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ukejon 02-02-2017 08:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cigarfan (Post 5214004)
I'm kinda mixed on this question. Because I play in standard tuning most of the time I like to hear the balance and intonation that way. But there is value to me to hear a guitar down a half step or alternate in DADGAD to know if there is any floppiness with less tension. Sorry that doesn't help your cause any.

Good thoughts and I will add that sometimes it is less about the tuning than the type of song relative to the guitar. So hearing a blues tune on an old parlor guitar or a Gibson J-45 can be very informative, as can hearing a more modern type of fingerstyle on guitar voiced for that style of playing. Of course, all styles of music can be played on all guitars, so this is not meant as a hard and fast rule. But when I'm trying to evaluate the tone it helps for my ear to hear a type of music that is especially befitting that instrument. For the video in question, I also would have liked to hear a fuller and more ringing song the really played up the tonal complexity and the sustain that is characteristic of so many of your guitars. Just my two cents....

TomB'sox 02-02-2017 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ukejon (Post 5215677)
Good thoughts and I will add that sometimes it is less about the tuning than the type of song relative to the guitar. So hearing a blues tune on an old parlor guitar or a Gibson J-45 can be very informative, as can hearing a more modern type of fingerstyle on guitar voiced for that style of playing. Of course, all styles of music can be played on all guitars, so this is not meant as a hard and fast rule. But when I'm trying to evaluate the tone it helps for my ear to hear a type of music that is especially befitting that instrument. For the video in question, I also would have liked to hear a fuller and more ringing tune the really played up the tonal complexity and the sustain that is characteristic of so many of your guitars. Just my two cents....

I concur with this statement, in fact Mark and I have had this conversation. I will expand and say that for me, what I have told Mark is I want to hear the guitar not the player. I am not going to a concert here and listening to a great player showing how well he can play and impress me with the complexity of his tunes. This is about the guitar, it is the star. So a simple tune where I don't notice the player and am focused on the guitar is what I look for.

I think the solution to Mark's question more specifically is one tune in standard and one in alternate tunings...

JoeCharter 02-02-2017 08:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Hatcher (Post 5213409)
So here is my question; When you are listening to a sound clip do you feel open tuning interferes with your evaluation or is helpful?

The tuning doesn't really bother me but if I had to choose I'd say I prefer to hear the guitar in standard. More importantly, for a demo I'd like to hear something from the "standard" repertoire, a tune that people can relate to.

There is one guitar reviewer in particular who writes excellent reviews -- but he always takes the opportunity to introduce one of his (very unusual) originals in some weird tuning which provides no reference whatsoever. I'd prefer that he sticks to something a bit more "standard".

The other question that comes to mind is sound processing. Many folks think it's best to leave the track unaltered with no effects, no EQ, no nothing. They feel it's more "honest" and "representative" of the guitar.

I would argue that recording a guitar in itself already alters the sound and provides one perspective (among many others). When we audition a guitar in person, it doesn't sound weak and dry like on recordings that haven't been further processed. And in a more "artistic" context, when we listen to guitar music it doesn't sound weak and dry either.

I'm not suggesting that demos should have a ton of reverb and delay -- but a fair amount of processing (e.g., the recordings on Michael Greenfield's channel) would receive my vote.

Mark Hatcher 02-02-2017 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ukejon (Post 5215677)
Good thoughts and I will add that sometimes it is less about the tuning than the type of song relative to the guitar. So hearing a blues tune on an old parlor guitar or a Gibson J-45 can be very informative, as can hearing a more modern type of fingerstyle on guitar voiced for that style of playing. Of course, all styles of music can be played on all guitars, so this is not meant as a hard and fast rule. But when I'm trying to evaluate the tone it helps for my ear to hear a type of music that is especially befitting that instrument. For the video in question, I also would have liked to hear a fuller and more ringing song the really played up the tonal complexity and the sustain that is characteristic of so many of your guitars. Just my two cents....

Thanks ukejon,

I'll keep that in mind. Since my guitars usually are designed with some sort of theme in mind I'll remember that a sound clip may also be supportive of that theme when applicable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomB'sox (Post 5215684)
I concur with this statement, in fact Mark and I have had this conversation. I will expand and say that for me, what I have told Mark is I want to hear the guitar not the player. I am not going to a concert here and listening to a great player showing how well he can play and impress me with the complexity of his tunes. This is about the guitar, it is the star. So a simple tune where I don't notice the player and am focused on the guitar is what I look for.

