manufacturer "MIGHTY MITE". In 1982 Mike went into business for himself and became L.A.'s original "Guitar Doctor". After six years of building and customizing guitars for some of L.A.'s most respected musicians, Mike's business was purchased by IBANEZ in 1989. At IBANEZ Mike helped to create a custom guitar shop on the West Coast where he was a master builder of fine guitars for IBANEZ endorsers throughout the United States. After leaving IBANEZ, Mike went to YAMAHA and worked on the assembly and quality control of the "PACIFICA" line of guitars for two years. Recently from 2009-2011, he was building Peavey artist endorsement guitars.

Mike worked for HOFNER (known as Music Group), FENDER warranty service center for World Music in Santa Clarita C.A.. Currently is providing warranty service in the USA for "ZEMAITIS GUITARS".

There is nothing more wonderful than a guitar that is hand-built, by a Master.

Mike is is not only a great Luthier, he is a guitarist and vocalist for the band "The Mother Blues Band". As well as a member of the LA Blues Society.

Base Specs


Body Top Roasted Curly Maple, Quilted Maple, Curly Maple, Spalted Maple, Mango, Redwood, Walnut Koa - $250, Buckeye Burl - $300 | Call For Special Request
Body Wood Alder, Equatorial Mahogany, Genuine Mahogany, Spalted Alder, Swamp Ash, Korina | Roasted Woods - Alder, Swamp Ash, Mahogany, Basswood Call For Special Request
Body Type Solid Body With Bent Top Carved Top - $300
Chambered Body None Chambered Body - $200, F Holes - $50
Electronics Route Rear Route, Top Route Call For Special Request
Neck Heel Type Sculpted Double Cut Away Call For Special Request
Finish Color Pat Wilkins Color Chart Pamelina Custom, Call For Special Request
Finish Gloss, Oil, Satin Call For Special Request
Pickups Amalfitano Call For Special Request
Pickup Configuration S-S-S, H-S-S, H-S, H-H, P90s, P45s, Tele -S, Tele-P90, Tele-H H-S-H - $50
Pickguard Upon Request Call For Special Request
Strings 6 String 7 String -$200, 8 String - $300- Fan Fret 6 String - $200, 7 String - $400, 8 String - $600
Neck Wood Roasted Hard Rock Maple, Roasted Curly Maple, Roasted BIrdseye Maple, 1/4 Sawn Mahogany, 1/4 Sawn Korina Call For Special Request
Neck Finish Gloss, Oil, Satin Call For Special Request
Headstock Matches Body Top (Except Roasted Maple Necks) Call For Special Request
Fingerboard / Fretboard Indian Rosewood, Pau Ferro, Ebony, Maple, Coco Bollo, Roasted Maple, Roasted Pau Ferro Call For Special Request
Neck Shape C, D, V, Soft V, Custom Specs Call For Special Request
Scale 25.5", 25”, 24.75” Call For Special Request
Fret Count 22 24
Radius 12” - 14" Call For Special Request
Fret Wire Jescar – Nickel, EVO Stainless Steel - $150
Fretmarkers (Dots) Abalone, Mother of Pearl, Turquoise, Aluminum Rings Call For Special Request
Nut Graph Tech, Bone Call For Special Request
Nut Width 1 5/8, 1 11/16, 1 3/4, Custom Spec Call For Special Request
Headstock Angle 7 Degree Call For Special Request
Truss Rod Bruce Johnson 2 Way - 1 PIece Stainless Steel Truss Rod With Brass Nut Call For Special Request
Tuners Hipshot Locking or Non Locking Call For Special Request
Peghead 6 Inline Call For Special Request
Bridge Type Hipshot Tremolo or Non Tremolo, Hipshot Tele, Lipe Custom Tele, Tune-O-Matic Floyd Rose - $125, 7 String Floyd Rose - $175
Strap Buttons Dunlop Call For Special Request
Volume Controls Bourns or CTS Call For Special Request
Tone Controls Bourns or CTS Call For Special Request
Capacitor Ceramic, Oil Call For Special Request
Pickup Selector 3 Way, 5 Way, Super 5 Way Call For Special Request
Hardware Chrome Black - $75, Gold - $125
Carrying Case G&G Hard Shell Case Call For Special Request
Warranty 5 Years To Original Owner None

