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  #1  
Old 01-17-2019, 10:33 PM
Bhaj Bhaj is offline
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Default New Custom Irvin SJ Cutaway Build

I am having an Irvin SJ Cutaway built. Why, Irvin? Funny you ask! I have a Larrivee L28 and have loved that guitar for its resonance and strong character.
But then I met the Irvin. Its neck is a great fit for my hand. The sound from the Irvin guitars has a wonderful resonance and distinct sustain.
It fits me well as an acoustic player, playing mostly rhythm and some soloing.

Wayne Johnson, the owner of Irvin, is a newer builder and the buzz is catching. I first heard his guitar a couple of years ago, in a serendipitous situation: a luthier showcasing his guitars (Irvin) at a shoe store.
Ever since playing various SJ and Parlors, I keep coming back to its sweet, consistent sound and feel .
For 2 years I have compared the Irvin to other guitars, and I keep coming back to where now I will have my own cutaway. This is going to be a special guitar!

I have always loved the Larrivee sound: a cacophony of resonance and strong sustain. The Irvin has these qualities as well with its own distinct aspects.
As importantly, I find my fingers easily moving up and down the neck.

A couple of weeks ago, I went over to the Irvin shop in Bremerton, WA, to tap on the tone woods and the back/side pieces, to make choices on which pieces to use.
The top woods, collected by Jean Larrivee, were, as I expected from the revered luthier of high standard luthier,, rich sounding Moonwood Spruce pieces from Austria.
The two pieces had subtle differences in their tone as I tapped them.
Finally, I chose the one I wanted. Big decision made! The back and side Indian Rosewood pieces were easier for me to choose.

Specs include:
Small jumbo - 14-fret
East Indian rosewood back and sides
Austrian moonspruce top
ebony bindings, headplate, fingerboard and bridge
5-piece laminated neck - mahogany, maple, walnut, maple, mahogany
East Indian rosewood rosette ring
Gotoh 510 tuners
string spacing - 1 3/4 at the nut - 2 1/4 at the saddle

Wayne is now building my guitar along with another order.

The first photo is of the rosette on the Moonwood top. I will add photos as I can.
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1988 Larrivee L-28 cutaway | 2001 Larrivee P-01 Parlor | 1972 Gurian | 2015 Taylor GS Mini

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  #2  
Old 01-18-2019, 08:29 AM
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matthewpartrick matthewpartrick is offline
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The Austrian moonspruce is probably from Josef Bergmann; I had a guitar with this top and it's really something special.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:53 PM
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Cool!!!! Tapping it and the second piece was an interesting experience. I could hear its resonance and some tone already.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:55 PM
ericcsong ericcsong is offline
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Congrats on the build. Wayne is a great guy and build a fine guitar. The Irvin guitars that I have played all had a great feel and tone!
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2019, 09:05 PM
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Here are a few more photos.
These are of the back.
These photos were taken about ten days ago.


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  #6  
Old 01-23-2019, 06:31 PM
Bhaj Bhaj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericcsong View Post
Congrats on the build. Wayne is a great guy and build a fine guitar. The Irvin guitars that I have played all had a great feel and tone!
Eric, I totally agree with you, what a feel and tone. It's quite remarkable to my ears.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2019, 06:42 PM
Bhaj Bhaj is offline
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Here is the next update on my Irvin SJ-Cutaway build.

This photo is the top with tone bars being glued


This photo is the top bracing all shaped and completed
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1988 Larrivee L-28 cutaway | 2001 Larrivee P-01 Parlor | 1972 Gurian | 2015 Taylor GS Mini

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  #8  
Old 01-28-2019, 09:18 PM
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New photos as the build continues!!! We're getting closer

Tapering the sides


Kerfing is installed ready to close the box. You can see the Moonwood Spruce top in the upper left and the Rosewood back at the upper right.
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Old 02-01-2019, 05:16 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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The moonwood spruce was pretty awesome to tap (I helped choose the specific piece).
I am 99.9% sure I will be using moonwood on my future Irvin custom.

I look forward to being the second person to play this guitar
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2019, 06:16 PM
Bhaj Bhaj is offline
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It's getting closer. I can hear a few tones from where I am, ringing out to me.

Here are a few more photos for you to view its progress:

The top closed up


The back closed up


A view at the heel


A view at the cutaway
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2019, 08:42 PM
Bhaj Bhaj is offline
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Okay, it has been awhile. Let me explain. I went out in February after the onslaught of snow we had and the guitar box was all closed up. It was very exciting to see it, tap on the box and look at the neck.

Wayne Johnson holding the top of the guitar. Tapping the guitar top sounded so nice even at this stage.


Here is the front side of the guitar-Indian Rosewood. Cool design


The ebony neck which then went to Larry Robinson for the inlay


The top of the neck with pearlized buttons


After this came the inlay work, which took much longer than I anticipated. I will show that in my next posting. This is so exciting, on so many levels: Thank you for your continued interest.
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Last edited by Bhaj; 04-28-2019 at 09:00 PM.
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  #12  
Old 04-29-2019, 10:01 PM
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I wanted simple inlay to compliment this elegant guitar. My vision was to have a symbolic representation of the source of sound above, connecting with the source of sound coming from the earth.

My first thought did not work as it combined symbolic with representational elements which did not integrate the vision I had. Finally, and after much consternation, my brother's initial treble clef/labyrinth/spiral idea became the representation of the higher source of sound, while the bass/nautilus shape represented the lower source of sound, connected by a silver thread.

Larry Robinson of Robinson Inlays graciously took on the project and rendered an inlay deserving to be on Wayne Johnson's Irvin SJ cutaway guitar.

Now we are moving closer to the finish!!!!
The neck is affixed to the body. The polish and curing are next while I gleefully wait for the opportunity to see, play and begin my journey with this magnificent representation of sound.

The neck, after Larry Robinson completed his work
[IMG]
[/IMG]

The neck and box joined
[IMG][/IMG]
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  #13  
Old 05-20-2019, 12:17 AM
Bhaj Bhaj is offline
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My guitar is here. I picked it up last week at the La Conner Luthier Festival and by the time I got it home it was late. I thought I would just play it for 5 minutes, and indeed, 2 hours later I forced myself to put it down so I could get some sleep.

Good golly Miss Molly!!!!!!! i know it is a guitar, but it sounds like a grand piano. It is so well toned, the overtones are sublime, the sustain is so clear, the resonance is strong. What a tone!!!!! This is one nice guitar. It is easy to play as my fingers fit so comfortably on the neck.

I have enjoyed posting and hope it has been of use to you.

The new Irvin SJ Cutaway:



The new Irvin SJ Cutaway on its side:


Notably
Bhaj
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  #14  
Old 05-20-2019, 03:32 PM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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Congratulations! What a beauty. I love the fret board inlay - very elegant. Enjoy.

Best,
Jayne
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:09 PM
marty bradbury marty bradbury is offline
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Beautiful guitar! My favorite body size. Enjoy!
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