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Reprise vs DockStar: What are the Differences?

Reprise vs DockStar: What are the Differences?

Reprise vs DockStar: What are the Differences?


Since the introduction of the Reprise model in 2020, we’ve been asked about the differences between the DockStar, Ernesto, and Reprise models.  All three models are hollow body guitars with a similar appearance.  While this article will review the differences between the DockStar and Reprise, you can also read about the differences between the DockStar and Ernesto at the following link

The main difference between the Reprise and DockStar is the construction method and the type of paint finish used.  The DockStar, and Ernesto, body is a solid piece of wood which is routed out hollow using a CNC machine, and a top piece of wood is glued on, with wood veneers glued on to the top and back for appearance.  

Reprise is built using traditional archtop construction methods which includes: separate sides, separate carved top and carved back, kerfing and parallel bracing inside. 

The top, back and side wood on Reprise are all solid wood, no wood veneers are used on Reprise.  The top and back on Reprise are not as thick as the top piece of wood on a DockStar, making Reprise a much more acoustically loud and resonant guitar with increased sustain unplugged and also while plugged in. 

Reprise is finished with nitrocellulose lacquer, while the DockStar is finished with polyurethane. Simply, nitrocellulose lacquer is widely considered a higher end finish than polyurethane. 

A few other differences to mention:

  1. Reprise uses a brass string retainer on the tailpiece. The DockStar uses a thin aluminum metal string retainer on the tailpiece. This brass string retainer serves two functions: to ground the strings, and to provide strength between the ball end of the string and the wood tailpiece.
  2. All Reprise guitars ship in a custom form fitted case, while the DockStar ships in a custom rectangular case.
  3. The body of Reprise is slightly larger than a DockStar, while the Ernesto and Reprise body are about the same size. Reprise body dimensions are slightly larger than a Strat body.
  4. The top and back of Reprise are arched and carved from the outside and inside, while the back of the DockStar is flat, and the top is carved from the outside only.

There are additional visual aspects to compare, such as the binding, headstock shape, and logo, which can be seen in the photos of each model.  These particular aspects are differences in appearance.

FAQ about Reprise


1. What upgrades does Reprise have?

The construction method is the upgrade.  Reprise is all hand built and the top and back are hand carved.  


2. Is Reprise just a fully upgraded DockStar with a different body shape?

While the hardware, pickups and electronics installed on Reprise are also offered as upgrades on the DockStar and Ernesto models, Reprise is built like an archtop guitar and the DockStar is built as a hollowed-out solid body.  Reprise is the upgrade.


3. What are the characteristics of Nitrocellulose Lacquer?

Nitro is generally considered a finer finish on high-end instruments. It appears differently than polyurethane. Where poly has a plastic-y and very clear appearance, nitro has a much softer touch allowing the wood to breathe, and appears differently to the eye than the slick poly finish. It has a texture and quality all its own as you view it up close.


4. Is Reprise an acoustic guitar?

Reprise is built very similarly to acoustic archtops. The top is generally thinner than many electric Archtops.  It makes the guitar top and back, as well as the neck under your fretting hand vibrate with energy when the strings are strummed. You can test out a guitar by strumming the open strings and putting your hand on areas of the top. Reprise vibrates all around the top plate.


5. Can I choose the woods used on my Reprise build?

When pre-ordering a Reprise Koa, you will have the option to choose from a small selection of koa woods available at that time.  For the Reprise and Reprise Dark Amber models, we do not offer wood selection.  Additionally, we do not offer wood customization for the neck and fretboard.


6. Can I customize the build aspects of Reprise?

Unfortunately, we are unable to customize the materials used to build a Reprise guitar, except for the Reprise Koa model as mentioned in FAQ #5.


7. Can I order Reprise in a different color?

We do not offer the option to customize the finish color on Reprise.  Check out our R2 model, which is made in California, and offers some additional customizations.


8. Where is Reprise made?

The body and neck are assembled and sprayed with nitro in China.  The hardware and electronics assembly are done in Los Angeles, CA, as well as the final fretwork and setup.


9. How low is the action on Reprise?

We set the action to 1.75mm above the 12th fret on the low E string, and 1.5mm above the 12th fret on the high E string.  We allow for the bridge to be lowered slightly if you prefer a lower action, and we can set the action to a specific measurement.


10. What strings are installed on Reprise?

We install D’Addario 10-46 gauge strings.  If you would prefer a different brand or string gauge, please let us know so that we can slot the nut and bridge saddles appropriately.  


11. Does Reprise have a serial number?

Yes, Reprise guitars are serialized.  We are starting from Serial #999999, and going backwards down the number line.  You can find the serial number under the neck pickup.  On the first few models, the serial number can be located by looking inside the f-hole.


12. Can the truss rod cover be laser engraved with a custom design?

Yes, we can do that.  If you have a design, please contact us to discuss.   There is currently no additional charge for this option.


13. How long does it take for a Reprise guitar to be delivered once I place my order?

Order fulfillment for a Reprise guitar range from 8-12 months, because we are backlogged on fulfilling orders.  Reprise and Reprise Dark Amber models are built in small batches throughout the year.  Please check our Production Schedule for information on Reprise production runs.


14. Can you send me photos of my Reprise guitar while it’s being assembled?

Sure, just let us know that you’d like to see some photos.  We’ll upload them to your Order Queue Status page online.

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