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-   -   Mark Hatcher's Studio 2017 (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=455791)

Mark Hatcher 05-03-2017 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Bard Rocks (Post 5326794)
Cigarfan, if you want to see my face when I get it, you'd best start driving now. I leave this area around 11 tomorrow and can give you a ride for the last 3 hours of the way.

But I have a pretty good idea already of what it looks like. I think the playability and sound will be what surprises me if anything does. Mark does such a good job with the photos that we don't have to imagine much, other than how it sounds and how it plays - and, based upon others of his that I have played, I think both of these can only surprise me in one way - very pleasantly.

Thanks Roland,

I felt you were pretty clear on what you were looking for in the sound of this guitar so I'm hoping there aren't too many surprises!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zandit75 (Post 5326614)
I love how quietly Mark comes in, drops a bunch of photos as though it's nothing, then quietly accepts the praise that is heaped on him!

Me? I'd come in with trumpets blaring "Check out This!!!!" then boom!! *Mic Drops* walks out with one hell of a strut!!!
https://media.giphy.com/media/3o7qDE...RQ2c/giphy.gif

I've run out of words to say Mark, yet another beautiful guitar!

Thanks Zandit75! It's a tough path to walk for me when talking about my own work. If I come off too enthusiastic it sounds like a cheap sales pitch but, the fact is I love building guitars and sometimes when things come out better than I thought or when a new idea has unexpected benefits I do feel like shouting from the mountain tops.
On the other hand if I'm too quiet about it I may come across as apathetic or worse yet smug. The fact is most often clients want their builder to share their excitment about their new build.
So I just try to be genuine. I don't say I'm excited about something I'm not excited about and I try not to overstate it.


Quote:

Originally Posted by TomB'sox (Post 5326585)
Well this sounds cliche, but you have truly outdone yourself on this one Mark. This guitar is just a stunning piece of art and it will sing like angels I am sure of that. I am so glad for having played even a small part in helping to get this project underway as it turned into a masterpiece beyond words. Although you did not build this part, I will give you credit for finding it, but the bearclaw figure in the upper bouts that projects at 90 degree angles to the fret board in a linear fashion is just mesmerizing to look at. That is very unique. Maybe I have seen it before, but I think not.

Congrats to both of you, but really to you Mark on your artistry.

Thanks Tom! When Roland was coming out to the studio to meet I was going through my tops to select a few for him to choose from. We had already landed on the Padauk. When I pulled this top and set it next to the Padauk I thought it was the obvious choice. Problem was Sitka wasn't even on the list of Roland's choices and Sitka's general sound characteristics aren't what Roland was looking for. I could tell by the density, stiffness, and tap tone however that once again general species characteristics don't really have much to do with the individual piece you have in hand. I knew this top would deliver. So I had the tops pulled and was going through them with Roland. When we got to this top Roland, without hesitation went for it and I thought, "Great! We're on the same page".

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemoman (Post 5326572)
Looks fantastic, Mark.

That sitka is really amazing as well with the red coloring it has!

the padauk--WOW!!!

Thanks Nemoman!

IBKuz 05-03-2017 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Hatcher (Post 5326311)
I did the final set up on Roland's (The Bard Rocks) guitar this morning;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4160/3...a6ab7bec_c.jpg

As you can see the Sitka top has some crazy bear claw figure and a lot of red in it which goes quite well with the coloring of the back;

Mark, hopefully this will just be a quick question for you. This top is quite different visually then most Sitka material in a couple different ways (very beautiful as others have noted). Does this make you change how you process/build the top? Is it harder (or easier) to work with? Great work as usual, always interesting to see what comes out of your shop.

Diamondave 05-03-2017 11:43 AM

The word stunning isn't even bold enough..!

Mark Hatcher 05-03-2017 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IBKuz (Post 5327357)
Mark, hopefully this will just be a quick question for you. This top is quite different visually then most Sitka material in a couple different ways (very beautiful as others have noted). Does this make you change how you process/build the top? Is it harder (or easier) to work with? Great work as usual, always interesting to see what comes out of your shop.

Thanks Ian,


Yes, this top is different in several ways than your usual Sitka and it's also different from the usual bear claw. I have a set of steps I go through when voicing a top, the steps don't change but, how much I cut and how much I leave depends on the materials and goals. Any top has a given potential which could be a variety of things like the potential for a lot of overtones or a potential to be very strong in the fundamentals. Ideally, the potentials are aligned with the sound goals you are after. When voicing you are optimizing whatever you have to start with toward that final goal.

