25 February 2014

Two Guitars Complete - Cedar/Rosewood (Now For Sale), Spruce/Wenge

1) Cedar/Indian Rosewood With Elevated Fingerboard, Now Available - Price: $5,900 CAD

On Friday the 14th I gave this guitar it's last bit of polishing, then installed the tuning machines, strung it up and finalised the action. See the Available Now page for more photos and info. It's always exciting stringing up a new guitar for the first time. I actually did get to play this one a couple of weeks earlier, before it was French polished, so I already knew that it would be excellent. But without finish on, it's impossible to hear the guitar's subtleties. In short, I'm very pleased, this is exactly the result I was hoping for. It has a clearly defined, solid bass that can be so powerful, the treble really sings with remarkable sustain that's the same for every note, and separation is unusual for a cedar instrument. I'll definitely be making many more instruments like this.

Some of this guitar's specs:
  • western red cedar soundboard
  • Indian rosewood back and sides
  • mahogany neck
  • vertical grain ebony fingerboard 
  • elevated fingerboard
  • 650mm scale length
  • Gotoh 510 tuning machines
  • French polish finish
See the Available Now page for more complete info.

2) Spruce/Wenge With Elevated Fingerboard


Ebony head veneer and Baljak
tuners with ebony inlay
Euro spruce top with Haselfichte
This guitar was strung for the first time on Friday the 21st, and to find an owner, it's about to be shipped to Savage Classical Guitar in Bay Shore, New York. To complete the post that I wrote about wenge a few weeks ago (the wood that was used for this guitar's back and sides), here are my latest thoughts...

Final polishing of the varnish is done
Wet sanding the oil varnish
Wenge has very large pores, it lacks the sticky alcohol-soluble resin that rosewood has, and due to its dark/light color stripeyness, it is almost impossible to visually tell when the pores are actually filled. So the wood requires it's own particular pore filling technique. This time around, wenge was the least lovable wood I've ever had to pore fill, no rosewood could compare. But as the different technique becomes refined over a couple more instruments, I imagine it won't be such a big deal.

Ebony bindings, and black cherry
purflings for a straw-yellow color
While I wasn't sure about the appearance of wenge when I started building this guitar, now I'm really digging it. It looks especially awesome under the ultra shiny oil varnish. And of course the sound - wow! It's got its own sound for sure. Very deep and resonant, very powerful and gutsy, very sustaining. These qualities are most noticeable in the bass, which is where I find the back and sides seem to have the greatest impact on a guitar's sound. So all things considered, I can't wait to make many more wenge guitars...!