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-   -   Build Thread: Circa OM Adi Spruce and Madagascar RW (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=288812)

usb_chord 03-25-2013 07:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justonwo (Post 3410816)
I will also be doing what I can to play more Circas to jog my tonal memory.

Jim and Al were gracious enough to allow me to play their Circas and I learned a lot from the experience. Try to get a hold of Jim's 00, if he doesn't mind. I've also played the HGF one and I actually like his a little bit more (both were otherworldly).

It'd be really interesting for you to play that one side-by-side with his Adi/ Madrose OM. That was one brute of an OM. Vintage through and through! It has a VERY strong fundamental with a massive low-end. Tons of power and projection. I can't imagine you connecting with the OM nearly as much as his 00, which I thought was pretty "modern" by comparison. That's a testament to John's skills as a tone sculptor, for sure. Al's 00 Euro/Maple is in the top 3 of best guitars I've ever played. His most recent 000 is over the top. As far as I'm concerned, John's last name is Allstate. You're in good hands..

Teleplucker 03-25-2013 07:44 AM

"John's last name is Allstate. You're in good hands.. "

That's a good one!

Jschlueter 03-25-2013 07:57 AM

I played one of John's guitars and loved it! It was not the same specs as yours but if the guitar I played is any indication of his skill (which I believe it is) then you are going to have an awesome guitar! I would honestly place his guitar as one of my personal top three that I have ever played.

Fsgeek 03-25-2013 10:20 AM

Ive only played one, an earlier build.... I liked it, probably its among the 10 best acoustics I have played, and I have tried a lot... lol

Almost had a build also...

Hope this time you get the guitar you want:)

justonwo 07-21-2013 09:03 AM

I've been going back and forth between commissioning a 000-12 and 00-12. My main thinking here is to get some of the great trebles and mids of a 00-12 but with a bit more bass. With the 000-12 reviews from TAMCO, I'm definitely intrigued. Anyone out there with experience on both body styles from Circa?

racman 07-21-2013 10:13 AM

I am looking forward to seeing this come together Juston.

usb_chord 07-21-2013 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justonwo (Post 3555025)
I've been going back and forth between commissioning a 000-12 and 00-12. My main thinking here is to get some of the great trebles and mids of a 00-12 but with a bit more bass. With the 000-12 reviews from TAMCO, I'm definitely intrigued. Anyone out there with experience on both body styles from Circa?

Both will have great trebles and mids. The big thing that separates 00s and 000s for me is increased clarity. To me his 00s have a quicker response and little less air. Those things appeal to me for recording/repertoire reasons.


One thing I think should be mentioned here is that going with a 00 from John doesnt mean you can't have an equally amazing low-end. His are the most powerful and versatile of that body size I've ever played. When I AB'd Al Petteway's 00 and 000, we both felt the 00 had more low end. Of course, that's not always the case - the 000 I played at schoenberg's was best played on the bench outside to avoid knocking his shop down.

Another thing to consider is ...would the 00 be more likely to fill a void than the 000 would?

JoeCharter 07-21-2013 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by usb_chord (Post 3555091)
The big thing that separates 00s and 000s for me is increased clarity. To me his 00s have a quicker response and little less air. Those things appeal to me for recording/repertoire reasons.

Quote:

Originally Posted by usb_chord (Post 3555091)
Another thing to consider is ...would the 00 be more likely to fill a void than the 000 would?

Those are two of my primary thoughts as well.

If I could own only one guitar, the odds are that I would pick the 000.

But as Brian points out, I do find smaller guitars to be fun to record with. And since I already have a bunch of larger guitars, I decided to go with an 0 for my Circa.

justonwo 07-21-2013 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeCharter (Post 3555108)
Those are two of my primary thoughts as well.

If I could own only one guitar, the odds are that I would pick the 000.

But as Brian points out, I do find smaller guitars to be fun to record with. And since I already have a bunch of larger guitars, I decided to go with an 0 for my Circa.

Yeah, I noticed you switched to a 0 from a 00. I don't know how much recording I'll be doing. The 00 is most likely to fill a void, though I have a feeling any Circa 12 fret would do that. Decisions decisions.

