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  #31  
Old 08-15-2023, 10:30 AM
sinistral sinistral is online now
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Originally Posted by Deliberate1 View Post
Greets, mate. Hope all is well. It was very generous that Max made available a 00 to live with, as I had never even held one of his guitars before committing to the build. And, as you say, it has been very fortunate. I discovered details that would have been impossible to know without living with his guitar these past several months.

The stock volute is uncomfortable. The problem is likely mine, as I have a tendency to twist my left wrist into it - see image. But no worries. Max has offered the alternative design, as below. And an image of the rosewood binding I just received.

So, what is the status of your build with Michel? Have I missed posts about it?

Wish you all the best, Lefty.

David
Wow, thatís service with a smile! I had just assumed that you bought the 00 to tide yourself over.

My guitar is in the process of having finish applied, to be followed by some minor hand-finish details and final assembly. For finishes, Michel applies French polish himself, but for gloss finishes (which I asked for), Michel enlists the help of a fellow luthier in his co-op space who has a spray booth, etc. Michel also just had a baby, so he took a (too) brief break from the bench.
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  #32  
Old 08-15-2023, 03:32 PM
s2y s2y is offline
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I'm glad you found a neck that suits you perfectly. Despite interweb forums saying these builds are risky, I love getting a guitar tailored to my exact needs.
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  #33  
Old 08-15-2023, 05:12 PM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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Wow, that’s service with a smile! I had just assumed that you bought the 00 to tide yourself over.
You are getting very, very close. How exciting. Like, Michel, Max also contracts out the finishing work. I am cool with that. I assume it is a considerable expense to create the kind of environment and infrastructure to do high quality finishing, And, while it is surely a part of the guitar building process, it seems to me to require a whole differernt skill set. Like a car mechanic who sends the paint work out.

I am curious to know what led to your decision for forego a French polish finish for a gloss one. I always thought the French polish was the snazziest one, with upcharges (not by Michel) of $1000 or more.

Yes, the loan of his 00 was a totally unexpected act of generosity and trust. Max (who lives in Germany) happened to have a 00 in the US that was currently unattached. And so he reached out with the offer to send it to me, as a courtesy, to live with in order to fine tune my build. Which I have done. Trust begets trust. It has given me totatl faith in Max's committment to craft the best guitar he can, for me.

Hope that you will favor us all with pics of the "delivery."

Cheers.

David
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  #34  
Old 08-15-2023, 05:33 PM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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I'm glad you found a neck that suits you perfectly. Despite interweb forums saying these builds are risky, I love getting a guitar tailored to my exact needs.
I thoroughly agree. I have discovered that the real value of a custom build is in the geomety/design of an instrument that really fits you - like the alternate volute, and Manzer wedge, and rounded fretboard to compensate an arthritic thumb and short scale/12 fret, but with an extended fretboard. While I have been playing but four years, I soon discovered that I play better (and struggle less) with a guitar that is comfortable in my hands. And that means more joy.

David
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  #35  
Old 08-15-2023, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Deliberate1 View Post
I thoroughly agree. I have discovered that the real value of a custom build is in the geomety/design of an instrument that really fits you - like the alternate volute, and Manzer wedge, and rounded fretboard to compensate an arthritic thumb and short scale/12 fret, but with an extended fretboard. While I have been playing but four years, I soon discovered that I play better (and struggle less) with a guitar that is comfortable in my hands. And that means more joy.

David
Couldn't agree more. It's taken me years to find the right nut width, neck thickness and string spacing. Not to mention scale, 12 fret, and small body size that I prefer...very interesting discussion. I wouldn't have figured out these things without doing custom builds! It's a rare posting in guitars for sale that fits my preference and needs!
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  #36  
Old 08-23-2023, 03:09 PM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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It is getting real, now. Max just sent me the attached images of the completed body. His work exceeds my expectations, which is just what you want, right?

The Florentine cutaway and Manzer Wedge are now completed, as is the rosette with shell inlay. It is all pulled together by the new addition of a rosewood binding. Originally, Max and I discussed wenge for this (and all the other attached parts), but he felt that this rosewood would be more flattering, drawing out the subtle pinks in the shell. It just looks great to me.

I just love the way an arm of the rosette works its way into the purfling so elegantly, and pulls the curve of the cutaway in towards the asymmetrical tone hole, creating a sense of negative space between the two. Whatever questions I had about the tone hole design have dissolved. It works just beautifully, again, making the tone hole geometry an integral part of the rosette. I think that Max has really got the body geometry just right. Svelte is the word that comes to mind. The configuration of the top also reflects the fact that it will be a 12 fretter.

