Acoustic Guitar Circle

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Daedalus Audio

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Acoustic Guitar Circle
« on: 7 Sep 2009, 08:30 pm »
I'd like to have a sub-circle here for acoustic guitar and other acoustic instruments.  My focus with Daedalus for many years has been acoustic instrument amplification and to be honest my life long love affair has been with the acoustic guitar! So if any of you share this appreciation please join in.
I'll start with a pic of my friend David Webber and I from last week. His shop is in North Vancouver, BC and I drove up so he could re-fret the beautiful six string he'd made for me a few years back. BTW, Davids web site is:   http://www.webberguitars.com/

and the pro site for Daedalus Audio is: http://www.daedalusmusic.com/
thanks,
Lou


James Romeyn

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #1 on: 7 Sep 2009, 08:58 pm »
Lou
I've been playing flat top for over 45 years.  This circle is looong overdue!   

If you can, please grab this thread http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=71073.0  & move it over here, post haste.  I've got more to post on the evolution of my first custom flat top due to be born in a few weeks, maybe less.

I will see the guitar later today & post more images.  Joy & enthusiasm is growing daily in anticipation of this guitar's arrival. 

Ryan's website http://thorellguitars.com/

A blog run by Ryan's proud father http://www.thorellguitars.net/

Rounding out my list of three favorite flat top builders are Eric Schoenberg (Tiburon CA, I learned Eric's transcription of Dill Pickle Rag eons ago) http://www.om28.com/
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270451974617&_trkparms=tab%3DWatching
& Steve Klein (Sonoma CA) http://www.kleinguitars.com/
http://www.dreamguitars.com/preowned/klein/klein_s4_048/klein_s-4_048.php


Daedalus Audio

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #2 on: 26 Oct 2009, 02:10 am »
Drats!  Forgot to get a close up of the birds eye maple on the back of the tuning head!  Probably the next pictures will be in a couple weeks when she's complete.  Correction: Japanese Gotoh Delta 510 tuners are sealed not open as mentioned earlier; they have some type of special permanent film lubricant for long term smooth & precise operation.       

A mid-gloss finish is already applied; vintage stain is still to come for a classic tonal hue bringing it all together.

Originally I gave blind trust to the figured maple binding/ebony liner Ryan specified a long time ago; after seeing it my response is "Yes"!

His turquoise rosette is well, see for yourself!







Turquoise rosette:





 

that is one beautiful guitar!!! have you played it yet!

Lou

 

Daedalus Audio

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guitar amps
« Reply #3 on: 26 Oct 2009, 02:12 am »
getting back into electric guitar and looking at the Fender Blues Deluxe amps, going to build a custom cabinet for it. should be fun!  anybody ever have Fagen do mods on Fender amps?
Lou

James Romeyn

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #4 on: 26 Oct 2009, 05:51 am »
Lou
I got it last Tuesday about 2230 hours.  It sounded good just 15 mins after first being stringed (light D'Addario).  It blows away my last guitar, a Martin HD28LSV.  Already after less than a week it is second overall to only a choice big Steve Klein model played earlier at the shop in Sonoma, which is the best overall guitar I've played (most SPL & largest dynamic envelope of any flat top; finger style harmonic nuance second only to Eric Schoenberg's best OMs).

Pics coming shortly.  This is Ryan's first of this size (equivalent to Taylor Grand Symphony, what would be a Martin 00000) & the only guitar so far w/ this turquoise rosette.   

I'll be playing it w/ Leslie Olsher singing an upbeat jazzy rendition of "One Less Bell To Answer" at 2010 THE Show, plus some other ragtime finger style (Eric Schoenberg, Stefan Grossman) & maybe John Fahey's "Requiem For (Mississippi) John Hurt" (open C).

I don't know your age but years (decades?) ago Radio Shack sold a weird little gizmo advertised to turn any wall into a speaker.  What say you about the idea of laying it on the back or top of a guitar, at low-volume, to assist w/ burn in?  A friend said he would send me one.  I'll bring it to builder Ryan Thorell for his blessings before use. 

I'm not a clssical player but used to play bass decades ago.  Ryan's classical rosewood had about a 60 second sustain.  His spruce/mahogany dreadnaught w/ 15 mins time on it was second only to some prewar D-18s.  David Grisman's guitarist just received one of Ryan's guitars & said it blew away his prewar Martin.