After years and years of painstaking research Mike has discovered that Amalfitano pickups are the best match for his line of guitars. Amalfitano are high end boutique pickups hand wound in the heart of Texas by Jerry Amalfitano. Jerry's pickups seem to amplify most accurately the true voice of the guitar without altering but complimenting its very nature. This is why Amalfitano pickups come standard on most Lipe Models; except The Ivo model which is equipped with Dimarzio Area Series, PAF 36th anniversary, or Vintage Minibucker.

Most models come standard with Hip Shot Bridges, Tremolos and Tuners. Hip Shot is an American Company producing the finest guitar hardware made in the USA. The tuning stability, tone, and classy styling made Hip Shot an instant match with Lipe Guitars. The fully floating tremolo unites state of the art design and highest quality materials with super hard steel alloy ball bearing system to insure excellent return to pitch, accuracy, maximum tone, sustain, and durability. The stainless steel no wobble vibrato arm gives you a superb feel and years of reliable trouble free service.

The necks utilize the Bruce Johnson single-two way truss rod, which is the best of both worlds. It has the better tone of a vintage single truss rod with the flexibility of a modern double truss rod.

The neck joint incorporates threaded brass inserts in the neck butt which along with the stainless steel bolts and recessed neck plate creates much stronger contact point between the neck and the body with superior tone transfer, sustain, and rock solid stability.

The listed woods, pickups, and hardware options above are strong suggestion based on extensive tests and lifelong experience. However, Lipe Custom Shop can meet any custom order different from the standard option according to the customer preferences to rare exotic woods, different pickup manufacturers, and different hardware etc....

Alder, Mahogany, Swamp Ash, and Korina are the standard woods used for the body core. The laminated tops are highly figured Flame Maple, Quilted Maple, Spalted Maple, Koa, Redwood, Walnut and Mikes personal favorite, Hawaiian Mango, which has become a Lipe Guitar trade mark due to it's incredible sonic properties and very extravagant looks.

Alder is light in weight with soft tight pores with large swirling grain pattern to it with harder rings and sections. That adds to the stiffness and the complexity of the tones. Alder has a strong, clear, full-bodied sound with beefy mids and excellent lows so it has a broader spectrum of tones. It retains more of the highs which are not harsh while leaving some room to the lows. It offers a decent amount of sustain while weighing less than denser woods.

Equatorial Mahogany is harvested in Africa and Central America, open grained with large pores, it is fairly dense and constant. Mahogany has a more uniform grain pattern with medium to heavy wood weight. The constant density compresses the mids a bit and can be considered a thick sound, because it does still produce good lows and low mids is considered a warm tone but well balanced. There is usually good depth to the sound.

Korina is an African wood related to mahogany, its grains are similar and so is its sound, referred to as super-mahogany. It’s a fairly light hardwood with a fine grain with attractive long thin streaks. Korina has a sweeter midrange and responsive while warm, resonant, and balanced. It has great clarity, definition, and sustain.

Swamp Ash has huge, open pores with hard and soft layers with a broad grain. Basically it has a very rigid skeleton with open and softer pores throughout. It is both light and resonant across the whole frequency spectrum. It has clear bell-like highs, pronounced mids and strong lows.

Koa adds a beautiful look as well as clarity and richness to the guitar's sound. It’s an oilier wood like Rosewood and denser than Mahogany. That dampens some highs in the attack and produces sounds more in the upper midrange than the highs. Works best with Mahogany and Korina.

Flame & Quilted Maple is not only beautiful but it produces singing highs with a tight low end. It sounds wonderful over Alder or Mahogany. Maple adds crispness to the mahogany, but the lows and low mids of mahogany are still as apparent. The open resonance of the Alder comes through with the sharper attack and brightness of the Maple on the top end.