I think the solution to Mark's question more specifically is one tune in standard and one in alternate tunings...

Thanks Tom,

I do try to mention that with someone doing a clip. It helps when the discussion starts by me asking them what they look for when first hearing a guitar. Sometime performers just want to perform though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeCharter (Post 5215712)
The tuning doesn't really bother me but if I had to choose I'd say I prefer to hear the guitar in standard. More importantly, for a demo I'd like to hear something from the "standard" repertoire, a tune that people can relate to.

There is one guitar reviewer in particular who writes excellent reviews -- but he always takes the opportunity to introduce one of his (very unusual) originals in some weird tuning which provides no reference whatsoever. I'd prefer that he sticks to something a bit more "standard".

The other question that comes to mind is sound processing. Many folks think it's best to leave the track unaltered with no effects, no EQ, no nothing. They feel it's more "honest" and "representative" of the guitar.

I would argue that recording a guitar in itself already alters the sound and provides one perspective (among many others). When we audition a guitar in person, it doesn't sound weak and dry like on recordings that haven't been further processed. And in a more "artistic" context, when we listen to guitar music it doesn't sound weak and dry either.

I'm not suggesting that demos should have a ton of reverb and delay -- but a fair amount of processing (e.g., the recordings on Michael Greenfield's channel) would receive my vote.

Thanks for that. I am putting plans together to redo my website and will be sure clips in that are done much more professionally.

JoeCharter 02-02-2017 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Hatcher (Post 5215949)
Thanks for that. I am putting plans together to redo my website and will be sure clips in that are done much more professionally.

Several of your clips sound great, Mark. I meant it as a general comment.

The one that features yourself on a Greta Englemann sounds quite good. I also like Dennis' performances which are both well recorded and entertaining.

Best player in the lot is Charlie even though his recordings are much too quiet. If it were me I'd go with Charlie. He has good technique and sensitivity. And I find his style is a good fit with your guitars.

I agree with a previous post that it's about the guitar, not about the player -- but at the same time I've never desired a guitar that was played by a not so good player, no matter how great the guitar might be.

Mark Hatcher 02-02-2017 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeCharter (Post 5216126)
Several of your clips sound great, Mark. I meant it as a general comment.

The one that features yourself on a Greta Englemann sounds quite good. I also like Dennis' performances which are both well recorded and entertaining.

Best player in the lot is Charlie even though his recordings are much too quiet. If it were me I'd go with Charlie. He has good technique and sensitivity. And I find his style is a good fit with your guitars.

I agree with a previous post that it's about the guitar, not about the player -- but at the same time I've never desired a guitar that was played by a not so good player, no matter how great the guitar might be.


Thanks, that's helpful. I completely agree with you about Charlie's playing. Unfortunately, he is not always easily available and the window of opportunity is sometimes quite short with these guitars. He is a studio musician and would be the one I'd go to for better website sound samples.

All of the recordings were done with the same equipment. I'm afraid I'm the weak link there. It's easy to set up when I'm by myself. It's a different story when you're working around a sometimes nervous player. I need to get my chops up there.

Thanks Again,

ukejon 02-02-2017 04:05 PM

Here's a solution: Send all of your guitars to me. I'll make some nifty recordings for you and will return the instruments by the end of the year.

TomB'sox 02-02-2017 10:09 PM

OK, I did the best I could in the situation.....

Mark Hatcher 02-03-2017 05:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ukejon (Post 5216239)
Here's a solution: Send all of your guitars to me. I'll make some nifty recordings for you and will return the instruments by the end of the year.

Why this is a brilliant idea! I just got this picture from the finisher of the next guitar I'll be completing and when done I'll send it right out to you :)

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/511/32...e36d1eaf_b.jpg

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomB'sox (Post 5216618)
OK, I did the best I could in the situation.....

Thanks Tom, you are far from the only one who gets nervous when the camera, lights, and mics start moving in on you. I started playing guitar when I was about 13 and when all the recording equipment start coming out I'm right back there at 13 again!