« Last Edit: 14 Nov 2009, 05:37 am by ro7939 »

James Romeyn

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Thorell Grand olive wood from Zambia arrived
« Reply #5 on: 14 Nov 2009, 02:35 am »
 

29 images http://s246.photobucket.com/albums/gg105/ro7939/Thorell%20Grand%20olive%20wood%20Zambia/?start=all

Adirondack (red) spruce top
Olive wood from Zambia side back (my understanding is this is of the rosewood family; builder states performance similar to Brazilian and I agree)
1-13/16" nut width
Turquoise rosette

Closest in sound and performance I've played to a $25k (used value) Steve Klein flat top model such as is played by Andy Sommers and other professionals (as of a few months ago Klein is not taking orders). 

It would be fun and not in any way embarassing (esp considering it is only three weeks old) to place this next to an Eric Schoenberg OM to compare nuanced fingerstyle performance.  Based on pricing about a year ago, a similar guitar from Eric would be 2-3x higher in cost.

Even players of moderate skill might consider something like this.  The joy of ownership of such a piece of art is difficult to quantify.

A similar size/shape guitar ("The Grand") will be commissioned shortly, difference being African Blackwood side/back  

("The Grand" is smaller than the Dreadnaught outline).  Ryan states African Blackwood is to Brazilian rosewood what Brazilian is to Indian (harvesting Brazilian was banned years ago).  Top will be Port Orford cedar certified to be from a 10k year old tree.  Binding will be either the olive wood from Zambia or a lighter blond wood (leaning toward the later).

After owning two Dreadnaughts & having played dozens, w/ all due respect to lovers of the breed I prefer the tonal balance of this size/shape.

Readers that may want to see this guitar at THE Show or CES '10 should PM me.         

« Last Edit: 14 Nov 2009, 05:45 am by ro7939 »

drphoto

Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #6 on: 18 Nov 2009, 04:55 am »
Lou, obviously I don't know you, but I suspect you are a bit of a perfectionist. Not sure you'd be happy w/ a Blues Deluxe. Nice enough amps, but cheaply thrown together. I'd figure you'd to be happier w/ one of the boutique p to p wired amps out there.  Allen, for example (made right here in KY) has some nice clones of early Fenders that can even be bought as kits. Of course there's always the spendy stuff like Dr.Z.

Yeah, playing music is a lot of fun...and frustration. It gives you a whole new outlook on things, doesn't it?


jqp

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #7 on: 18 Nov 2009, 06:01 am »
I love acoustic  :D

Years ago I had a factory madeBozo Podunavac.

Here is my Doolin:






Daedalus Audio

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #8 on: 18 Nov 2009, 06:52 pm »
beautiful Doolin guitar!!! thanks for the pics.

Wayne of Bolder cable expressed an interest in working up a mod for the Fender Blues Deluxe so I sent him a used/beat one and he will work his magic. turns out Wayne has been working on Fender amps for years.  when he gets the amp right it will come back here and I'll build a custom hardwood cabinet which I will then add to my pro line of products.
 should be a fun project.  the Blues deluxe has a good circuit etc but dropped the ball, kind of like a lot of big audiophile companies....

Pez

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #9 on: 19 Nov 2009, 12:42 am »
I saw that amp. You had all kinds of stuff going on with it. JJ signal tube mixed with Fender labeled signal tubes, Fender 6L6 for power. That needs to all go. Get yourself some Penta KT66s. Couple that with Sovtek LPS signal tubes and you'll have a great tube compliment to go along with Wayne's super mods. :thumb:

drphoto

Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #10 on: 19 Nov 2009, 06:27 am »
That Wayne.... :lol: Wish he could apply his magic touch to the economy.

Hey, here's a link to Allen, just in case you wanna look. I have no affiliation w/ them, or have heard their stuff, but it looks neat. I found 'em on a google search for amp kits, and it turns out they're about 60 miles up the road from me. Always wanted to drop by when I was driving to Cincy a lot but never made it.

http://www.allenamps.com/


Daedalus Audio

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #11 on: 20 Nov 2009, 05:33 pm »
That Wayne.... :lol: Wish he could apply his magic touch to the economy.