Spalted Maple is similar to Quilted Maple but it produces singing highs with a tight low end. It sounds wonderful over Alder or Mahogany. Maple adds crispness to the mahogany, but the lows and low mids of mahogany are still as apparent. The open resonance of the Alder comes through with the sharper attack and brightness of the Maple on the top end.

Redwood responds with a crisp balanced sound with richness in the lows. The bass response is particularly round and full. Redwood is balanced, warm and rich with bright trebles.

Walnut Similar to Koa, it has some of the warmth of rosewood and the crispness of mahogany. Walnut has less compression and combing of tones with Mahogany backs.

Mango is slightly harder than Ash and softer than Mahogany. It is well balanced with a crisp airy sound to it. Mango seems to soften the bite on the trebles and accentuate the bass. It can be compared to a cross between Mahogany and Koa.

Rock Hard Maple / Flat Sawn Maple / Quarter Sawn Maple:

Its tone is highly reflective focuses more energy onto the body wood. It will have the tightest lows for the extended range. Low notes will have a sharp attack, plenty of harmonics, and excellent sustain. Maple is strong and stable and it has less reaction from environmental changes than other hardwoods. Maple necks are less factor on the guitar's tone and emphasize the body wood.

Quarter Sawn Mahogany:

Mahogany's even density makes stable necks and the open pores make the neck a little more responsive than a maple neck. The Mahogany will absorb a bit more of the string vibration and compresses the attack as well as highs a little.


Korina has a sweeter midrange and responsive while warm, resonant, and balanced. It has great clarity, definition, and sustain. Korina is somewhere between Mahogany and Maple.

Flame Maple / Flat Sawn / Quarter Sawn Maple:

Maple has a unique tone, strong in the midrange with a sweet high end. It produces tremendous amounts of tight higher tones with most bass leaning harmonics and variations in pick attack are filtered away. Very bright and dense, Maple is highly reflective and will cut through when you need it and never muddy on the bass. Maple is good for overdrive with good harmonics.


Ebony has a crisp attack with a stronger fundamental tone than Maple. It has the density of Maple however the grains are more brittle with oilier pores. It has a tremendous amount of overtones in the pick attack that mute out shortly than to foster long sustain.

Indian Rosewood:

Indian rosewood tends to darken the tone a bit, adding warmth to the neck and generally to the whole tone. A rosewood neck will produce excellent sustain while also smoothening out the highs. Generally with greater sustain comes a brighter top end. This is not true of Rosewood. It mutes the high frequency overtones, producing a strong fundamental that still has the complexities of mid and low mid overtones.

Pao Ferro:

Pao Ferro falls between Rosewood and Ebony, and the tone is similar. It has a sharper attack than rosewood, with good sustain, and its warmer sounding than Ebony.


Cocobolo is among the heaviest of the rosewoods with similar tones and provides a strong bass.

William Krause: Virtuoso

I recently picked up Virtuoso #111 from The Music Zoo and just wanted to send you a quick note. A few years ago I purchased Virtuoso #22 and it quickly became my number one guitar. I've been playing for over 20 years, have tried all the name brands and a few of the other small builders and it didn't take long to realize that you have something special going on here. The craftmanship is top notch, tone is amazing (love the Amalfitanos) and it just feels so natural to pick up and play. After selling off some others, I finally was able to get #111 and it is another amazing guitar. Thanks for the great instruments and keep up the great work.

Steve Litras:

Now that I’ve had the guitar for a bit, I just wanted to tell you how utterly spoiled I am for other guitars. I LOVE playing my Lipe, it’s everything I hoped it would be. Thanks again for the wonderful craftsmanship on this beautiful instrument.

