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  #16  
Old 02-23-2021, 12:14 AM
Hanter Hanter is offline
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Default John Kinnaird 2021 NEW Model Build Thread: Lucky Strike x African Blackwood

So over the past year or so I found myself gravitating toward the sound of 12-fret guitars. I found the overall tone a little warmer, fuller and sweeter. Nicer overtones. More complex. It was a guitar that was absent in my stable. The absence was probably due to the fact that a well-known English luthier told me some 15 years ago that a 12-fret guitar is not suitable for strumming, it would sound a little messy if you dug in harder than normal, and well my playing does require a fair bit of strumming along to vocal accompaniment. I'd say 50/50 with strumming and fingerstyle, perhaps.



Anyway with that one statement of his, the idea of a 12-fret did not feature in my thoughts all this while, until when we were throwing ideas back and forth, John Kinnaird says "who told you so?". He was not only confident of the versatility of a 12-fret, he mentioned that his long-scale 12-fret guitars are among the best sounding guitars he builds. Hmm... yeah I do want a (multi-scale) long-scale 12-fret yes...



However, I also wanted a bigger and deeper bodied guitar with a bolder sound, much akin to a dreadnought with the power it gives. Do I like the size of a dreadnought though? Not really. I'd rather handle an OM-sized instrument as I'm pretty petite myself, if I can call it that. But a couple of days with Paul's latest Braz Mitchell (thanks for letting me try it out Paul) changed (and kinda blew) my mind. His guitar was anything but small. It was huge! In fact it had a lower bout of 16.875", a good inch more than a dreadnought. Did it feel big? NOT AT ALL! In fact because of the rib bevel and the arm bevel and I'm sure the Manzer Wedge plays a part in all of this but the entire thing under my arms felt just like an OM! While at the same time sounding much larger than an OM.



I then spent another couple of days feverishly researching on all types of body types and shapes and unfortunately did not discover anything in John's 8 (body types which he builds) that fit into the ideal dimensions I wanted. Alas, he said "you know you can always design a body shape, no problem at all". So there I was, staring at a more and more bespoke experience and even though I had little clue then what the upper bout and waist and depth does, I found myself asking and understanding a little more. At least it got me to the stage where I drafted out dimensions that would be a good fit for the type of sound I was looking for. I shared these dimensions with John and then gave him 3 principal directions for the design:



1. Slightly bigger than the West Coast OM, but smaller than a Dreadnought, with a deeper body.



2. 12-fret guitar with multi-scale 25.75"-25.0", designed to place the bridge in the sweetest spot possible.



3. Versatile enough for strumming and fingerstyle.



A couple of hours later, Greybeard (name was not given yet) was born!



Greybeard V1.jpg



I looked at it and looked at it and looked at it. My wife saw me staring so hard at my phone she was intrigued and took a peek. She then, with a whiff of nonchalance, muttered "it looks fine but don't you think the buttocks here (referring to the lower bout) is a bit too fat-ish?"



She was right! Listen to your wife amigos! I pointed this out to John and within an hour, Greybeard V2 was presented.



Greybeard V2.jpg



This time, I really really liked it. I smiled. The transition from the waist to the lower bout was trimmed. It had that modern look about it, even the cutaway looked really stylish. At the same time, it hit the dimensions right on the money! I couldn't believe a 16" lower bout guitar could look so sleek.



So here are the dimensions of Greybeard, and I will share more in my next post!



Length: 19.5"

Upper Bout: 11.5"

Waist: 9.625"

Lower Bout: 16"

[email protected]: 3.875"

[email protected]: 4.75"
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2006 Brook Euro Spruce / Flamed Maple Taw

Last edited by Hanter; 03-07-2021 at 11:01 PM.
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  #17  
Old 02-23-2021, 05:28 AM
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My goodness Paul is that you?

Handsome grey beard for sure.

Mine is not nearly so robust. When I look in the mirror I am constantly reminded of the rhyme of the ancient mariner. you know the part where the wedding guest calls the mariner a grey beard loon.

There is a peak nearby called Grey Beard which is a part of the 7 Sisters chain. I always liked the 7 sisters name as well but probably wont ever have occasion to use it.
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  #18  
Old 02-23-2021, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanter View Post
So over the past year or so I found myself gravitating toward the sound of 12-fret guitars. I found the overall tone a little warmer, fuller and sweeter. Nicer overtones. More complex. It was a guitar that was absent in my stable. The absence was probably due to the fact that a well-known English luthier told me some 15 years ago that a 12-fret guitar is not suitable for strumming, it would sound a little messy if you dug in harder than normal, and well my playing does require a fair bit of strumming along to vocal accompaniment. I'd say 50/50 with strumming and fingerstyle, perhaps.

