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-   -   New Wilborn Arum Build: Tunnel 14 Redwood with Ziricote [Unveiling Video Added] (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=602885)

Ukulele_Eddie 01-03-2021 12:07 PM

New Wilborn Arum Build: Tunnel 14 Redwood with Ziricote [Unveiling Video Added]
 
3 Attachment(s)
First, Happy New Year, y'all!

I got the message. As scheduled when I commissioned it, Ben is about to start on my Arum, which will feature a Tunnel 14 redwood top with a ziricote body.

What is an Arum? It's Ben's 00'ish-sized (14" at lower bout) guitar from his new "Comma Series" line, which seeks to set a new standard in high-performance guitars with a number of non-traditional features: triple-laminated sides, radially braced top, 3D sound port (upper-bout located sound hole/side port), and multi-scale, raised fingerboard. I believe the very first model was inspired by our own TomB'sox. You can read more about this new line here:

https://www.wilbornguitars.com/comma-series-intro/

And you can read a number of other Arum and Nautilus (larger 15" body) build threads by other members here on AGF.

"Excited" would be an understatement. I'm a sucker for highly figured wood and previously had two custom ukuleles (a Steve Grimes tenor and a Kevin Mason baritone) from ziricote that I absolutely loved for tone and beauty, so I'm excited to have a guitar being made from one of my favorite woods and one of my favorite luthiers. Ben built a cedar/birdseye maple "Lion" for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the build process and working with Ben. I reluctantly re-homed that beauty to make room for this build.

I considered cocobolo as well and Ben has some amazing sets. While I know there are many factors that determine a guitar's tone, with builder and top wood being strong determinants, I have noted in a number of cocobolo instruments from many different highly regarded builders, a beautiful clarity in each string's notes but, for me, something missing in how they blend or meld together. As if the notes are too distinct, if that makes any sense. But Ben was confident I would be happy with what he built for me from cocobolo and I know he honors his satisfaction guarantee, so I was almost ready to take the plunge.

Before I took the plunge, I asked for one final look at some ziricote sets and if nothing grabbed me, I'd proceed. "Okay, before I commit, I want to see your best ziricote. Your secret stash stuff." As soon as I saw this set, the clouds parted and the angels sang. I "knew" my decision was made and made resolutely. Cocobolo will have to wait.

Those of you familiar with Ben's work know that despite his incredible precision, he is a very speedy builder and he sticks to his schedule commitments. This guitar should be finished in February. I'll update with more photos as I get them.

Assuming I love this one like I believe I will, I'll probably trim down to three guitars. The Doerr, the Arum and the other one TBD.

bmh1 01-03-2021 01:14 PM

These woods are gorgeous! I'm very excited for you- the Arum model with these woods is going to be special. Thanks for letting us follow along!!

beth

Guitars44me 01-03-2021 01:27 PM

What Beth said!!!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bmh1 (Post 6594472)
These woods are gorgeous! I'm very excited for you- the Arum model with these woods is going to be special. Thanks for letting us follow along!!

beth

No kidding! This will be a stunner

Happy New Year to all

Paul

cigarfan 01-04-2021 05:47 AM

Like you I am always intrigued by the looks of Ziricote. Beautiful woods you've picked for this one. Ben is one of the best. I'm sure you will be well pleased with the result. Congrats! :)

CarolD 01-04-2021 06:27 AM

An arum is my dream guitar! So excited for you...beautiful woods!

Nemoman 01-04-2021 10:45 AM

Congrats on your new Arum build, Eddie!

As you know, I have a Tunnel 14/Cocobolo Arum that is fantastic, so I know you wouldn't have been disappointed. But these woods look fabulous--it too will be amazing! And working with Ben is always a joy.

Enjoy the ride! Thanks for sharing it with us...

Ukulele_Eddie 01-04-2021 11:30 AM

Thanks, All!

Kevin, your Arum is absolutely spectacular. Probably my favorite set of Cocobolo I have ever seen. And the tone is incredible. For those who haven't seen Kevin's (@Nemoman) build thread, do check it out as it was the very first Arum so Ben did a lot of photos. It's a fantastic build thread that generated a number of orders. And a link to Ben's intro to it is here:

https://youtu.be/6xchcqMaP4w

jklotz 01-04-2021 12:31 PM

Those seem like such great guitars. I'd love to be able to play one some day. In the vid, it sounds amazing!

WilbornGuitars 01-05-2021 06:17 PM

"As soon as I saw this set, the clouds parted and the angels sang. "- Eddie, January, 2021


That is awesome! I've always loved the way some Ziricote looks as if dark velvet drapes are being pulled back to reveal the blinding light behind. It's Epiphany Wood, or maybe Vaudeville Wood, depending on how pious you want to get about it. At any rate, I have built quite a few Z guitars, and I find it to be a lovely mixture of the sounds of rosewood, leavened with just a touch of, say, mahogany. And if you are a sucker for a dark, landscape figure guitar, it just cannot be beat.

