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Old 04-29-2011, 09:36 PM
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Default Build Thread: Traugott BK Cutaway (Brazilian/German)

Hi all-

Well, Jeff sent me some details on my order today, which suggests that it's time to get this build thread on my upcoming Traugott guitar moving. It really seems that he's going to get moving on this thing, so I'm incredibly excited and surprised. Who knew that I would be starting this build thread before my Krauts even came into being?

First, I have to say again that since I first called Jeff, he's been a delight with which to work. Certainly, when you're considering dropping this sort of money on a guitar, you want great service. But this is also a guy who has a multi-multi-year list, and is a "big deal." I've never been made to feel I'm lucky or special to get Jeff. He always answers his phone, he's always got time to talk, and he exchanged several calls and emails with me before I ever sent him a deposit.

My Traugott is a larger guitar, with a 16" lower bout, much like the Modified D that Ray Kraut is building me. However, Jeff's lines are very much different, so this will be an entirely different guitar in shape, as well as tone, as my Kraut guitars. Jeff calls this his BK model, and the specs are all online. (Fair warning: when you wander onto Jeff's site, you may not want to wander off.)

Here's a representative sample of his BK, with a cutaway, which mine will also have:



I'm already used to playing a slightly longer scale, as my Ryan has a 25.7" scale; on top of that, the Traugott for me will sit in altered and lowered tunings quite a bit. For those reasons, we want to make this an animal, so we'll be using a 27" scale on the low end, and a 25.625" scale on the treble. I can think of a few songs I play in DADEBA (yes, you read that right, the 1st string is lower than the 2nd string) that will sound great on this guitar. We'll also drop the parallel fret at 5, making playing with my thumb in lower positions very doable, something that wouldn't be as easy if the parallel fret were moved up higher.

(As an aside, the Kraut guitars will both have fans running from 26" to 25" and are a bit easier to play in standard tuning. The parallel fret on these will sit at 7.)

The bridge and fretboard will be choice ebony. The back and sides will be amazing Brazilian Rosewood, and my does Jeff have a stash. The top will be his beautiful German Spruce, hand-picked from Germany by Jeff himself. The rosette will be Jeff's standard rosette, with a vibrant orange in the coloring. We'll go with a 1 3/4" nut width, and a 2 1/4" string spacing.

The top wil have a darker top tint to give it some aging, and yes, Jeff will be photo-documenting the entire process, which is why we're all here, right?

There's more... much more... and over the weekend I'll show you the sets of Brazilian I was offered and the set which I chose, as well as talk to you about some subtle but wonderful inlay we'll be doing.

Let the fun (and drooling) begin.

-B
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Last edited by bdm0509; 04-16-2016 at 12:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2011, 10:18 PM
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You have some seriously awesome guitars coming your way!
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:56 AM
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Very cool, Brett! I'm going to be checking this thread often. I've had the privilege of playing many fine guitars but i've never played one of Jeffs. Everyone i've spoken to says nothing but amazing things about them. I'm excited for you!

I recently received a fan fret guitar myself, built by Tom Doerr, with a 27''-25'' fan. It's remarkably transparent and the perpendicular fret on mine is the 5th fret too. Tom did this based on his talks with Jeff.

Hope to see some photos of the build soon!

Kindly,
Danny
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:08 AM
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With the exception of the cutaway, the spec's on your Traugott seem oddly familiar........
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:13 AM
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Oh yeah, Mike.

For those who don't know, Mike has a dizzying arsenal of guitars. It's a little scary. Years ago, he invited me over--even though we'd never met--and we spent hours "tasting."

He had a BK Fan that was stunning; it was the standout for me. I knew if I ever bought a Traugott, that was what I'd get.

Well, here we are, largely thanks to Mike's generosity in having me over!

-B
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:20 AM
Markart Markart is offline
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This is so cool! I can't wait to see this one develop along with your others. Thanks for sharing all of this with everyone!
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:50 AM
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Thanks for sharing the beginning of your Traugott journey...I'm eagerly awaiting the development of this thread...congratulations on both your Traugott and Kraut builds...incredible!
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:22 PM
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Brett,
You've got some seriously nice guitars coming your way!!!
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:44 PM
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I'm looking forward to following your builds, Brett. They are going to be exquisite! If I may say so, you have good taste!
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:11 PM
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It's funny you say that, Simon... I've heard from a few folks that I seriously need to think about getting one of your guitars. Between my Kraut OM and what Jordan will do, though, I'm feeling pretty stacked in the 15" to 16" lower bout range.