Next, Max will be working on the neck. As i mentioned above, he will fashion a volute different from his usual, which I found too confining. As it turns out, I prefer that alternate design as well for its lower profile. There will be no other inlay, other than small brass side dots on the fret board. And none on the headstock, which will be plated in the same figured maple as the body. Speaking of which. I continue to be mesmerized by the figure in the back and sides. I have never seen another maple back that has that combination of bold tiger and whatever it is that mottled figuring is called. I cannot wait to see how it pops once the finish is applied.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned.

David

PS: Apologies for the image resolution. The AGF protocols do a heavy compression.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FInished box 1.jpg (21.5 KB, 187 views)
File Type: jpg Finished box2.jpg (25.6 KB, 191 views)
File Type: jpg Finished box3.jpg (21.5 KB, 183 views)
File Type: jpg FInished box4.jpg (17.7 KB, 190 views)
File Type: jpg Finished box 5.jpg (17.5 KB, 185 views)
File Type: jpg Finished box 6.jpg (18.8 KB, 186 views)
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Last edited by Deliberate1; 08-25-2023 at 01:21 PM.
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  #37  
Old 08-25-2023, 09:04 AM
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Max's rosettes are nothing short of striking. And the shell material is a nice choice for the inlay. The MOP and maple look like they are meant to be together. This is going to be a really beautiful guitar.
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  #38  
Old 08-25-2023, 09:38 AM
sinistral sinistral is online now
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That is so elegant!
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  #39  
Old 08-25-2023, 11:32 AM
s2y s2y is offline
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Perfect balance of visually exciting without being "too much"!
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  #40  
Old 08-25-2023, 12:37 PM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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That is so elegant!
Just hope some 'o that rubs off.

David
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  #41  
Old 08-25-2023, 12:43 PM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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Perfect balance of visually exciting without being "too much"!
Well put. That is precisely why I chose no other applied adornment for the front side - no fretboard or headstock inlay. The neck will be mahogany with a cap on the front of the headstock featuring the same maple as the body. Once finished, that maple is going to vibrate - all on its own.

Obliged.

David
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Last edited by Deliberate1; 08-25-2023 at 01:19 PM.
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  #42  
Old 08-25-2023, 02:50 PM
Merlemantel Merlemantel is offline
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David, this is a magnificently artistic, beautiful guitar.
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  #43  
Old 08-25-2023, 05:57 PM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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David, this is a magnificently artistic, beautiful guitar.
I know that Max is following this thread, and will be very gratified to read your comment and those of others.

Having lived with one of his guitars (on loan) for a few months, I can report that their considerable beauty goes well deeper than the skin. And that the level of craftsmanship is of the highest caliber. You pick up one of Max's instruments, and it feels as though it has been crafted from a single piece of guitar "element," rather than assembled from pieces.

One of the reasons I was attracted to Max's guitars is their signature appearance. With all due respect to other luthiers, I cannot think of another builder whose guitars are uniquely identifiable by virtue of their appearance, without peeking at the headstock emblem, if any. Though, to be sure, guitars from Ben Wilborn's Comma series are magnificent, and instantly recognizable. Though, they are a significant departure from conventional guitar design.

There is no mistaking a Spohn guitar. The rosette is Max's calling card. It is one of the first design elements of the build. Each one is different, in material and configuration. But each has features that visually connect it to its siblings. It makes not just for a custom instrument, and a unique one, but one with shared DNA.

Stay tuned.

David
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Last edited by Deliberate1; 08-26-2023 at 06:45 AM.
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  #44  
Old 08-26-2023, 08:35 AM
s2y s2y is offline
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Did he give you an ETA of when it should be done? I'd like to order one towards the end of this year or early next year.
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  #45  
Old 08-26-2023, 12:06 PM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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Did he give you an ETA of when it should be done? I'd like to order one towards the end of this year or early next year.
Thanks for yours. I am expecting it to be shipped (hopefully) by the end of next month. And I am figuring a torturous week or so waiting for its trip from Germany. I will post images on arrival.

May I suggest that you reach out to Max to see what his wait time is. He is very responsive and candid. He started on mine just when he said he would. I know of another AGF'er whose build is scheduled within the next couple months.

Feel free to pm me if you have any other questions.

David
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