View Single Post
Old 01-03-2021, 12:07 PM
Ukulele_Eddie's Avatar
Ukulele_Eddie Ukulele_Eddie is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 426
Smile New Wilborn Arum Build: Tunnel 14 Redwood with Ziricote [Unveiling Video Added]

First, Happy New Year, y'all!

I got the message. As scheduled when I commissioned it, Ben is about to start on my Arum, which will feature a Tunnel 14 redwood top with a ziricote body.

What is an Arum? It's Ben's 00'ish-sized (14" at lower bout) guitar from his new "Comma Series" line, which seeks to set a new standard in high-performance guitars with a number of non-traditional features: triple-laminated sides, radially braced top, 3D sound port (upper-bout located sound hole/side port), and multi-scale, raised fingerboard. I believe the very first model was inspired by our own TomB'sox. You can read more about this new line here:

And you can read a number of other Arum and Nautilus (larger 15" body) build threads by other members here on AGF.

"Excited" would be an understatement. I'm a sucker for highly figured wood and previously had two custom ukuleles (a Steve Grimes tenor and a Kevin Mason baritone) from ziricote that I absolutely loved for tone and beauty, so I'm excited to have a guitar being made from one of my favorite woods and one of my favorite luthiers. Ben built a cedar/birdseye maple "Lion" for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the build process and working with Ben. I reluctantly re-homed that beauty to make room for this build.

I considered cocobolo as well and Ben has some amazing sets. While I know there are many factors that determine a guitar's tone, with builder and top wood being strong determinants, I have noted in a number of cocobolo instruments from many different highly regarded builders, a beautiful clarity in each string's notes but, for me, something missing in how they blend or meld together. As if the notes are too distinct, if that makes any sense. But Ben was confident I would be happy with what he built for me from cocobolo and I know he honors his satisfaction guarantee, so I was almost ready to take the plunge.

Before I took the plunge, I asked for one final look at some ziricote sets and if nothing grabbed me, I'd proceed. "Okay, before I commit, I want to see your best ziricote. Your secret stash stuff." As soon as I saw this set, the clouds parted and the angels sang. I "knew" my decision was made and made resolutely. Cocobolo will have to wait.

Those of you familiar with Ben's work know that despite his incredible precision, he is a very speedy builder and he sticks to his schedule commitments. This guitar should be finished in February. I'll update with more photos as I get them.

Assuming I love this one like I believe I will, I'll probably trim down to three guitars. The Doerr, the Arum and the other one TBD.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_3581 (2).jpg (46.0 KB, 574 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3614 (1).jpg (47.2 KB, 578 views)
File Type: jpg Ziricote Z12 IMG_4396 (1).jpg (58.8 KB, 494 views)
12-fret Small Body Addict & Sucker for Exquisite Craftsmanship
  • Doerr Trinity Select Signature Swiss Spruce/BRW
  • Wilborn Arum Tunnel 14 Redwood/Ziricote
  • Beneteau 0-12 Sitka/Mahogany
  • Martin 1931 Authentic 00-17

Last edited by Ukulele_Eddie; 03-22-2021 at 09:06 PM. Reason: Added to title that video is available
Reply With Quote