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Guitar Of The Month For January

Guitar of the Month for January  

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I usually don't like to comment on these,but this was a tough month for me.I like to vote for the guitar I would like to own,but none of these are "my type"...so I had to go with the most outstanding craftsmanship..

For me that was Swedish Luthier..but it was a tough decision because of "lupin" and that headless one

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For the first time since becoming a member, I'm casting a null vote. I don't like any of them. This is NOT a comment on craftsmanship, but on design. Because of this, comments are needed.......

SweedishLuthier: Maybe I'm getting jaded, but in a world (not just here on PG) of impressively figured tops, this just isn't particularly special. The length og the bass horn looks better suited on a bass than guitar.

Boggs: I've said it before, so I know you won't take it personally... I just don't like the body shape. :D

electricwood: Unbalanced body shape. The horns, or what passes for a trebel horn, have no flow to them. And I need fret markers.

HenryM: Walnut is a great guitar wood. It's a great woodworking wood PERIOD. There's nothing you can do to make it look bad with a natural finish. But that doesn't mean the guitar will look good. It's a great thing in my mind to have the neck & body be one piece. But you have a glue line running the length of the body... off center... without any grain matching. The body needed to be painted with the glue line there.

avdekan: I love headless, and I usually dig odd body shapes. But this pear thing is just weird. The keyhole for the tuners is an interesting approach. And if you're going to have covered pups, they need rings. To me, they're upscale, not minimalist.

hufchmid: I have no use for 7 & 8-stringers. Beyond that... it's just another strat-body with natural wood.

ScatterLee: It's really cute. I actually don't have anything negative to say. It might have got a vote from me if it had a neck pup. Then again, maybe not. Mini-guitars are a novelty, so it'd have to be something REALLY neat to draw me in.

NotYou: Not you either. :D I've been on your site and have seen a number of your designs. I get what you're doing and I can appreciate the thought and effort you put into it. But like Boggs, the shapes just aren't for me.

J_48_Johnson: I really dig this one a lot. The control placement is off, but other than that, almost everything is spot-on. The bottom of the body being smushed over to one side is what kills it for me.

Ali Kat: Pick a theme and go with it. An aluminum body is pretty cool. Archtops are cool. Rockabilly is cool. Combining them all should be cool too, right? Then you covered it with coppery paint, tribal pinstriping crap, and a cheesy pin-up pickguard and absolutely murdered what should have been a great piece. Scale it back and concentrate on one coherent design ideal.

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As usual some really hard competition.

Just a few thoughts:

Boggs, nice build but not my cup of tea. The horns look a bit too bulky for me.

Electricwood, really nice choices of wood there. There is however some things going on that sets the end results off. There is some color mismatch in the top maple (the outer strips are darker) and the center seem on the back is of center. Apart from that I always like new designs that doesn't follow the beaten path.

HenryM, A clean and nice build, although pointy guitars are not my thing. What I don't like is the grain of the upper wing going in the direction of the wing itself.

Avdekan, really nice workmanship and a fresh approach. How is the balance when doing an more or less standard body but without the head?

Hufsmid, clean and elegant, as usual. It would however be great to see you deviate from the usual brownish color scheme and do something more "far out"

Scatter Lee, Cute! Mini guitars are however not really my thing

NotYou, you got me off guard there. A non distressed guitar! I really liked the pewter work and the guitar looks, as you say, really organic. The only thing that makes me wounder is that litle piece of pewter at the neck. I'm sure it isn't so, but it looks like a cover up instead of what I am assuming is a design element.

Johnson, great guitar, great story. The pick guard piece between the pickup and the bridge is a tad too much IMO and the whole thing would probably benefit from having that part removed and the pick guard redesigned a bit. But now I-m being picky...

