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-   -   Casimi C1 Custom Signature African Blackwood / Moon Spruce (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=631322)

Michael Watts 11-13-2021 04:03 AM

Casimi C1 Custom Signature African Blackwood / Moon Spruce
 
Hello everyone

It has been quite a while since I last posted a build thread here but I've enjoyed watching so many beautiful instruments coming to completion. I hope you will join me on this journey - my new Casimi C1 Signature!

I have loved the work of Matthias Roux and Matthew Rice of Casimi Guitars in Cape Town South Africa for many years and I am very excited to finally own an example of their sublime work.


https://i.imgur.com/XiGlelY.jpg

Here's one I borrowed a while ago

There is a little more information on this guitar in this video which I just uploaded to my YouTube Channel - There is also some electric content (I just love the look of the Tosin Abasi's designs), a ravishing acoustic by Tyler Robbins, heartbreakingly beautiful archtops by LHT Guitars and John Monteleone and finally a look at the new Casimi C1.





in the meantime I'll get the ball rolling with the set of African Blackwood I chose for this instrument - I went for straight grain with a flash of sapwood.


https://i.imgur.com/HAMdGOz.jpg


And here is the photoshop mockup that first inspired this build


https://i.imgur.com/J2hqvtA.jpg


You may be wondering if my existing relationship with Jason Kostal has changed. It has not. Nor will it. Jason's work will always be a vital part of what I do and in many ways this Casimi guitar will reflect and pay tribute to that fact

And no, that does not mean it will have stained glass inlay all over it...

That's all for now but there will be more as we progress

All the best

Michael

MThomson 11-13-2021 05:13 AM

Congratulations Michael. They are stunning guitars in all respects and this looks like no exception to the exceptional. Enjoy every minute of the journey.

Dustinfurlow 11-13-2021 05:56 AM

Congrats! This will be loads of fun to follow and no doubt a treat to hear upon completion. Very exciting.

TomB'sox 11-13-2021 08:07 AM

Color me jealous. I love their work, but alas, they are a little out of my reach I fear. Maybe we will see each other again someday and I will get a chance to play it! As for Jason, he has already reached out to me, wondering if I would like to fill the void you are leaving behind, but in the end I doubt that my complete mastery of the first position cowboy chords will be quite enough for that role!!!

nootis 11-13-2021 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomB'sox (Post 6855227)
Color me jealous. I love their work, but alas, they are a little out of my reach I fear. Maybe we will see each other again someday and I will get a chance to play it! As for Jason, he has already reached out to me, wondering if I would like to fill the void you are leaving behind, but in the end I doubt that my complete mastery of the first position cowboy chords will be quite enough for that role!!!

Hey now! First position cowboy chords sound quite lovely on a bespoke guitar IMHO.

Michael, I'm excited to see this thread. I too have been drooling over Casimi guitars for a while now. Congratulations! I think the best way to pay homage to Jason would be to have him demo it for us.

iim7V7IM7 11-13-2021 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Watts (Post 6855110)

You may be wondering if my existing relationship with Jason Kostal has changed. It has not. Nor will it. Jason's work will always be a vital part of what I do and in many ways this Casimi guitar will reflect and pay tribute to that fact

And no, that does not mean it will have stained glass inlay all over it...

Not at all.

Many of us own guitars by more than one luthier and remain the best of friends with them…:). Different guitars made by a variety of makers can make a player feel differently when playing a piece and it can open up new areas of musical exploration.

The African BW set is lovely and when paired with an Andreas Florinett spruce top crafted by Matthias it should make for a superlative instrument.

There is an interesting luthier lineage behind Matthias:

Art Overholtzer > Bruce McGuire > Richard Hoover > Marc Maingard > Matthias Roux (Cal State Chico in the 1960s to South Africa today!).

I look forward to watching this guitar come together over Matthias & Matthew’s shoulders…:up:

Michael Watts 11-13-2021 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MThomson (Post 6855133)
Congratulations Michael. They are stunning guitars in all respects and this looks like no exception to the exceptional. Enjoy every minute of the journey.

Thank you very much! I have high expectations for this instrument but that is based purely on what I know Matthew and Matthias are capable of.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dustinfurlow (Post 6855145)
Congrats! This will be loads of fun to follow and no doubt a treat to hear upon completion. Very exciting.

Thank you Dustin! I have enjoyed watching the creation of your Taran guitar - I hope I'll get the chance to meet it and you at some point!