BenjaminPaldacci 07-21-2013 04:26 PM

Nice African BW! It comes from Allied Lutherie, isn't it? :)

justonwo 07-21-2013 09:38 PM

I'm not sure where the African Blackwood came from.

I did quite a bit of research today at Schoenberg guitars, playing 00-12 and 000-12 guitars by various makers. I found I definitely gravitate toward the larger 000-12 (see my Schoenberg thread). I was also surprised at some of the back and side woods I was digging (koa and sapele). I finally got what people say when they talk about the warmth of mahogany. Usually, I just think of it as a "dry" tonewood, but when it's used right it sounds great. It's different than rosewood, but very satisfying.

Seems like a also found I really like the "vintage" voiced 000 guitars as well, so perhaps this modern interpretation of vintage 000 sound is over-thinking it. Lots to chew on here . . .

usb_chord 07-22-2013 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justonwo (Post 3555684)
...so perhaps this modern interpretation of vintage 000 sound is over-thinking it.

Happens to the best of us. ;)

justonwo 10-11-2013 01:44 PM

My thinking has definitely evolved after several trips to Schoenberg. I can't believe they've been there all these years and I never bothered to stop by! I've discovered, having played a wide variety of guitars in that style, that I really like the vintage Martin sound. I guess the conventional wisdom is that vintage Martins are more fundamental-focused - dry sounding even, and are lacking for overtones. Maybe that's true, but to my ear they have wonderful note separation and complexity nonetheless. It happens to be a guitar style that works well with my playing style.

I've also discovered at Schoenberg - again, having played many examples - that I'm a big fan of koa and mahogany. There's more to the guitar world than rosewood - go figure! I've also discovered, and developed a real taste for, Adirondack spruce as a top wood. Most of the guitars I end up playing/trying tend to have Euro or Sitka. I really enjoy the power and projection I hear on Adi-topped guitars.

So in light of my discoveries and my experience with several different OMs, 000s, 00s, etc, I've decided to point John in a more traditional direction. I've also discovered that I ever so slightly prefer the 000-12 to the 00-12, though it's a difficult choice between the two.

After a few discussions with John over the past few months, we've changed the spec piecewise, and now it appears we're ending up in a much different place than we started. Thanks in large part to all of the great examples of Martin builds (and actual Martins) at Schoenberg, and their awesome staff of course.

John and I have decided to spec the guitar with an Adirondack spruce top and Tasmanian Blackwood back and sides. He feels Tasmanian Blackwood can often sound much like koa but that it takes a cutaway bend more easily than koa. I have been very impressed by two koa guitars I've played at Schoenberg - a 000-12 Schoenberg built by Bruce Sexauer with Carpathian and koa and a 000-12 Eichelbaum with Adi and koa.

I think John's wood recommendations will result in a stellar guitar. And I think you can put me firmly in the camp of those who appreciate the vintage Martin sound.

racman 10-11-2013 02:08 PM

Looking forward to watching this one come together Juston.

Strangely enough, I have also recently been enticed by mahogany as well ...

Burton LeGeyt 10-11-2013 02:15 PM

Mahogany and Adirondack are a match made in heaven-

I had the vintage AHA moment last year at Woodstock getting to play a whole group of pre war Martins (all perfectly setup) in a row and against another amazing group of modern guitars. The older instruments were incredible, and when setup correctly not tubby, or quiet, muddled etc... They were direct and warm and just amazing. It changed a lot of thinking for me.

justonwo 10-11-2013 02:18 PM

Agreed, my Adi/Mahogany Brondel is an absolute thing of beauty and has really resulted in a total paradigm shift for me on tonewoods. Power, projection, note separation, but still with a pleasing complexity and musicality. Breathtaking.

Here's an example of the Tasmanian Blackwood, by the way. As well as an example of what my guitar is likely to look like in the end.


http://jus-tone.com/misc/circa/Tas_Blackwood.jpeg

http://www.jus-tone.com/index_files/image1466.jpg

http://www.jus-tone.com/index_files/image14121.jpg

http://www.jus-tone.com/index_files/image14671.jpg

jackaroo 10-11-2013 04:31 PM

Wow! you've drifted a fair bit from where you were you were when this all began.