Ali Kat, The first thing that comes to my mind is "busy". If you had let go of the pinstriping and made a matching pickguard it had probably gotten my vote for the elegant sheet metal work. And it would have been great to know if the neck is made by yourself, as the text suggests that you are a metal worket and that leaves me with the question if you have used a ready made neck (no problem with that, but I would have liked to know)

My vote? Avdekan

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hufchmid: I have no use for 7 & 8-stringers. Beyond that... it's just another strat-body with natural wood.

This is the second time that you mention that you have no use for 7 and 8 ''stringers'' which is fine, not everybody needs more strings, however I dont seam to understand what this has to do with craftsmanship...

Another strat body... hmmm yeah....

It's not a comment on craftsmanship. As I intentionally pointed out before I made any comments.....

For the first time since becoming a member, I'm casting a null vote. I don't like any of them. This is NOT a comment on craftsmanship, but on design. Because of this, comments are needed.......

And PLEASE don't pretend that it's not a variation of the Strat shape, just like the JEM is. To go into it a bit more....

All of the wood is dark, the hardware is dark, pup covers are dark, and no fretboard inlays (another thing I don't like). From a design standpoint, the body shape is a modification of a 50+ year old design that I'm generally sick of, and the color palate offers nothing of artistic interest to draw the eye. My art teacher used to emphasice "variety creates interest", and there just isn't any substantial variety in the piece.

Seriously - don't take it personal. I clearly have different aesthetic sensibilities than you. In fact, if you go back through my entries and read the comments left for them, you'll find that my aesthetics are disliked by around 50% of the commenting voters. It's nothing unusual.

Because all we have to go on to place a vote is the build thread and a few pictures of the instrument, we can't give a true evaluation. This leaves little but design and aesthetics to judge on. Pictures can be taken to mask defects, and we usually only have the builders word to go by to say if it plays/sounds/balances/etc well. This really leaves us with design and composition. It really sucks, but that's the way it is. :D

That's kind of why I posted and encouraged viewing the demo videos. One cannot really appreciate why I do what I do just from pictures. Have you ever seen pictures of a car that look like hell but in person, it takes on a completely different vibe? That's what I am up against. I know it was mentioned that somebody would like to see more detail like carving and such, but with that extremely dense and hard thin cocobolo top (pourposely made that thin to get it to resonate) and only 3/4" thick sides, carving would be impossible. I have carved other bodies that allowed thicker tops or solid bodies, but it is an impractical application for this construction. That also said, it contributes to folks not liking it visually as much in a "competition environment" and that is certainly understandable. The guy who demonstrated it notes that it seems to have no affect on comfort as the body is generally thinner than "standard" and the waistline locations promote a perfect playing position. It never is about "bling" for me. It is all about playability but hoping to not make you go blind with ugly in the process... :D Cheers!

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I know it was mentioned that somebody would like to see more detail like carving and such, but with that extremely dense and hard thin cocobolo top (pourposely made that thin to get it to resonate) and only 3/4" thick sides, carving would be impossible. I have carved other bodies that allowed thicker tops or solid bodies, but it is an impractical application for this construction.

again - it was just a suggestions - i see nothing really wrong with this shape - but it doesnt seem to appeal to people and i can see how it might be made more appealing by some more interest in the top, so i suggested it

but just to clarify - i was not talking about a full carve... i said "subtle carves or bevels". which is a very different suggestion than a full carve. Also i am not suggesting you start carving into this guitar (which would indeed be daft at this stage), but have provided feedback on something to consider in a future build (which you can ignore as you chose).

i love a deep carve - but have not always had the wood available which led to this kind of style which allows a lot of interest to be added on anything over 5mm thick (this one is about 7mm, but looks much thicker because of the way its carved):

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e31/WezV/complete%20guitars/Img_0682.jpg

i am not for one second saying that style will suit your builds, thats for you to work out yourself - just demonstrating how a lot can be done with thinner (and pretty hard) woods. Obviously a little more thought would be needed with the 3/4" sides on your build - but you could always go more archtop ish style construction, many thinlines manage it

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And PLEASE don't pretend that it's not a variation of the Strat shape, just like the JEM is. To go into it a bit more....