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomB'sox (Post 6855227)
Color me jealous. I love their work, but alas, they are a little out of my reach I fear. Maybe we will see each other again someday and I will get a chance to play it! As for Jason, he has already reached out to me, wondering if I would like to fill the void you are leaving behind, but in the end I doubt that my complete mastery of the first position cowboy chords will be quite enough for that role!!!

Oh Captain my Captain!

Thank you so much for your kind words Tom. i hope all is well with you and the family.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nootis (Post 6855429)
Hey now! First position cowboy chords sound quite lovely on a bespoke guitar IMHO.

Michael, I'm excited to see this thread. I too have been drooling over Casimi guitars for a while now. Congratulations! I think the best way to pay homage to Jason would be to have him demo it for us.

Thank you very much Dan! Ha, I will always look forward to hearing Jason play this, or indeed any, guitar. He's one of my favourite players!

Quote:

Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 (Post 6855460)
Not at all.

Many of us own guitars by more than one luthier and remain the best of friends with them…:). Different guitars made by a variety of makers can make a player feel differently when playing a piece and it can open up new areas of musical exploration.

The African BW set is lovely and when paired with an Andreas Florinett spruce top crafted by Matthias it should make for a superlative instrument.

There is an interesting luthier lineage behind Matthias:

Art Overholtzer > Bruce McGuire > Richard Hoover > Marc Maingard > Matthias Roux (Cal State Chico in the 1960s to South Africa today!).

I look forward to watching this guitar come together over Matthias & Matthew’s shoulders…:up:

You're absolutely right about the lineage of Casimi Guitars. Matthew Rice also apprenticed with Maingard and prior to that he was a professional jeweller which explains the sublime inlay work typical of a Casimi instrument.

Speaking of the African Blackwood here's a closer look at the set

https://i.imgur.com/x53N7zN.jpg

I was very grateful that Matthew and Matthias let me select a set from their incredible stash of ABW.

https://i.imgur.com/wye1Thj.jpg

As we progress I'll share more about the sonic goals for this guitar and how Casimi are approaching meeting these. It's a pleasure to speak with luthiers who understand the importance of every single detail.

TRose 11-13-2021 01:28 PM

I watched your video yesterday and enjoyed it. I look forward to watching your Casimi guitar being built almost as much as I anticipate hearing you play it!
Cheers,
Tom

K Trespass 11-13-2021 02:20 PM

Great news Michael.

There is definitely room for a Casimi and a Kostal. Both exquisite but different.

Are you going fan fret?

Greg

Guitars44me 11-13-2021 03:58 PM

Yay
 
Congratulations! Play some Elvis on it ASAP…. Hahahaha

Looking forward to this thread. I have my drool towel handy.

Cheers

Paul

Michael Watts 11-14-2021 05:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TRose (Post 6855501)
I watched your video yesterday and enjoyed it. I look forward to watching your Casimi guitar being built almost as much as I anticipate hearing you play it!
Cheers,
Tom

Thank you for watching Tom, that means a lot to me! I'm really looking forward to seeing where this new voice will take me. It's very exciting.

Quote:

Originally Posted by K Trespass (Post 6855529)
Great news Michael.

There is definitely room for a Casimi and a Kostal. Both exquisite but different.

Are you going fan fret?

Greg

Thank you so much Greg and yes I quite agree, Casimi and Kostal guitars are the perfect foils for one another for what I play.

In this case I'm keeping things straight - no fan. I look forward to sharing more detaisl with you as we go!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Guitars44me (Post 6855589)
Congratulations! Play some Elvis on it ASAP…. Hahahaha

Looking forward to this thread. I have my drool towel handy.

Cheers

Paul

A drool towel! That's a strong image Paul! Elvis covers? That's all I do!

I hope you're keeping well my friend

cigarfan 11-14-2021 06:08 AM

OMG! ABW on a Casimi! You are one lucky man! :)

Looking forward to following your journey and very much forward to hearing you work your magic on the guitar. Gonna have to stoke one up in your honor today!

Jeff Mc 11-14-2021 07:16 AM

One thing this forum does is educate me about luthiers that I had never heard of before. Not sure if that is a good thing or not.;)

Dustinfurlow 11-14-2021 07:21 AM

Very cool about Matthew having a background in fine jewelry, makes total sense. Btw, that set of ABW is primo as they come, congrats again ;)

Bill Kraus 11-14-2021 07:23 AM

Unique designs!, and a nice stash of blackwood there. This will be a fun one to watch, I am interested to see the bracing style that will be used.

