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  #1  
Old 01-07-2018, 01:30 PM
steveh steveh is offline
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Default Tom Sands MMD build-thread!

New year = time for a Tom Sands build thread. What could be better?

By way of background, I commissioned a couple of Kostals back in 2011 – hard to believe that is now 7 years ago. Jason was just out of Ervin Somogyi’s shop then and I was looking for a bright young thing to make me my dream guitar; I’d played a Somogyi MD at TAMCO in the UK and had been totally smitten but, unsurprisingly, couldn’t afford it (who can?!). Michael Watts put me in touch with Jason, who built me an MD and later an OM. Those wonderful guitars are documented in two AGF threads of >70K and >50K views respectively (thanks AGF!). Unfortunately, the Photobucket debacle means those threads are now picless:

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...ghlight=kostal

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...ghlight=kostal

Anyway, I loved those guitars but my guitar playing has always been repertoire driven and my pal Jonny infected me with the nylon disease, with the result that I was listening to more and more nylon guitar, especially modern repertoire (and especially Andrew York). I got a nylon guitar and, long story short, ended up playing it 90% of the time as those were the tunes I wanted to learn (and I found the challenge of playing nylon simultaneously frustrating and fascinating). The chance then arose to buy a lifetime nylon guitar. Jason’s star had risen very high in the interim, so selling my Kostals – with a very heavy heart – funded my new nylon.

Fast forward to last year and my pal Adam (“Adamski” here) had just received two guitars from Tom Sands. Like Jason, Tom was working with Ervin Somogyi and Adam had commissioned Tom’s first guitars under his own name, confident that the many he had built under the Somogyi name was a guarantee of success. In short, Adam was thrilled with his Sands’ and I was also pretty taken aback by how great they sounded for such a new builder. I really wasn’t in the market for a steel-string but, man I missed those Kostals... A Sands guitar would come in at way under another Kostal and Tom would be based in the UK (where I am) so, after a few weeks thinking about it, I got on Tom’s list, knowing that the longer I left it, the longer I’d have to wait and the more it would cost me. As it happened that was a great idea because several people had already jumped on after playing Adam’s guitars.

So, the brief was for Tom to build a single guitar that would give me the best of both Jason’s OM and MD – Tom’s “MMD”. The MMD is a big bigger than an OM and a bit smaller than an MD. It’s based on the “Studio” guitar that Ervin Somogyi made a few years back; essentially a smaller MD aimed at the Far Eastern market.

Because I know that nylon is where I’ll be most of the time, I don’t want a max spec steel-string: I opted for padauk back and sides, hoping this would be a great choice sonically, while avoiding the upgrade $$$ for BRW/ABW/madrose etc. Tom had the pick of a ton of nice padauk at Ervin’s shop since 99.9% of people who order a Somogyi want BRW and not padauk.

And here is that very same wood that Tom picked out for me after an afternoon of digging around and tap-testing:



More to come...
Cheers,
Steve
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2018, 02:36 PM
Adamski Adamski is offline
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Lovely looking wood... 👍
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  #3  
Old 01-07-2018, 02:46 PM
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Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
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Tom is one of the most outstanding human beings out there, and beyond this, his work deserves applause at every level...

...simply amongst the best of the best.
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  #4  
Old 01-07-2018, 03:09 PM
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Michael Watts Michael Watts is offline
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Congratulations Steve! Looks like a lovely set.
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2018, 03:34 PM
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iim7V7IM7 iim7V7IM7 is offline
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That’s a beautiful set of Padauk.... Do you know what variety it is?
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:15 PM
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That wood looks outrageously nice!
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:34 PM
Bill Kraus Bill Kraus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
That wood looks outrageously nice!
Sure does. I've been wanting to build with it. A great, understated look.
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  #8  
Old 01-07-2018, 06:37 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Steve, congratulations on the build! Go to see you coming out of your steel-string hibernation... the sounds of your Kostals on YouTube are missed.
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2018, 10:01 PM
printer2 printer2 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveh View Post
New year = time for a Tom Sands build thread. What could be better?

By way of background, I commissioned a couple of Kostals back in 2011 – hard to believe that is now 7 years ago. Jason was just out of Ervin Somogyi’s shop then and I was looking for a bright young thing to make me my dream guitar; I’d played a Somogyi MD at TAMCO in the UK and had been totally smitten but, unsurprisingly, couldn’t afford it (who can?!). Michael Watts put me in touch with Jason, who built me an MD and later an OM. Those wonderful guitars are documented in two AGF threads of >70K and >50K views respectively (thanks AGF!). Unfortunately, the Photobucket debacle means those threads are now picless:

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...ghlight=kostal

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...ghlight=kostal
Not necessarily. If the picture libraries are still at Photobucket you can see them in the threads if you have Chrome or Firefox. An addon somehow allows the browser to access the pictures and put them in the threads.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir...=1515164186429
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  #10  
Old 01-07-2018, 11:39 PM
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Dion Bews Dion Bews is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveh View Post
New year = time for a Tom Sands build thread. What could be better?

