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  #106  
Old 12-26-2020, 10:06 AM
roberts roberts is offline
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Very sweet playing, Tom. And that tone is just...mesmerizing. Congrats!....Robert
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  #107  
Old 12-26-2020, 10:23 AM
virob virob is offline
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What a guitar! Thanks for sharing some of your first moments with this guitar. That is very special. Beautiful playing and wonderful sounding guitar. What a treat!
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  #108  
Old 12-26-2020, 01:31 PM
Vaillant75 Vaillant75 is offline
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Thanks everyone for the kind comments, it's been great to share this build in the past few months. Wanted to add one last clip in standard tuning (the previous were in C) before Tom's introductory video. This is a cover of Dan Holloway's arrangement of Brothers in Arms:



PS: I changed from Elixirs to Santa Cruz Mediums, and I find they help to control the guitar's high overtone content.

Thanks!

Last edited by Vaillant75; 12-26-2020 at 03:25 PM.
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  #109  
Old 12-26-2020, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deft Tungsman View Post
Congratulations, man!!!

After all the setbacks and the trials of patience, Dolores has found her way home to you, and I am so happy to see the two of you together.

And a special word of thanks for being brave and open-hearted about posting these quick clips of your new guitar when you're still all giddy from that first kiss. They're so moving, like the opening scenes of a long epic romance.

Best Christmas ever?
Yes YES! Way to go!!! Sounds sweet and I personally appreciate slow and smooth songs to show off the instrument

Happy 2021

Paul
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  #110  
Old 12-28-2020, 04:16 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deft Tungsman View Post
And a special word of thanks for being brave and open-hearted about posting these quick clips of your new guitar when you're still all giddy from that first kiss
^ this!

So many times on this forum we get to see zillions of build pics but hear nothing of the eventual guitar. We all know it's no real substitute for having the thing in your hands, but personal clips provide closure and give at least some idea of the sonics...and yours sounds really great!

I'm still enjoying my Sands tremendously. I also got mine at Christmas - 2017 - and the honeymoon is still going strong three years later. It's big sound and complexity has definitely prevented me getting "bored" with it.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #111  
Old 12-28-2020, 12:06 PM
Vaillant75 Vaillant75 is offline
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Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Yes YES! Way to go!!! Sounds sweet and I personally appreciate slow and smooth songs to show off the instrument

Happy 2021

Paul
Thanks Paul, I was trying to leave some space and show the resonance. Tom will be posting the introductory video soon with more videos from Will. There is also a great story about that guitar that I'll tell in due time

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Originally Posted by steveh View Post
^ this!

So many times on this forum we get to see zillions of build pics but hear nothing of the eventual guitar. We all know it's no real substitute for having the thing in your hands, but personal clips provide closure and give at least some idea of the sonics...and yours sounds really great!

I'm still enjoying my Sands tremendously. I also got mine at Christmas - 2017 - and the honeymoon is still going strong three years later. It's big sound and complexity has definitely prevented me getting "bored" with it.

Cheers,
Steve
Hi Steve,

I feel a bit "embarrassed" by the quality of the recording, clearly not deserving of an instrument of such quality. Thankfully Tom also focuses on creating high quality content (both in terms of recording quality and video editing). Thinking about it, as guitar nerds we can be thankful of the time he spends sharing about his work. At least I enjoy it tremendously.
I am currently learning about recording (quite the rabbit hole, but getting there bit by bit), so I'll post more pieces in a few weeks. The guitar should also loosen up a bit, which will be fun to track.

Glad to hear you're still happy with the Sands after three years. I really liked the latest recording you did in standard, I think there is quite a bit of tonal overlap between the MMD and M-12, eg. high overtone content, great resonance and sweetness...
Out fo curiosity, what strings are you using on the MMD?

On another note, you have a Taran in the works right?
Cheers,
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  #112  
Old 12-29-2020, 06:10 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaillant75 View Post
I am currently learning about recording (quite the rabbit hole, but getting there bit by bit), so I'll post more pieces in a few weeks.

Out fo curiosity, what strings are you using on the MMD?