I'm starting to think the sound clips may be better if they were just sound clips and leave the lights and video out. If I'm doing a YouTube with the clip I could just roll through the photos of the guitar (which I always have a lot of)
Maybe just mics wouldn't be so imposing?

Mark

ukejon 02-03-2017 06:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mark Hatcher (Post 5216755)
Why this is a brilliant idea! I just got this picture from the finisher of the next guitar I'll be completing and when done I'll send it right out to you :)

That's the spirit. I'll even cover the shipping cost!

Mark Hatcher 02-04-2017 07:47 AM

Headstock Overlay
 
We're going with a matching African Padauk headstock overlay on this small jumbo. It will be my pillow top sculpted type. There are a lot of steps involved in putting this one together. The first challenge is due to the thickness of the overlay and the need to keep clearance for the strings between the tuners and the nut, the truss rod cover is inset;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/678/32...ab84f787_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/645/31...374c4f28_c.jpg

The overlay is then carved and bound. The purfling laminates start going on at the same time;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/532/32...092aec1d_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/293/32...63da492d_c.jpg

In this case an additional black laminate goes on while the overlay is glued to the headstock;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/682/32...49a8c4e3_c.jpg

Then the headstock profile is cut to fit:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/757/32...c07094ba_c.jpg

So I have two purfling lines between the overlay and the headstock. The reason I do this is to keep things crisp looking. The white maple against the African Blackwood binding and a black line to separate the maple purfling line and the maple headstock;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/478/32...6842f7f3_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/680/32...cfea9c40_c.jpg

In deference to the headstock overlay the back strap gets only the black line.
Of course, now that the headstock overlay has a black/maple purfling line in to keep consistency I'll need the black/maple lines under the fret board. I try to avoid purfling dead ends when I can.

Thanks for viewing!
Mark

ukejon 02-04-2017 08:27 AM

That is a seriously gorgeous sculptural headstock!

Mark Hatcher 02-04-2017 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ukejon (Post 5218049)
That is a seriously gorgeous sculptural headstock!

Thanks ukejon!

This is the evolved version of my oldest headstock design which would be recognizable even on the first guitar I made.
Here is a picture of my first headstock;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/613/32...b359795c_c.jpg

cigarfan 02-04-2017 03:18 PM

Mr BR is going to love that headstock! Although I love the slotted you did for me, that pillow top is my all time favorite. Gorgeous! Thanks for the pics of the steps. Fascinating!

Mark Hatcher 02-04-2017 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cigarfan (Post 5218487)
Mr BR is going to love that headstock! Although I love the slotted you did for me, that pillow top is my all time favorite. Gorgeous! Thanks for the pics of the steps. Fascinating!

Yeah, I it's my personal favorite too. I think that may be proven by the fact that it's three times harder and time consuming to do and I don't charge extra for it.

Thanks!

The Bard Rocks 02-04-2017 10:13 PM

headstock
 
I especially like the way Mark was able to blend the truss road cover in so well that it almost disappears. The B/W purfling sets everything off extremely nicely. Classy. Simple, Special.

Mark Hatcher 02-05-2017 10:02 AM

More decisions
 
I offer several design styles of headstocks, fret boards, and bridges. At this juncture we have several choices for the fingerboard and bridge style so a couple samples go up;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/639/32...ae091be4_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/698/32...c1323f06_c.jpg

And symmetry wins the day on this guitar;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/655/32...427de851_c.jpg

Thanks for following!
Mark

The Bard Rocks 02-05-2017 08:08 PM

symmetry
 
And that looks even better than I'd visualized it.

Mark Hatcher 02-09-2017 12:45 PM

More choices
 
Another choice to be made. Should the heal cap be African Blackwood?

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/519/32...5bd67e42_c.jpg

Or should it be African Padauk?

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/699/32...db1ea3f2_c.jpg

The African Padauk heal cap is make from the same wood the back was cut from. That way we could match the grain on the back and that is the choice!;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2816/3...e0f0682d_c.jpg

mcgr40 02-09-2017 02:38 PM

I really like this cross grain padauk as the center laminate for the maple neck.
Does the cross-grain padauk go all the way through the neck making right angles with the long grain of the maple? Or is it just 1/4" or so deep so that the
grain in the neck all runs the same way?(I am just wondering if it is okay to build with a cross-ply in the middle of the neck-you must know)
thanks. mike
anyways, i really like it.