Anyway with that one statement of his, the idea of a 12-fret did not feature in my thoughts all this while, until when we were throwing ideas back and forth, John Kinnaird says "who told you so?". He was not only confident of the versatility of a 12-fret, he mentioned that his long-scale 12-fret guitars are among the best sounding guitars he builds. Hmm... yeah I do want a (multi-scale) long-scale 12-fret yes...

However, I also wanted a bigger and deeper bodied guitar with a bolder sound, much akin to a dreadnought with the power it gives. Do I like the size of a dreadnought though? Not really. I'd rather handle an OM-sized instrument as I'm pretty petite myself, if I can call it that. But a couple of days with Paul's latest Braz Mitchell (thanks for letting me try it out Paul) changed (and kinda blew) my mind. His guitar was nothing but small. It was huge! In fact it had a lower bout of 16.875", a good inch more than a dreadnought. Did it feel big? NOT AT ALL! In fact because of the rib bevel and the arm bevel and I'm sure the Manzer Wedge plays a part in all of this but the entire thing under my arms felt just like an OM! While at the same time sounding much larger than an OM.

I then spent another couple of days feverishly researching on all types of body types and shapes and unfortunately did not discover anything in John's 8 (body types which he builds) that fit into the ideal dimensions I wanted. Alas, he said "you know you can always design a body shape, no problem at all". So there I was, staring at a more and more bespoke experience and even though I had little clue then what the upper bout and waist and depth does, I found myself asking and understanding a little more. At least it got me to the stage where I drafted out dimensions that would be a good fit for the type of sound I was looking for. I shared these dimensions with John and then gave him 3 principal directions for the design:

1. Slightly bigger than the West Coast OM, but smaller than a Dreadnought, with a deeper body.

2. 12-fret guitar with multi-scale 25.75"-25.0", designed to place the bridge in the sweetest spot possible.

3. Versatile enough for strumming and fingerstyle.

A couple of hours later, Greybeard (name was not given yet) was born!

Attachment 52110

I looked at it and looked at it and looked at it. My wife saw me staring so hard at my phone she was intrigued and took a peek. She then, with a whiff of nonchalance, muttered "it looks fine but don't you think the buttocks here (referring to the lower bout) is a bit too fat-ish?"

She was right! Listen to your wife amigos! I pointed this out to John and within an hour, Greybeard V2 was presented.

Attachment 52111

This time, I really really liked it. I smiled. The transition from the waist to the lower bout was trimmed. It had that modern look about it, even the cutaway looked really stylish. At the same time, it hit the dimensions right on the money! I couldn't believe a 16" lower bout guitar could look so sleek.

So here are the dimensions of Greybeard, and I will share more in my next post!

Length: 19.5"
Upper Bout: 11.5"
Waist: 9.625"
Lower Bout: 16"
[email protected]: 3.875"
[email protected]: 4.75"
The Huge benefit of working with creative people like Han and Paul is that it opens up a synergistic creative process that produces new things that never would have been achieved working alone. So thanks to both of you for the creative push.
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  #19  
Old 02-23-2021, 10:33 AM
Nemoman Nemoman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Blackbeard was a famous pirate. Pirates often have parrots. Nice alliteration, could be a lyric here... hmmm?

I suppose had Blackbeard gotten old he might have been Graybeard.

Salud

Paul
Arrrrgghhh, matey! What Paul said! I was just being silly with my parrot reference. Greybeard definitely sounds pirate-like to me!

Really looking forward to seeing this one come to life--the dimensions and shape look to become a very cool guitar. And the woods are stupendous--I have no doubt that John can pull it off!
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  #20  
Old 02-23-2021, 11:16 AM
Hanter Hanter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Blackbeard was a famous pirate. Pirates often have parrots. Nice alliteration, could be a lyric here... hmmm?

I suppose had Blackbeard gotten old he might have been Graybeard.

I should post a pic of my beard here! Hahahaha

Anyway, this is going to really be a sweetheart of a Guitar!



Salud

Paul
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemoman View Post
Arrrrgghhh, matey! What Paul said! I was just being silly with my parrot reference. Greybeard definitely sounds pirate-like to me!

Really looking forward to seeing this one come to life--the dimensions and shape look to become a very cool guitar. And the woods are stupendous--I have no doubt that John can pull it off!
Thanks for taking the effort to explain haha. But no, no parrots my friend.

John has conquered Mt Greybeard before, as he will conquer Greybeard here I'm sure.
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  #21  
Old 02-23-2021, 11:19 AM
Hanter Hanter is offline
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PAUL.jpg

Paul this is epic, it deserves a reply on its own. If I invited you to be Singing Santa 2021 would you like to come to Memphis? Haha... My kid will be thrilled!
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  #22  
Old 02-23-2021, 05:14 PM
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Smile Santa sings the hits...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanter View Post
Attachment 52116

Paul this is epic, it deserves a reply on its own. If I invited you to be Singing Santa 2021 would you like to come to Memphis? Haha... My kid will be thrilled!
Not sure if the beard will last till next Christmas! But I AM enjoying it now, and having hair longer than an inch or so too...