Hope that makes sense!
Mark

jessupe 05-03-2017 12:17 PM

Beautiful work!

emmsone 05-03-2017 12:36 PM

You've got another winner here Mark! I'm loving that top

David

IBKuz 05-03-2017 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Hatcher (Post 5327405)
Thanks Ian,


Yes, this top is different in several ways than your usual Sitka and it's also different from the usual bear claw. I have a set of steps I go through when voicing a top, the steps don't change but, how much I cut and how much I leave depends on the materials and goals. Any top has a given potential which could be a variety of things like the potential for a lot of overtones or a potential to be very strong in the fundamentals. Ideally, the potentials are aligned with the sound goals you are after. When voicing you are optimizing whatever you have to start with toward that final goal.

Hope that makes sense!
Mark

That does make sense. Seems like all tops take a lot of work ... lol

The Bard Rocks 05-03-2017 10:19 PM

Josie is home
 
Well, my Josie made it home but way too late to get in any significant play time tonight. Played just enough to impress my wife. Tomorrow, the real trial begins and that will take a while, a FUN while. Right now it seems I got exactly what I asked Mark for. It always amazes me how a skilled and talented person can actually do that with the remains of a tree.

cigarfan 05-04-2017 03:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Bard Rocks (Post 5328127)
Well, my Josie made it home but way too late to get in any significant play time tonight. Played just enough to impress my wife. Tomorrow, the real trial begins and that will take a while, a FUN while. Right now it seems I got exactly what I asked Mark for. It always amazes me how a skilled and talented person can actually do that with the remains of a tree.

Congrats! Can't wait to hear your impressions.

Mark Hatcher 05-04-2017 04:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Bard Rocks (Post 5328127)
Well, my Josie made it home but way too late to get in any significant play time tonight. Played just enough to impress my wife. Tomorrow, the real trial begins and that will take a while, a FUN while. Right now it seems I got exactly what I asked Mark for. It always amazes me how a skilled and talented person can actually do that with the remains of a tree.

Thanks Roland! It was great to have you out and to see you try on your new guitar for the first time!

Quote:

Originally Posted by ukejon (Post 5326929)
Congrats Roland on this beauty....Mark works his magic again.

Thanks ukejon!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diamondave (Post 5327397)
The word stunning isn't even bold enough..!

Thanks Diamondave, and thank you for commenting.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jessupe (Post 5327442)
Beautiful work!

Thank you jessupe. I had a lot of help from beautiful materials and a client who was fun to work with!

Quote:

Originally Posted by emmsone (Post 5327473)
You've got another winner here Mark! I'm loving that top

David

Thanks David!

Mark Hatcher 05-10-2017 01:00 PM

Maple Greta
 
Some of you may remember this Josie spec model I made to build up stock for guitar shows;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7597/2...32e24729_c.jpg

I bought this wonderfully quilted Western Big Leaf Maple billet which yielded enough to make 3 guitars. I have a client order for my Greta model with will have one of those awesome bear claw Sitka sets which I've also recently acquired. We've sorted out many of the details and work has begun. Here are a couple pictures of the wood sets;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/729/32...4b382aaf_b.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/587/33...68d4b253_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/615/33...54e860d1_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/664/32...9fc22011_b.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2866/3...bb2a65d8_b.jpg

We were looking for a nice darker brown trim wood and since this is going overseas we are avoiding rosewood. We decided to go with Macassar Ebony;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3891/3...0bbed051_c.jpg

Lot's more details to come!
Mark

cigarfan 05-10-2017 05:09 PM

More eye candy! Gorgeous woods Mark. Congrats to the new owner!

ukejon 05-10-2017 06:28 PM

Zoinks indeed!!!

Mark Hatcher 05-11-2017 11:08 AM

Stripe/no stripe
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cigarfan (Post 5336427)
More eye candy! Gorgeous woods Mark. Congrats to the new owner!

Thanks!

Quote:

Originally Posted by ukejon (Post 5336502)
Zoinks indeed!!!

Indeed!

