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Guitar Of The Month For March

  

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i got first vote in - giving swede a 100% Lead

scatter lee - love it, completely my thing, completely perfect spec - love those pickups - would have liked to see them out of the guitar! (come across a few vintage ones that sounded great, but always struggle with microphonics at gain as you would expect from such a complex design) why not vote for it? just because you have done far more impressive stuff... even though i would prefer to own this over the violin stuff

hydrogeoman - nice and clean, just lacks the extra contouring and shaping that could have taken it to another level for me - or more wood/laminate detail, that works with this kind of shape!

Boggs - liking the mini-humbuckers, they really suit the design. i have a problem with two-tone tops, as they can redefine a guitars shape. I am starting to like this shape now, but the top/back wood is taking away from the shape i am used to seeing

crow - nice, clean. the squareness of the neck around the join takes away from some impressive contouring. 6 string (chunky) string retainer on a 7 string guitar??? good metal tele design though, not far off a commercial look - i think a string through design would have helped with aesthetic balance as the pickup, bridge & tail-piece are quite close together. headstock is dull and derivative - but inline headstock are nearly impossible to get right

Hufschmid - i think its awesome and cleanly done, wood choice & design is awesome. I do like the wooden cavity covers, but the main one on this is at an odd angle with wood grain causing a contrast. Also not sure on the 6 bolt neck join - is it needed? i dislike the non-angled headstock. it means the volute is less graceful that a curved version on an angled headstock and insists on the inclusion of that oversized string retainer (slightly more graceful this time). With the stuff you build i can see the need for a string mute behind the nut even with an angled headstock, so the retainer may still be needed then. anyway, i really struggle with non-angled headstocks on 3-aside necks

swedishluthier - yeah, i like. can i have this and the recent green one (at a discount please). think i would be a happy man

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Scatter Lee...I loved this one.I did not like the violin one...

That is one guitar I bet plays and sounds great.

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In the continuing to not vote for myself vein, I was so close to voting for hufschmid, but then SwedishLuthier went and sniped him...

Very few entries this month, but REALLY high quality all!

WezV... It is not a two-tone top and back. It's 4 different woods so 4 different tones... You musta REALLY hated it then! :D :D

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Oh man, apparently I was just FEELIN' the retro this month. It was a hard choice between ScatterLee and the resolectric! In the end I had to choose the DC Jr. and that glorious color it had... But it was a hard choice. If that resolectric didn't have a sparkle finish (sorry) I don't know WHAT I would have done?!

Chris

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As mentioned, slightly less guitars this month. However it doesn't make the decision much easier.

Scatter Lee: A JR is never wrong, especially such a nice one as this. The small things that can be made better is small things like the neck wood being visible from the front could have had a closer match to the rest of the body and the head looks somewhat empty without a logo but now I'm being picky...

Hydro: As I doesn't read the comments until after I have voted I couldn't really define what I thought about this one. Until I saw the comment from Wez. The instrument is clean and well executed but in my opinion this type of bass need a bit of that "hippie sandwich" treatment that is mandatory an alembics and similar instrument.

Boggs: As mentioned before I prefer this body shape over the camelback. I love the perfect grain line match of the cavity cover. Even thou its not my favorite body shape I love to see that you keep it up and keep 'em coming

Crow: I like it. Not as in "I like it a whole damn lot" but I like it. Also a very close color match between the walnut and the maple.

Hufscmid: Impressive top. I can see that you have achieved exactly what the customer wanted. A top set on fire. Did you use an actual flame to achieve that look? And then the road worn "distressed" look on top of that. Great. And the fretboard without visible fret markers are perfect to that top. And even thou I share Wez view of the head construction I do understand that you have a solid customer base that like you style and that headstock design, so just keep it up. This is my favorite this month

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i have a problem with two-tone tops, as they can redefine a guitars shape. I am starting to like this shape now, but the top/back wood is taking away from the shape i am used to seeing

WezV... It is not a two-tone top and back. It's 4 different woods so 4 different tones... You musta REALLY hated it then! :D :D

thats 5 tone then - i was talking about the bubinga sapwood. so bubinga sapwood, bubinga, spruce, mahogany, and walnut. 5 different colour tones! anyway - i like stripes in the middle, big fan of through necks so it looking like that isnt a problem for me. I also usually like a bit of sapwood, but it may be that with the middle stripes the combined look tales away from the shape for me

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Hufscmid: Impressive top. I can see that you have achieved exactly what the customer wanted. A top set on fire. Did you use an actual flame to achieve that look?