This is going to be a lot of fun to build. Thank you, Eddie, for the opportunity to build this little sportster!

mikealpine 01-05-2021 08:34 PM

This will be fantastic to watch come together. I would love to hear what a 16” model like this would sound like. Anyway, love the woods. The color palette is beautiful!

Ukulele_Eddie 01-05-2021 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikealpine (Post 6596717)
This will be fantastic to watch come together. I would love to hear what a 16” model like this would sound like. Anyway, love the woods. The color palette is beautiful!

Mike, if 15 7/8 is close enough to 16" for you, then I'm here for you. That model is The Sidewinder:

https://youtu.be/KAMGZW3aMQI

mikealpine 01-06-2021 08:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele_Eddie (Post 6596776)
Mike, if 15 7/8 is close enough to 16" for you, then I'm here for you. That model is The Sidewinder:

https://youtu.be/KAMGZW3aMQI

Yeah, that’d work! Now I have to save up the money... :D

TomB'sox 01-06-2021 09:16 AM

Congrats Mr. Eddie. You know I have a huge man crush on Ben and his guitars, jeez, I have enough of them!

Yes, you owe this all to me and Ben takes far too much credit for his Comma series, as far as I am concerned it should be the B'sox-stravaganza series!!! (Ben are you listening?).

I agree, that Ziricote is mind blowing pretty and it finishes soooo well also, but I feel bad for the top as it takes second fiddle. Look at that straight grain and silking in that T-14 wood! I mean that is an amazing top. I will give Ben some credit here, he is amazing with redwood and has pretty much made me a redwood disciple starting with a hunk of shelf from a hardware store to build the Black Lion (the body size that inspired the Arum BTW).

Congrats and you are going to love this.

Mike, Ben has done one of the Sidewinders for Brad, AZ cardinal that he posted a video on here https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...09#post6545009

I can't even imagine the bass out of that monster as my Nautilus has bass like no other guitar I own.

Ukulele_Eddie 01-06-2021 10:58 AM

I agree, Tom. I don't normally name my guitars, but maybe I'll name this one B'sox Box! ;-)

Thanks for commenting on the top. I looked at a number of T14 tops and it came down to this one and another. I chose this one because of the cross-silking and the wide grain, which I've always loved aesthetically.

The other top, which Ben was slightly partial toward b/c of its coloring, is still available for anyone ready to hop on Ben's list and interested in T14.

WilbornGuitars 01-10-2021 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikealpine (Post 6596970)
Yeah, that’d work! Now I have to save up the money... :D

I think I will be building a couple more Sidewinders this year- I have a customer or two torn between the Nautilus and it's big brother. At any rate, I will do demos of them, so keep an eyeball peeled.

WilbornGuitars 01-10-2021 10:57 PM

New Wilborn Arum Build: Tunnel 14 redwood with ziricote
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TomB'sox (Post 6597053)
Congrats Mr. Eddie. You know I have a huge man crush on Ben and his guitars, jeez, I have enough of them!



Yes, you owe this all to me and Ben takes far too much credit for his Comma series, as far as I am concerned it should be the B'sox-stravaganza series!!! (Ben are you listening?).



Well, I tried to come up with the right name to honor you. The Bowilus, The Soxilus, The Tomulus. The Naughtysox. They just didn't have the right ring. Sorry, pal.

Ukulele_Eddie 01-11-2021 04:35 PM

Progress Photos
 
4 Attachment(s)
As diligent as ever, Ben has been busy on the Arum.

Sides laminated. As described by Ben:

Laminated sides are an integral part of the Arum’s construction. Primarily, they provide strength and structure, together with a carbon fiber strut, to the upper treble bout, where the soundport has removed a big chunk of the strength. But they also make the sides exceptionally strong, and flat across their width, and they hold the shape of the sides with no spring-back at all- yet another internal stress that I have removed from the guitar. They won’t crack, and they won’t warp. In this case, I have made the inner two veneers from rift sawn. Honduran mahogany. You can look right into this guitar, so the cosmetics of the interior are very important and since all the linings and back braces are also mahogany, it looks really nice as well.

Vacuum bag forming the sides over a solid Baltic birch form.


Gluing the mahogany braces to the back in the go-deck bar.

Face-plate selected (#2). We went with #2 b/c it was the best color match and also had the sapwood.

Nemoman 01-11-2021 05:16 PM

Nice to see the progress on this one. Cool headplate selection, Eddie!

#3 looks like some sort of upside down version of Woody Woodpecker!