Here is an exercise we just went through; Back stripe/no back stripe;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4174/3...0f250e2d_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4183/3...e933b8df_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4175/3...7f34e2e2_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4182/3...539528f8_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4193/3...8765bc75_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4164/3...cdccefcb_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4162/3...1cfa1f19_c.jpg

quentinjazz 05-11-2017 01:02 PM

Wow.. look at those woods!
I would go without the strip, the wood is too spectacular to be disturbed by a dark strip .
My 2 cents!

ross748 05-11-2017 04:55 PM

Beautiful curl! Love it!

DamianL 05-12-2017 03:57 AM

Yeah - would be no backstrip for me either...a perfectly book-matched quilted maple needs no other adornment!

D

Andy Howell 05-12-2017 04:56 AM

No back stripe


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

kkrell 05-12-2017 10:24 AM

I vote for no back stripe.

Mark Hatcher 05-13-2017 04:37 AM

Thanks for the comments! The decision is in and there will not be a backstrip.
There are many decisions to be made in the process of building a guitar. I find short of actually being there, good photos can really aid in making these types of choices.

Mark Hatcher 05-15-2017 01:09 PM

More trim
 
We've made some decisions on the trim. It is mostly Macassar Ebony but we're going to pull in some highly figured Claro Walnut for the rosette and maybe the head plate. The Walnut is being selected to stay close in color to the Macassar but will add a little variety of figure.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4165/3...936e71e2_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4192/3...39097e70_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4160/3...b9b1df8d_c.jpg

Thanks for viewing!
Mark

Mark Hatcher 05-17-2017 09:40 AM

Moving Along
 
I've glued up the rosette;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4165/3...31a62bfe_b.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4157/3...51c43817_b.jpg

We're avoiding using any rosewood on this guitar which is partly why the trim is walnut and Macassar Ebony. The other part of it is the colors of walnut and Macassar Ebony happen to work great with the Maple color.
I was having a tough time finding decent Macassar Ebony binding so I got in a board with the right figure and cut my own.
One big advantage of cutting your own binding is you can easily keep the binding sticks in consecutive order so when matched up properly on the guitar it adds a nice little touch of symmetry;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4180/3...3719ac66_c.jpg

The top purfling will be black and maple lines with a little touch of walnut in the middle;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4185/3...b0daf3e6_c.jpg

Mark Hatcher 05-22-2017 01:05 PM

​Typically when I talk about the sound of the various back and side woods I say something along the lines that it goes from softer hardwoods, like mahogany, that tend to have a sweeter toned more fundamental effect where harder woods, like rosewood, sound more crystalline with more overtone highlights. Different woods generally fall in between there. However there is another area that this range doesn't cover. We can call it Rosewood and beyond. Ebony tends to be stiffer, heavier, and more reflective than most rosewoods so you get the highlights with more sustain because of the weight and often a deeper bass. At the same time, I believe, due to the surface reflectivity you get more of what some call "that piano like sound" or the more controversial term "reverb" (different from sustain).

So it just isn't a simple range of sound from Mahogany to Rosewood and it isn't a straight road from Mahogany to Ebony because different kinds of characteristics appear along the way. So I'm thinking the way to say it is woods generally go from Mahogany to rosewood and beyond!

I bring this up because after having some wonderful successes with ebony I have been expanding my inventory of "and beyond" woods.
Here are a couple recent additions. Pau Ferro is said to be between Rosewood and Ebony. It's also called Bolivian Rosewood and Santos Rosewood except it isn't rosewood as in no CITES restrictions, not an endangered wood;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4197/3...c0f6a08b_b.jpg

Here is another that would be a great match for a nylon crossover;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4201/3...b5173d9d_b.jpg

The "and beyond" doesn't stop at ebony though. There are other excellent woods that are still more stiff and heavier than ebony. I've had a number of sets of Katalox which is considerably harder than ebony. It rings like a bell or should I say it rings like bells because it's easy to find different tones depending on where you tap:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/724/23...1276cddb_c.jpg

I've had sets of this milk chocolate Katalox for a little while and am currently using parts from the original billet as trim on the Olivewood guitar that I have another thread going on.

Recently, I got this eye popping set of plum colored figured Katalox that I hope to entice someone with because I think it would make a gorgeous guitar!

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4197/3...c182b35e_b.jpg

Hierophant 05-22-2017 01:28 PM

Your wood showcasing posts are always a dangerous terrain ;).

