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  #61  
Old 02-27-2018, 08:46 PM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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Very nice clean work...
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  #62  
Old 02-28-2018, 05:52 AM
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Steve, that is a great looking guitar!
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  #63  
Old 02-28-2018, 08:16 AM
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Thanks +++ for all of the gracious comments Gentlemen.

As it happens a while back Tom and I arranged to hook up at his shop in Yorkshire so that I could have some input into the final neck shaping etc. Because of work, I need to get these trips arranged well in advance. In the interim, work on the guitar raced ahead and by the time I arrived in Ripon, my guitar was off being finished, so I never got to see it. Saw an MD for a mate of mine (Dave from Wolfram) coming together though - macassar ebony IIRC?

Still managed to have a great day chatting and gossiping about guitars though:



Cheers,
Steve
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  #64  
Old 03-06-2018, 04:30 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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At last, here are pics of the finished article that Tom has had done. I hope you'll agree its a fabulous looking instrument?











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  #65  
Old 03-06-2018, 06:19 AM
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Indeed, a beautiful instrument. Congrats to both of you!
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  #66  
Old 03-06-2018, 09:24 AM
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That is a stunner--love everything about it!

Congrats and good cheer!
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  #67  
Old 03-06-2018, 10:51 AM
Deft Tungsman Deft Tungsman is offline
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Deeeeelicious !! Congratulations !!
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  #68  
Old 03-06-2018, 06:57 PM
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I AGREE, Ab Fab...
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  #69  
Old 03-06-2018, 07:41 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Steve that is a most excellent instrument! Best of luck with it... recordings soon I hope!!!

Lots of small but elegant details, like the bridge design which I think is amazing, as well as the headstock.
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  #70  
Old 03-07-2018, 07:05 AM
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My first thought, after admiring the overall beauty of the instrument, is that it has a powerful look, like it would be loud and proud. If you can post sound samples, I'd love to hear this. It's a stunning instrument!
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  #71  
Old 03-08-2018, 04:10 AM
Portland Bill Portland Bill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveh View Post
Thanks +++ for all of the gracious comments Gentlemen.

As it happens a while back Tom and I arranged to hook up at his shop in Yorkshire so that I could have some input into the final neck shaping etc. Because of work, I need to get these trips arranged well in advance. In the interim, work on the guitar raced ahead and by the time I arrived in Ripon, my guitar was off being finished, so I never got to see it. Saw an MD for a mate of mine (Dave from Wolfram) coming together though - macassar ebony IIRC?

Still managed to have a great day chatting and gossiping about guitars though:



Cheers,
Steve
Well you look happy with the deal
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  #72  
Old 03-08-2018, 05:00 AM
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Stunning guitar! I still can't get over Toms work. My OM sounds like nothing I have ever heard from a guitar.. Congrats, Steve.
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  #73  
Old 03-09-2018, 03:30 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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OK Ė So I have the guitar here. As you can see from the pic below, Tom delivered it a little while back. We had meant to get it to me before Christmas (what a great present that would have been!) but like so many UK luthiers Tom farms out his finishing to the very competent and oft used David Wilson and the holiday period meant a bit of a delay before the guitar got back to Tom. Tom delivered it just before our Christmas tree came down, as evidenced by the pic below!



Another very nice touch was that I had been in discussion with Tom about the case. Iím not a fan of expensive cases or those that break your wrist every time you try to pick them up. I donít play professionally etc. and would much rather my money went towards the guitar inside rather than on the case itself. Iím a big fan of plain old Hiscox and thatís what I wanted. Anyway, Tom delivered it in a Hoffee, stating that he just couldnít bear the idea of it being in anything less good; what a surprise and what a great guy!

Anyway, one of the reasons I have had the guitar for a while before completing this thread is that I really didnít want to get into a situation that Iíve seen happen here more than a few times: Lots of excitement about the upcoming guitar and then radio silence because the buyer is disappointed in some way. From personal experience, I know how very easy it is to invest far too much emotional energy in an upcoming build only for that to very quickly develop into completely unrealistic expectations.