All of the wood is dark, the hardware is dark, pup covers are dark, and no fretboard inlays (another thing I don't like). From a design standpoint, the body shape is a modification of a 50+ year old design that I'm generally sick of, and the color palate offers nothing of artistic interest to draw the eye. My art teacher used to emphasice "variety creates interest", and there just isn't any substantial variety in the piece.

Seriously - don't take it personal. I clearly have different aesthetic sensibilities than you. In fact, if you go back through my entries and read the comments left for them, you'll find that my aesthetics are disliked by around 50% of the commenting voters. It's nothing unusual.

I'm not taking anything personal, I just think that there are ways to be elegant when posting a comment especially when somebody spent hours building an instrument.

I dont think its elegant to throw out

hufchmid: I have no use for 7 & 8-stringers. Beyond that... it's just another strat-body with natural wood.
not to mention the spelling mistake of my name...

Secondly this guitar is a custom order built according to the customers preferences... Should I go against his wishes and tell him that black hardware and black pickups suck? People order my instruments because they enjoy these designs which are part of my style - period

There is nothing constructive in your comment... I thought that this was a place where members gladly share, give feedback and comment on others builds by staying kind and respectful.

Speaking about a variation of an old design, I disagree, this is the first basic comment that anybody who does not like strat shapes would say.

BTW the Les Paul is a variation of a classical guitar, the fender strat headstock is a variation of a violin headstock....

Your avatar is a variation of Albert Einstein....

If you dont like these designs, again that's cool man, its your life.

I am all up to constructive comments, some members have posted comments and I enjoy reading them, sometimes it gives me new ideas. But these people did not comment in an abrasive way.

Hoping that this is not a cultural barrier and that we can all start to enjoy the work of others, there is already enough nonsens in regular forums when people dont like guitar makers for their design, so if this must happen between makers it would be like the world fell upside down...

:D

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Take it easy, Huf. It's nothing personal.

Yes, your guitar this month is a variation on a theme, as are a lot of others. As I stated in my last reply, I'm really tired of the Strat-like body. It has it's place, and I even have a variation of my own, but that doesn't mean I'm not tired of it. I'm tired of the LP also, but not as tired as the Strat. It's just been overdone and I'm (for the most part) through with it.

Of COURSE you should make the instrument to the customer's specs. That's not up for debate here. Bringing that up suggests that you're reaching for reasons to argue my feelings. If that's what's happening, then I believe you're taking it personal, which it isn't. If this isn't the case, then it's better if you just let the whole thing go.

I've been succinct in the initial comments, elaborated in a second, and now defended them here. I'll not respond again. I request you do the same. :D

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I know it was mentioned that somebody would like to see more detail like carving and such, but with that extremely dense and hard thin cocobolo top (pourposely made that thin to get it to resonate) and only 3/4" thick sides, carving would be impossible. I have carved other bodies that allowed thicker tops or solid bodies, but it is an impractical application for this construction.

again - it was just a suggestions - i see nothing really wrong with this shape - but it doesnt seem to appeal to people and i can see how it might be made more appealing by some more interest in the top, so i suggested it

but just to clarify - i was not talking about a full carve... i said "subtle carves or bevels". which is a very different suggestion than a full carve. Also i am not suggesting you start carving into this guitar (which would indeed be daft at this stage), but have provided feedback on something to consider in a future build (which you can ignore as you chose).

i love a deep carve - but have not always had the wood available which led to this kind of style which allows a lot of interest to be added on anything over 5mm thick (this one is about 7mm, but looks much thicker because of the way its carved):

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e31/WezV/complete%20guitars/Img_0682.jpg

i am not for one second saying that style will suit your builds, thats for you to work out yourself - just demonstrating how a lot can be done with thinner (and pretty hard) woods. Obviously a little more thought would be needed with the 3/4" sides on your build - but you could always go more archtop ish style construction, many thinlines manage it

