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Brent Nelson 12-12-2016 11:17 AM

Adam Steinquist tricked me!!
So I made a new friend recently: Adam Steinquist-- local (Madison, WI) luthier, builder, repair person. And right out of the chute, the dude tricks me! He allowed me to "borrow" one of his instruments for a couple of weeks, and now I can't let it go and must buy it. Curse you Adam!! ; )

The Builder. Adam is an amazing craftsman. On top of that, he's just a quality, civic-minded, humble guy; the kind of guy you really like to do business with. I doubt many of you here know least yet. But you should. I met Adam because I was fortunate to run in to one of his guitars hanging at Madison Music, which is my favorite local haunt. After an hour or so with the instrument, I had to know more. Knowing he is right here in Madison, Wisconsin, I found him on Facebook and fired him a couple of questions. A couple of weeks later, he was kind enough to invite me to his home and provide me a tour of his modest workshop. And that's where the trickery began. I "borrowed" a demo Steinquist V45 he completed a year or so ago. More on that guitar later. But it's a keeper. Hence...I'm keeping it. ; )

Adam is building guitars in a modest workshop in his home outfitted almost exclusively with hand tools. Hand carved necks. Hand bent sides. Hand....everything. He had several projects on his bench the day I visited, and it was fun to learn more about his craft and his building philosophies. He truly is a student of his craft, and I was fortunate to play a couple of his earlier builds, each one better than the next as he has honed his signature tone. Although unlikely many of you know of him, you are likely familiar with Paul Woolson -- another awesome guitar-building savant living right here in Madison. Adam and Paul are friends and have collaborated on a couple of projects. Both are making wonderful instruments that go in very different yet equally fantastic directions.

The "Keeper." The guitar Adam generously let me test-drive for a couple of weeks is #6 for him: a Steinquist V45 which is his take on those fantastic Gibson slope shouldered dreads of yester-year. And that is precisely the tone Adam has squeezed out of this guitar. It is not your "cut through the mix, bluegrass boomer" but rather it is sweet and round and balanced. Don't get me wrong. It's plenty loud. But the sounds that emanate from it are rather mellow and round and sweet and subdued. Strong in the fundamental with just enough overtones to keep you interested. With none of the brashness or harsh metallic edge that I generally avoid and that wears my old ears down over time. NONE of that. In some ways, it reminds me of the Martin CEO-7 I recently parted with, but in a bigger package. More of everything I liked about that CEO with none of the boxiness smaller-bodied guitars often afford. Just round and sweet and wonderful. And here it is:

I'm not much of a photographer. But you can find more and better pics -- including build pics -- on Adam's Facebook album if you are so inclined:

The specs:
- Top: Adirondack spruce
- Back/sides: Indian rosewood (with some really wild grain)
- Board/bridge: ebony
- Binding: rosewood
- Purfling: bloodwood
- Backstrip: bloodwood
- Headstock inlay: koa
- Nut/saddle: bone
- Tuners: Gotoh 510 Cosmic Black
- Scale: 24.625
- Nut: 1 11/16 nut
- Neck joint: dovetail
- Electronics: K&K pure mini

I'm not a very eloquent guitar reviewer either, and I don't believe my internet babbling can do this instrument and all of the hand work that went into squeezing so much magic out of it justice. But I can relay that I've owned a LOT of guitars over the last 20 years or so: single luthier, small shops, and factory instruments of every shape, size, and wood combination. Froggy Bottom. Ted Thompson. McIlroy. Collings. SCGC. Goodall. Fox. Kronbauer. Lowden. Lakewood. More. Many of you own most of those instruments now. ; ) What I can tell you without reservation is that I am more satisfied with this instrument than any I've had through. It serves what I do (singer/songwriter kind of stuff) perfectly. And I'm not sending it home. I owe you some money Adam!! Your trick worked.

SJ VanSandt 12-13-2016 01:13 PM

Great post - great looking guitar! I look forward to hearing more about Adam.

Nemoman 12-13-2016 01:20 PM

Looks like a beauty--sometimes trickery is a good thing! Beautiful adi top and a nice take on the pyramid bridge. Congrats!

Brent Nelson 12-14-2016 08:21 AM

Thanks gang. I was fortunate to stumble upon this instrument and to meet Adam, who is a class guy all around and truly the kind of individual you like to do business with. It will be fun to watch where he goes with his work.

Brent Nelson 12-18-2016 01:00 PM

And here it is in the hands of a local musician who is much more talented than I.

Nemoman 12-18-2016 03:43 PM

Sounds beautiful!

Brent Nelson 12-21-2016 11:01 AM

Thanks. I'm finding this to be a very versatile instrument.


Nbrisky 03-30-2021 07:47 PM

Anybody have Adamís email? I know this is a very old post.

Carpinteria 03-31-2021 06:06 AM

This was a fun post, Brent. Have fun with the guitar! Dave

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