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Old 05-20-2020, 08:04 AM
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j. Kinnaird j. Kinnaird is offline
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Default West Coast build for Hanter

One of the two new guitars in the starting gate. (The other one is Paulís BRW beast). Both are going to use tunnel 14 o 15 redwood for the top.

Hanterís Specs are as follows:
West Coast OM
Cocobolo back and sides
Multi scale
Tunnel 14 redwood top with mineral streaking
THE TREE binding or maybe purfling to be decided by vote (remembering that Hanter casts the deciding vote.)
Perhaps a dark rosewood for binding.
Shadow multi piece rosette
BRW overlay, fingerboard, bridge
Top bevel
Florentine cutaway
Mahogany multipiece neck
Light Spanish cedar internals.
Other details to be determined.

The first consideration is whether to use the mahogany as a binding or use it for purfling. If used for purfling it will certainly add sparkle but wont be as noticeable as if it was used as binding. If it is used as binding then there would be a dark/white?/dark purfling line separating it from the body. Or perhaps a dark/mahogany/dark line. Details will be forthcoming as this project ripens.

Hereís the two options.




There is a lot of top showing and not much side. (Cocobolo) the ticket is to visualize the grouping with more side.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:25 AM
SJ VanSandt SJ VanSandt is offline
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In this case I think less is more. I like the sparkle of it as purfling. Sets off that handsome redwood rather than distracting from it. Regardless, looking forward to this one shaping up!

Stan
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:21 AM
Hanter Hanter is offline
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To have a master luthier build me a guitar and concurrently documenting it on AGF has been one of those things on my bucket list. Woke up with a pleasant surprise this morning to find John underway with this build thread as we begin an amazing journey.

First off, some back stories, and I will post some pics later in the day.

It was John Kinnaird's post on his spec West Coast OM (Euro/Coco) recently that got me intrigued and interested. As I heard Al Petteway going through his demo I was smitten by the sound of the guitar, the power and clarity it had, I wanted a guitar just like that!

So I wrote to John, and I was equally enamored by his attitudes and approaches. It was a very resolute decision to have him build my next guitar of my dreams.

Why is this guitar special? Of course its special cos its a custom guitar but more so, the wood choices and combination, as it slowly shapes up, is gonna turn into a real nail biter. The sound, I have no doubt it will be a tonal cannon.

Top Wood.
I inquired about Redwood, and in particular the famed Lucky Strike and Tunnel series Redwoods. John is, obviously, not a stranger to Redwoods as he has built with them throughout his career, but he has never built with an LS or Tunnel series Redwood (I'm surprised no one has asked), and therefore was also interested to see how they compared to the tops in his stash. Immediately, I saw John raise a thread on AGF to ask about Tunnel Redwood (another testament to his great and efficient personality). A week or so later, he had Redwood tops to choose from, and he had this to say:"...impressed...very pretty and ring with a beautiful tap tone...original plan was to buy 3 but I'm thinking 6 now...favorite to work with will be the mineral stained top for sonic reasons and I like the look...impressed with the response...very lively...louder tap tone than euro..."

And so the top was chosen. This is going to be John Kinnaird's first build with a Tunnel 14.

To those of you who are interested in a John Kinnaird custom build, he has more sets of Tunnel redwood in his stash now *wink wink*. To future beneficiaries don't mind me while I take some credit for increasing his inventory of amazing woods. You're welcome.

Back & Sides.
I have always had an affinity for Cocobolo, probably because back in my student days as I was trading guitars in London I had the privilege to own a Taylor Limited Edition 814 and that had the most beautiful Cocobolo. It had great tone, power, projection, it was bright and sweet when it needed to be and robust as well. It could handle anything thrown its way and also smelled great! I told John about this and he went digging into his Cocobolo stash. He sent over a series of pics and I immediately found a favorite. These were his words about the set:"...had that set for so long that I was surprised to see it when going through...its the forgotten cocobolo...it might be my favorite...did tap the Cocobolo and compared it with a braz back. Very comparable. Both sounded great...to Woodstock. I'm going to use this set if you decide against it..."*John if you have any other info on the age, origin of the Cocobolo, I'd like to hear it!

So this is some old, seasoned, wild grained, braz-comparable, exhibition-worthy and presentation grade Cocobolo. Easy choice bang bang.

Bindings/Purflings.
Mind you, I was very happy with the wood choices at this point and I thought it was already a superstar guitar. I was wondering if I should go one step further and while browsing, saw this Fiddleback Tree binding sticks for sale. John immediately ordered enough sticks for this to feature as a binding and in the bevel too. In my limited vision I thought the flame of the Fiddleback would set off perfectly with the T14 and Coco, but I didn't want it to be over-the-top. The bindings hold the guitar together, it should not steal the limelight from the rest of the guitar, yet it should provide the contrast and sparkle to the overall package. Finesse. So as John mentioned,we have not decided as a binding or a purfling, I will have to depend on the power of imagination, and some of the forum members' suggestions at this point.

