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  #91  
Old 09-23-2018, 08:48 AM
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mikealpine mikealpine is offline
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Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
Kathy and I are sitting here talking and we both LOVE this, Kathy really loves the back strip!!! I kinda like it too haha!
Thanks Tom, and thank Kathy for me! I'm thrilled with how this is turning out. Steve has been amazing, adjusting any part of the design, such as a few extra dots on the back strip and modifying both the bridge and the cutaway. Always appreciate your comments!

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Originally Posted by bmh1 View Post
wow! This is gorgeous!! Whenever I need a lift, it's always good to come check out AGF and then find gems like this in progress.

And not only is it beautiful, it has secret sauce! It's going to be something!

beth
Thank you, Beth! Steve is hitting everything I want in a guitar, and he's just the nicest guy to work with.

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Originally Posted by cigarfan View Post
Speaking of butterflies .... how are yours doing Mike? Looking at these pictures it would be hard not to. Sure is a beauty.
Thanks Dennis! I'm very excited, of course. It's hard not to be when it gets to the final stages. I have an acoustic duo gig coming up at the end of October, Steve thinks I'll have it in time for that, and that would be awesome!

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Originally Posted by invguy921 View Post
Gorgeous Mike! That is just a spectacular piece. My sense is that it is going to FAR surpass that Taylor you've missed in every way. I absolutely love the new bridge design.

Excited for you!
Thanks Mike, I have to agree about the Taylor. Steve is sure he's found some added magic in his bracing design, so I can't wait to hear this guitar, especially after she's had a chance to open up a bit. And I'll be sure to give it that kind of playtime!
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2013 Joel Stehr Dreadnought - Carpathian/Malaysian BW
2014 RainSong H-OM1000N2
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2013 Chris Ensor Concert - Port Orford Cedar/Wenge
1980ish Takamine EF363 complete with irreplaceable memories
A bunch of electrics (too many!!)
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  #92  
Old 09-23-2018, 08:55 AM
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That is one fine looking guitar there. Enjoy!
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  #93  
Old 09-23-2018, 10:23 AM
Jamiejoon Jamiejoon is offline
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Wow. That is ridiculously pretty. The back is just incredible. Bravo.
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  #94  
Old 09-23-2018, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
That is one fine looking guitar there. Enjoy!
Thanks so much, can't wait to play it!

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Originally Posted by Jamiejoon View Post
Wow. That is ridiculously pretty. The back is just incredible. Bravo.
Thank you! Steve worked very hard on this, I'm very happy!
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2013 Joel Stehr Dreadnought - Carpathian/Malaysian BW
2014 RainSong H-OM1000N2
2017 Rainsong BI-WS1000N2
2013 Chris Ensor Concert - Port Orford Cedar/Wenge
1980ish Takamine EF363 complete with irreplaceable memories
A bunch of electrics (too many!!)
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  #95  
Old 09-23-2018, 09:27 PM
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Looking really beautiful, Mike--very excited for you to get a sinker/Madagascar back into the fold!

Kudos to you and Steve!
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Brazzie (Rio Lava)--2015 Stehr Auditorium (Adirondack/BRW)
Tigger--2013 Stehr Auditorium (Carpathian/Oregon Myrtlewood)
Melee--Razo 19 OM (German/Malaysian)
BevelBelle--Wilborn Ellie Belle (Old Stika/EIR)
Dana--1999 Bourgeois OM (Sitka/EIR)
Nemo--2009 Taylor Custom GS (Sinker/Macassar) GONE, but still in the family
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  #96  
Old 09-24-2018, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Nemoman View Post
Looking really beautiful, Mike--very excited for you to get a sinker/Madagascar back into the fold!

Kudos to you and Steve!
Thanks so much, and yeah, I really missed this combination. I'm looking forward to seeing the guitar with the neck back on, all polished up!
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2013 Joel Stehr Dreadnought - Carpathian/Malaysian BW
2014 RainSong H-OM1000N2
2017 Rainsong BI-WS1000N2
2013 Chris Ensor Concert - Port Orford Cedar/Wenge
1980ish Takamine EF363 complete with irreplaceable memories
A bunch of electrics (too many!!)
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  #97  
Old 10-19-2018, 09:02 AM
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The long wait is OVER! At least for Joel and me... Mike is going to have to wait another week or so. The Appollo Eclipse OM is now strung up and making some awesome sounds. This guitar has a great vibe right from the start; though still a "green apple", it displays all the character of a guitar that will mature into a very fluent player. The only missing ingredient is Mike's musical soul, waking the Eclipse up and bringing out the character and personality of the guitar.

I'm going to move over to my iPad now, so I can post some homestretch photos. Hopefully in the next day or two, we can work up some iPhone voice memo recordings. Stay tuned!
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  #98  
Old 10-19-2018, 09:50 AM
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The Appollo Eclipse is newly strung up and settling in nicely. The voice is big, robust, focused, and very balanced from low to mid to high. There’s a good strong fundamental across the board, and some colorful overtones.