Michael Watts 11-14-2021 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cigarfan (Post 6855900)
OMG! ABW on a Casimi! You are one lucky man! :)

Looking forward to following your journey and very much forward to hearing you work your magic on the guitar. Gonna have to stoke one up in your honor today!

Thank you so much my friend! I certainly celebrated in much the same way!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Mc (Post 6855940)
One thing this forum does is educate me about luthiers that I had never heard of before. Not sure if that is a good thing or not.;)

Hi Jeff! I'm very glad to hear that, and you know what? Since 2008 when I first joined this forum has been a vital resource for me too!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dustinfurlow (Post 6855944)
Very cool about Matthew having a background in fine jewelry, makes total sense. Btw, that set of ABW is primo as they come, congrats again ;)

Thank you so much Dustin! The guys were very generous and offered me my choice of the finest sets they had. There was some spectacular wood in there but for me any member of the rosewood family deserves straight grain.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Kraus (Post 6855945)
Unique designs!, and a nice stash of blackwood there. This will be a fun one to watch, I am interested to see the bracing style that will be used.

Thank you Bill! The bracing will be a hybrid lattice. This is what works for me and I haven't owned an instrument without this bracing for over a decade now.

You can find out more about the evolution of Casimi in this episode from the first season of Luthiers Stories. I hope you enjoy it!


mikealpine 11-14-2021 07:08 PM

Hi Michael, hope all is well! Sam and I missed you at BIG. Hope you make it back over here at some point!

This looks like it will be an amazing build, can’t wait to see it come together!

Michael Watts 11-15-2021 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikealpine (Post 6856451)
Hi Michael, hope all is well! Sam and I missed you at BIG. Hope you make it back over here at some point!

This looks like it will be an amazing build, can’t wait to see it come together!


Thank you Mike! Great to hear from you and yes, I missed you guys too but I hope I’ll see you soon!

SprintBob 11-16-2021 03:32 AM

Congrats Mr. Watts and thanks for sharing this journey with us. Looking forward to all the upcoming pics and details.

Nemoman 11-16-2021 10:00 AM

What a cool build and a long time in coming.

I saw from the Casimi Guitars post on FB that this is the first non-cutaway C1S they've done--any specific reason for going with a non-cutaway?

Thanks for sharing the journey with us!

Michael Watts 11-16-2021 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SprintBob (Post 6857308)
Congrats Mr. Watts and thanks for sharing this journey with us. Looking forward to all the upcoming pics and details.

Thank you very much! There will be much to share as we progress!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemoman (Post 6857495)
What a cool build and a long time in coming.

I saw from the Casimi Guitars post on FB that this is the first non-cutaway C1S they've done--any specific reason for going with a non-cutaway?

Thanks for sharing the journey with us!

Thank you so much Nemoman!

You're absolutely right, this will be the first non-cutaway guitar that Casimi have ever made. There are several reasons for that which I'll go into at a later date - the main one being that I like trying new things and I haven't owned a non-cutaway acoustic guitar since the late 90s! Actually it was the photoshop mock-up that sealed the deal... it's just so beautiful...

jt1 11-16-2021 04:04 PM

Very cool, Michael!

As for some of those other guitars on your list, only the cool kids get to play them. :)

https://scontent-bos3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...6e&oe=61BA188F

Knives&Guitars 11-16-2021 08:22 PM

All I can say is You Deserve this Guitar! And this Guitar deserves your incredible style of playing.
Looking forward to hearing the new tunes this guitar will bring out of you. Even the tiniest differences between guitars, lead to new territories of creativity.
Can't wait to hear you play it. A super big Congratulations.
Approximately how long will it take to be built?

Deft Tungsman 11-17-2021 01:59 AM

This is very exciting news, Michael!!

Having watched the video a few times, I remember your trip to South Africa quite well. You've certainly found a killer team to build your first new guitar in quite a while. And while the Casimi cutaway is a thing of great beauty, so is the non-cutaway mock-up.

(By the way, I've never seen a guitar strung .053, .042, .032, .032, .042. and .053 low to mid to low, but I guess a man of your stature knows a guy who knows a guy who can source esoteric sets for the discerning player...;))

Michael Watts 11-17-2021 02:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jt1 (Post 6857780)
Very cool, Michael!