All good constructive comments. I was just explaining why some I can and some I can't. There are details in this one that are easily missed, like the artistic choice of using an ebony fingerboard with a bit of cream streaking and cream fret markers to carry through to the cream pickup covers that go along with the sapwood that I chose to keep in the top to continue the theme. When I can't do the more obvious stuff, I do try and incorporate the more subtle. It's all good. I do not post my guitars here expecting to get a single vote, and usually I am not disappointed! :D I do like to share my ideas and the execution of my concepts anyway. My head is a strange place indeed. :D

Edited by Boggs

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I think my comments were a little abrupt upon reading them back and I apologize for that.

No problem... You said what you felt. It was honest. Aesthetics are a matter of taste. Players in the area who have seen the guitar rather than photos have drooled over it and begged me to let them play it on stage. Of course, I oblige and get more kudos from patrons... Not everybody is going to like my designs and I know that. It is understandable. I like raw oysters. That makes my wife want to puke. Doesn't make either of us right or wrong (except her... :D ). That you are more aware of being a bit gentler to those who have toiled and sweated over designing and/or building their guitar is a good thing. Thanks, man.

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I do not post my guitars here expecting to get a single vote, and usually I am not disappointed! :D I do like to share my ideas and the execution of my concepts anyway. My head is a strange place indeed. :D

its not that strange a place boggs - i just dont like the word impossible put to anyones builds. its all possible and still within the remit you have set yourself!

anyway - what annoys me is that i can post a guitar with obvious issues and people dont mention the issues. not talking GOTM here but general build posts. Like my recent mando SG which i expected to be asked about tight chords and the fact 2 of the string splays mess with other tuners. I dont care because its exactly what was asked for and the tuner issue doesnt affect playability once its tuned, and i know i have built a useful tool for adding texture to recordings - but they are the issues i would point out in any others builds whether it was just a build thread or not, whether it was justified through customer choice or not. i hope for the same in return. they are also the choices i will push a different way if i do a mando guitar again.

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yes. its silly. i know its silly. i expect people to point out that its silly.

i wont care because i like silly :D

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Wez, when i look at your guitars, I'll be honest, i take a glance and decide whether or not i like it. I did like the mandosg, but now that I'm looking at it, you're right lol. There's some stuff on it.

I'll be more critical of your builds in the future :D

Seriously though, the only time I'm really critical is when I'm reading a post where someone is on a learning curve, or in GOTM when i write a full review. I sort of expect to see quality from people who are known for quality stuff, so all i see is quality when i look at it. I should pay attention lol.

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i must have the vote of death or something Not you was doing fairly good early on then i voted for him and bam got passed up. i think there has only ever been on guitar that i voted for that actualy one.

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i must have the vote of death or something Not you was doing fairly good early on then i voted for him and bam got passed up. i think there has only ever been on guitar that i voted for that actualy one.

Then for God's sakes, don't you EVER vote for me! :D

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You know what. I once thought one day I may even be good enough to enter these monthly contests.

No fricken way!

There are some beautifully made pieces here.

My vote counted. Sure Im a man of simple pleasures, but the beauty in this thread is certainly re-affirming.

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You know what. I once thought one day I may even be good enough to enter these monthly contests.

No fricken way!

There are some beautifully made pieces here.

My vote counted. Sure Im a man of simple pleasures, but the beauty in this thread is certainly re-affirming.

your first is better than mine!

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You know what. I once thought one day I may even be good enough to enter these monthly contests.

No fricken way!

There are some beautifully made pieces here.

My vote counted. Sure Im a man of simple pleasures, but the beauty in this thread is certainly re-affirming.

your first is better than mine!

You are too kind Wes. I can only hope I catch up as close to your most recent effort.

Cheers

Manny

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