Looking forward to this adventure!
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:54 AM
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I like it for purlfling. For binding it is too much in the same color range as the top
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:17 AM
Nemoman Nemoman is offline
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First off, welcome to the forum, Hanter--nothing like a cool build thread to make an entrance with!

Congrats on your build with John--I've admired his guitars for years here on the AGF and have no doubt that he'll create a visual and tonal masterpiece for you. As a recent recipient of a Tunnel 14/Cocobolo guitar, I can tell you that it is a magical combination. You'll love it!

I'm in agreement with mercy regarding the Tree binding--not enough contrast with the main woods and would possibly fight for the attention of the beholder. FWIW, my suggestion would be ebony or rocklite for the binding as I think it sets off the redwood and cocobolo in an elegant manner without competing with the other woods involved.

At any rate, whatever you and John come up with, this will be an amazing guitar, and I look forward to following along!
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:56 PM
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Ebony is safe for a binding and would look great, blending the top and the sides/back together. I dont like maple but rosewood would work and maybe snakewood for binding.
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercy View Post
Ebony is safe for a binding and would look great, blending the top and the sides/back together. I dont like maple but rosewood would work and maybe snakewood for binding.
Interesting Mercy. I understand your hesitancy to throw the mahogany out there for binding. Itís risky but could pay huge dividends. Thatís one of those things where i would love to see how it would look and am just a little afraid it might not look the best.
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:38 PM
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Yep Hanter,
Its your fault that i got the tunnel vision. Were it not for your interest I would never have investigated and invested. Just one more drug for a wood junky. I am anxious to see how it sounds though and donít regret my purchase. No buyers remorse here.
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:59 PM
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Since you have opened up to some opinion: The Tree's visual magic is on a larger scale than either binding or purfling. It's character will be largely lost in either application. Beyond that, it is not nearly hard enough to be a functional binding if protection from knocks is a consideration. It is better for purfling, then, as it is resilient enough to make a decent shock absorber behind the a harder binding. But, good luck bending such small pieces as the grain is truly wild, and every other inch (if it's the good stuff) will essentially be end-grain to the previous inch's perfection. If you though flamed maple was challenging . . . .IMO, of course.
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:16 PM
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Smile Welcome Hanter!

Way to start your AGF hang!!! Woohoo.

You will be stoked, no doubt. I always suggest my full Pablo Package. Go big or go home! Hahaha. PM me if you want to know about all the PP stuff.

Glad to hear you are going with the T-14 as well.

Any more striped tops, John?

Cheers

Paul
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:19 PM
Hanter Hanter is offline
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As promised...


The Tunnel 14 top with loads of character


The ďforgottenĒ Cocobolo which hasnít seen light for at least 10 years


Sides with a dash of sapwood


And a longer streak of the Fiddleback Tree showcasing some flame
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:30 PM
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Guitars44me Guitars44me is offline
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Smile If this one was mine...

I seem to be odd man out here. But that is not unusual...
I vote for Lots of fiddleback tree binding, if it is tough enough to do the job.

remember what Bruce said about fragility.

The "fiddleback tree" is NOT the same as "the tree", right?

What a BOSS Top!

Salud

Paul
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3 beloved John Kinnaird Customs. (I owned 6)
R.T 2c 12 fret Custom
2016 552ce 12X12
R.Wilson Weissy
A few choice 90s Taylors
budget electrics, and reso
Still Too many, but
"OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER, TOO YOUNG TO CARE!"

Last edited by Guitars44me; 05-21-2020 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 05-21-2020, 04:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
I seem to be odd man out here. But that is not unusual...
I vote for Lots of fiddleback tree binding, if it is tough enough to do the job.

remember what Bruce saidavout fragility.

The "fiddleback tree" is NOT the same as "the tree", right?

What a BOSS Top!

Salud

Paul
Perhaps you are the lone voice Paul but you have shown excellent taste in the past so your lone voice is definitely worth listening to.

I think the mahogany is tough enough. And you are right. I think “the fiddle back tree” is not the same as “THE TREE” One has the typical curl that you find in curly maple and the other has a quilted pattern. Both pretty.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:57 PM
Hanter Hanter is offline
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@mercy, @SJ VanSandt thanks for swinging by! Your comments are very much appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemoman View Post
First off, welcome to the forum, Hanter--nothing like a cool build thread to make an entrance with!

Congrats on your build with John--I've admired his guitars for years here on the AGF and have no doubt that he'll create a visual and tonal masterpiece for you. As a recent recipient of a Tunnel 14/Cocobolo guitar, I can tell you that it is a magical combination. You'll love it!