I'm left wondering what I was after I read this a while back...Why not pick up a nice 00-18 from 1926-1932? Those guitars are incredible! They cost about 6-7 K so I'd wager the cost is just about parallel with John Slobod's new build.

I think the custom build route makes sense when:

The guitar exists already so you don't have to wonder if you'll like it.

The guitar you want has features that are NOT available.

The guitar you want is a reproduction of a guitar that is just way, way out of reach financially.

You can afford to take a big hit on resale if you don't bond with the commissioned instrument.

Obviously it's your money and privilege to do what you want with it...this is just my perspective.

I see you're looking for the cutaway...so that falls within my guidelines. I've heard great things about Slobod. Coincidentally, a friend owns Petteways maple 00 that everyone is talking about here and says it's a very special instrument. I'd wager whatever happens you're in for a treat! Just the same having a nice old Martin from the late 20's through the late 30's is never a bad thing. I love the few I'm lucky enough to own.

Lastly...I can't imagine wanting a guitar with more overtones than my 00-18. It's just about perfect.


Disclaimer:waiting for 4 custom builds this year! I own a lot of old vintage guitars...

justonwo 10-11-2013 05:30 PM

I'm glad I meet your guidelines. Why the thumb's down?

jackaroo 10-11-2013 05:39 PM

Now now....

No thumbs down, and that's just one guys opinion. No need to get like that.

In fact it makes sense, you want a cutaway right? They never made an old Martin with a cutaway...so go the custom route.

I'm excited for you, and the new build...but you did point out that after doing the legwork over in Tiburon, it turns out that you DO like the old Martin sound...kinda begs the ? "Why not get an old Martin? "

Whatever you do I'm glad you're happy, so congrats!

jackaroo 10-11-2013 06:08 PM

Weird...I just saw that red thumbs down. I had no idea that was there!

Ill see if I can edit it out. I feel silly now.


J

jackaroo 10-11-2013 06:09 PM

Done!
Sorry for that.

J

justonwo 10-11-2013 06:34 PM

Stupid emoticons. :)

justonwo 04-25-2014 05:50 PM

Well, with the acquisition of my Euro/koa Montuoro 000-12 in December, John and I revisited the idea of a Adi/Tas 000-12 and felt there would probably be too much overlap. So we have changed course . . . again . . . a lot can happen in 2 years, I suppose. Repeated trips to Schoenberg have really changed my acoustic guitar preferences.

So it'll be a 00-12 cutaway (slot head) with Adirondack and Madagascar rosewood, style 42. I asked John to take the liberty to voice it the way he thinks best. 00-12s are a particular specialty of his, and I know it will sound fantastic. Here's a really cool 00-12 of John's at Luthiers Collection.

http://www.luthierscollection.com/gimages/circa5a.jpg

http://www.luthierscollection.com/gimages/circa5b.jpg

http://www.luthierscollection.com/gimages/circa5c.jpg

http://www.luthierscollection.com/gimages/circa5e.jpg

JohnM 04-26-2014 09:42 AM

John is as good of a builder as there is. Barre none. PERIOD.

That said when someone wants all these very particular tonal goals and is banking on hitting them all it becomes very hard to please. We can control a great many things with some degree of certainty but to assure that everything is coming out just as wanted is a road that leads to some sort of disappointment. Sorry but there is an element of luck in there too. That element is diminished to an extent by experience and John has a wealth of that and skill, but if it were me I wouldn't promise someone all those things with absolute certainty. Tone can be very subjective as Howard explained.

Which is why sometime down the road when I get my shop back together I will not take commissions. I won't do it for the money per se. I'll build whatever the hell I want and if someone doesn't want it then it's no skin off my back.

