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  #1  
Old 01-14-2009, 06:54 PM
Acoustikat Acoustikat is offline
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Default James E. Patterson guitar

I just got a custom guitar made by James E. Patterson from 1987. It is based on the OM body style. Man, I have owned a lot of guitars over the years and still have 3 high end Martins, but this thing is unbelievable.

I am posting to see if anyone knows anything about Patterson's guitars. I know that he has written a book on Pearl Inlay that is considered the bible, but I can't find much info on his guitars.

I am told he was a consultant to Santa Cruz guitars when they first began.

Anyone out there know anything??
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:14 PM
Nort Nort is offline
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I don't know anything about Mr. Patterson, but I have been fortunate to
talk to Richard Hoover on several occasions.

Richard is a really nice gentleman, a well of information, and he loves to
talk about guitars.

I would suggest you e-mail him through Santa Cruz Guitars, and just be
patient for a couple of weeks as he is at the NAMM Show this week/weekend
He is very good about replying to all correspondance.

Also send him a couple of pics of your guitar with the e-mail.

Oh, and how about posting them here for the rest of us to see
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:57 AM
Acoustikat Acoustikat is offline
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I would do so, but I don't know how you go about posting pictures here on the forum.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:13 PM
Acoustikat Acoustikat is offline
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OK, I found the instructions. Hopefully, this will work. Here is one image.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustikat View Post
OK, I found the instructions. Hopefully, this will work. Here is one image.
Hi A-kat...
So tell us more about the instrument, please...

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:30 PM
Acoustikat Acoustikat is offline
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Here is another photo.



In regard to telling you more about the instrument; that is one of the reasons I posted was to see if someone else out there was familiar with luthier James Patterson and his guitars.

All I can tell you is that I came across the guitar a few days ago and immediately bought it so no one else would get it. The tone was that good.

I had been looking around thinking of getting an OM-42 or 45 from Martin. But, this thing blew me away. I've owned and played a lot of high end Martins, and love them all. But, this one is special.

The tone is rich and very evenly balanced across the strings. The bass is deep with some power--which I haven't heard too much from the Martin OM's. (again, that is relative). Each string is very individual--i think they call that notational separation.

Nicely, the strings play clear as a bell from the top of the fret board all the way down to the body. Clear, full and without any non string sound.

I am sure there are many other custom made guitars that are equally great. All I know is that the tone and workmanship are far better than any "line" model I have played--no matter the cost. (maybe excepting the tree of life anniversary model Martin had some years back that I had a chance to play).

All I know about Patterson is that he is about 80 years old now and that he wrote a book about pearl inlay that is considered the bible of inlay work.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:38 PM
Acoustikat Acoustikat is offline
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Another photo

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Old 02-26-2009, 09:15 AM
farrago farrago is offline
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I also found one of these guitars. What do you think these should sell for? I've been told that one sold for $2k on ebay. I emailed Mr. Hoover at Santa Cruz guitars and he said:

Quote:
Jim is indeed a pal of mine and was an important mentor to me before I started SCGC in 1976. I know that he was building as early as 1972 when I first hit town.
I found a book called "the Directory of Contemporary American Musical Instrument Makers" (By Susan Caust Farrell) and it showed that he made at least 50 guitars by 1981.
http://books.google.com/books?id=t_B...A105&lpg=PA105

I found another reference that showed that someone sold or attempted to sell two of them together on eBay for $5k. The link doesn't show if they actually sold or not. From what I've been told, Mr Patterson is alive and in his 80's.

Tom

PS: See attached pictures.

Last edited by farrago; 02-26-2009 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:02 AM
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On Youtube this is a Santa Cruz Richard Hoover History video. Its actually 5 youtube video's but its its a good watch!! Richard talks about the start with Patterson in the video. I have heard from a local expert that these guitars are very nice for the time they were built but that they don't stand up to the newer Santa Cruz Goodall Collings guitars. I have never played one personally but I have seen a lot of them on ebay.
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2009, 11:16 AM
farrago farrago is offline
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Quote:
I have never played one personally but I have seen a lot of them on ebay.
Do you remember what they sold for? There aren't any on eBay right now and there are none in their searchable history of closed auctions. I'm surprised that you have seen "a lot of them" on ebay considering how low of a quantity he produced.

T
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:47 AM
SuperB23 SuperB23 is offline
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Yeah PM me at one point there was like 4 or 5 different ones that were being sold about maybe 4 or 5 months ago I'd say. I keep an eye on the Santa Cruz guitars on ebay pretty closely. They were being listed with the name Santa Cruz in the title because thats where Jim was from I guess.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:28 AM
farrago farrago is offline
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Quote:
I have heard from a local expert that these guitars are very nice for the time they were built but that they don't stand up to the newer Santa Cruz...
I wonder what the "local expert" with the opinion on these guitars meant by "very nice for the time they were built". James was making guitars in Santa Cruz before SCGC opened shop in Santa Cruz in 1972. So, was "the time they were built" referring to the earlier guitars that James made in the 60's, 70's or 80's. The one I just purchased was made in 2004. The headstock and other features look a lot like the SCGC guitars. James is now in his early 80's and so this guitar was made when he was in his late 70's. He must have been living right. Anyhow, I don't wonder if like other luthiers, he didn't improve over the years and his work from the last 15 years may be even better than his early stuff. I've let two guitar players (that also collect guitars) play the James Patterson guitar and they both gave it glowing reviews.

T

Also: James Patterson also goes by Jim Patterson and he is mentioned on this SCGC webpage... http://www.santacruzguitar.com/tour/...icguitars.html
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2009, 10:38 AM
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Yeah I think the ones he played were from the 70's or 80's. Richard Hoover says the same thing about Santa Cruz guitars. He says the ones built in the 70's couldn't compete in todays market on his youtube history video.
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  #14  
Old 02-27-2009, 11:49 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I know a bit about Patterson, though it seems as though you've already got most of that information already. But to sum it up:

He's an older gentleman who lives in Santa Cruz, and who was in fact one of the first handbuilders making reproductions of vintage-style Martins. He was years ahead of the trend on that, no question about it. He also wrote the first usable how-to book about pearl inlay (a copy of which I own.)

The comments made by "a local expert" are in fact quite accurate in regards to Patterson's earlier instruments. I've seen and played about five or six of them (mostly heavily inlaid dreadnoughts, a couple of OM's) and they are, as stated, superb for the time they were built.

But there's something about '60's and '70's-era handmade instruments that you can spot from across the room once you've seen and handled enough of them. There's something about the lacquer finishes that has generally aged differently than a factory-made instrument from the same period, and the inlay and detail work looks, well, hand-made (which of course it is.)

It's interesting that this guitar dates from 2004. When I visited Santa Cruz in 2000 and again 2001, I had hoped to meet Patterson but was told he really wasn't building much any more.

By a complete coincidence, I've seen his backyard and the back of his house! He's an across-the-fence neighbor to Steve Yetter, a Santa Cruz musician who used to be quite active on RMMGA and whom I spent some time with on my visits to the area. Didn't get to meet Patterson, though.

Anyway, congratulations on a nice guitar.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:47 AM
farrago farrago is offline
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He was making them in 2004 ...at least from what the maker's label says. See attached pics.







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