Here are some process photos leading up to the official birthday. I’ll shoot a definitive round of studio photos in a few days, after everything settles in under string pull, and I can get the setup spot-on. I’m going to try to get this guitar into Mike’s hands in time for a October 30 gig he’s playing. Should be do-able; this guitar is already a great player.IMG_4469.jpg
This is the sound box, wet-sanded to 100 grit; already showing a muted gloss.IMG_4471.jpg
Mike brings his music to the people, so naturally, a pickup is going in the guitar. In this case, it’s a LR Baggs Lyric, which is actually a internal microphone with preamp. The Lyric is a very natural sounding rig, with the mic element mounted to the bridge plate, inside the guitar. I’ve installed five of these, and I am consistently amazed by how good they sound. Great choice, Mike!
Here, I’ve just drilled out for the preamp/end pin jack.
There is also a volume control with an attenuator mounted just inside the sound hole, and a nine volt battery in a pouch that will be mounted to the neck block, within easy reach, but out of sight inside the box.
IMG_4472.jpg
Here, the guitar has been buffed and polished, and it’s time to glue on the bridge. I’m using 315-gram strength hide glue for this. The bridge area was masked off during the lacquer work, but the bridge still needs to be precisely cut in before gluing. The green lacquer-safe tape provides a secure, no-slip footprint for the bridge, and makes glue squeeze-out a breeze to clean up.
IMG_4475.jpg
Here’s the bridge being glued on, using a combination of bridge clamps and light pressure from go-sticks. IMG_4479.jpg
Next, the fingerboard extension and heel need to be cut in, and the neck permanently attached.
IMG_4481.jpg
The bridge saddle slot is routed at this point. The routing jig is a copy of the StewMac jig that I made years ago.
IMG_4482.jpg
The frets are then leveled, re-crowned, polished with 1500-grit abrasive, and then buffed up to a jewel-gleam. Super smooth (and sparkly) frets play with supple ease. Good fret work is extremely important to a guitar’s performance; and I love doing this procedure.
IMG_4489.jpg
Next, the tuning machines are installed, a nut and saddle made, the bridge pin holes drilled and taper-reamed, and then, STRINGS go on.
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  #99  
Old 10-19-2018, 09:58 AM
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Just checked this post, and things got scattered around a little. I like being able to post photos from my iPad, but the layout can be a bit problematic. But you get the idea!
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  #100  
Old 10-19-2018, 10:19 AM
Nemoman Nemoman is offline
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How exciting to be able to use this guitar at a gig in its infancy!

It looks so amazing, and I'm sure has the tone and punch to match.

Really loving the new bridge design.

Congrats and kudos to you both!
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Brazzie (Rio Lava)--2015 Stehr Auditorium (Adirondack/BRW)
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Melee--Razo 19 OM (German/Malaysian)
BevelBelle--Wilborn Ellie Belle (Old Stika/EIR)
Dana--1999 Bourgeois OM (Sitka/EIR)
Nemo--2009 Taylor Custom GS (Sinker/Macassar) GONE, but still in the family
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  #101  
Old 10-19-2018, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Nemoman View Post
How exciting to be able to use this guitar at a gig in its infancy!

It looks so amazing, and I'm sure has the tone and punch to match.

Really loving the new bridge design.

Congrats and kudos to you both!
Thanks so much! Steve sent teaser shots with Joel sitting with the guitar. Very cool to see. I'm guessing ten days or so, but I'm not rushing Steve at all with this, I want him to be sure it is dialed in exactly as he'd like, with nothing more to do except for me to play it.
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2013 Joel Stehr Dreadnought - Carpathian/Malaysian BW
2014 RainSong H-OM1000N2
2017 Rainsong BI-WS1000N2
2013 Chris Ensor Concert - Port Orford Cedar/Wenge
1980ish Takamine EF363 complete with irreplaceable memories
A bunch of electrics (too many!!)
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  #102  
Old 10-19-2018, 03:21 PM
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Congrats Mike and Steve, she is a beauty and I love the color and overall look of the guitar. I will be waiting with excitement to get Mike's first impressions!
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  #103  
Old 10-19-2018, 04:02 PM
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mikealpine mikealpine is offline
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Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
Congrats Mike and Steve, she is a beauty and I love the color and overall look of the guitar. I will be waiting with excitement to get Mike's first impressions!
Thanks Tom! It's a dark look, and I love it. I wasn't looking for anything wild, even turned down a much more figured back set, though let Steve be the final decision maker based on what we were looking to achieve and how the back "tapped." I'm very happy with the pops of brightness here and there, but overall it is somewhat understated, which is what I wanted. Ideally the tone of the guitar will speak for itself. I'll be sure to share my impressions!!
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2013 Joel Stehr Dreadnought - Carpathian/Malaysian BW
2014 RainSong H-OM1000N2
2017 Rainsong BI-WS1000N2
2013 Chris Ensor Concert - Port Orford Cedar/Wenge
1980ish Takamine EF363 complete with irreplaceable memories
A bunch of electrics (too many!!)
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  #104  
Old 10-24-2018, 02:21 PM
rwhitlow rwhitlow is offline
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I love reading your threads. You are truly an artist!
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  #105  
Old 10-24-2018, 05:13 PM
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mikealpine mikealpine is offline
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Originally Posted by rwhitlow View Post
I love reading your threads. You are truly an artist!
Yeah, I make some pretty thread!

Ok, I know you mean Steve. And yes, I agree, very talented, really creative, and above all, a true gem of a human being. He has been absolutely wonderful to work with, more brother than friend at this point.

Ideally, the guitar will ship Monday. What’s great is, it isn’t too cold here yet, acclimation should be pretty quick. It won’t be here for Tuesday’s gig, but there will be others. We agreed it should remain with Steve a few extra days so he could dial it in and tweak it without feeling rushed.

Thanks for looking in and commenting!
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2013 Joel Stehr Dreadnought - Carpathian/Malaysian BW
2014 RainSong H-OM1000N2
2017 Rainsong BI-WS1000N2
2013 Chris Ensor Concert - Port Orford Cedar/Wenge
1980ish Takamine EF363 complete with irreplaceable memories
A bunch of electrics (too many!!)
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