Len Porter: Virtuoso

I just wanted to say that I have now had about 3 months time to explore and know the new Lipe guitar that I have and I wanted to take a moment and tip my hat off to you Sir. I own many guitars (40 give or take) and play professionally here in Orlando and although I must say, I bought my Lipe initially based on its amazing looks and strong word of mouth from the guys at Music Zoo, I am completely amazed at the quality of the craftsmanship, the amazing materials, and most importantly, the tone

The Korina body is a first for me and might I add that it will not be the last. An incredibly resonant instrument unplugged, this guitar cuts thru like non other in my collection(and she sits among some heavy hitters, Suhr, James Tyler, NIK Huber,Sadowsky to name a few). Mike, thanks so much for making me a very happy camper with this purchase. This guitar is special and they don't get that way by themselves, so I wanted to express a sincere thank you for doing what you do and Echo what I hope is many artists that realize that your work is at the highest level.

On a bit of a side note, I had actually purchased 2 of your guitars, the other being this beautiful green number.

John Franzen: Virtuoso

I have to be honest with you, I have never played a guitar quite like this before and I have played for about 20 years! ;) I have had and have big brand expensive quality guitars but the attention to detail doesn't come near what I feel and hear with this one!! Maybe you have heard this so many times before that you are immune but this is new for me! I often test without the amp first and its very loud and clear sounding, you can feel the hole guitar vibrate! And i love how the chords ring out cleanly, intonations spot on the whole neck!! When I use the tremoloarm it stays in perfect tune, cant believe it, its so stable!! Not to mention the colour is absolutly beautiful!! Well you know all this!! :) Im very pleased, thank you Mike for this beautiful piece of art!!!

bbuck :

This part is simple. Lipe Guitar build instruments that are on a par with the finest builders in the world. I have owned Andersons, Suhr's, Paul Reed Smith's. Mcnaughts, Brian Moores, Gibsons, Fenders, Valley Arts and many, many more. This guitar takes a backseat to no one. In fact I can find more attention to detail in this instrument than in most I have owned. It is truly handcrafted with extreme care by someone who understands what a musician needs to excel at his/her craft. To me this is a Suhr style instrument with an injection of love that delivers instant MOJO. I should add that the tasteful selection of woods and uber high quality hardware really create an amazingly beautiful instrument. I think if you peruse the Lipe website and study their guitars against Suhr, Anderson, PRS, etc you will see a certain richness in these instruments that the others don't quite deliver. Don't get me wrong these are all Porsche's and Ferrari's, I just think Lipe slightly outclasses the others at this point. Finally, I think the pricing at Lipe is extremely fair when compared to other instruments of this quality. If there were WINE SPECTATOR this one would get a 98 and if it were STEROPHILE this one would be CLASS "A". Can't go wrong here!


I just bought a Lipe virtuoso (#18) off ebay. Without a doubt, it was the best purchase I've made in years. A guitar to last a lifetime. I can now sell 5 or 6 of my other guitars - all excellent guitars, but nowhere near the quality of Lipe. (Suhr standard, Fender Custom, Bolin custom, ErnieBall MM Axis Sport, Carvin custom) This guitar was built by Mike Lipe himself - comes with a signed certificate! Solid one-piece equatorial mahogany body, quarter-sawn maple/rosewood neck, amalfitano pickups, flame maple top - SICK! For the price, it can't be beat. I consider myself lucky to be able to own one of these beauties. My Precious!!! P.S. - One interesting feature of is that the guitar is strung slightly left of center, giving me less fretboard for the low E sting and more for the high E. At first I thought this strange, but after considering the builder and his expertise, figured there was a reason for this. It gives me more wiggle room up top when soloing. The high E never slips off the fretboard. Thoughtful and unique.


What the...
I'm lost my words....
Simply incredible... I wish to have money to order a carve top right now...
Mike, I wish you only the best. Only blessed people can make something as beautiful as this guitar.
God bless you and your family!!
I don't know if I will have another chance soon to do another guitar with you, because money, but I will try for sure.
You're a great person and I'm showing your work to everyone here in Brazil.
Thank you for show me this peace of art.