Thanks man B)

Its an elaborated blend of natural stains, to give the impression of the charcoal and fire.

And even thou I share Wez view of the head construction I do understand that you have a solid customer base that like you style and that headstock design, so just keep it up. This is my favorite this month

Thanks :P

Just to clarify: I am not a custom shop and I take pride building one piece necks since the very first day. Adding an angle to the headstock on a one piece neck would be a huge waist of mother nature but also would not be strong enough because of grain runout.

I am also using an exclusive material for the string retainers and nuts which I am the only to be using + a new neck reinforcement system which I invented so its not JUST a regular non angled headstock. :D

I also cant stand the looks of a scarf joint (which I have built in the past) I also dont approve that building method - and that is also my opinion and the opinion of many other guitar builders who dont like angled headstocks haha :D

Like you say each their own style B)

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I wasn't sure what to pick this month; everything was good in about the same way for me.

The top on hufschmid's is jaw dropping; crow's is very elegant; Boggs is the oddball (in a very good way); Hydrogeoman's is just plane cool, especially for a bass; and Scatter Lee's is a classic that looks very well executed.

...then Sweed comes out of nowhere at the last minute. Got my vote, without hesitation. I've actually been wanting to build something like that for myself, but with slightly different visual aesthetics. I almost convinced a customer to order one, but he got something else instead. So, you get my vote partly because of the amazing guitar and partly because of vicariousness.

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Scatter Lee: Well crafted but I’m not sure why the space between the neck and the neck pickup looks so much different then the rest of the finish on the guitar.

Hydro: clean looking bass, excellent wood grain! Nothing I can say could improve on it. Great bass!

Boggs: Just not my type of design. Hardcoat looks like it needs more sanding.

Crow: gets my vote. If it was a 6-string I’d be asking if it were for sale. Perfect heal transition, great belly cut. And… it’s sure to piss off the tele purists

Hufs: Not to offend, but it seems too close to a mock for me. If you were in the US and BCR saw this, you’d get a cease and desist letter. I’m not a fan of copying a protected shape and then selling it…which is what you’ve done.

Swedish: This was my second choice. It really came down to which one I would play more. Although I’d jam the crap out of this guitar, I’d play the tele more often.

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Scatter Lee: Well crafted but I’m not sure why the space between the neck and the neck pickup looks so much different then the rest of the finish on the guitar.

its really not that uncommon to see it on guitars built this way - you get to see a bit of the neck tenon next to the body - even when both are the same species of mahogany there is often a colour difference, usually because neck and body woods are chosen with different properties in mind

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Scatter Lee: Well crafted but I’m not sure why the space between the neck and the neck pickup looks so much different then the rest of the finish on the guitar.

could be the neck is quarter sawn and the body is flat sawn, the neck wood was a little darker than the body, but mostly the angle of the sun making a shadow

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I always think I'm going to love Huf's guitars, then I get to that shot of the back of the neck and it looks so..... dry... and it puts me right off.

Honorable mention to Swedish, but the vote goes to Scatter. The violin ones were impressive, but this makes me drool with lust. Perfect execution of a classic design.

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It was a really tight one for me between Sweed and Scatter Lee. In the end, I went with the simple elegance of Scatter Lee's DC.

I know I usually give individual critiques, but I'll not be doing it this month. I end up unintentionally ticking people off, so it's probably for the best. :D

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My congrats to anybody on this site who is willing to put their work out to a community with so much talent. Whether you are a professional builder or hobbiest, this endeavor is fraught with the "workmanship of risk" vs. the "workmanship of certainty" (Pye,1995). Thanks to those providing feedback (come on Avenger, your critiques don't ruffle that many feathers - do they?!).

