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  #31  
Old 07-25-2019, 01:08 AM
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Rory,
I’m completely impressed with you and your work. The thought you put in is inspiring, and the skills are breathtaking. I’m officially a fan.
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  #32  
Old 07-28-2019, 11:03 AM
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Wow! What a super story, and what an impressive instrument. I admit to walking away with one of Rory's guitars - the "Mad Taran" - after the same meeting last summer. I am so sorry to have missed seeing him and this instrument this summer. Maybe Steve will send it to me when he's finished with it...

Peter
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  #33  
Old 08-20-2019, 02:16 AM
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Just posting to find out what was your conclusion, Steve? Did the taran pas the gauntlet successfully to earn the right to stay in your stable of guitars?

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Originally Posted by steveh View Post
Time to explain myself: I actually came home with the guitar.
It's the one Michael Watts is playing in this video:



Like I said in my previous post, I have plenty of experience with Rory's guitars, including playing the maple model DS#2 Rory mentions above. The most impressive was a BRW model a few years back that had celestial trebles. However, they have all reminded me of superbly made Sobells. Not a bad thing at all!

However, this guitar is different and my first impression is that Rory has achieved something that I (and others) have been looking for for a long time. That is, a combination of the clarity, presence and separation of a Sobell with something a bit more mellow, warmer and deeper. Getting both these characteristics in one guitar is a bit of a Holy Grail AFAIAC.

I've owned 5 Sobells over many years and ultimately moved all of them on because they were a little too steely and direct for my present tastes, which increasingly tend towards the warmer because of my nylon infatuation. I "relapse" every now and again when I fancy doing a (poor) Martin Simpson impersonation, get another Sobell, and then move on. Rory's new model could be a better long term bet and, I think, will have a broader appeal to many players. And his woodworking skills are mad. I mean that. Get to look at one up close. You'll be there a long time if you want to find a flaw.

I'm exceptionally happy with the guitars I have (a Sands and Claxton) and am definitely not searching for another, not least because I've been 90% nylon for the last couple of years. Nevertheless, this latest development from Rory has more than piqued my interest. And those of several others who played it (indeed one of my pals got on Rory's list a couple of weeks ago after playing a recent model).

Let's see: Rory has very gracefully left the axe with me in order for me to arrive at a decision that is not rushed.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #34  
Old 08-22-2019, 11:47 AM
steveh steveh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
Just posting to find out what was your conclusion, Steve? Did the taran pas the gauntlet successfully to earn the right to stay in your stable of guitars?
Many thanks for asking. I have found this really, really difficult. I have had lots of guitars and spent too much time and energy chasing “the one”. Ultimately, I’ve ended up with two guitars that delight me – a Tom Sands MMD, which provides that Somogyiesque growl and singing sustain, and an Ed Claxton OM that is an incredibly refined and balanced guitar. Some others have been their equals but, for various reasons, I moved them on. I’m not interested in adding to my steel-string “stable” since 90% of my repertoire is nylon these days. However, sometimes a guitar comes along that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and demands your attention, irrespective of whether you’re interested or not, i.e. Rory’s Tirga Mhor.

I’ve had a long-standing love-affair with Sobells – they were the first truly great luthier instrument I owned and pretty much revolutionised my approach to playing overnight: They taught me that a really superb instrument was very difficult to put down, and my enjoyment grew exponentially. Sobells are pretty idiosyncratic though – impossible to overdrive, loads of separation, powerful, and bright. They can also be a bit shrill and cold, and some demand a firm right hand. Some good players I know can’t stand them. Ultimately, I also wandered off in search of something more mellow and forgiving but I’ve returned periodically to Sobells.

After having the Tirga Mhor for the last few weeks my initial impression has been confirmed in spades – this guitar combines (at last!) the best Sobell attributes with a sound that is not at all shrill or “clangy” (as a very well-known luthier once said to me of Sobells), and which is very responsive. That’s a very, very desirable instrument IMHO. The clincher is its exceptional comfort: The extreme back arching nestles into you, and the 12-fret position makes it feel relatively small. Man, it’s comfy! I had a Kostal MD that I loved but it was a big, big handful, and comfort matters when you’re getting older.

I’ll say again, this choice is really, really difficult. I have two fabulous steel-strings and don’t want another but Rory’s new model sounds exceptional and the wood-working, and fit and finish is up there with Ralph Bown (which is pretty much impossible!). However, there is one elephant in the room – I like a very wide nut and fretboard, and this instrument is just a touch too narrow for me to play easily without tripping over. If I had better technique, it wouldn’t be an issue but I need some extra space to land those wayward digits. If it were wider, I’d buy it unhesitatingly.

