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  #1  
Old 09-16-2016, 10:49 PM
tkoehler1 tkoehler1 is offline
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Default Build Thread: Dehradun Lutz/Wenge SJ

I have a great custom cedar topped fingerstyle guitar built for me my Christian Druery, but sometimes you want to smack down a spruce topped guitar and revel in the power. So I searched to find a builder who would indulge me with an offset sound hole and found Dehradun guitars here on AGF. Besides making great guitars they have a very inspirational story. They are based in India and they change lives with lutherie. Here's their video:





I talked to Dave Murray at Dehradun about what I wanted. He is a great guy and very knowledgeable. In the end I chose:

Lutz spruce top
Wenge B/S
Small Jumbo size (Dave feels this shape has the best string to string balance)
Venetian cutaway
24.9" scale
16" radius
jumbo frets
thumb scallops (to help those hard to reach over stretches)
1 3/4 nut
2 1/4 saddle
Sound port (love 'em), eventually it became a bass port.
armrest
Gotoh 21:1 tuners

Dave suggested a cantilevered fretboard and a tail piece so I went with those as well. Both were new concepts to me but the way Dave explained the benefits it made sense.

Here's the initial design:

















Last here's the Lutz David selected:





Onto the build!
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2016, 01:18 AM
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Halcyon/Tinker Halcyon/Tinker is offline
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That's some piece of lutz right there!
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:05 AM
JamesO JamesO is offline
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I don't even care about the guitar after watching the video. What an incredible thing they're doing.
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:12 AM
GeoffStGermaine GeoffStGermaine is offline
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Looks like this will be a very cool guitar! That Lutz is spectacular and I really like the design. The cantilevered neck, offset sound hole and bridge/tailpiece design are very interesting design concepts. I'm looking forward to seeing this guitar take shape.
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:26 PM
tkoehler1 tkoehler1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesO View Post
I don't even care about the guitar after watching the video. What an incredible thing they're doing.
It truly is incredible. The guitars are really world class instruments, built by a ragtag group who the world said would never amount to anything. Buying from them is a definitely win-win.

I think Dave Murray and his wife (who also started a business in India - clothes I think) are unbelievable people.

There's a few more videos on vimeo, the tour vid is really revealing.

https://vimeo.com/user14977553
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Old 09-17-2016, 09:09 PM
bajawatt bajawatt is offline
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Love the mission and execution. Looking forward to the thread.
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:19 AM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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Very interesting bracing - the sound profile is bound to be very different indeed. What are you aiming for tone wise?

I also like the structural lengthwise strut that reminds me of the Larson guitars. Is that wood or carbon fiber rods ? That should help reduce the likelihood of a neck reset being needed in the future.

If I were you, I would consider 13th fret configuration. I played a 13 fret short scale Dehradun SJ that was vey nice indeed.
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Old 09-18-2016, 02:02 PM
Jeff Scott Jeff Scott is offline
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Cool! The sound hole reminds me of a National Tricone
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:30 PM
tkoehler1 tkoehler1 is offline
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Default The fate of guitar #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
Very interesting bracing - the sound profile is bound to be very different indeed. What are you aiming for tone wise?

I also like the structural lengthwise strut that reminds me of the Larson guitars. Is that wood or carbon fiber rods ? That should help reduce the likelihood of a neck reset being needed in the future.

If I were you, I would consider 13th fret configuration. I played a 13 fret short scale Dehradun SJ that was vey nice indeed.
Gitarro brings up an interesting point. Moving the sound hole brings up many opportunities for doing things differently, including carbon fiber rods (for strength) and bracing. David wanted to try a different bracing pattern that he fretted and fretted over. In the end he decided to build two guitars in parallel - one with experimental bracing and a zero torque bridge (the experiment) and one with lattice bracing and a pass thru bridge (the proven back up). Both guitars would be braced with Adirondack.

I'm not sure what the goal for tone was at this point. I just wanted a great guitar that I could play hard without it breaking up. We did talk about joining at the 13th fret, but I think the guitar was too far along at that point to do it. I have no regrets about this guitar, but if I would do it again I would go with a 13th fret join.

About the experimental bracing, Dave said: The nice thing about the zero moment bridge & tailpiece design is that it allows us to build the bracing for tone, rather than structure (of course the two are interdependent actually). I’ve attached a picture of the planned bracing layout for that model. I’m calling it Mongrel Kasha bracing. Even, with lots of different bracing lengths to produce varied harmonic content. We'll focus during voicing on encouraging movement around the long axis of the bridge, which the strings between the bridge and tailpiece will otherwise restrict.

Here's a few pics:














Unfortunately, the bracing on #1 did not work out. As we got near the end of the build, Dave was sending me updates. Then I just got a short email saying that he had gotten the guitar strung up and played it, and the sound was not for me. It was a "bit thin out front". Another time he said the guitar was just too loose. I was a little shocked to be honest because things were going so swimmingly. I expected Dave to be emotional about it but he was not. All he said was that sometimes things don't work, that's why we have #2.

Here's the last two pics of #1 as it was nearing the end of it's build:








Next - on to guitar #2!

Last edited by tkoehler1; 09-19-2016 at 03:59 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2016, 08:46 PM
LSemmens LSemmens is offline
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What a fantastic business! I wish them all the best, and, if I am ever in the market for a custom instrument will have them at the top of my list. Your new guitar is going to look fantastic, tkoehler1, I hope it sounds even better!!!
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  #11  
Old 09-20-2016, 08:14 PM
tkoehler1 tkoehler1 is offline
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Default #2 - the keeper

Okay let's see how #2 progressed:


Putting together the top:




Ajay carving the lattice bracing:





The sides:




Bass port installed:





Rahul laying out the carbon fiber rods:





Sound hole binding:





Vishal inlaying the marquetry:





Scalloped frets!





The tailpiece:





Last but not least the bridge:


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  #12  
Old 09-20-2016, 08:24 PM
tkoehler1 tkoehler1 is offline
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Default It's done!

Here's the professional photos of this beauty. She's done and arrived at my house last week. I am beyond thrilled to have a guitar of this caliber. Everything about it is beautiful, and what a thrill to look in the bass port and see all the men's signatures on the sound board!

















She sounds just as good as she looks.



Last edited by tkoehler1; 09-20-2016 at 08:58 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2016, 08:52 PM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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May I be the first to say that is just a lovely looking guitar!
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:12 AM
RJVB RJVB is offline
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May I not be the last to second that!

The "echo" of the cutout in the headstock is a nice little detail, and that bridge/tailpiece design looks like a best-of-several-worlds solution.

But what are thumb scallops?

How has she been ageing?
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:25 AM
tkoehler1 tkoehler1 is offline
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Weird thing was, even though the guitar was almost perfect, I eventually sold it.

It was a very long build from start to finish - almost 2 years IIRC. Shortly after commissioning it I started playing classical guitar. Once it arrived I took it out of the case, marveled at it, played a bit, then put it away and went back to nylon.

It was a shame to let it sit so a year later I sold it and used the funds to buy a custom Jeremy Clark classical.

My practicality won out in the end.

The thumb scallops were great - here's a thread about them https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=343608

The other weird thing is, after 5 years, I'm finally starting to listen/play steel strings again. I really think my brain needed a break from them. I can still find the high pitched "shimmer" of a steel string annoying sometimes, but much less than before.

TK
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