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  #1  
Old 05-11-2021, 09:55 AM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Default Marc Beneteau OM (Torrefied Alaskan Sitka / Indian Rosewood) Aug '21

Hey AGF,

VERY excited to be starting my third commission with Marc Beneteau from Ontario, CA. Every guitar of his that I have had the opportunity to play has fit my style of playing astonishingly well and his fit/finish is just perfect. Most of my albums and singles have been recorded with Marc's guitars as they strike a razor sharp balance of modern overtones and traditional woody tone. He voices his guitars with contemporary fingerstyle/dropped tunings in mind and I love that. I've yet to hear any guitars that sound like his, which is the mark of a great luthier of over 30 years. Very unique and consistently powerful tone.

My tune "Once More, with Feeling" on a Carpathian/Ebony Model M



My tune "Finally" on an Italian/Walnut SJ



My tune "Remembrance" on an Italian/African Blackwood MJ fanfret


For this build we decided to do something pretty different than what I normally go for. A shorter scale and baked sitka for the soundboard vs. longer scale(s) with Euro spruce. Marc prides himself on his stash of seasoned, perfectly quartersawn woods that he often processes himself and after sending some sets of Alaskan Sitka to a wood torrefaction processor he felt very confident about now offering torrefied, or "baked" Sitka tops as an option. After chatting he said he could confirm there was extra sustain and warmth to the tone of the guitars he'd made with it from the beginning that wasn't typically there with standard Sitka sets. For the back and sides we decided on a beautiful set of Indian rosewood from his stash that's over 20 years dried and seasoned.

For those who might follow my banter on Cedar Rock Studio Gallery reviews - I am a huge fan of Italian spruce, almost always. But my first two Beneteau's were made with this wood and I am anticipating going with Italian for my upcoming Taran build due this Fall so I felt it was time for something different and I have loved the sound Marc gets with his standard Sitka.

To my way of thinking, good Sitka is in no way inferior to the higher-sought after European spruces on most high end builds. I used to not think very highly of it for fingerstyle guitar that generally involves a light touch and a need for complexity in the overtones. After spending the last year or so gigging with my limited series Larrivee "DF" model in master grade Sitka/Ziricote I actually see some advantages and find it to be a fine choice for this style of playing when paired with a resonant back/sides wood. I see the added benefit most where there is a bit more urgency to the tempo of a song or when I want to dig in harder with the midrange. There is a maturity and "no B/S" quality to it that I find appealing, however I say all of this knowing that I am still a complete sucker for the beauty and bell-like trebles you find in good European tops that can bring out the melody like no other top wood choice.

Below are the specs we have settled on and the first photo of the wood sets Marc picked out. This ought to be finished sometime in late summer. I look forward to sharing the journey with you all again and posting the demo upon it's delivery.

-Soundboard: Torrefied Alaskan Sitka
-Back and Sides: Indian Rosewood
-Nut Width: 1.78”
-Bridge string spacing: 2.31”
-Scale Length: 25”
-Body depth at endpin: 4 3/8”
-Cutaway: Florentine
-Body bindings/bevel: Ebony
-Fingerboard: Maple-Bound Ebony
-Soundboard inner purflings: Rosewood/maple/ebony
-Heel cap: Indian rosewood
-Backstrip: Ebony with maple borders
-Arm Bevel: Ryan style
-Soundport: Yes
-Bridge: Pinless
-Headstock front and back veneers: Maple-bound Indian Rosewood, “B” logo for front
-Rosette: 8mm wide Spalted Maple

Misc:
-neck thickness at 1st fret: 0.83”
-Ebony or gold strap pin for neck heel (dealer choice)
-Side MOP dots up to 21st fret
-Evo Gold fretwire medium jumbo (0.047” x 0.104”)
-Standard gold Gotoh 510s 18:1 with Ebonoid buttons
-clear pickguard
-Nut string spacing 1 9/16"
-cedar kerflings
-drilled endpin hole for future pickup jack, centered, no endpin necessary

Action/String height:
-Straight (or nearly straight) neck preferred
-Low E: 3/32” off the 12th fret wire
-High E: 2/32” off the 12th fret wireless

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Last edited by Dustinfurlow; 05-12-2021 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 05-11-2021, 12:34 PM
Ryan Alexander Ryan Alexander is offline
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Dude, have you been reading my emails?! I'm also chatting with Marc at the moment about a short scale OM with very similar specs, but I'm on the fence about letting my beloved SJ go. I'll be watching this with great interest! I originally thought of doing Adirondack/Mahogany for mine but have also been looking closely at the torrefied Sitka. I love Marc's standard Sitka paired with the Padouk on my SJ and agree with your thoughts on it's benefits when paired with a resonant back and sides.

Way cool
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:14 PM
Hanter Hanter is offline
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Amazing. If anyone deserves build (thread) upon build (thread), its you! From what it sounds like, the Torrefied Sitka holds a lot of promise. No multiscale on this one? Seems like a deviation from your usual. Also, what electronics were you intending to put on it?
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Old 05-11-2021, 07:58 PM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Alexander View Post
Dude, have you been reading my emails?! I'm also chatting with Marc at the moment about a short scale OM with very similar specs, but I'm on the fence about letting my beloved SJ go. I'll be watching this with great interest! I originally thought of doing Adirondack/Mahogany for mine but have also been looking closely at the torrefied Sitka. I love Marc's standard Sitka paired with the Padouk on my SJ and agree with your thoughts on it's benefits when paired with a resonant back and sides.