So, I’ve told Rory to get me on his list for a “post-Simpson Tirga Mhor” with wider neck. This will buy time to sell one of my two guitars to fund this unexpected commission. I will keep whatever contrasts most with the nascent Taran, so probably the Sands; the Claxton sort of sits between them both.

If you'd told me a few weeks back that I'd be getting another steel-string, I'd never have believed it possible. That's GAS for you I guess.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #35  
Old 08-22-2019, 06:13 PM
gitarro gitarro is online now
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Glad to hear that you liked the taran that much! I have found your previous posts on your experiences with the kostal and traugott very helpful which in fact helped lead me on a similar journey as yours - I had a somogyi and traugott, found them spectacular but ultimately too expensive to keep and I have also ended up with much more fiscally manageable guitar that provides me with a guitar as responsive as the traugott but with it's own tonal pizzazz. I am going next for a more mellow guitar that will contrast with my poljakoff and I will then try to retire from the GAS mill!

I would just suggest that rather than selling rhe claxton, there is enough space in your collection for you to keep it to complement the incoming taran? Of all your clips that you posted, the most memorable to me has been of your Claxton OM and the way you have described it in the past, it clearly is a special guitar to you...

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveh View Post
Many thanks for asking. I have found this really, really difficult. I have had lots of guitars and spent too much time and energy chasing “the one”. Ultimately, I’ve ended up with two guitars that delight me – a Tom Sands MMD, which provides that Somogyiesque growl and singing sustain, and an Ed Claxton OM that is an incredibly refined and balanced guitar. Some others have been their equals but, for various reasons, I moved them on. I’m not interested in adding to my steel-string “stable” since 90% of my repertoire is nylon these days. However, sometimes a guitar comes along that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and demands your attention, irrespective of whether you’re interested or not, i.e. Rory’s Tirga Mhor.

I’ve had a long-standing love-affair with Sobells – they were the first truly great luthier instrument I owned and pretty much revolutionised my approach to playing overnight: They taught me that a really superb instrument was very difficult to put down, and my enjoyment grew exponentially. Sobells are pretty idiosyncratic though – impossible to overdrive, loads of separation, powerful, and bright. They can also be a bit shrill and cold, and some demand a firm right hand. Some good players I know can’t stand them. Ultimately, I also wandered off in search of something more mellow and forgiving but I’ve returned periodically to Sobells.

After having the Tirga Mhor for the last few weeks my initial impression has been confirmed in spades – this guitar combines (at last!) the best Sobell attributes with a sound that is not at all shrill or “clangy” (as a very well-known luthier once said to me of Sobells), and which is very responsive. That’s a very, very desirable instrument IMHO. The clincher is its exceptional comfort: The extreme back arching nestles into you, and the 12-fret position makes it feel relatively small. Man, it’s comfy! I had a Kostal MD that I loved but it was a big, big handful, and comfort matters when you’re getting older.

I’ll say again, this choice is really, really difficult. I have two fabulous steel-strings and don’t want another but Rory’s new model sounds exceptional and the wood-working, and fit and finish is up there with Ralph Bown (which is pretty much impossible!). However, there is one elephant in the room – I like a very wide nut and fretboard, and this instrument is just a touch too narrow for me to play easily without tripping over. If I had better technique, it wouldn’t be an issue but I need some extra space to land those wayward digits. If it were wider, I’d buy it unhesitatingly.

So, I’ve told Rory to get me on his list for a “post-Simpson Tirga Mhor” with wider neck. This will buy time to sell one of my two guitars to fund this unexpected commission. I will keep whatever contrasts most with the nascent Taran, so probably the Sands; the Claxton sort of sits between them both.

If you'd told me a few weeks back that I'd be getting another steel-string, I'd never have believed it possible. That's GAS for you I guess.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #36  
Old 08-25-2019, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
I would just suggest that rather than selling rhe claxton, there is enough space in your collection for you to keep it to complement the incoming taran? Of all your clips that you posted, the most memorable to me has been of your Claxton OM and the way you have described it in the past, it clearly is a special guitar to you...
Thanks +++ for your kind words. This has been difficult and I've had a few days to sleep on it: You are absolutely right - my Claxton is a very special guitar that I fell in love with, couldn't afford, and which then made it's way back to me a few years later. I'd be crazy to commit to selling it, not least because it will be very hard to replace.

I've decided to hang onto it and see how I feel after having Rory's guitar for a good while. Rory has taken a lot of new orders recently so the Taran won't be with me for a couple of years, so there's no need to rush things.