Wez and Swede, your points are well taken. This was my very 1st build, done some years ago, and was as complex a build (laminations, body carving, etc.) as my skills allowed at that time. I will, however, be taking that advice and incorporating it in the next bass build.

This month I was torn between Swede's and Scatter Lee's. For me though, the simplicity of Scatter Lee's build got the upper hand. I have a soft spot for Jr's/Specials and it would be the guitar I would reach for more often.

Cheers - Greg

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i have a problem with two-tone tops, as they can redefine a guitars shape. I am starting to like this shape now, but the top/back wood is taking away from the shape i am used to seeing

WezV... It is not a two-tone top and back. It's 4 different woods so 4 different tones... You musta REALLY hated it then! B):D

thats 5 tone then - i was talking about the bubinga sapwood. so bubinga sapwood, bubinga, spruce, mahogany, and walnut. 5 different colour tones! anyway - i like stripes in the middle, big fan of through necks so it looking like that isnt a problem for me. I also usually like a bit of sapwood, but it may be that with the middle stripes the combined look tales away from the shape for me

The piece of bubinga I had was simply not wide enough to use for a guitar on its own so that was my way of being creative to build something quite unique with it. Ironic how it used to be that people thought my body shapes were "wierd" and now I get "penalized" because it takes away from it... HA!! B) Next month, I am building another one with what I had left of that bubinga and it will incorporate that, spruce, wenge, and mahogany so get your welding mask out! :D

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come on Avenger, your critiques don't ruffle that many feathers - do they?

If you're gonna ask, I'll give up my thoughts. But you give up the right to be mad about them....

The build and construction looks well-executed. I like the bolt-on logo - it's a twist you don't see every day. I also like the ebony plate under the heel.

The bass horn doesn't flow so well with the treble horn. I'm not against the scroll or pointy bits here and there, but the horn is the ONLY place we have any scrolly-points, so they look out of place.

Between the base & cap of the body, there's no real color variation. It's all a medium brown. Despite the beauty of the rosewood, the color palate is a little boring. For some this isn't a bad thing. Me... I like variety. It's just an aesthetic sensibility, nothing more.

From what I can tell from the pictures, the finish doesn't look smooth and even. Possibly it wasn't grain-filled, possibly the oils in the rosewood messed with the clear. Most folks either shoot for a matte oiled finish or a mirror gloss. This seems to be halfway between, and thus misses both marks. NOTE: The pictures aren't conclusive, so I could easily be wrong, but that's what it looks like to me.

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come on Avenger, your critiques don't ruffle that many feathers - do they?

If you're gonna ask, I'll give up my thoughts. But you give up the right to be mad about them....

Yeah! that's what I am talking about! I am here to learn, and anybody who thinks and cares about this stuff enough to post over 4K times has my ear. Avenger, your comments are spot on. Thanks for the thoughtful review!

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The piece of bubinga I had was simply not wide enough to use for a guitar on its own so that was my way of being creative to build something quite unique with it. Ironic how it used to be that people thought my body shapes were "wierd" and now I get "penalized" because it takes away from it... HA!! :D Next month, I am building another one with what I had left of that bubinga and it will incorporate that, spruce, wenge, and mahogany so get your welding mask out! :D

nothing ironic about it - i always try to be constructive, if you can look back and any times i may have said i did not like this body shape i am sure you will also find suggestions i may have made about it too. You will notice i aim to do the same with everybody, but i know you always think its just aimed at you because people dont find your body shapes aesthetically pleasing. well you keep entering them and i may get bored of typing 'the shape isnt pleasing to my eye' every month, so i also aim to be constructive in different ways since you have previously explained and demonstrated your reasons for the shape. But yes, they could be described as "weird", although i would prefer the word "unconventional" for the lack of negative implications! (but yes, it does cost you votes)

so lets repeat:

no problem with the centre stripes at all! no real problems with any of it - but i did want to question the use of sapwood 'wings' this time as being a step too far as far as the shape was concerned when combined with the centre stripes, just as part of the usual criticism i give to all the entries (occasionally i cant find anything to criticise!).

