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Old 12-07-2017, 03:31 PM
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Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
Guitarist - Humanist
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 11,612
Default Thomas Rein added.

Some folks here know that about 3+ months ago I discovered a re-awakening of my ability to play on a standard scale guitar. It's a quirky but significant story that I won't go into part it revolves around a nice visit we had with Pierre Bensusan.

One curious detail was that I actually only had my short-scale Classical (thank you, Anders Sterner) and a Larrivée Parlor here, along with a couple of 1999 Bozo Podunavac guitars, the latter of which are full-scale, but the bodies are a tad large for me, more of a SJ size.

For the first time in about 17 years I had the ability to sort of scan the marketplace, see who was doing what on a "standard" basis, and try to discover if there were any existing guitars that would fit for me...primarily OM sized instruments, even though I started with a Bensusan Signature Lowden.

I have a whole bunch of luthier/builder friends who would be happy to build for me, but aside from one long-term iron in the fire (sometime in 2018, perhaps), I would have had at least a 12 month wait...even up to 18 months or more...and I really was *not* looking forward to that process, especially after losing my Michaud 00-R a year ago to USPS many *fulfilled* hopes dashed to smithereens in an instant...I just am not comfortable waiting for a build-spot to open up right now, and I wasn't going to ask anyone for any special favors, for sure.

So I just have been looking around for mostly 25.4"/645-650mm scale length guitars, following a bunch of FS posts here, scanning some of the usual-suspect retailers for anything in an OM size, and with some reasonably-close bridge and fingerboard specs. Even so, the pickings (pun intended) were few.

Then I saw the thread here about adjustable neck-angle guitars, and have always thought that if executed properly, as some have done, this would be an interesting avenue to explore...

On that thread I saw a name that I was only somewhat familiar with...but felt there was some substance in regard to his building in both the classical and steel-string world, and a reputation worth considering.

Tom Rein.

So I looked around and couldn't find my primary-target, which would have been something pre-owned, that I could pick up at a bit of a discount, and then perhaps find something good.

Then I saw a Malaysian Blackwood/Euro Spruce (moon) FS at Dream Guitars,

Aside from being new (not my first choice), this instrument had all the specs I's just that I had never touched one of Tom's guitars, nor do I even know of anyone amongst my friends who have been customers, played one at a show, etc...just some commentary here, and my having perused his website some time ago...but the specs were there, and the adjustable neck as well..

I debated with myself for about 30 minutes about risking the round-trip shipping costs, and then realized (as I often conclude) that I would be dead one day, and probably wouldn't miss the dough for shipping.

Well, after a bunch of words (above), I'll try to cut to the chase:

Tom Rein builds as good of a guitar as anyone reviewed or posting here on the forum, and as good as anything I've played, period. He is easily placed (in my mind) as worthy of any and all of the respect that the top-builders have in our community...because he *is* one of those top-builders.

There is a lot to like, both tone and aesthetics-wise, IMO. Full, defined bass, along with pure, round but bitingly-direct trebles are just one place to start. Certainly completely balanced across/up-and-down the fingerboard.

With his classical heritage, Tom presents a bit of a classical aesthetic as applied to the steel-string world, and the result is a modern look, with a nod to the roots of both classical and steel-string instruments.

The workmanship/wood-artistry is second to none, and I have already spent enough time with his neck-adjustment process to conclude that I wish every guitar I have ever owned was built with this feature. No more saddle adjustments (seasonal changes, or in adding a pick-up, for instance), and along with the stiffness/stability of his double-sides building process, never, ever having to think about a neck reset.

So the guitar is here, and while I have the action set a bit low as the guitar acclimates to Oregon, I'm absolutely on-board. I may need to raise the action just a hair, but that is just a 30 second leave-the-strings-on (!) process, and something I am looking forward to, to fine-tune the set-up of the guitar in the most simple way ever...

Here is a quick and dirty video, no eq, no effects, no-nothing, other than a couple of nice mics plugged into my camcorder...

12/23/17 EDIT:

Yeah, I've been enjoying my new Tom Rein RJN-3C guitar.
Did a coupla' quick demos today, here's one of them:

Here's the second:

Originally posted:


I freakin' *hate* my playing on the Buddy Boy video (above)...but I'll leave it up for now.

I am up past my bedtime, specifically to record something else to present to Tom and all...

...this rendition of my tune titled "Three A.M." felt better to me, and I'm writing this as the video is uploading to YouTube (our DSL connection is slower than slow, but that's all we can get out here in the Oregon cable).

Here it is, and as with the other quick-demos I have made, no eq, no effects, no nuthin' but a couple of nice microphones in front of a beautiful guitar:

BTW, the help from Logan at Dream Guitars was quite good (getting a few additional *accurate* measurements, especially), and the purchase/shipping process sets a standard for the industry, IMO. They have a great deal negotiated with FedEx, which the clients benefit from, and they provide everything one needs to go through the process in a direct fashion, even to initiate a return, if necessary. As a former retailer (me) who is not often impressed with retailer behavior, well, Paul Heumiller is doing things absolutely right.

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Steel-string guitars by Tom Rein
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Last edited by Larry Pattis; 12-23-2017 at 11:23 PM.
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