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Old 02-10-2021, 02:20 PM
elephony elephony is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 17
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Thanks for posting the pics, John, appreciate it.

To expound a little more about the guitar, I was looking like I said for a small, rosewood-type guitar but with domestic woods, so Preservation was an immediate fit because in addition to an overall focus on domestic woods, Aviva had worked with osage orange previously and had a couple of sets on hand. I opted for the one with squirrely grain, as she accurately called it, and am glad I did.

Overall, the guitar seems to me to marry the best aspects of an old guitar from the 20s and a new one. It's light as a feather, and has the kind of sweet, balanced voice you'd expect. The neck, as I mentioned, has no truss rod, something Aviva suggested and I was happy to go with. It instead is bookmatched quartersawn walnut, arranged in a v pattern so that the grain matches the soft V of the neck. It's done for strength, clearly, but I also really like the understated V pattern it left on the headstock. The neck carve is a soft V tapering to a full C, a little smaller than the old Regal/Oscar Schmidt necks I've played, but fuller than most modern necks I've come across.

I was looking for something elegantly simple aesthetically, and love how it ended up. The three dots decrease in size, making it just a little more interesting than the old school three dot inlays without being blingy, and the single bound body means the end grain of the back is visible, which is a nice little touch, given how interesting that grain is. I opted for the Stromberg Voisinet-style bridge because I have an old Kay Kraft Nick Lucas-style guitar with one and think it's really stylish. Her version is a little more curvy than the original while still remaining very true to the inspiration. The french polish finish is great, nice and glossy but also as thin as you'd expect.

Overall it has the old 20s guitar looks I was after, but in a sustainable domestic wood and with all the benefits of a new, custom build. Aviva was a pleasure to work with, and I can't stop picking it up to play, the truest test of a new guitar. The two things Aviva does well that I opted out of are inlay work (not just on the fingerboard, she also does great inlaid pickguards) and ladder bracing; I was looking for a fingerstyle x-braced guitar, so the pickguard wasn't necessary and the ladder bracing wasn't quite what I wanted, but if I were to get another of her guitars I'd definitely do something ladder braced and with some spiffy inlay.
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