I'm in agreement with mercy regarding the Tree binding--not enough contrast with the main woods and would possibly fight for the attention of the beholder. FWIW, my suggestion would be ebony or rocklite for the binding as I think it sets off the redwood and cocobolo in an elegant manner without competing with the other woods involved.

At any rate, whatever you and John come up with, this will be an amazing guitar, and I look forward to following along!
@Nemoman I have followed some of your builds and I have greatly admired your guitars for a while now... your latest Arum is a real firecracker! Gave me a lot of inspiration for my build to be honest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
Since you have opened up to some opinion: The Tree's visual magic is on a larger scale than either binding or purfling. It's character will be largely lost in either application. Beyond that, it is not nearly hard enough to be a functional binding if protection from knocks is a consideration. It is better for purfling, then, as it is resilient enough to make a decent shock absorber behind the a harder binding. But, good luck bending such small pieces as the grain is truly wild, and every other inch (if it's the good stuff) will essentially be end-grain to the previous inch's perfection. If you though flamed maple was challenging . . . .IMO, of course.
@Bruce Sexauer legend and luthier extraordinaire! Am honored to have you comment on my build!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Way to start your AGF hang!!! Woohoo.

You will be stoked, no doubt. I always suggest my full Pablo Package. Go big or go home! Hahaha. PM me if you want to know about all the PP stuff.

Glad to hear you are going with the T-14 as well.

Any more striped tops, John?

Cheers

Paul
@Paul aka John Kinnaird's greatest fan, I am too very honored to have you as my bench buddy. I have read all about the full Pablo Package before, but I will PM you for sure because I need to understand how certain elements play their part to achieve their specific purposes. Your beast will be a .... beast! No doubt. I hope John has another stripy Tunnel top for you.
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2010 Tony Karol Italian Alpine / Ziricote Karol Signature FOR SALE!
2006 Brook Euro Spruce / Flamed Maple Taw
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  #15  
Old 05-22-2020, 09:46 AM
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Guitars44me Guitars44me is offline
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Smile The Pablo Package

Hanter sent me a PM yesterday asking all about the "Pablo Package".

Here is the FULL INFO:

The John Kinnard "Pablo Package" continues to evolve and now includes:

Gotoh Mini 510 18:1 tuners with full size wood or plastic buttons
Back, Arm and Cutaway bevels,
Chamfered, bull nosed body edges
sound port,
12 fret cut,
Double sides with lightest weight inner sides. I ask for Spanish Cedar which is super light and smells good too.
elevated floating Fretboard and
Carbon Fiber struts from neckblock to waist to free up the top.
asymmetrical super slim carve neck (I have small hands). with a Hollow CF D-Tube and NO truss rod
Rolled Fretboard edges for comfort
Manzer Wedge. 3/4"
All linings and laminated neck/end blocks are also SC for lightest weight
New, adjustable neck feature

John's new adjustable neck feature! Which is the most elegant I have seen, and eliminates the need for a neck set down the line in the future.

Also I LOVE the Gotoh 510 MINI 18:1 tuners with full size wood or plastic buttons. Save a bunch more weight off the top of the headstock.

Many of these features are for player comfort. The rest are to enhance Tone and VOLUME.

The floating Fretboard is elevated above the top like a violin family instrument or an archtop guitar. Which allows the entire top to move freely to make music, and eliminates the top from structural duties allowing lighter bracing and more movement.

The Carbon Fiber D tube replaces a normal truss rod. It should be plenty rigid to keep the neck from moving much under string tension.
And it saves considerable WEIGHT in the neck. Plus it can NOT be adjusted incorrectly by an incompetent Tech.

Any extra weight makes extended play difficult.
So I always ask John for the lightest build that will not blow up.

Especially with a 14 fret, unbalanced neck weight can make extended playing hard on your left arm. So mostly Spanish Cedar or light weight Mahogany for the neck, which will feature John's multiple laminations and Duck tail Volute for strength as well as good looks!

I would ask John for a 12 fret neck even with the fan Frets. In my experience (which is now considerable), I've never heard similar Guitars where the 12 fret did not sound better than the 14 Fret. Did the one you liked so much have 14 frets clear? All JKs sound wonderful, but I feel he works special magic on his 12 fret instruments. Ask him what HE thinks will sound best for you and what you do

John's 12 fret cutaways have about 13 1/2 frets worth of access due to the low profile neck heel. That is a big plus for performance.

Some of these features were John's suggestions. The rest I asked for to make my unamplified senior/health care and restaurant gigs easier. Of course for the time being the gigs are history... SIGH

Hope this all helps.

Paul
__________________
3 beloved John Kinnaird Customs. (I owned 6)
R.T 2c 12 fret Custom
2016 552ce 12X12
R.Wilson Weissy
A few choice 90s Taylors
budget electrics, and reso
Still Too many, but
"OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER, TOO YOUNG TO CARE!"

Last edited by Guitars44me; 05-22-2020 at 10:08 AM.
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