Means nothing at the end of the day, i wont get to chance to own most of the guitars in these threads - but i do comment the way i do because when i have entered this thing real feedback meant more to me than repeated "wow, thats great" comments!

You are in no way "penalised" by the voters in this competition - and definitely not in my voting and commenting habits!

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And even thou I share Wez view of the head construction I do understand that you have a solid customer base that like you style and that headstock design, so just keep it up. This is my favorite this month

Thanks B)

Just to clarify: I am not a custom shop and I take pride building one piece necks since the very first day. Adding an angle to the headstock on a one piece neck would be a huge waist of mother nature but also would not be strong enough because of grain runout.

I am also using an exclusive material for the string retainers and nuts which I am the only to be using + a new neck reinforcement system which I invented so its not JUST a regular non angled headstock. :D

I also cant stand the looks of a scarf joint (which I have built in the past) I also dont approve that building method - and that is also my opinion and the opinion of many other guitar builders who dont like angled headstocks haha :D

Like you say each their own style B)

yea - each to their own!

Completely agree about 1-piece angled necks being a waste and weak - thats why i went down the laminate (usually 3 or 5 piece) route. I find this to be the best use of mother natures resources as looking for 1-piece blanks around here led me to reject a lot of wood!

I went off scarfs a few years ago. I still think they are preferable to a one piece angled neck though... a did experiment with a few laminate centre/scarfed outer necks a few years ago but mainly as a way to use up smaller pieces of decent wood

again - it comes down to a style thing as with my comments to boggs above. I just dont think the flat headstock back/volute on your necks looks as graceful as the angled version would. Again i will point out how i find real critique more useful than "wow, i want to have your babies" comments

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And even thou I share Wez view of the head construction I do understand that you have a solid customer base that like you style and that headstock design, so just keep it up. This is my favorite this month

Thanks

Just to clarify: I am not a custom shop and I take pride building one piece necks since the very first day. Adding an angle to the headstock on a one piece neck would be a huge waist of mother nature but also would not be strong enough because of grain runout.

I am also using an exclusive material for the string retainers and nuts which I am the only to be using + a new neck reinforcement system which I invented so its not JUST a regular non angled headstock. B)

I also cant stand the looks of a scarf joint (which I have built in the past) I also dont approve that building method - and that is also my opinion and the opinion of many other guitar builders who dont like angled headstocks haha :D

Like you say each their own style

yea - each to their own!

Completely agree about 1-piece angled necks being a waste and weak - thats why i went down the laminate (usually 3 or 5 piece) route. I find this to be the best use of mother natures resources as looking for 1-piece blanks around here led me to reject a lot of wood!

I went off scarfs a few years ago. I still think they are preferable to a one piece angled neck though... a did experiment with a few laminate centre/scarfed outer necks a few years ago but mainly as a way to use up smaller pieces of decent wood

again - it comes down to a style thing as with my comments to boggs above. I just dont think the flat headstock back/volute on your necks looks as graceful as the angled version would. Again i will point out how i find real critique more useful than "wow, i want to have your babies" comments

Laminates are so much easier, you can actually buy a well seasoned flatsawn board, cut out a bunch of necks, then you flip them over and glue them together and you have quatersawn stock. Benedetto shows this technique in his videos (you must check them out, epic!)

However I dont personally like building my guitars like a sandwich, I do hunt for one pieces and quatersawn stock

Also, some makers / companies dont even bother to carve a volute when they build flat headstocks... (fender?)

I agreee, I dont care either for "I want to have your babies comments", and I dont care about Hype, this is why I do things against the grain and run away as much as possible from hype.

There are also several things that I dont find graceful AT ALL in most builds I see on this board, but I also dont critique other collegues work, because I respect their style (like you say each their own) and even if I dont like what they do, I keep it for myself.

The biggest majority of legendary guitar players in the world play or have played on flat headstocks, even satriani had his ibanez designed with a flat head.

I've also never seen a damaged broken flat headstock, have you?