Sometimes the excitement around a new guitar combined with the pragmatics of how to get it into the house without breaking the piggy-bank can lead to snap (for which read "silly") decisions. An independent opinion is no bad thing - Thanks for making me see sense.

Cheers,
Steve
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  #37  
Old 08-25-2019, 11:21 PM
gitarro gitarro is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveh View Post
Thanks +++ for your kind words. This has been difficult and I've had a few days to sleep on it: You are absolutely right - my Claxton is a very special guitar that I fell in love with, couldn't afford, and which then made it's way back to me a few years later. I'd be crazy to commit to selling it, not least because it will be very hard to replace.

I've decided to hang onto it and see how I feel after having Rory's guitar for a good while. Rory has taken a lot of new orders recently so the Taran won't be with me for a couple of years, so there's no need to rush things.

Sometimes the excitement around a new guitar combined with the pragmatics of how to get it into the house without breaking the piggy-bank can lead to snap (for which read "silly") decisions. An independent opinion is no bad thing - Thanks for making me see sense.

Cheers,
Steve
No worries steve I have experienced seller's remorse selling a guitar that was essentially irreplaceable only to realise it later so it's good to nip that in the bud! Lol
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  #38  
Old 08-26-2019, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveh View Post

You are absolutely right - my Claxton is a very special guitar that I fell in love with, couldn't afford, and which then made it's way back to me a few years later. I'd be crazy to commit to selling it, not least because it will be very hard to replace.



I've decided to hang onto it and see how I feel after having Rory's guitar for a good while.

Patience is a virtue and you are a wise man.

No guitar is perfect, but my OM sometimes tricks me into thinking it is.

Thanks for sharing, it’s been fun following along. Enjoy!

Last edited by Deft Tungsman; 08-26-2019 at 02:03 AM.
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  #39  
Old 10-21-2019, 12:09 PM
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This has been a highly enjoyable thread to read through and I thought I'd make my own contribution. I introduced Rory to Martin Simpson a few years ago and it has been fascinating to see what has emerged from their collaboration in terms of a new Taran model, the Tirga Mhor.

The guitar that steveh ultimately decided not to go for is now with me. It is unquestionably one of the best guitars I've played so I've decided to acquire it. There is a special resonance here as I was responsible, indirectly, for the model coming into existence owing to my introducing Rory and Martin to each other. Rory is quite naturally delighted that I shall have it - and so am I !

Cheers,

Ian
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  #40  
Old 10-21-2019, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianLP59 View Post
This has been a highly enjoyable thread to read through and I thought I'd make my own contribution. I introduced Rory to Martin Simpson a few years ago and it has been fascinating to see what has emerged from their collaboration in terms of a new Taran model, the Tirga Mhor.

The guitar that steveh ultimately decided not to go for is now with me. It is unquestionably one of the best guitars I've played so I've decided to acquire it. There is a special resonance here as I was responsible, indirectly, for the model coming into existence owing to my introducing Rory and Martin to each other. Rory is quite naturally delighted that I shall have it - and so am I !

Cheers,

Ian
Nicely done Ian! Enjoy!
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  #41  
Old 10-21-2019, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianLP59 View Post
This has been a highly enjoyable thread to read through and I thought I'd make my own contribution. I introduced Rory to Martin Simpson a few years ago and it has been fascinating to see what has emerged from their collaboration in terms of a new Taran model, the Tirga Mhor.

The guitar that steveh ultimately decided not to go for is now with me. It is unquestionably one of the best guitars I've played so I've decided to acquire it. There is a special resonance here as I was responsible, indirectly, for the model coming into existence owing to my introducing Rory and Martin to each other. Rory is quite naturally delighted that I shall have it - and so am I !

Cheers,

Ian
How exciting that you have this guitar! Congratulations.

Best,
Jayne
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  #42  
Old 10-21-2019, 04:22 PM
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Congrats from me as well, that is a great story and a very happy ending.
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  #43  
Old 10-21-2019, 09:32 PM
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What an excellent and fitting closure that Ian should end up buying the guitar then. Play it in good health!
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  #44  
Old 10-28-2019, 07:50 AM
TaranGuitars TaranGuitars is offline
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Dear all,

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read and comment on this thread, your words and thoughts mean a great deal!

It has indeed been quite the journey. I can't express how delighted I am that the story has come full circle and the guitar has found a home with the very person who instigated this whole process. Thank you Ian, it gives me great pleasure knowing the guitar is in your hands.

All the very best and until next time,
Rory
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  #45  
Old 10-28-2019, 11:40 AM
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Congratulations to all on a fantastic journey well told!!

The guitar must be utterly inspirational. I hope to hear it one day.
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