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Old 05-07-2021, 12:28 PM
dennisczech dennisczech is offline
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Default Branwell 00 build

I've gone a bit GASy over the last year, and have fallen in love with the tone of London-based Nick Branwell's guitars. His usual 00 "Estuary" is based on the Torres 1864 shape, which is 13.9 inches lower bout, but in a 14 fret configuration. I've asked him to build one based on the 1888 Torres, slightly larger (14.2 inches) but still smaller than a standard classical. I'm currently borrowing an Estuary model in Engelmann/Wenge that has a really big, meaty, chunky sound.
The new build is "Coyote" wood (one of the Platymiscium species like macacauba aka hormigo aka grenadillo), which we obtained from Timberline here in the UK. It has the most wonderfully satisfying and lively tap tone, and the density is similar to Braz. John Arnold has said on many occasions that this wood is one of his favourites. The top is Italian spruce from the 1980s which has a fair bit of coloration, and you can see how it has aged. We spent a happy afternoon tapping various tops, and this one just had an extra dimension to the tone, an intoxicating dry ring.









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Old 05-08-2021, 01:49 AM
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That back wood looks fantastic! You piqued my interest with the name and I found it is number one on "the ten best woods you've never heard" - https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...e-never-heard/

Congratulations, and looking forward to more posts as it progresses.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:55 AM
BradHall BradHall is offline
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That is beautiful. Interesting brace pattern on the top. No bridge plate?
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:23 PM
dennisczech dennisczech is offline
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Originally Posted by colins View Post
That back wood looks fantastic! You piqued my interest with the name and I found it is number one on "the ten best woods you've never heard" - https://www.wood-database.com/wood-a...e-never-heard/
I was very tempted by some madagascar rosewood, but this stuff is so nicely quartered and is also very easy to work, plus the tap tone was to die for. I strongly suspect this is the same as or kissing cousin to the "granadillo" Bill Kraus recently posted.

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That is beautiful. Interesting brace pattern on the top. No bridge plate?
Correct Brad, he uses a pinless bridge system which ditches the bridge plate, as you can see in the pic below. Re bracing, Nick has just built a lattice braced classical as a trial, and I was wondering whether to persuade him to try a similar steel string, but in the end we felt that his double X pattern works pretty well and is a known quantity. You can see that the main X brace is less than 90 degrees and goes quite high up, with the aim of expanding the lower bout. It seems to work, as his guitars hit a sweet spot between responsiveness and depth of tone, as well as balance and sustain. I've played many many high end guitars down the years, and Nick's work is as good as any I've come across.

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Old Yesterday, 07:41 AM
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Dennis, you're really on a roll. It's nice you can be commissioning all these guitars from luthiers that have impressed you. Quite some time ago a local luthier, Hans Brentrup, built a guitar from Hormigo but I didn't get a chance to hear or play that one in person. Alan Carruth built my 000 in 2012 and he used double X bracing on the top; sure works for him.

I'll be interested in hearing your comments on this guitars tone when it's done.
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Old Yesterday, 08:50 AM
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Bill Kraus Bill Kraus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisczech View Post
I was very tempted by some madagascar rosewood, but this stuff is so nicely quartered and is also very easy to work, plus the tap tone was to die for. I strongly suspect this is the same as or kissing cousin to the "granadillo" Bill Kraus recently posted.
I used to cut a good amount of the Platymiscium species woods from lumber into guitar sets. We'd buy it as hormigo, granadillo, or macacauba, and the color would range from light brick orange, dark orange to red and purple. The weight and texture would vary slightly also, differing sub species and or growing conditions I guess, but it was always a nice sounding tap tone in the end, a very nice sounding wood. This is the first time I've heard it referred to as coyote wood.
I can't wait to see the finished guitar.
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Last edited by Kerbie; Yesterday at 11:51 AM. Reason: Fixed quote.
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Old Yesterday, 11:48 AM
Itzkinguitars Itzkinguitars is offline
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Very cool! Is the original shape based on a specific guitar from 1864 like La suprema or the Courtnall plantilla? I assume the 1888 plantilla you chose is SE-114? Either way a very exciting project; my smaller model is built on the plantilla of Torres FE-04 (la leona) and this has me contemplating a steel string version as well!

Last edited by Itzkinguitars; Yesterday at 03:40 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 03:39 PM
dennisczech dennisczech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzkinguitars View Post
Very cool! Is the original shape based on a specific guitar from 1864 like La suprema or the Courtnall plantilla? I assume the 1888 plantilla you choose is SE-114? Either way a very exciting project; my smaller model is built on the plantilla of Torres FE-04 (la leona) and this has me contemplating a steel string version as well!
Brian, the "Estuary" 00 model is based on Torres FE19 from 1864. Nick hasn't yet built a steel string in the 1888 shape (which is indeed SE-114), but the plantilla is easily transferable. I can't overstate how successful the Estuary model is, the one Nick is letting me borrow whilst he builds this one is just stunning. Even the body depth is less than 4 inches in the lower bout, but the sound is so powerful and satisfying. I've played so many 00-shaped guitars that are a bit tinny or boxy, but this one just sounds faaaat.







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