As for some of those other guitars on your list, only the cool kids get to play them. :)

https://scontent-bos3-1.xx.fbcdn.net...6e&oe=61BA188F

Ok look, there is access and then there is ACCESS! The fact that you are playing the guitar with a thumbpick while plugged into a wall of 100w Marshall stacks (not shown obviously but I remember the vibrations coming through the floor) is testament to that fact.

Great to hear from you JT - I hope you're well!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knives&Guitars (Post 6857911)
All I can say is You Deserve this Guitar! And this Guitar deserves your incredible style of playing.
Looking forward to hearing the new tunes this guitar will bring out of you. Even the tiniest differences between guitars, lead to new territories of creativity.
Can't wait to hear you play it. A super big Congratulations.
Approximately how long will it take to be built?

Thank you so much, that means a lot to me. I've certainly found Casimi instruments to work on a completely different level to anything else I've played in terms of nuance, spectrum and power.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deft Tungsman (Post 6858010)
This is very exciting news, Michael!!

Having watched the video a few times, I remember your trip to South Africa quite well. You've certainly found a killer team to build your first new guitar in quite a while. And while the Casimi cutaway is a thing of great beauty, so is the non-cutaway mock-up.

(By the way, I've never seen a guitar strung .053, .042, .032, .032, .042. and .053 low to mid to low, but I guess a man of your stature knows a guy who knows a guy who can source esoteric sets for the discerning player...;))

Ha ha! Yes, the search for symmetry in all things continues to frustrate me, I may have to "compromise" with a standard set of Elixirs...

jt1 11-17-2021 01:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Watts (Post 6858011)
Ok look, there is access and then there is ACCESS! The fact that you are playing the guitar with a thumbpick while plugged into a wall of 100w Marshall stacks (not shown obviously but I remember the vibrations coming through the floor) is testament to that fact.

Great to hear from you JT - I hope you're well!

Great to hear from you, too.

Life is pretty good (only "pretty," in a very non-pretty way, because my prostate cancer has returned with a vengeance and I'm now mid-week 4 of 8 weeks of daily radiation).

Some day I'll tell you about John letting me play through his 4 Seasons guitars before the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited them. What a day. :)

Jwills57 11-17-2021 08:01 PM

Hey, Michael--Looks like you're going to get a beautiful guitar. I've listened to quite a few Casimi Guitars sound clips, which were all wonderful. Seems like quite a modern, open, resonant, lush voice, in a good way. I was just wondering and have been a bit curious of whatever became of your fingerstyle archtop journey. Weren't you having a guitar built by the Canadian luthier Thierry Andre? Has the journey been completed, interrupted, cancelled? Any news you can share? Thanks and Best, Jack

Larry Pattis 11-18-2021 05:56 PM

Oh, man.

[emoji171][emoji898]🥂[emoji122]

Michael Watts 11-20-2021 03:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jt1 (Post 6858387)
Great to hear from you, too.

Some day I'll tell you about John letting me play through his 4 Seasons guitars before the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited them. What a day. :)

I look forward to hearing that story and as for the rest, stay strong and be kind to yourself. We must catch up soon. Can we aim for a call this coming week?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jwills57 (Post 6858651)
Hey, Michael--Looks like you're going to get a beautiful guitar. I've listened to quite a few Casimi Guitars sound clips, which were all wonderful. Seems like quite a modern, open, resonant, lush voice, in a good way. I was just wondering and have been a bit curious of whatever became of your fingerstyle archtop journey. Weren't you having a guitar built by the Canadian luthier Thierry Andre? Has the journey been completed, interrupted, cancelled? Any news you can share? Thanks and Best, Jack

Thank you Jack! Modern, open, lush, resonant - these are defining characteristics of the Casimi sound and I will go further into that as we go along. You're right about the Thierry Andre guitar - I will update in a video soon!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Larry Pattis (Post 6859395)
Oh, man.

[emoji171][emoji898]��[emoji122]

Ha! Thank you Larry!

In the meantime, is it even official until you change your lock screen?

https://i.imgur.com/AZDwBEA.jpg

Michael Watts 01-13-2022 03:34 PM

Right guys, first off happy new year to you all - I hope 2022 is a gentle one for all of us!

Here is the first episode of my video diary documenting the creation of this guitar - I really hope you enjoy it!



Here is a look at the new mould that has been made for this guitar

https://i.imgur.com/HVEWb2v.jpg

And as a bonus here is a look at the African Blackwood outer sides and Wengé inner sides of the guitar in the raw.

https://i.imgur.com/ShUU4ap.jpg

All the best

Michael


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