Dreadnoughts

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For your approval, some photos of the M-45 Dreadnought, in Hemlock & Claro Walnut, just after polishing and yet to receive a pickguard.  This guitar is patterned after an excellent 1935 Gibson Original Jumbo, with knife edge bracing, no popsicle brace, two scalloped tone bars, and a small maple bridge plate.  Working with an awesome customer with great taste, we went with a 1940’s sunburst and a Brazilian Rosewood belly bridge.  Rounding the guitar out is buttery smooth Waverly ivoroid-button tuners and amber binding.  The neck is Spanish Cedar with a c-carve and 1.75″ nut width.  The M-45 will get a Dazzo Pickup for beautiful amplification.  The Hemlock has many of the qualities of Adirondack Spruce, and was sawn from a very old and fine grained beam from a building in Wisconsin.  The Walnut does a wonderful job of mellowing the guitar, and providing focus for the tone of the top.  After just a few hours being strung up, the whole guitar comes alive when strummed, having the rotund authority of a vintage Gibson, and offers a very strong bass response while being reasonably balanced across the range.  A singer or flatpickers dream!

The wonderful Adam Kiesling and AJ Srubas just posted some videos including the Miller Roy Smeck Dreadnought. The guitar is constructed of Adirondack Spruce and Big Leaf Maple with a 1934 sunburst and unusual blonde back and sides. This is a 24.75″ scale, 12 frets-to-body dreadnought with extra depth. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Philly Trip Recap

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This month I had the pleasure of taking a guitar-centric, weeklong vacation to Philadelphia.  I have a good friend who heads the violin restoration department at Vintage Instruments, a longstanding shop that deal in fine violins, guitars, mandolins, and banjos.  The owner, Fred Oster, has a vast knowledge of historic instruments, and has done an excellent job gathering an impressive array of classic examples.  If you’re interested in a Gibson or Martin guitar made between 1916 and 1960, you could not find a better place to find one.  If you’d like to play a Banner-Head Gibson, there are a half-dozen to chose from.  If you like a Gibson L-OO, there are a baker’s dozen.  If you aren’t in the market, you will soon be after visiting.  It felt as though I were stepping back through time, to a place where amazing, golden-era guitars are readily accessible, where you might be able to strum a big E Major on a ’37 D-18, then set it down and try a ’35 D-18, a ’35 Gibson Jumbo, and a ’39 Herringbone.  I can tell you, my heart was beating rapidly throughout my visit.  The goal of my trip was to soak up as much first-hand experience with pre-WWII American guitars as possible.  It was a complete success!

I was able to take lots of notes of early Gibson construction, feel, and finish, and will certainly be creating new instruments that reflect the great old guitars I witnessed at Vintage Instruments.

 

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