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  #1  
Old 01-05-2023, 12:13 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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Today is January 5, 2023, and I thought I’d get a timely start on my latest blog thread here in AGF, unlike last year when I think I may have run 2021 all the way through to Spring of 2022.

I did complete a new guitar a week ago, but the weather has not been conducive to photography and I have not yet documented it. The guitar is spectacular (what, again?) as have been most of it brother/sister’s of this model, my biggest gun, the JB-16. This one is Adirondack over Brazilian Rosewood, which generally a good start for success. Evidence will be presented.

I posted today in a nearby thread on pernambuco and liked what I wrote, so I thought I’d re-post it over here as I think it will be of general interest to my fans. This is a few words about how I brought pernambuco into awareness in the acoustic guitar world. I have now heard rumors of pernambuco guitars made before I came to it, but I have never seen one, or a picture of one.



About 14 of my 27+/- pernambuco guitars were made with sister wood of Bob’s example posted above (IN THE ORIGINAL POST). I inventoried my pernambuco a couple of weeks ago and found I have 3 more sets from this group as well as another 4 sets from other scores.

Nearly 25 years ago I got interested in violins and learned of the properties of Pernambuco, which is used for violin blows. It seemed to me that those properties ought to translate well into guitar Tonewood. Unfortunately, I also learned that the trees are said to not grow large enough for quarter-sawn 2 piece backs. Since there are giants among other species, I decided to look for giant pernambuco. It took years to find what I have, and I paid more for it than for any other wood in my locker.

My earliest pernambuco score was not quarter-sawn, and had quite a bit of degrade due to improper storage, but the 5 guitars I was able to make from it have held up quite well despite these issues. The one Joe Satriani bought from me is one of these, as is the one Walter Strauss is currently making great music with.

Pernambuco did indeed turn out to make spectacular guitars, and a few other luthiers have jumped on my bandwagon. Due to the extreme rarity of large enough trees, and the fact that international trade in pernambuco is tightly controlled, mostly due to over foresting in the 1600’s to serve the European dye industry, it is likely that pernambuco will become increasingly rare as time passes.
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Last edited by Bruce Sexauer; 01-05-2023 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 01-05-2023, 03:46 PM
redir redir is online now
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Happy New Year Bruce. Look forward to another year of pics and commentary.
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Old 01-05-2023, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
Happy New Year Bruce. Look forward to another year of pics and commentary.
Yes, indeed. I always enjoy your posts, and sure have enjoyed the few of your guitars I have gotten to play!!!

All the best in 2023

Paul
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FOR SALE. 2014 Gibson CS Smeck:

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3 John Kinnaird 12 fret cut Customs:
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Jumbo Spanish Cedar/WRC
Jumbo OLD Brazilian RW/WRC

R.T 2c 12 fret Custom
2016 552ce 12X12


A few choice 90s Taylors
Too many more
Some budget electrics
Bunch of drums
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2023, 03:18 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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The weather outside IS frightful, and I a spending an irrational amount of time playing my instruments. Don't want to over-do it, so I finally got around to creating a page for the recent JB-16 Adi/BRW, and am taking a moment to give you a chance to look at it. For the first time in at least a year, I used a real camera instead of my phone to make these pictures. It seems incredible to me, but I think my phone is a bit more in focus on average. On the other hand, my iPhone 11 doesn't get this close:

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Old 01-18-2023, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
The weather outside IS frightful, and I a spending an irrational amount of time playing my instruments. Don't want to over-do it, so I finally got around to creating a page for the recent JB-16 Adi/BRW, and am taking a moment to give you a chance to look at it. For the first time in at least a year, I used a real camera instead of my phone to make these pictures. It seems incredible to me, but I think my phone is a bit more in focus on average. On the other hand, my iPhone 11 doesn't get this close:

Those photos are exquisite, almost as exquisite as the guitar.