Now... If you have been dying to develop a modern 00, something to compete with the likes of Mike Greenfield's G3... You should send me a message. I'm -really- itching for the guitar a modern player with modern sensibilities would pick up to play Bill Broonzy or some of Leo Kottke's driving stuff on.

Anyway, I could go on, but just putting it out there. As Ray would tell you, I love to instigate invention...

-B
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CF MARTIN 1930 OM-18 - Mahogany/Adirondack
JORDAN MCCONNELL 2020 16" SJ - Rosewood/Spruce (Commissioned)

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Last edited by bdm0509; 04-30-2011 at 08:38 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-01-2011, 10:35 AM
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Default Here Comes the Brazilian

Well, there's very little as exciting as opening up your Inbox and seeing something like this:



I was actually near the end of my day, hanging out with my wife watching some TV (I seem to recall an episode of Being Human?). In any case, the show went on pause, impending disasters from sensitive werewolves and reformed vampires aside.

As some context, I had sent Jeff a few pictures of his own guitars, and basically told him that I really liked the reds and oranges of good old Brazilian, I liked spiderwebbing and color striation, but that I didn't care for lots of wavy dizzying stuff. I liked "stripes" of color, if you will.

Think about this; it's a pretty specific description. As I'd found out with Ray, who has great connections, finding this sort of wood isn't trivial. But here, in my inbox, I had three apparent candidates. Now I had to wait for the images to download; it was a long 30 seconds or so.

And then, I had three stunning options from which to choose. My jaw dropped, I began texting my buddy, and shoving my iPhone in my wife's face, all while grabbing my iPad and MacBook Pro (Apple stock, anyone?) to get better looks at these gems.

Here was the first candidate. I immediately knew that I was dealing with some special wood, from a luthier that had an extraordinary stash:



I thought this was cool stuff, and my wife and I both commented on what a unique set of wood we were viewing.

There were originally two other sets, but those have been lost in the Internet and over time. In any case, I wanted to remove dead links, so hopefully this thread will make some sense again.

Wow. I was in shock. It would take some time before I made any decisions, so I'll leave you all for now with these pictures, which I suppose may be illegal in some states. Pure lust-worthy Brazilian, if you ask me.

And just as a closing thought, keep in mind how specific my criteria had been--red and orange, color striation, spiderwebbing but not tons of wave, big enough for the larger, 16"+ bouted BK--and Jeff easily pulled out three sets from which to choose.

Yeah.

More to come on what I chose, what I did to re-confirm my choice, and why PhotoShop is a wonderful thing.

-B
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CF MARTIN 1930 OM-18 - Mahogany/Adirondack
JORDAN MCCONNELL 2020 16" SJ - Rosewood/Spruce (Commissioned)

[SoundCloud | YouTube]

Last edited by bdm0509; 03-12-2015 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Fixed picture links and updated text to remove references to dead links
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:21 AM
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Man, love that third set!

Looking forward to more! Especially your Photoshop tips - I love that thing!
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:24 PM
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Jeff has MANY more where those came from. If you don't see something you like, ask to see some more sets. He has a little of everything... well, actually more than a little... he has A LOT of everything.
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdm0509 View Post
Well, here we are, largely thanks to Mike's generosity in having me over!

-B
Wow - that turned out to be an expensive visit!

Seriously, I have a Traugott R and it is an incredible guitar. It pretty much does everything sonically that I could ever want from some wood and some strings. Absolutely incredible and everyone who has played it agrees (I'm in the UK; Jeff's guitars are pretty thin on the ground over here).

My only gripe is that the neck is a little narrow for me - I like 46mm at the nut and this guitar is a touch narrower (I'm the second owner).

I did call Jeff a while ago about an R with fan-frets and a slightly wider neck but alas the recession then set in and I have to think about offloading guitars rather than getting new ones.

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveh View Post
Wow - that turned out to be an expensive visit!

Seriously, I have a Traugott R and it is an incredible guitar. It pretty much does everything sonically that I could ever want from some wood and some strings. Absolutely incredible and everyone who has played it agrees (I'm in the UK; Jeff's guitars are pretty thin on the ground over here)......

.....I did call Jeff a while ago about an R with fan-frets and a slightly wider neck but alas the recession then set in and I have to think about offloading guitars rather than getting new ones.

Cheers,
Steve
Wow! You have a Traugott R? You're a lucky guy I've never even seen a Traugott in the flesh (or should that be in the wood?). He has a phenomenal reputation. I'm sure I've seen Martin Simpson playing a Traugott R too.
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