Indeed, the opposite has been the case for me with this Sands. As noted earlier, I am playing 90% nylon these days and wasnít really in the market for a new steel-string: I sold two Kostals that I loved to fund a nylon guitar and Iím not really obsessed by steel-string in the way that I was a couple of years ago. Iíd played some of Toms guitars, thought they were great, and my pals were raving about them. So, I got on board but with a bit of an, ďoh well, whateverÖĒ attitude if I am honest. I know Tom thought it a little odd that I wasnít as ďall overĒ the build as most of his clients are over theirs.

Where am I heading with this? Well, I guess I am saying that I wasnít expecting fireworks when the guitar was delivered. Iíve been there, seen that film, and got that badge. However, whether I was expecting it or not, there were plenty of pyrotechnics when I got the guitar in my hands. This guitar has blown me away completely. On the most basic level, it looks great: The padauk (an example of me avoiding the obvious and expensive candidates) looks fabulous under finish. Red? Bah! This is a glorious, rich, deep mahogany colour. It looks beautiful. What a surprise! And the size Ė itís great. I loved my MD and itís huge, expansive sound but it was a real big handful of a guitar, especially for a little guy like me. In contrast, this MMD is perfect. You definitely get more than a fair slice of that big, resonant bottom end, but without the arm ache. Sonically, this is closer to a full-fat MD than an OM.

Öand so to the sound, and what a sound! This is everything I could have hoped it to be and far, far more. I had been attracted to Tomís guitars because pretty much all of those Iíve encountered have displayed definitely sweeter trebles than the large majority of Somogyi inspired guitars I have played. Obviously, thereís a ton of variation between individual guitars, but I have played a lot of apprentice (and Somogyi) guitars and thatís my thoughts, noting that this is a relative observation. This guitar is complex, responsive, deep, and loaded with overtones. Whether the 12-fret bridge position has anything to do with it, I donít know, but this guitar has that supple, mellifluous sound in spades.

I am SO HAPPY I commissioned this and it is bringing me back to steel-string rapidly. With that in mind I am getting some tunes under my fingertips and will definitely be posting some video when I am happy with my performance Ė that takes me a bit of time but Iíll get there and readers will get to hear the guitar. Seriously, I could not be happier Ė this is one of the very best guitars Iíve played and itís mine! IMHO Tom has gotten into a build quality and sonic space that very few luthiers achieve. The fact that he's done it so quickly is no doubt due to the combination of Mr. Somogyi and a ton of innate talent. Well done Tom Ė you nailed it. This is a keeper and I don't often say that.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #74  
Old 03-09-2018, 03:38 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikealpine View Post
My first thought, after admiring the overall beauty of the instrument, is that it has a powerful look, like it would be loud and proud. If you can post sound samples, I'd love to hear this. It's a stunning instrument!
Mike, see above: I will defiitely be posting video when I have some new tunes under my fingers. My nylon fetish (haha) has left me very rusty on the steel-string.

"Loud and proud"? I'm not so sure. When I think "loud and proud" the guitar that sits at the top of that pile is Stefan Sobell - huge projection, separation, and impossible to overdrive. This Sands is almost the polar opposite if that makes sense. It's warmer and less steely than a Sobell and is more responsive, with overtones that are easier to coax out. Less separation and it would be far easier to overdrive the Sands but that's because it's a super responsive fingerstyle instrument. I asked Tom to build me the apogee of the bedroom guitar, i.e. something for my personal pleasure, playing at home. I want a sound that envelops the player rather than projection. As it happens, I have a great Sobell here so can report back when I can entice a pal around to play while I listen.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #75  
Old 03-09-2018, 03:44 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fngrstyl View Post
I still can't get over Toms work. My OM sounds like nothing I have ever heard from a guitar.
Yes Chad. Like I say above, I'm not sure how Tom got to where he is so quickly but it has to be the combination of Somogyi, innate talent, and the ability to soak information up like a sponge over the 3-years he was in Oakland.

Interestingly, my guitar does not have the typical Somogyi "magic sauce" bracing because the 12-fret bridge position makes that difficult. As I understand it from Tom, mine is more traditionallly braced yet still sounds like a Somogyi style guitar. Far more to the top voicing than just where the braces are placed.

Cheers,
Steve
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