However I've noticed that as soon as you post a flat headstock guitar (which is not vintage :D picture in a forum, people wonder why you dont add an angle AS IF an angle is the only way to go for... funny B)

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yeah - seen the Benedetto vids, it does make a lot of sense to me doing it that way - never sure about the way he tapers the headstock thinner though - especially with equal height tuners :? - yes, i would even go as far as questioning someone like benedetto on the odd small detail :D

i think my main issue with a non-angled 3-aside headstock is that it usually requires the addition of a string retainer, well even the fender way usually requires string trees - and i like to keep nut to tuner as free as possible... only time i really move from that is on stuff like low tuned guitars/baritones where behind the nut resonance can be a negative issue.

if you fancy having a go with a piece of quartersawn macasser ebony for a neck then give me a shout - i had enough for two necks, built one and dont know when i will get around to doing another! Bit undecided about whether i want to keep it or not

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The piece of bubinga I had was simply not wide enough to use for a guitar on its own so that was my way of being creative to build something quite unique with it. Ironic how it used to be that people thought my body shapes were "wierd" and now I get "penalized" because it takes away from it... HA!! :D Next month, I am building another one with what I had left of that bubinga and it will incorporate that, spruce, wenge, and mahogany so get your welding mask out! :D

nothing ironic about it - i always try to be constructive, if you can look back and any times i may have said i did not like this body shape i am sure you will also find suggestions i may have made about it too. You will notice i aim to do the same with everybody, but i know you always think its just aimed at you because people dont find your body shapes aesthetically pleasing. well you keep entering them and i may get bored of typing 'the shape isnt pleasing to my eye' every month, so i also aim to be constructive in different ways since you have previously explained and demonstrated your reasons for the shape. But yes, they could be described as "weird", although i would prefer the word "unconventional" for the lack of negative implications! (but yes, it does cost you votes)

so lets repeat:

no problem with the centre stripes at all! no real problems with any of it - but i did want to question the use of sapwood 'wings' this time as being a step too far as far as the shape was concerned when combined with the centre stripes, just as part of the usual criticism i give to all the entries (occasionally i cant find anything to criticise!).

Means nothing at the end of the day, i wont get to chance to own most of the guitars in these threads - but i do comment the way i do because when i have entered this thing real feedback meant more to me than repeated "wow, thats great" comments!

You are in no way "penalised" by the voters in this competition - and definitely not in my voting and commenting habits!

Sorry, man... I was trying to be light hearted in this... Of course, I appreciate honesty in reviewing and that you took so much time in being thoughtful about it. Y'all feel what you feel. Comedy (even somewhat weakly executed) is one of the ways I deal with some of the disappointment of continuously coming in last in these polls. It ain't gonna stop me from posting my efforts. My weaning in guitars came from acoustics. It's probably why I lean towards the "sandwich" construction because the tone of these is exquisite. That cannot come across in pictures. Nor can the edge lamination of various thicknesses and grain structures of these woods and the difficulty of construction come through in pictures. This is probably the best sounding guitar I have produced to date and by far the most challenging build. I just have to accept that unless you lean more traditionally, you will not get votes. It is my choice and I will try and avoid my comedic replies in the future that, well, diminish my genuine appreciation for well thought and well wished comments.

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there is a place for comedy - but it is easily lost or misinterpreted on the internet.

hell i think if you carry on you will get votes for this shape through shear determinism :D better that than getting your family & friends to sign up and vote just for you

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The biggest majority of legendary guitar players in the world play or have played on flat headstocks, even satriani had his ibanez designed with a flat head.

Maybe so,but that would fall into the same "hype" category as buying a set of pickups because Metallica uses them,would it not?

Just teasing.I never noticed your headstocks were flat,I think because of the graceful volute you use.Nevertheless I prefer angle headstocks,because I always use a Floyd locking nut,and I match the radius of the nut with the angle of the headstock so I don't have to use a string retainer...I don't always get it perfect,but I try.

I realize this is a piss poor pic,but it should show what I am going for(which is nothing new)

l.jpg

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