Mark Hatcher 05-22-2017 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hierophant (Post 5348812)
Your wood showcasing posts are always a dangerous terrain ;).

Don't be scared :) !

Since I'm on the "and beyond" subject I shouldn't overlook the fact that Olivewood falls into this harder and heavier and stiffer than rosewood category as well;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/2/1520/2...18772729_c.jpg

Another aspect of working these woods is they all are suitable for bridges, fret boards and binding as well. Makes for some creative visual opportunities!

The Bard Rocks 05-22-2017 09:04 PM

Katalox
 
Katalox - sound like a breakfast cereal or something. Maybe a medicine. But having seen some figured plum-colored sets and heard them ring, it is one of the woods on my radar. But it's not light. However, I have a strong back.

Mark Hatcher 05-24-2017 04:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Bard Rocks (Post 5349254)
Katalox - sound like a breakfast cereal or something. Maybe a medicine. But having seen some figured plum-colored sets and heard them ring, it is one of the woods on my radar. But it's not light. However, I have a strong back.

Katalox is an odd name. It's also called Mexican Royal Ebony however, it's not Ebony so to me the name sounds like it's trying to pass for something it's not.
I don't use that name because I believe Katalox has got nothing to apologize for. It's harder and less porous than most ebonies and it's ring tone puts them to shame. There were some guitar manufacturers that offered Katalox as an Ebony substitute in their sustainable woods offerings and it's reputation seemed to take a hit in some quarters leaving some people with the impression that it was something less than Ebony. Imagine that

Mark Hatcher 05-24-2017 08:23 AM

More Woods
 
This past weekend I hosted the monthly meeting for the Granite State Luthiers group which is part of the NH Woodworkers Guild. Members of the New England Luthiers group were invited and attended as well.
I had a presentation about my work, work flow, generally, how I think about and build guitars. While showing some of the woods I work with I talked about a lot of new wood sets I got from a retiring luthier, the big Black Ebony log I got from a retiring cabinet maker, and the many woods and inlay materials I got from a retiring knife maker. It didn't take long for all of us to see a pattern forming here! Fact is, I think most builders working with natural products tend to accumulate their personal stash of favorites. I've been extremely lucky to get first crack at a number of folks' wonderful supplies as they move on and I hope to do them justice!

So since I'm on the subject here are a couple more new (to me) old sets. I got a number of old East Indian Rosewood sets. Most of the newer sets you find today have a purple cast to them. They work well and I like them just fine. These sets I just got are a much browner color that you just don't see much of these days;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4225/3...eb45d4b6_b.jpg

I've been talking a lot about heavier than Rosewoods lately but, that is not to undermine how much I love a really lightweight guitar. In this vein I just got this wonderful set of Movingui:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4247/3...95a0a71f_b.jpg

Amazing figure and wonderful tap tone!

Mark Hatcher 05-25-2017 09:20 AM

More Woods
 
Since I'm on the new wood purchases subject here a several more.

First to round out my Mahogany like woods I've got this nice Sapele set in.
It would fall into the hard mahogany category closer to typical Cuban;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4200/3...a06bc883_b.jpg

Here is a crazy Black Walnut that looks a lot like Claro. I'm planning on this being my next spec in the Greta model. I don't currently have a built Greta, they are a bit harder to hold onto;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4249/3...d7f5dcf9_b.jpg

And finally here is a nod to local woods. This is New Hampshire Red Spruce. Some would say ADI but we aren't in the Adirondacks. The colder weather here really shows in the dark grain lines;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4199/3...2b2bc058_b.jpg

I've got several of these Red Spruce sets as well as actual ADI. One of these days I'll make an all New Hampshire woods guitar.

Mark Hatcher 06-03-2017 08:23 AM

Shop Update
 
I've been busy doing a lot of posts on my new Olivewood guitar and haven't done many shop updates so I figured I'd try to do a little catch-up with some of the many other things I have going on.

I have done a large number of sound samples for my various guitars which are typically done as flat unedited sound presentations. There have been an increasing number of requests especially from more professional artists to present what my guitars sound like when they are more professionally recorded. In short, what can you do with one of those Hatcher guitars?

I recently put one of my spec parlor models up for sale here and when I asked Charlie Chronopoulos to help provide the sound sample we went to his sound studio to record. Charlie is a studio musician and was kind enough to accommodate me;



If you would like specifics on the equipment used for recording feel free to PM me


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