The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #16  
Old 12-11-2018, 02:30 PM
Erithon's Avatar
Erithon Erithon is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 552
Default

It’s time to continue this saga: the guitar arrived and once it had acclimated, I opened the case. Wow! It was even more beautiful than in the pictures. The bearclaw figure really popped. The miters were tight, the hues of the Cocobolo rich, and the inlays and binding clean. I tuned it up and began playing. I instantly liked the voice: the balance across the register with a deep bass than was present and defined, and did not overpower the trebles. It sounded a little stiff, but that’s to be expected after a chilly shipping experience.

I emailed Mark, complementing his lutherie, and continued to play my new Hatcher over the next week. It began to sound less tight as it emerged from late winter shipping hibernation, but it never developed the full responsive nature I require in a fingerstyle guitar. For that’s what I thought this was: the cutaway, deep waist, lack of a pickguard, and wider saddle spacing all conveyed “fingerstyle instrument” to me. A thoroughly enjoyable phone conversation with Dennis (cigarfan) confirmed my impression: in addition to previously owning this very guitar, he had played other Hatcher builds and gone the custom route with Mark. So Dennis knew what he was talking about.

I got some of the back story from him and followed up with Mark himself: in short, while speced like a fingerstyle instrument, this particular Greta was built to handle a heavy right hand per the original client’s request. That means a thicker soundboard, thicker bracing, etc. I play with a notably light touch—other players often remark at how little I really dig in—so that explained why I wasn’t pulling out the sounds I wanted.

After talking with Dennis I got a crazy idea: what if Mark was willing to shave down the braces? Sure, I could sell the guitar, but I liked its fundamental voice and, as this thread has hopefully communicated, appreciated its aesthetics, too Mark was willing to do that work at no cost, but he pointed out that to truly optimize the guitar for fingerstyle it would need a new top—a top built toward that end from the beginning. We bounced some ideas back and forth. He suggested Redwood, and that’s how I knew we were on the same page—I was already leaning that way since it’s my favorite soundboard material. As it turned out, Mark had recently acquired several sets from various Carter trees (including of Lucky Strike) and had a nice supply wood salvaged from Tunnels 13-15, too. He said he could squeeze me into December so I told him I’d think about it and get back to him. I did so, and off we went.

Now, astute readers you are, you may be confused: if you settled on Redwood, then why does the first post speak of Western Red Cedar? Well, that is a tale for next time.

Last edited by Erithon; 12-14-2018 at 04:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-12-2018, 09:24 AM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North of the Golden Gate, South of the Redwoods, East of the Pacific and West of the Sierras
Posts: 5,179
Default

One of my favorites of the guitars that I own is a cocobolo 12 fret cutaway. I 'm a big fan and Mark certainly does lovely work. Looking forward to hearing more.

Best,
Jayne
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-12-2018, 04:14 PM
Erithon's Avatar
Erithon Erithon is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 552
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymarsch View Post
One of my favorites of the guitars that I own is a cocobolo 12 fret cutaway. I 'm a big fan and Mark certainly does lovely work. Looking forward to hearing more.

Best,
Jayne
He does indeed, Jayne! Who built your 12-fret Cocobolo guitar?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-12-2018, 04:19 PM
Erithon's Avatar
Erithon Erithon is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 552
Default

I set out to play as many Hatcher guitars as I could. I think managed to try eight overall? This past summer I reached out to ukejon and he generously welcomed me into his home to play his Hatchers--the AGF community is really something

Jon has two Hatchers: an all Mahogany Josie (SJ) and a Cedar/EIR Greta (OM). Both are outstanding instruments with some unique features between them: things like a French Polish top, EIR neck, etc. For my light, fleshy style of play, the Cedar worked exceptionally well and I decided to consider a Cedar soundboard in addition to Redwood. Jon’s guitar provided particularly useful comparandum because it was 13-fret Greta with a Dalbergia back and sides. I left that afternoon not only pleased with the quality of Hatcher guitars I had played and a new appreciation for what magic Mark can do when optimizing a build for fingerstyle, but also with a new guitar friend in Jon.

My journey conclude with a visit to Mark’s workshop in New Hampshire in early November. I received the full tour, exploring his jigs, tools, machines, studio, and wood locker.

I played several songs for Mark to give him a sense of my style and technique. We talked a lot about his approach to building and the philosophy that undergirds it. This will come as no surprise to those of you who follow his build threads, but Mark puts a lot of thought into everything he does. He refuses to comprise quality, executing even the minutest task with a deliberateness that testifies to his qualities as a luthier and human being. Shortcuts are out of the question.

We also tapped numerous tops: mostly Redwood and Cedar, but some lovely Swiss Spruce. Even some back sets of Brazilian Rosewood and Purpleheart, though that of course was purely for fun and irrelevant to this project. In consultation with Mark I settled on this set of Western Red Cedar:

It’s a notably light set and should make a dynamic top that responds well to my right hand. And with that, the build began this month!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-13-2018, 03:56 PM
Erithon's Avatar
Erithon Erithon is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 552
Default

Mark has cleaned up and joined the top:
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-14-2018, 05:12 AM
Deft Tungsman Deft Tungsman is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 335
Default

Your adventures are an object lesson in how time spent selling a guitar can lead back to buying another. Is the moral of the story that one should never sell a guitar, ever again?