Good luck with the build. If I were to order a guitar from ANYONE it would be John. Someday I will actually. He is that good. Plus getting to know and love the guy from working with him and many other things helps too, but above all else he has a talent for building not many do.

justonwo 04-26-2014 10:42 AM

Agree that John is a great builder. My only expectation is that he builds a great guitar. I doubt that he will disappoint. That being said, this is not my first commissioned guitar, and I am well aware of the potential for the outcome to vary somewhat from preconceived notions. In this case, over the 2 year period since John and I first started talking about a 00-12 commission, my tastes have evolved significantly. This thread happens to capture part of that evolution, which I suppose makes me come across as fickle or uncertain of what I want. I can live with that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by justonwo (Post 3927655)
Well, with the acquisition of my Euro/koa Montuoro 000-12 in December, John and I revisited the idea of a Adi/Tas 000-12 and felt there would probably be too much overlap. So we have changed course . . . again . . . a lot can happen in 2 years, I suppose. Repeated trips to Schoenberg have really changed my acoustic guitar preferences.

So it'll be a 00-12 cutaway (slot head) with Adirondack and Madagascar rosewood, style 42. I asked John to take the liberty to voice it the way he thinks best. 00-12s are a particular specialty of his, and I know it will sound fantastic. Here's a really cool 00-12 of John's at Luthiers Collection.


iim7V7IM7 04-27-2014 04:12 AM

I think that both Howard K. and John M. make excellent points regarding a client and builder's common understanding of tone based upon nomenclature and the inherent variability of wood and the build process to achieve them. To Justin's point, some clients may have a better understanding of what they want or can articulate it in a more effective way.

Despite these challenges, most clients are usually delighted with their commissions. This speaks in part, to both luthier information gathering skills and their ability to manipulate the music from the wood. In the end, like many of life's most wonderful things; commissioning a guitar is an act of faith.

My $.02

kirkham13 04-27-2014 09:23 AM

This is the first time I've seen this thread. I just want to plug tasmanean blackwood, tremendous sound. I also like adirondack, and think lutz might be a good consideration as well. I'll have to go visit Schoenberg next time I'm on the west coast...

billgennaro 04-27-2014 10:15 AM

I have played that Circa 00-12 (Adi/Koa) at Luthier's Collection a number of times. Each time I do I wonder why I never bought it! What a great guitar. Perhaps the fact that its a non-cutaway 12 fretter that holds me back. I've also played many other John Slobod guitars and, pretty much, every one has been fairly stellar. I'm torn between commissioning a Circa or a Franklin OM for my next guitar. Anyway, best of luck on your new build. You are a very fortunate man to be able to build one guitar after another from such great luthiers. I assume your Brondel was all you had hoped it would be.

justonwo 04-27-2014 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kirkham13 (Post 3929728)
This is the first time I've seen this thread. I just want to plug tasmanean blackwood, tremendous sound. I also like adirondack, and think lutz might be a good consideration as well. I'll have to go visit Schoenberg next time I'm on the west coast...

Yeah, I believe Tasmanian blackwood, as a cousin of koa, probably sounds amazing. I just wanted to be careful not to overlap too much with the koa 000-12 I already own.

Quote:

Originally Posted by billgennaro (Post 3929810)
I have played that Circa 00-12 (Adi/Koa) at Luthier's Collection a number of times. Each time I do I wonder why I never bought it! What a great guitar. Perhaps the fact that its a non-cutaway 12 fretter that holds me back. I've also played many other John Slobod guitars and, pretty much, every one has been fairly stellar. I'm torn between commissioning a Circa or a Franklin OM for my next guitar. Anyway, best of luck on your new build. You are a very fortunate man to be able to build one guitar after another from such great luthiers. I assume your Brondel was all you had hoped it would be.

That Circa 00-12 koa does look ridiculously nice. I've sound not having upper fret access from a non-cutaway 12 fret isn't super limiting to me. Maybe one in five songs I play requires access that high up the neck. The Brondel is super.

usb_chord 04-27-2014 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by billgennaro (Post 3929810)
I'm torn between commissioning a Circa or a Franklin OM for my next guitar.

Good place to be, Bill!

Congrats on the 00, Juston. John makes the best I've played...in ANY price range.


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