The thing about phone cameras, especially the most recent one, is that they are incredibly forgiving. They are designed to produce great photos—even in, nay, especially in, low light—without the photographer having to know what they are doing. But a great, full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera can capture photos that no phone can. It does take more effort to get the settings right (in my opinion).
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Old 01-18-2023, 11:34 AM
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Although I have rather limited skill using a serious camera, it is a lot more interesting to TRY to get good photos with one than using the iPhone. And, since I claim to be all about “mastery”, my skill level is bound to increase through applied practice. Thanks for the push!
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Old 01-21-2023, 11:24 AM
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This was a tough week for musicians and their fans. We all know about Jeff Beck and David Crosby, but we lost another one two days ago that was closer to me. Larry Mersereau and I have been playing music together since the late ‘90’s when we had an acoustic trio with Eric Schoenberg playing American Songbook Swing. That lasted about 3 years, but Larry and I kept gigging until about five years ago when his String Bass became too much to move around. Larry passed the day before yesterday at 86.
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Old 01-21-2023, 11:44 AM
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My condolences Bruce. Always tough to loose a friend and band mate. Play him some of his favorite songs…

About a year ago, we had a number of friends with health issues, and a couple who passed as well. We went to visit Cindy’s mom, Phebe, (who is now 102 years old) and Cindy was hoping for some tea and sympathy.

When Cindy told her about the situation, Phebe got a funny little smirk, and then said in a snarky tone,

“well, you have just reached the age when they’re going to start dropping like flies!“

Cindy was crushed, and quite distressed. Meanwhile, I with my, pirate sense of humor was laughing fit to be tied. Now I never miss a chance to use Phebe’s famous quote, and you’re welcome to use it yourself if you want.

Not much consolation I know, but we’ve just reached the age.

Paul
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FOR SALE. 2014 Gibson CS Smeck:

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=656433

3 John Kinnaird 12 fret cut Customs:
Big Maple/Cedar Dread
Jumbo Spanish Cedar/WRC
Jumbo OLD Brazilian RW/WRC

R.T 2c 12 fret Custom
2016 552ce 12X12


A few choice 90s Taylors
Too many more
Some budget electrics
Bunch of drums
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Old 01-21-2023, 12:54 PM
massimo massimo is offline
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My condolences, Bruce
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Old 01-21-2023, 02:32 PM
Treenewt Treenewt is offline
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So sorry for the loss of your friend, Bruce.
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  #11  
Old 01-22-2023, 11:39 AM
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Larry’s decline was long and quite dramatic, he was ready to go. IMO, of course.
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Old 01-22-2023, 12:51 PM
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Hang in there Bruce!
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  #13  
Old 01-24-2023, 08:23 PM
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I have been amusing myself lately by doing some deferred maintenance of a couple of my older instruments. One is my 1970 (I was 23) solid body electric, and the other is my personal arch top guitar which I made about 5 years ago.

The solid body was made from Mansonia with a mahogany neck and Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard and headstock face. It worked well enough that I played it in several of my early electric bands before I put it away. I recently acquired a '93 Stratocaster and took out the '70 Sexauer to see how it stacked up. I love the sound of it through it's single coil D'Armond pick-ups, but discovered I had made the neck rather too narrow at the pick-up end, and the string spacing was 1 7/8". Frankly, I am too spoiled at this point to deal with that, so I re-necked it. The pictures below are that old beater a day before stringing it. Perhaps I'll take more of it strung, later.

The problem with the arch-top was that there was not enough space under the strings at the end of the fingerboard for me to adjust the Bartolini pick up in order to get a more perfectly balanced string to string response. So by doing a neck reset, I add 1/8" of height at that point and was able to remount the PU (2 or three time, actually) and get a much better player when plugged in. The unexpected prize was that the guitar's acoustic performance was increased more than slightly due to the increased angle of the strings over the bridge. It was intended as a serious acoustic already, but now it is far more capable!



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Last edited by Bruce Sexauer; 01-24-2023 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 01-24-2023, 08:34 PM
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That fretboard is spectacular.
just beautiful wood
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2023, 02:39 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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The 1970 solid body, my 5th guitar, is playing very well. I put on a new set of strings, after perhaps 20 years, and what a difference. Here are a couple of photos of my earliest innovations. AFAIK, the tailpiece is unique in all of lutherie. And while I have seen other leather back pads, mine is actually the cover for the control cavity.



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