On another note, you have a Taran in the works right?
1. I now use an Apogee MiC and an iPad. I got "into" recording a few years ago and, TBH, it drove me crazy and was a huge distraction. Took ages to set the stuff up (multiple mics, preamp etc), and that contributed to "Red Light Fever". There was a guy around here years ago - "Mau" - who did amazing recordings with just an iPad and IOS Garageband. He taught me it was the player not the gear. Expensive gear didn't help my playing - quite the opposite!

2. D'Addario EJ17. I've tried loads of strings and, again, it's a distraction. D'Addario's are super consistent, super reliable, and available everywhere. They work.

3. Yes, and that will probably be an issue for me. After years of GAS chasing I have settled with two superb instruments, my Sands and a Claxton OM. They are all I'll ever need but in July 2019 I played a new model from Rory that I thought was in a different league to his prior guitars; it combined the clarity and separation of a Sobell but in a slightly softer and sweeter, more palatable format. I really didn't want another steel-string but I got on his list against my better judgement.

Rory and Tom are good mates but their guitars are quite different sonically (and constructionally - Rory's are very arched); I'm expecting the Taran to be brighter, drier, and more punchy / direct than the Sands, and with better separation. Like you say above, the Sands is sweeter, with lots of overtones and resonance. My Claxton is an insanely good guitar in a more traditional Martinesque format. I only really need two steel-strings so I'm not sure where that leaves me but Rory's guitar won't arrive for quite some time, so that first-world problem is deferred.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #113  
Old 01-04-2021, 04:33 PM
Vaillant75 Vaillant75 is offline
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Hi everyone,

Tom has just published an introductory video for the guitar and I'd like to share it with you:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIbE9_vXjWE&t=53s

I will add some thoughts later this week or over the weekend.

Cheers,
Tom

[Mods could you please embed the video? For some reason I can't make it work.... Thanks!]
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  #114  
Old 01-05-2021, 06:23 AM
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My goodness Tom. What a nice video. Happy New Year to you. Enjoy that beauty!
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  #115  
Old 01-05-2021, 09:34 AM
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Congratulations Tom on a spectacular instrument. I think this might be the best sounding Tom Sands guitar Iíve heard. The bass registers are so deep and complicated and powerful, Will has the technique to pull off different nuances in different situations thatís so cool. Beautiful overtones and very articulate trebles. Very very nice!
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  #116  
Old 01-05-2021, 10:13 AM
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Beautiful video, beautiful guitar.

Delores delivers on all fronts--looks and sound.

Congrats--enjoy it good health!
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  #117  
Old 01-07-2021, 12:09 PM
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Deft Tungsman Deft Tungsman is offline
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Today I paid Thomas a visit and had the good fortune to see, hear and play his new Model M. Needless to say, I can't wait until our next gathering to relive the experience.

As you can see from the pictures, Dolores is a beautiful instrument in every way. Elegant design, perfect execution.

I'd only played three Sands before, all Model Ss. I prefer smaller guitars and know that Tom's smallest instrument could easily keep me smiling for many long years to come.

But what about the larger Model M? Well, Dolores is actually smaller and lighter than I was anticipating. The mini forearm bevel and 12-fret neck join make for a very comfortable guitar. The neck carve is perfect, as is string spacing. The only time I noticed the fan fret was when I was screwing up at artificial harmonics.

The best part? The VOICE!! Sound is difficult to describe, as we all know. But we all know what it feels like when the way a guitar sounds is enough to make us want to play on and on and on. I hear a ton of warmth and clarity. The sustain is so balanced, so even. I don't hear tons of overtones clouding the picture, everything hangs clearly in the air.

Of course, the very best part is that Dolores sounds truly awesome when Thomas plays her. In fact, he's never sounded better, and that's saying a lot!
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  #118  
Old 01-10-2021, 06:36 AM
Vaillant75 Vaillant75 is offline
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After owning this superlative instrument for almost three weeks, I wanted to share additional thoughts.

Aesthetics and craftsmanship
I will simply reinforce what I’ve written previously. Completely flawless execution and I often find myself giggling like a teenager when looking at the guitar. Beautiful instruments inspire you to pick them up and are hard to put down, which is key to me. I like Tom’s organic feel to his guitars, as he always put forward the wood natural beauty. His past experience as a cabinet maker has made him quite knowledgeable about wood characteristics and usage, as you can see from his informational (and light-hearted) funboxing video on Youtube. He’s also committed to sustainable sourcing, which I believe is getting increasingly important for the new generation of luthiers.