I'll say this, Erithron, you are not a suitor to be brushed off lightly! But it's easy to see why. Your Greta is the very protrait of beauty! First, the Greta is a beautiful canvas to paint on. The sapwood inlays in the arm bevel and the rosette are so inspired and so gorgeous. All of Mark's appointments form a stunning, coherent whole. The red cedar you've chosen for the new top should fit the bill nicely.

And all that inspired prose about GAS? I gave up long ago framing my relationship with it in terms of good vs. evil. Otherwise, I'd feel a lingering sense of guilt with every new acquisition. Why would I want to spoil the fun?
__________________
The Cast
Aloha Koa
2010 Baranik Retreux Parlor, Carpathian Spruce/Koa
Che Guerilla
2012 Baranik 00m, Carpathian Spruce/Higuerilla
Tuxedo Bolo Blue
2011 Baranik Meridian, Colorado Blue Spruce/Black Cocobolo
Stealth Bomb
2015 Blackbird Rider Steel, 100% carbon fiber
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12-14-2018, 09:07 AM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North of the Golden Gate, South of the Redwoods, East of the Pacific and West of the Sierras
Posts: 5,179
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erithon View Post
He does indeed, Jayne! Who built your 12-fret Cocobolo guitar?
Kathy Wingert back in 2004. It has a German spruce top. I also own a used Wingert 00 in cedar and EIR that she built in 2001. Cedar Cocobolo should be a great combo - especially in Mark's capable hands.

Best,
Jayne
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 12-14-2018, 05:33 PM
Erithon's Avatar
Erithon Erithon is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 552
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deft Tungsman View Post
Your adventures are an object lesson in how time spent selling a guitar can lead back to buying another. Is the moral of the story that one should never sell a guitar, ever again?
I hope not! Selling guitars is an essential part of the process: 50% of it, to be precise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deft Tungsman View Post
I'll say this, Erithron, you are not a suitor to be brushed off lightly! But it's easy to see why. Your Greta is the very protrait of beauty! First, the Greta is a beautiful canvas to paint on. The sapwood inlays in the arm bevel and the rosette are so inspired and so gorgeous. All of Mark's appointments form a stunning, coherent whole. The red cedar you've chosen for the new top should fit the bill nicely.
Why thank you! Mark does very fine work indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deft Tungsman View Post
And all that inspired prose about GAS? I gave up long ago framing my relationship with it in terms of good vs. evil. Otherwise, I'd feel a lingering sense of guilt with every new acquisition. Why would I want to spoil the fun?
Truth be told, I think of GAS as an old friend. But narrative structures necessitated an antagonist...
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-14-2018, 05:37 PM
Erithon's Avatar
Erithon Erithon is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 552
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymarsch View Post
Kathy Wingert back in 2004. It has a German spruce top. I also own a used Wingert 00 in cedar and EIR that she built in 2001. Cedar Cocobolo should be a great combo - especially in Mark's capable hands.

Best,
Jayne
12-fret with a German top - now that's a winning recipe in my book.
I've yet to play a Wingert, but the Dream Series she built on commission for Paul Heumiller/Dream Guitars have long captured my interested.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 12-14-2018, 05:40 PM
Erithon's Avatar
Erithon Erithon is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 552
Default

The rosette has been removed from the old soundboard and inserted into the new Cedar top!
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 12-14-2018, 06:28 PM
mikealpine's Avatar
mikealpine mikealpine is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 4,888
Default

Really nice rosette transplant by Dr. Hatcher! This is so much fun to follow along!!
__________________
---------------------------------------

2013 Joel Stehr Dreadnought - Carpathian/Malaysian BW
2014 RainSong H-OM1000N2
2017 Rainsong BI-WS1000N2
2013 Chris Ensor Concert - Port Orford Cedar/Wenge
1980ish Takamine EF363 complete with irreplaceable memories
A bunch of electrics (too many!!)
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 12-17-2018, 10:19 PM
offeringplate offeringplate is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Lost City Oklahoma
Posts: 195
Default

stunning, your work is amazing. Love to just sit and look and imagine how they sound, lol

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

-OP
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 12-18-2018, 08:30 AM
Mark Hatcher's Avatar
Mark Hatcher Mark Hatcher is offline
AGF Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Peterborough, New Hampshire
Posts: 2,945
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by offeringplate View Post
stunning, your work is amazing. Love to just sit and look and imagine how they sound, lol

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

-OP
Thanks OP and happy holidays to you as well! This is a fun project working with Erithin and reinventing this guitar!

Mark
__________________
Mark Hatcher
www.hatcherguitars.com

In the subjective reality that is guitars
Science is knowledge
Art is understanding
Mastery rules
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 12-20-2018, 01:23 PM
Erithon's Avatar
Erithon Erithon is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 552
Default

The new top has its bracing:


Mark and I have been working on some soundport ideas. I'll fill you all in on those next time!
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 12-21-2018, 01:25 AM
ukejon ukejon is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Milwaukee
Posts: 6,458
Default

Great to have you visit and so neat to see the top transplant in progress.
__________________
My YouTube Page:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ukejon

2009 Pono koa parlor (NAMM prototype)
2014 Pono N30 DC EIR/Spruce crossover
2014 Hatcher Greta 13 fret cutaway in EIR/cedar
2017 Hatcher Josie fan fret mahogany
1973 Sigma GCR7 (OM model) rosewood and spruce
2014 Rainsong OM1000N2

....and about 5 really nice tenor ukuleles at any given moment
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Custom Shop

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=