Hey, here's a link to Allen, just in case you wanna look. I have no affiliation w/ them, or have heard their stuff, but it looks neat. I found 'em on a google search for amp kits, and it turns out they're about 60 miles up the road from me. Always wanted to drop by when I was driving to Cincy a lot but never made it.

http://www.allenamps.com/

cool stuff! thanks for the link.  I think Wayne does his part for the economy by giving great value in all he does!   maybe part of our economic woes comes from our having drifted from an honest days work for an honest wage to the search for easy money???

Lou


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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #12 on: 23 Feb 2010, 01:20 am »
Hello Lou,

It's been pleasure speaking with you and sharing common views on tone!

Anyone with a passion for acoustic guitars will surely enjoy this link and the YouTube vingettes.  Master luthier Ron Volbrecht of Nashville, IN is in class by himself.  I play bass and he has built, set-up or modified all of my instruments.

http://volbrechtguitars.com/about.html

Here's to more great instruments, recordings and speakers in great rooms.

Eric

Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #13 on: 4 May 2010, 07:58 pm »
I am learning classical guitar

honesthoff

Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #14 on: 8 May 2010, 06:56 am »
Anyone have thoughts on the new Guild guitars?  I'm looking for an under 1K acoustic dread, and really liked the Guild DM-50 and the entry carbon Ovation.  Any informed opinions would be appreciated.

James Romeyn

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #15 on: 8 May 2010, 02:08 pm »
You'll get so many replies at the Taylor or Collings acoustic guitar forums you may regret asking!   :D

Daedalus Audio

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #16 on: 9 May 2010, 08:22 pm »
there are some nice used guitars in that range. Gibson has made some very good flattops in the last twenty years that often sell for about $1K, another to look for used are old (70's) LoPrinzi guitars. they had a very heavy pickguard that once you replace it with a light modern guard sound much better, on a par with Martins of that vintage.
best, lou


James Romeyn

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #17 on: 9 May 2010, 09:19 pm »
I echo Lou's sentiment; played a circa '99 Gibson Artist Series Dreadnaught rosewood that was great overall and superb value.  That guitar for under $1k used would be sweet.  But you gotta get a return/refund privilege in case it's a dud or needs extensive repair.  Only about 1 in 10 new expensive Martins seems to be worth the money.  OTOH I played a new $200 Samick D a couple weeks ago that was superb value.       

I enthusiastically recommend auditioning guitars with wider than average nut widths (defines the string spacing on the fretboard). Too narrow a nut causes dreaded string buzz. 

The overwhelmingly most common 1-11/16 nut width is way too narrow IMO.   

Martin's 000 and OM (orchestra model) share body dimensions.  Originally the 000 had a 1-11/16 nut, the OM had 1-3/4. One of my Thorell flattops has a 1-3/4 nut.  The other, with a 1-13/16 nut is much more preferred. The standard nut width from custom builder/fingerstyle expert Eric Schoenberg (most responsible for the modern infatuation with OM style guitars) is 1-13/16, matched to wider than average spacing at the saddle.

For my next guitar I considered splitting the difference for 1-25/32 but after going back and forth 1-13/16 seems ideal.  The 1-7/8 nut (a 12 string nut width on a 6-string) I played was too wide.  I wish I discovered the difference decades earlier.     

Daedalus Audio

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #18 on: 11 May 2010, 12:55 am »
I'm with you.  I've been using a 1-13/16" nut width for almost twenty years now, I think for fingerstyle that is the best, other wise 1-3/4" seems to be great all around. I'm doing a 1-3/4" neck for my Strat now.
I think  1-11/16" is a holdover from the early 1900's when the guitar boom sprung off of the mandolin era? of course if you have small hands then all is good....

James Romeyn

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Re: Acoustic Guitar Circle
« Reply #19 on: 11 May 2010, 02:07 am »
Lou
Regarding hand/finger size: Can you imagine how much larger the average American is now vs. the early 20th century?  My wife wrote a historical fiction book for kids (and completed another manuscript).  We visited many historical sites such as the Petaluma, CA Old Adobe fort belonging to Mario Vallejo in the mid-19th century.  The adult's beds would barely fit a modern American child.

Humans get very stuck on traditions, and the ubiquitous 1-11/16 nut is just another example.

What's the most common nut size on a Tele?  I've got a Bill Lawrence Tele upstairs with a great body and electronics.  Nothing wrong with the neck but I intend to have Thorell build a new neck later, probably 1-3/4.