WilbornGuitars 01-11-2021 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemoman (Post 6601942)
Nice to see the progress on this one. Cool headplate selection, Eddie!

#3 looks like some sort of upside down version of Woody Woodpecker!

Like a very evil version of Woody! Unfortunately, the string posts are going to pretty much come through those eyes, which will ruin the effect. But ziricote is very much given to producing fairytale looking faces. I made a guitar once that looked exactly like Treebeard from The Lord of the Rings was peering out of the back.

Ukulele_Eddie 01-11-2021 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemoman (Post 6601942)
Nice to see the progress on this one. Cool headplate selection, Eddie!

#3 looks like some sort of upside down version of Woody Woodpecker!

Yeah, my first question was where will the tuner pegs be on #3, which ruled it out for me.

TomB'sox 01-12-2021 08:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ukulele_Eddie (Post 6601904)
As diligent as ever, Ben has been busy on the Arum.

Sides laminated. As described by Ben:

Laminated sides are an integral part of the Arum’s construction. Primarily, they provide strength and structure, together with a carbon fiber strut, to the upper treble bout, where the soundport has removed a big chunk of the strength. But they also make the sides exceptionally strong, and flat across their width, and they hold the shape of the sides with no spring-back at all- yet another internal stress that I have removed from the guitar. They won’t crack, and they won’t warp. In this case, I have made the inner two veneers from rift sawn. Honduran mahogany. You can look right into this guitar, so the cosmetics of the interior are very important and since all the linings and back braces are also mahogany, it looks really nice as well.

Vacuum bag forming the sides over a solid Baltic birch form.


Gluing the mahogany braces to the back in the go-deck bar.

Face-plate selected (#2). We went with #2 b/c it was the best color match and also had the sapwood.

Between the circles on the go bar deck and the Ziricote I had to take some Dramamine to keep from getting motion sickness LOL!

Nemoman 01-12-2021 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WilbornGuitars (Post 6601960)
Like a very evil version of Woody! Unfortunately, the string posts are going to pretty much come through those eyes, which will ruin the effect. But ziricote is very much given to producing fairytale looking faces. I made a guitar once that looked exactly like Treebeard from The Lord of the Rings was peering out of the back.

I also noticed that #3 has the direct advantage of having your headstock diamond built in! :D

jklotz 01-12-2021 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemoman (Post 6602610)
I also noticed that #3 has the direct advantage of having your headstock diamond built in! :D

Yea, and the truss rod cover!

mikealpine 01-12-2021 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemoman (Post 6602610)
I also noticed that #3 has the direct advantage of having your headstock diamond built in! :D

So funny, this was my thought too!

invguy921 01-14-2021 09:09 PM

Gorgeous indeed. There's not a wood out there that is prettier than Ziricote. Love it

Jamiejoon 01-15-2021 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by invguy921 (Post 6604884)
Gorgeous indeed. There's not a wood out there that is prettier than Ziricote. Love it

Amen to that, Mike! I have a ziricote guitar, and I am always admiring it. Sounds great too!

Ukulele_Eddie 01-15-2021 05:13 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Some more photos from the always industrious Ben. Other than the bridge plate not being straight ;-), it looks soooo cleanly executed.

I shared with Ben that I had a uke made by a very famous classical guitar builder ($10K+ guitars). It sounded fantastic, but it looked like it was slopped together by a second grader. The guy who sold me the uke said he had three of the luthier's classical guitars and they were also sloppy.

A lot of people don't care about anything but playability and tone. For me, those are necessary but not sufficient reasons to covet an instrument. A lot of my enjoyment from finely crafted instruments is based on the gorgeous woods and fine execution of the builder. Ben is meticulous and I really appreciate the results. It's just gorgeous.

Nemoman 01-15-2021 05:22 PM

Ben definitely builds a supremely clean instrument! No slop on a Wilborn build!

His top bracing on the Arum has evolved a bit since my original one. I'm curious about the short little horizontal brace above the bridge plate?

The build is really looking awesome so far, Eddie!

WilbornGuitars 01-15-2021 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemoman (Post 6605615)

I'm curious about the short little horizontal brace above the bridge plate?

Ever evolving is right. That little ladder brace is to counteract a tendency to form a shallow cup right there under string tension. Really, just a cosmetic fix. This same sort of thing tends to happen on an X brace guitar just north of the bridge
in the little triangle below the junction of the X. On X brace guitars, I usually put a little cross piece there as well.

TomB'sox 01-16-2021 10:45 AM

We are all so OCD haha. I thought it looked like the carbon fiber rod insertion point into the side support block looks lower than before forming less of an angle? By lower of course, I mean closer to the top which I guess technically would be higher. I am sure that confused no one!


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