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Old 05-05-2021, 04:16 PM
JL5555 JL5555 is online now
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Default Simon Fay Swiss Spruce/BRW Model One Build-INCREDIBLE

I wanted to take the opportunity to share my build experience with Simon Fay. I had been on a quest to find an incredible guitar, particularly impressive for fingerstyle since I play mostly with a thumbpick and bare flesh fingers but also sometimes strum. Since 2013, I’ve been to several of the guitar festivals including Healdsburg, Memphis and Santa Barbara and have had the opportunity to listen to the amazing guitarists at these festivals and to play many, many guitars by the world’s top luthiers. I’ve also had the opportunity to visit Mike Joyce at Luthiers Collection north of San Diego as well as several other high-end guitar shops and play a number of amazing guitars. In particular, I had decided I wanted a guitar with BRW back/sides so I made a point to play virtually of the guitars with BRW back/sides at Healdsburg, Memphis, Santa Barbara, Hearts’ Home Acoustics, Schoenberg Guitars, Guitar Sanctuary and Luthiers Collection, including Somogyi, Traugott, Olson, Ryan, Doerr, Baranik, Charis, Collings, Galloup, Greenfield, Leach, Kraut, SCGC, Sexauer, Stephen Kinnaird, Schoenberg, Sheppard, Simpson, Tippin, Wingert, Bresnan, Kostal, Claxton, Goodall, Ryan, Applegate, Schwartz, McKnight, McPherson and Simon Fay. All of these luthiers, of course, build very good guitars.

I met Simon in 2015 at the Memphis Acoustic Guitar Festival and was familiar with his guitars from this forum and from hearing those who have performed with Simon’s guitars (e.g., Larry Pattis). Simon brought a couple of guitars to the festival and I had an opportunity to play an Adirondack/BRW Model One he had brought. I was floored at the extraordinary resonance, clarity, sustain, volume and “liveliness” of the guitar…”thick” round trebles, deep clear bass, strong/clear midrange with no scoop. I also liked the slightly shorter scale (25”) which made it a bit easier to play. I wanted a slightly wider string spacing (2 5/16”) and slightly wider nut width (1 25/32”) or I would have offered to buy the Adirondack/BRW guitar on the spot from Simon at the show. After returning home, it was clear to me that I wanted Simon to build a guitar for me. He helped me select the woods (Swiss Spruce/BRW), features (French polish top), walked me through the process and later began the build.

I took delivery of the guitar in December 2016. I’ve played it almost daily since then and can’t thank Simon enough. The guitar is absolutely amazing. The tone is out of this world, complex and rich and the guitar has such resonance, vibration, volume, liveliness…just incredible…and of course very easy to play. For those of us who have had the opportunity to meet and know Simon, he’s a great guy, very intelligent, extremely knowledgeable, an absolute perfectionist and very giving of his time throughout the build process and beyond. All of this to say, this is why so few of Simon’s guitars ever come up for sale.

I noticed that Simon is planning on doing a road show for one of his guitars. If you haven’t had a chance to play one of his guitars, based on my experience, I’d certainly suggest getting on the list so you can have an opportunity to play one.

Here are a few pictures Simon sent to me after the guitar was completed.


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Simon Fay Model One-Swiss Spruce/BRW (2016)
Kenny Hill Performance Classical-Spruce/EIRW (2011)

Last edited by JL5555; 05-06-2021 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:59 PM
Badbob16 Badbob16 is offline
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That is a beautiful guitar. Pure understated elegance.
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:01 PM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Every Simon Fay I have played has been stellar.. Super responsive with perfect fretwork, neck carve and overall playability.
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Old 05-06-2021, 02:20 AM
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colins colins is offline
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That's a very fine looking guitar. Glad you are enjoying it.

I really must play one of Simon's guitars some time...pity the road show doesn't get down here to Australia!
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Old 05-06-2021, 06:38 PM
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fitness1 fitness1 is offline
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Gorgeous - Simon really appears to be on top of his game these days, and that's saying a LOT. I played several of his early creations at his shop around 2006/7 I believe. They were more than impressive then!

Can only imagine how lovely they sound now!

Plus, he's a heck of a nice guy!
"One small heart, and a great big soul that's driving"

Charis SJ Koa/BC Sitka
Mcknight/Poling GC Koa/Italian
Loriente Clarita EIR/Engelmann

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