Thread: My First "Kit"
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:23 AM
OddManOut OddManOut is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Carson City, Nv (Want a jackrabbit? We've got extras!)
Posts: 2,956
Default It's Alive!!!!

After several months and many hours of cutting, bending, gluing, shaving, sanding and finishing, luthier Larry Nair (Tahoe Guitars) and I finished my mahogany/Adi deep body OM. Obviously there may be a few set-up tweaks as things settle in, but it is up-and-running as of about 20 hours ago.

This last work session was all set-up work (thus perhaps not the most interesting picture set), but very interesting to go through this on a virgin guitar. Prior to slotting the nut we had it tuned up to pitch and capoed at the first fret. The intonation was shockingly good.

I have to say Larry's set up specs gave a result reminiscent of churned heavy cream: butter. does the guitar sound? Well...I have to be philosophical here. It is my first guitar build and Larry's first OM (he's done mostly 00s and dreads). We based it on a sweet vintage Martin 000-18, though mine has a 25.4" scale, a few modifications to the top thickness, the bracing and increased body depth. Starting with a proven design is a good thing, changing up some key specs is risky. does it sound? F-bombing amazing! Seriously (and I know I'm biased) from the get-go it has had a wonderful voice. I noted in the first five minutes of play (prior to the nut slotting) it had a wonderful-though-subtle overtone bed and a clear, sweet, balanced voice. In its first 20 hours of life it has gained depth and volume across the spectrum and the overtones have come alive. The voice reminds me of several good Froggy Bottoms I've had the pleasure to play...cutting the line between a good traditional voice and a more modern Goodall-like voice.

It is sensitive to a light touch but has a lot of headroom. i.e. it has a very large dynamic range. I think we have the Adi spruce top to thank for this. I chose this one out of a dozen top sets because it had excellent stiffness and tap tone.

Honestly, both Larry and I were amazed even after two hours of life. It was an emotional time for both of us as many hours of effort paid off quite nicely, certainly exceeding our expectations in terms of its initial voice. It is a fine, fine sounding guitar even at this early stage.

It will be interesting to see how it develops over the next week or so. I will keep you posted.

Final Specs:

Tahoe/OddMan OM


Top: Adirondack Spruce
Back/Sides: Honduran Mahogany
Neck: One-piece Honduran Mahogany w/ full volute and two-way trussrod
Body/Neck Binding: Curly Maple
Bridge/Fretboard: Ebony
Finish: Modified Shellac
Frets: Gold EVO
Tuners: Grover Sta-tite Gold 18:1 ratio

Quilted sapele headplate, scalloped Adi bracing w/ no tongue brace, rope top purfling, chevron backstrip, green abalone rosette w/ accent rings, green abalone willow leaf 12th fret marker, curly maple heel cap and end graft,, bone nut and saddle, antique bone bridge pins, tiger stripe teardrop pickguard

Lower Bout: 15 1/8"
Upper Bout: 11 7/16"
Waist: 9 5/8"
Body Depth (max): 4 5/8"
Nut: 1 3/4"
Saddle: 2 1/4"
25.4" Scale
Length (including heel): 20 5/16"


I know it is a bit sappy, but here is a link to a video of the first note the guitar played (Larry and I were being goofs as usual):

First Note

Here is a link to me quietly noodling on the guitar at 6 am this morning. Not my finest musical moment nor a great technical achievement with the internal mic on my camera, but the darn thing is playing sweetly!

OM at 20 hours old

Click For Complete Album <---Note the subalbums with beginning-to-end pics.

Larry checkin' her out:

Me having a go:

And the final result of our efforts:

Martin 00-18G (1949); Archie Emm; Scrappy Fritz; The OMOM; Butterscotch
Lil Spartan

WARNING: Beware Chino and Daddy G.

Last edited by OddManOut; 05-15-2011 at 12:56 PM.
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