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-   -   MARK BLANCHARD Bristlecone [Italian Spruce | Brazilian Rosewood] (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=596397)

justonwo 04-13-2021 06:01 PM

Great looking guitar! You must be excited.

eKat 04-14-2021 09:02 AM

DONE DEAL, DOOD!
 
Hi, guys.

I've been postin' up photos of the build of Bob's Blanchard Bristlecone (whoa - say that fast 10 times) on my FaceBook page and they've been a real hit.

Here's the final post in case you might want to check it out.

It's PUBLIC right now but it won't be that way until the end of time.

SO. . . here's what's undoubtedly going to be a huge URL:

https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=...eric&ref=notif

Bob, thanks for letting me crash your thread. May you have the time of your life breaking this puppy in. It's really beautiful!

iim7V7IM7 04-14-2021 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by eKat (Post 6690380)
Hi, guys.

I've been postin' up photos of the build of Bob's Blanchard Bristlecone (whoa - say that fast 10 times) on my FaceBook page and they've been a real hit.

Here's the final post in case you might want to check it out.

It's PUBLIC right now but it won't be that way until the end of time.

SO. . . here's what's undoubtedly going to be a huge URL:

https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=...eric&ref=notif

Bob, thanks for letting me crash your thread. May you have the time of your life breaking this puppy in. It's really beautiful!

Kathy, this is my second Blanchard guitar (my other is a Pinyon that Mark built for me 7-years ago). Mark's guitars are responsive, balanced and have a unique timbre with fat, round trebles that I have really bonded with. I own a number of other custom flattops by other luthiers and surprise, surprise... they all have different signature timbres! I like them all for different reasons, but they are all different. People's perception of these differences is of course heterogeneous and somewhat subjective.

What I try to do in these “build threads” is to try to unveil subtle differences in how guitars are uniquely designed and built to help begin to explain the diversity of sounds that we all experience. Forums like this one on AGF tend to focus on beautiful woods, artful decoration and novel design/features. I like these aspects as much as the next guitarist, but I also try to highlight “what” is going on beneath the hood and to touch upon the “why” underpinning certain decisions.

Most luthiers who started building > 25 years ago, learned their craft in isolation and developed their own unique approaches unless they apprenticed for someone else (minority). Today, this is less true amongst younger builders. This is driven by the advent of lutherie schools, the availability of tools/fixtures/materials from supply houses and the proliferation information on the internet.

Over the last 6-years, Mark (and some other talented luthiers) has been extremely generous in sharing his time and approaches for building instruments. I hope that this thread serves as an information source for anyone considering commissioning a custom instrument from Mark. I should get the guitar late next week and I will of course share my impressions with the forum.

eKat 04-14-2021 12:12 PM

Yeah, Bob. . . I know this is your 2nd Blanchard. . . remember, I'm the one who had to ship a ton of tops to him back then. HA!

Feel free to click into that FB link and read my final post on #2. It's fun to see how people are responding to it. Another multi-Blanchard client has even posted up shots of his OldSkool Braz Bristlecone.

I dig it!

I'm really looking forward to hearing how you like #2. I hope you love it as much as my FB friends do. They can't seem to get enough!

La Conner will be back in 2022. I hope lots of guys get out here to connect with the small shop builders. It's been a long time. Everybody needs to be surrounded by magnificent hand built guitars right now and that's a top notch show.

Keep the magic alive, Bob.

iim7V7IM7 04-14-2021 12:49 PM

Kath, there are actually two luthier shows scheduled ahead of La Conner next year.

The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase (Woodstock, NY) is scheduled for October 2021 and despite COVID's best efforts there is a chance that it will happen! I think luthiers will need to make sure that they have "Purel Proof" neck finishes...:). Additionally, the Artisan Guitar Show (Harrisburg, PA) is scheduled for April 2022 as well.

I am planning on attending both should they happen and I will have Mark's guitar with me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by eKat (Post 6690568)
Yeah, Bob. . . I know this is your 2nd Blanchard. . . remember, I'm the one who had to ship a ton of tops to him back then. HA!

Feel free to click into that FB link and read my final post on #2. It's fun to see how people are responding to it. Another multi-Blanchard client has even posted up shots of his OldSkool Braz Bristlecone.

I dig it!