By way of background, I commissioned a couple of Kostals back in 2011 – hard to believe that is now 7 years ago. Jason was just out of Ervin Somogyi’s shop then and I was looking for a bright young thing to make me my dream guitar; I’d played a Somogyi MD at TAMCO in the UK and had been totally smitten but, unsurprisingly, couldn’t afford it (who can?!). Michael Watts put me in touch with Jason, who built me an MD and later an OM. Those wonderful guitars are documented in two AGF threads of >70K and >50K views respectively (thanks AGF!). Unfortunately, the Photobucket debacle means those threads are now picless:

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...ghlight=kostal

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...ghlight=kostal

Anyway, I loved those guitars but my guitar playing has always been repertoire driven and my pal Jonny infected me with the nylon disease, with the result that I was listening to more and more nylon guitar, especially modern repertoire (and especially Andrew York). I got a nylon guitar and, long story short, ended up playing it 90% of the time as those were the tunes I wanted to learn (and I found the challenge of playing nylon simultaneously frustrating and fascinating). The chance then arose to buy a lifetime nylon guitar. Jason’s star had risen very high in the interim, so selling my Kostals – with a very heavy heart – funded my new nylon.

Fast forward to last year and my pal Adam (“Adamski” here) had just received two guitars from Tom Sands. Like Jason, Tom was working with Ervin Somogyi and Adam had commissioned Tom’s first guitars under his own name, confident that the many he had built under the Somogyi name was a guarantee of success. In short, Adam was thrilled with his Sands’ and I was also pretty taken aback by how great they sounded for such a new builder. I really wasn’t in the market for a steel-string but, man I missed those Kostals... A Sands guitar would come in at way under another Kostal and Tom would be based in the UK (where I am) so, after a few weeks thinking about it, I got on Tom’s list, knowing that the longer I left it, the longer I’d have to wait and the more it would cost me. As it happened that was a great idea because several people had already jumped on after playing Adam’s guitars.

So, the brief was for Tom to build a single guitar that would give me the best of both Jason’s OM and MD – Tom’s “MMD”. The MMD is a big bigger than an OM and a bit smaller than an MD. It’s based on the “Studio” guitar that Ervin Somogyi made a few years back; essentially a smaller MD aimed at the Far Eastern market.

Because I know that nylon is where I’ll be most of the time, I don’t want a max spec steel-string: I opted for padauk back and sides, hoping this would be a great choice sonically, while avoiding the upgrade $$$ for BRW/ABW/madrose etc. Tom had the pick of a ton of nice padauk at Ervin’s shop since 99.9% of people who order a Somogyi want BRW and not padauk.

And here is that very same wood that Tom picked out for me after an afternoon of digging around and tap-testing:



More to come...
Cheers,
Steve

I really love building with padauk. Looking forward to this build thread!
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2018, 11:54 PM
CE Sobel CE Sobel is offline
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That is some awesome looking Padouk!
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2018, 10:37 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Gentlemen, thanks for your kind comments about the wood.

As per my usual inclinations, I told Tom that I was most interested in tone so I asked him to pick some sets from Ervin's stash that were really well quartered, and then tap it, and choose the best.

I'd never really considered Padouk until chatting to Ralph Bown a few years ago: Ralph said it built a great guitar but people tended to pass over it in favour of something more "exotic" or dramatic looking. I mentioned that to Tom and he confirmed that Ervin thought similarly but, again, found that people just didn't commission it. Ervin had bought loads because good quality stuff was not too difficult to get a while back and he was very generous to allow Tom to chose a set for my guitar. I'm sure Tom paid him; haha.

Anyways, here is that self-same piece being glued up in Tom's new workshop in the UK, with a nice ebony backstrip:



The ebony backstrip scraped flush:



And some braces going on the back:



I have some pics of the sides and will post them when I have more time; still trying to learn Flickr after dumping Photobucket.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2018, 10:45 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by printer2 View Post
Not necessarily. If the picture libraries are still at Photobucket you can see them in the threads if you have Chrome or Firefox. An addon somehow allows the browser to access the pictures and put them in the threads.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir...=1515164186429
Thanks for that. I haven't deleted the libraries in a fit of pique (like many have) but I am using Safari (Mac fanboi) so they all show up as blanks asking me to pay handomely to upgrade to third party hosting.

TBH I wouldn't mind - I don't necessarily expect to be hosted for free - but $400 pa seems to have scared off hobbyists like myself, unsurprisingly.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2018, 12:45 PM
Ct20 Ct20 is offline
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Congratulations Steve..seems like a great solution to getting a quality steel string back in your fold. Look forward to your future sound sample.

Last edited by Ct20; 01-08-2018 at 04:57 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2018, 12:49 PM
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Diamondave Diamondave is offline
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Good call with that set of Padauk, love it...
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