Way cool
Interesting! I played an Adirondack/Sapele CS sometime ago at Dream Guitars and it was stellar, the trebles had alot of mojo and power. Look forward to hearing what you end up ordering!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanter View Post
Amazing. If anyone deserves build (thread) upon build (thread), its you! From what it sounds like, the Torrefied Sitka holds a lot of promise. No multiscale on this one? Seems like a deviation from your usual. Also, what electronics were you intending to put on it?
I came to the conclusion that multi-scale isn't 100% necessary for me, and also that short scale is highly preferable! Funny the things we learn "hands-on" as we go along. I will be putting a K&K Trinity w/ upgraded DPA mic with DiMarzio Black Angel magnetic in this guitar, most likely. I definitely plan to gig with it
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:18 AM
MThomson MThomson is offline
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Congratulations Dustin. Quite the exciting year coming up.
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Old 05-12-2021, 07:42 PM
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Guitars44me Guitars44me is offline
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Nice! This will be fun to follow.

Has Marc ever built with a Manzer Wedge? I am sure fond of them. Good choice on the bevel!
More comfort for the driver is my mantra...

Enjoy the whole process!

Salud

Paul
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:32 PM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MThomson View Post
Congratulations Dustin. Quite the exciting year coming up.
I'm extremely grateful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Has Marc ever built with a Manzer Wedge? I am sure fond of them. Good choice on the bevel!
More comfort for the driver is my mantra...
I don't think he has, I will ask him tommorrow if this is something he would consider. I've heard from several luthiers it is not a difficult task, much easier than doing a bevel.
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-"Woodscapes" Modern Solo-Guitar Album
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:48 PM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Marc stamping the serial number, or more like the start date! Pretty clever system, mitigates any confusion later.

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-Proudly endorsed by Larrivee Guitars, D’Addario Strings, G7th Capos and K&K Sound
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-"Woodscapes" Modern Solo-Guitar Album
available at www.dustinfurlow.com/shop
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:35 AM
Scallywag Scallywag is offline
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This is going to be great! I love my Beneteau and they sound great in your hands. I love that you're going with a super classic (and underrated!) wood combo.

Dustin, why the shorter scale? Do you intend to employ this guitar in a particular manner?
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustinfurlow View Post
Marc stamping the serial number, or more like the start date! Pretty clever system, mitigates any confusion later.


Start date in December, 2021?

Congrats on another stellar build! I'm looking forward to seeing things progress.
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Old 05-13-2021, 10:19 AM
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Cocobolo Kid Cocobolo Kid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nootis View Post
Start date in December, 2021?

Congrats on another stellar build! I'm looking forward to seeing things progress.
I'm hoping that was a joke and not that you didn't realize that the start date is the 12th day of May (05), 2021 (i.e. the day Dustin posted the photo).

Congrats Dustin on this upcoming build. I will definitely be following this build with interest. I have always wanted to try out a Beneteau OM. A few years ago, I even talked to Marc about an OM build.
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Last edited by Cocobolo Kid; 05-13-2021 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 05-13-2021, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobolo Kid View Post
I'm hoping that was a joke and not that you didn't realize that the start date is the 12th day of May (05), 2021 (i.e. the day Dustin posted the photo).

Congrats Dustin on this upcoming build. I will definitely be following this build with interest. I have always wanted to try out a Beneteau OM. A few years ago, I even talked to Marc about an OM build.
I was not joking, however I wasn't thinking either. I experienced a momentary lapse and forgot that, like the metric system, Americans are naive to the way the rest of the world writes the date. Furthermore, for a minute, I thought Marc lived in Ontario, California.

Nothing to see here, carry on with this sure to be beautiful build!
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Old 05-13-2021, 06:52 PM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scallywag View Post
This is going to be great! I love my Beneteau and they sound great in your hands. I love that you're going with a super classic (and underrated!) wood combo.

Dustin, why the shorter scale? Do you intend to employ this guitar in a particular manner?
Hi buddy, I've switched to 25" after spending a year with my Urlacher which is a Cedar/Indian OM size. The biggest reasoning is I have a lot of songs I've composed that have 4-5 fret stretches with a barre and the shorter scale keeps the fret gaps slightly smaller and with less strings tension, they are easier to barre. I keep the action on my lowest strings a touch higher than on my 25.5" Larrivee so they don't flop much at all down to C. The neck is straight and the nut slots are just right to where there isn't that "choked" feeling at the first and second frets. That's the best way to explain the recent preference change. I still gig with my 25.5" Larrivee and its fine but I definitely prefer 25" now. Have also had talks with Will McNicol who says he has no issue playing in drop C tunings with his 24.75" scale Tom Sands Model S. There is some technique adjustment required, like not pressing so hard to where you pull the low strings sharp, and there is less forward projection than a fanfret or 25.5" scale, but it's playability benefits to me outweigh the projection benefits which aren't always necessary especially in a studio setting. With a soundport you will have all the driver's side volume you need Look forward to seeing your Taran completed, brother.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobolo Kid View Post
Congrats Dustin on this upcoming build. I will definitely be following this build with interest. I have always wanted to try out a Beneteau OM. A few years ago, I even talked to Marc about an OM build.
I am really looking forward to this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nootis View Post
I experienced a momentary lapse and forgot that, like the metric system, Americans are naive to the way the rest of the world writes the date.
I also slowly came to that conclusion after cocking my head sideways for a minute, EU does the same thing.
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Old 06-04-2021, 02:11 PM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Received these from Marc earlier, the 8mm rosette reinforcement is in place, glued upside down then sanded down later to reveal the spalted maple underneath. I told him the added suspense for the spalted maple reveal was totally acceptable... His stash for rosettes is really nice with dramatic ink black lines like lightning bolts with a dark gold hue that I think will look great against the torrefied Sitka.




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Old 06-18-2021, 03:13 PM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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Spanish cedar linings are bent, glued into place and sanded level. Next up back braces.

Also, some beautiful spalted maple.


This guitar will glow like golden hour one finished is applied. Can't wait.
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