I currently own two of the guitar seen on this video clip. Both are Prototypes. The first one is the one Michael Lipe shows on this clip refered to as the "Ivo" model. Is the one he holds on his hands from 3:20 through 4:20. Currently this is the only guitar I play. The second one is seen on the wall right behind them (it is the one with the cream color pick ups; a bridge humbucker and a neck single). At a neck height, is right behind the reporter. That one is a prototype as well. I have had at least 100 guitars over the last 20 years. Up until four months ago, I have had 20 guitars inside my closet. The Michael Lipe were basically the only ones I really enjoyed playing with. I will never sell these two prototypes; they are PRICELESS!!!! Lipe are the best guitars, period!!! Nothing like them.

Roger Reitzel:

I'm an former full time pro and current weekend warrior with a collection of the big name guitars, but ever since I bought it, I only play my Lipe for every gig. Stunning workmanship, beauty and sound. Handmade perfection.

Kevin Fent:

Sure do... Mike simply makes the best playing and looking guitars. His passion for them has in every phase of his hand made works of art.


I can say with confidence that this is truly the most amazing hand built guitar I have ever owned. Aside from the fact that it is a stunning aesthetic masterpiece with the potential to hypnotize anyone who dares stare at it for more than five seconds, it feels, plays, and sounds equally impressive. I've either owned or currently own Tom Anderson, Suhr, Grosh, PRS, Fender Custom Shop, Gibson, McInturff, Steinberger,...and the list goes on. While I hold many of these other guitars and their builders in high esteem, and would have great things to say about them as well my first experience with Lipe Guitars has truely been in class all by itself.


Virtuoso Base Specs

Body Top Alder, Swamp Ash, Equatorial Mahogany, Spalted Alder, Korina, Genuine Mahogany, Roasted Alder, Roasted Swamp Ash, Roasted Basswood, Roasted Mahogany
Body Wood Curly Maple, Redwood, Spalted Maple, Walnut, Mango, Burl, Quilted Maple, Roasted Curly Maple | KOA - $250 | BUCKEYE BURL - $300 |
Body Type Solid Body With Bent Top | CARVED TOP - $300 | CHAMBERED $200 | F-HOLE $50 |

Neck Wood Roasted Hard Rock Maple, Roasted Curly Maple, Roasted BIrdseye Maple, 1/4 Sawn Mahogany, 1/4 Sawn Korina
Neck Heal Sculpted Double Cut Away
Neck Plate Recessed Aluminium Plate With Lipe Logo
Neck Joint

Blot On Stainless Steel Thread Screws Into Brass Inserts | SET NECK - $300 |

Fretboard Wood Indian Rosewood, Pau Ferro, Ebony, Maple, Coco Bollo, Roasted Maple, Roasted Pau Ferro
Neck Contour C, D, V, Soft V Shape, Custom Specs
Fretboard Radius 12" - 14"
Frets 22
Scale 25.5", 25”, 24.75”
Fret Wire Jescar – Nickel, EVO | Stainless Steel - $150 |
Fret Markers Abalone, Mother of Pearl, Turquoise, Aluminum Rings

Headstock Angle 7 Degree
Headstock Finish Wood, Color & Finish Matches Body (Except Roasted Maple Necks)
Headstock Logo Lipe Logo Decal
Peghead 6 Inline
Truss Rod Bruce Johnson 2 Way - 1 PIece Stainless Steel Truss Rod With Brass Nut
Nut Width 1 5/8, 1 11/16, 1 3/4
Nut Graph Tech, Bone




Body Contoured Shape
Electronics Cavity Rear Access With Recessed Cover
Body Finish Gloss, Oil, Satin

Pickups Amalfitano
Pickup Configuration

S-S-S, H-S-S, H-S, H-H, P90s, P45s, Tele -S, Tele-P90, Tele-H | H-S-H - $50

Pickguard Upon Request

Volume Control Bourns or CTS Pots | Push Pull
Tone Control Bourns or CTS Pots | Push Pull
Pickup Selector 3 Way, 5 Way, Super 5 Way
Strap Buttons Dunlop
Output Jack 1/4" Mono Non-Rotating

Virtuoso Gallery

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  • Gallery 10

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