I have a nice book of Christmas songs, secular and sacred. My faves are the few blues tunes! I even wrote one, "JC's Blues". Haha.

Your new shape looks very VERY NICE.

John will nail it

Salud

Paul
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  #23  
Old 02-23-2021, 10:47 PM
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Love the dimensions and the shape. I could easily see myself wanting this model. I like big guitars, though I am 5’ 5” on a warm day. There’s a sound that most smaller guitars can’t produce. Bevels are magic. Great beginning!
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  #24  
Old 02-25-2021, 04:24 PM
Hanter Hanter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post

Your new shape looks very VERY NICE.

John will nail it

Salud

Paul
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikealpine View Post
Love the dimensions and the shape. I could easily see myself wanting this model. I like big guitars, though I am 5’ 5” on a warm day. There’s a sound that most smaller guitars can’t produce. Bevels are magic. Great beginning!
Thanks for the affirmation on the new shape Paul and Mike! This is definitely a big-ger guitar that will feel small.
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  #25  
Old 02-25-2021, 10:35 PM
Hanter Hanter is offline
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Default The Origins of Greybeard 2

Once I was happy with the overall shape of the rough cutout, the next step was for John to produce a full-scale mockup. This would essentially take into account scale length and also show where the bridge will end up. Remember that one of the principal considerations was for the bridge to be placed in the sweetest spot possible. It being a multi-scale configuration as well, precise calculations would have to be made in advance as John doesn't have experience building with this shape yet.

The full-scale mockup even included producing a very realistic looking "fingerboard". I was impressed.

Greybeard Full Scale Mock Up.jpg

While this was sent, John commented that the bridge design needs some work. He has never been a fan of the "slanted/tilted bridge", so we both agreed that a new bridge design would be conceptualized for this build, and perhaps for his multi-scale guitars moving forward. It would feature a shape that does not tilt, and it would be perpendicular (to the fingerboard) as it were a non multi-scale guitar. The shape will have "bent arms" to keep the central axis of rotation closely aligned. This is still currently in the works, and I look forward to seeing it progress but we probably won't speak more about it till the body work is done.

However, the mockup was a success and I was happy to proceed further. It didn't take long for John to produce an actual mold, in fact it only took him 4 days from when we first started speaking about designing a new shape!

Greybeard Mold.jpg
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2006 Brook Euro Spruce / Flamed Maple Taw
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  #26  
Old 03-01-2021, 11:07 AM
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I'm building two guitars with this mold. The first one is a kind of Beta test, a proof of concept guitar to work out all the surprises. It will be a Bog Oak and bearclaw cedar instrument and I think its going to be a success and might find it's way to Woodstock.
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  #27  
Old 03-01-2021, 11:22 AM
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Smile Bearclaw Cedar!!!

Ancient Bog Oak and Bearclaw Cedar got my attention instantly!

My Pablo is continuing to knock my socks off. A couple nights ago I started playing it and about four chords in Cindy said "That is the most beautiful sounding guitar I have ever heard!" That is what we like to hear!

Go John, and
Have Fun

Paul
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2016 552ce 12X12
R.Wilson Weissenborn
A few choice 90s Taylors
More...
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  #28  
Old 03-01-2021, 03:05 PM
Vaillant75 Vaillant75 is offline
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Very interesting development, and actually quite a bit of overlap with my latest Sands model M! 12 frets, fan fret (mine is 25-26), 16 inches lower bout.. I am confident it will be a winner. Personally I am getting more in love every day, it really hit the mark for me.

Will follow that thread with close attention!
Best,
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  #29  
Old 03-01-2021, 10:31 PM
Hanter Hanter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaillant75 View Post
Very interesting development, and actually quite a bit of overlap with my latest Sands model M! 12 frets, fan fret (mine is 25-26), 16 inches lower bout.. I am confident it will be a winner. Personally I am getting more in love every day, it really hit the mark for me.

Will follow that thread with close attention!
Best,
Bonjour Monsieur Thomas!

Indeed your Sands M12 gave me quite a bit of inspiration, and from the conversations we were having I had already convinced myself to go for a 12 fret multi-scale on my next build. The opportunity literally presented itself when I was asked to give inputs on the design and dimensions on the new shape. I knew the upper bout and waist could vary but was pretty adamant in keeping that 16" lower bout as I detected what I liked from a huge sample of guitars that I conducted my research on.

Glad to have you along for this special ride!
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  #30  
Old 03-02-2021, 07:04 PM
Nemoman Nemoman is online now
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Really excited to see both of these come to life.

Love the size and shape and the wood selections!
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Tigger--2013 Stehr Auditorium (Carpathian/Myrtlewood)
Melee--Razo 19 OM (German/Malaysian)
BevelBelle--Wilborn Ellie Belle (Old Stika/EIR)
Dana--1999 Bourgeois OM (Sitka/EIR)
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