I'm really looking forward to hearing how you like #2. I hope you love it as much as my FB friends do. They can't seem to get enough!

La Conner will be back in 2022. I hope lots of guys get out here to connect with the small shop builders. It's been a long time. Everybody needs to be surrounded by magnificent hand built guitars right now and that's a top notch show.

Keep the magic alive, Bob.


eKat 04-14-2021 03:52 PM

Guitar Fesitval Revival!
 
Yay, Bob!

I'm thrilled that these shows are gettin' fired up, again. They're good for the industry all the way around. There's nuttin' better'n a room full of ultra creative people focusing on shared passions; builders as well as players.

Glad to hear you'll be schleppin' a Blanchard along for the ride. Somehow I get the feeling it will be much appreciated.

iim7V7IM7 04-18-2021 06:25 PM

Heading East
 
Always my favorite shot...:)

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...FCDBA3DB1D.png

dcn 04-18-2021 06:58 PM

Alright! Hopefully another dream comes true as it comes home.

cigarfan 04-19-2021 04:43 AM

Excellent!

eKat 04-19-2021 06:59 AM

Nuttin' like an unmarked, totally boring cardboard box that SCREAMS to those who know!

WOW.

Have fun with the unboxing!

iim7V7IM7 04-23-2021 03:02 PM

Arrival
 
My Bristlecone has arrived safely from the High Sierras just in time for a weekend of fun...:up:. More to say and share this weekend after we get to know each other a bit...:)

iim7V7IM7 04-24-2021 10:28 AM

One Hour In...
 
I was able to sit down for an hour this morning to begin to get to know my new Bristlecone. Here are my initial impressions

LOOKS:
The level of fit and finish of Mark’s wood working, purfling miters, finish application, fretwork and setup are all executed with mastery. I also think the elegant lines of his design, quartersawn woods that he chose with simple mottled Koa purflings and contrasting Macassar Ebony bindings looks great! The Brazilian Rosewood, while not visually dramatic, is the stable, quartersawn “stuff” we see so rarely these days. The custom Macassar Ebony buttons on the Gotoh tuners was a nice touch.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...D9AED29F7.jpeg

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...C5CE5D807.jpeg

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...09886971E.jpeg

FEEL:
The guitar is 15-1/4” at the lower bout (a touch larger than an OM) but feels smaller due to the 1” Manzer Wedge with the depth at the lower bout measuring only 3-1/2” on the low E string side of the lower bout, but 4-1/2” on the high E string side. The guitar is not light for its size, nor is it heavy, weighing 4.18 pounds. The continuous contour cutaway allows for easy access to the upper fretboard and his setup provides strong notes even in the upper register. Mark’s standard neck profile feels great to my hand as well.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...6090EB6A9.jpeg

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...7A2B5D1BB.jpeg

SOUND:
It is always difficult to describe tone, but I will try to describe it for you. Like all of Mark’s guitars that I have played, it is responsive to touch, is balanced across the strings and delivers fat trebles with authority. The guitar presents strong fundamentals with string-to-string clarity and is not awash with overtones as some guitars made with glassy, low damping hardwoods can tend to be. The overtones are there, but in a supportive manner, letting the fundamentals do the talking. The back is definitely playing an “active” role, interacting with the top which you tell most profoundly by keeping it away from your body when playing it.

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...71A00C917.jpeg

WORKING WITH MARK:
Mark was a dream to work with throughout the process, from his initial discussions with me to specify the guitar, asking my input on decorative and player preferences, to communicating status as he built it and delivering a wonderful instrument on time.

mhw48 04-24-2021 05:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 (Post 6699209)

https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...71A00C917.jpeg

WORKING WITH MARK:
Mark was a dream to work with throughout the process, from his initial discussions with me to specify the guitar, asking my input on decorative and player preferences, to communicating status as he built it and delivering a wonderful instrument on time.

That is a happy looking guy!
Congratulations on a beautiful looking instrument, and -- from your description -- beautiful sounding as well.

Nemoman 04-24-2021 06:56 PM

Congrats on your beautiful new Blanchard, Bob!

Many thanks for taking us along on this informative ride...

Enjoy!

cigarfan 04-25-2021 04:12 AM

Thanks for the report. Sure is lovely. Congrats Bob!


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