Playability
One could argue that the guitar’s specs are slightly uncommon. 25-26 fan onto a 12 fret, not within your typical Martin territory. 
Taken separately, all these choices made sense to me: (1) I lean increasingly towards 12 fretters (with cutaway), and I was drawn to the sound of each M-12 Tom has created. (2) I spend ~2/3 of my playing time in a wide range of open tunings, so the extra tension could certainly be a plus. Still, it was unknown territory and I hoped for the combination to fit me well.
After almost 3 weeks of playing and getting familiar with the instrument, I am happy to report that I feel right at home. Like Marc said, the transition to the fan is completely seamless, and I confirm the ergonomic advantages I read about on AGF (specifically on the fretting hand). The wider string spacings (1-13/16 at the nut, 2-5/16 at the saddle), and the perfectly carved neck make for such an enjoyable playing experience. It is also surprisingly comfortable to hold, despite a lower bout close to 16’. Some of it can be attributed to the mini-bevel, which I recommend strongly. I have been playing the guitar for extended sessions (up to 3-4 hours) without any fatigue or discomfort.

Tone
I already mentioned the guitar’s innate sweetness and resonance, which to me were the most noticeable attributes after an hour of paying time. The guitar is incredibly responsive and really shines when given space for the the overtone content to swell from the sound hole. This guitar has outstanding sustain, while never losing clarity. It holds true especially in open tunings, likely reinforced by the fan fret arrangement.
The bass is cavernous (which is quite discernible from the recordings), and I’m very pleased by how the trebles have gotten fatter with more playing time. I know the term “opening up“ can be polarizing, but I seem to notice considerable improvement for the high E/B notes past the 12 fret that were a bit tight in the first week of playing. Is that me getting in tune with the instrument? Who knows… In any case, I am very much looking forward to seeing how the voice will slowly evolve over time.
Finally, I expected that guitar to be best suited for fingerstyle but to my pleasant surprise it is really versatile! I sometimes strum to accompany my partner (who sings) and the guitar complements her voice quite nicely.
At the end of the day, Marc said it best. It’s a guitar you want to keep playing, and that's what matters the most.

Beyond the guitar
We currently live in a world with so many great builders, and I could quote at least 50 luthiers capable of building a lifetime instrument. I’ve fallen before in the superlative trap during the guitar honeymoon, but I now realize that a successful build experience will significantly contribute to the connection with the instrument. Tone can always be challenged, sometimes surpassed, but memories remain.
It’s my first custom build and I can’t thank Tom enough for this outstanding experience. Tom advocates that guitar building is partly about the relationship, and I can guarantee he stands by his words. From all the calls at the beginning of the process to the countless number of pictures and videos he shared along the way, I have felt very involved in the creation of Dolores. I also value the time and effort Tom put in sharing about his craft, while he could just be building more guitars. Very few luthier create such high quality content for everyone to enjoy, and it tells a lot about Tom’s personality.
My only regret is that I could not meet up with Tom to pick up the guitar in his workshop, but I know we’ll make up for it in the close future and cheer to Dolores over a fine whiskey. This custom build has been a highlight of an overall challenging year, and I will continue to follow his work with close attention… until my next build starts! Yep, I’ve just put down another deposit for a model S… This is how much I look forward for this experience to start again.

Finally, thanks everyone for contributing to this thread. It has also contributed to the positive experience. I’ll be sharing additional recordings at a later stage but I wanted to give my final opinion.

Cheers,
Tom

Last edited by Vaillant75; 01-10-2021 at 06:44 AM.
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  #119  
Old 01-11-2021, 02:48 PM
Vaillant75 Vaillant75 is offline
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Default A special treat to end this thread...

Before shipping the guitar to me, Tom organized a session with Will Killen and the duo "In The Morning Lights". It was recorded live at Evoke Studios, in Leeds (UK).

Tom took care of the recording, filming and editing (and well, making the guitar). Talking about multitasking...

I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did:



Cheers,
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  #120  
Old 01-12-2021, 06:51 AM
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Deft Tungsman Deft Tungsman is offline
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Fantastic video!!! Tom is a convener of many talents.
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