Mark Hatcher 02-09-2017 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mcgr40 (Post 5224562)
I really like this cross grain padauk as the center laminate for the maple neck.
Does the cross-grain padauk go all the way through the neck making right angles with the long grain of the maple? Or is it just 1/4" or so deep so that the
grain in the neck all runs the same way?(I am just wondering if it is okay to build with a cross-ply in the middle of the neck-you must know)
thanks. mike
anyways, i really like it.

Thanks mcgr40,

The cross grain center laminate doesn't go very deep. I would be afraid to go all the way through with the cross grain especially since the torsion rod is in there.
I just wouldn't want to depend on an end grain glue joint there.

mcgr40 02-10-2017 11:14 AM

That is what I would have thought, but I did wonder if perhaps you had used the cross grain center laminate and had learned that it would work.
I am sure it takes some thought/effort to get that center laminate laid up correctly.
Very nice touch

Mark Hatcher 02-11-2017 12:01 PM

Well were coming along on this guitar. The neck is pretty well set up;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/581/32...b1ccf244_c.jpg

A little more clean up and installing the Gold EVO frets and it will be ready for finish;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2225/3...bb4bb41e_c.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2604/3...d523f570_c.jpg

ukejon 02-11-2017 12:05 PM

Austere yet visually sublime with those amazing woods. One of the most beautiful pillow headstock guitars you've made.

cigarfan 02-11-2017 02:11 PM

A stunner! Wonderful choices all the way around.

Mark Hatcher 02-12-2017 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ukejon (Post 5226909)
Austere yet visually sublime with those amazing woods. One of the most beautiful pillow headstock guitars you've made.

Thanks ukejon, I'm very pleased how this is coming out. We'll still making a few choices such as the color for the tuners. The choices become easier as you go though, as the individual look of the guitar tightens up.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cigarfan (Post 5227067)
A stunner! Wonderful choices all the way around.

Thank you cigar fan. Yeah, I think we found a nice paring of some unusual looking woods!

Mark Hatcher 02-20-2017 03:42 PM

We've been working on inlay ideas for this African Padauk guitar. One idea was to do a grape bunch here is a mock up;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2473/3...299448cb_b.jpg

The consensus was it just doesn't stand out enough. So we went to the idea of orchard designs;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/580/32...48bb0676_b.jpg

Here it is a bit larger with white mother of pearl and pink fresh water clam;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2691/3...4b88d559_c.jpg

The sparkle of the shell will stand out nicely on the headstock.
I'm working to design a 12 fret inlay that ties in as well. This photo of orchid buds is giving me some ideas. With a couple more hours and a pencil I think we'll be there!;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3939/3...6f5ce1b2_o.jpg

It is nice to be working on flower inlays. We've had better than 36 inches of snow here in New Hampshire these past 2 weeks and all the flower pictures have got me thinking of spring coming back to my shop;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/546/32...d89d7786_c.jpg

louis lasky 02-21-2017 12:31 PM

Oy Mark. This guitar is so gorgeous. The wood is, as with all your guitars, silly gorgeous. But your small aesthetic touches are so choice. That cross grain center stripe. Yow! Do you think it would pop the same way if it was narrower? I'm just curious...

Mark Hatcher 02-21-2017 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by louis lasky (Post 5240214)
Oy Mark. This guitar is so gorgeous. The wood is, as with all your guitars, silly gorgeous. But your small aesthetic touches are so choice. That cross grain center stripe. Yow! Do you think it would pop the same way if it was narrower? I'm just curious...

Thanks Louis,

I think the center cross grain strip would show up well even if it were a bit thinner. It's made from the same Padauk and is very bright. I went a bit thicker on this one because it has rather thin black borders. I usually have 3/32" maple borders but, since it's a maple neck, I went black to keep it crisp looking.

Mark

Mark Hatcher 02-22-2017 01:20 PM

MOP
 
I just mentioned the orchids made me think of spring at the shop but, it seems this winter is not to be out done. I also am selecting the MOP shell to use and I noticed the sky outside the shop;

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2117/3...ac2e5592_c.jpg

I captured it quick with my IPhone. The winter clouds are full of ice crystals doing their best impression of mother of pearl!


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