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  #16  
Old 03-22-2013, 03:30 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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Using Ebony to get a "liver than EIR" tone was ill advised, there's been plenty of agreement about that, and it is certainly my opinion. I feel exactly the same way about using AB and thinking about vintage tone, except that it is in the opposite direction. In any case I see uncanny consistency where the potential for trouble is concerned and for some reason feel compelled to say so. I have never heard an AB guitar that had vintage sensibilities, nor do I expect to. I love John and his work, and I would hate to see a train wreck on this one.
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  #17  
Old 03-22-2013, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
I feel exactly the same way about using AB and thinking about vintage tone, except that it is in the opposite direction. In any case I see uncanny consistency where the potential for trouble is concerned and for some reason feel compelled to say so. I have never heard an AB guitar that had vintage sensibilities, nor do I expect to. I love John and his work, and I would hate to see a train wreck on this one.
To quote myself. I'm thinking perhaps I shouldn't have started this thread.

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Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
. . . And, to be clear, I am not trying to achieve a vintage Martin sound. I liked the sound of the modern voice on the 00-12 I played at HGF, and that's what I'm hoping for . .
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  #18  
Old 03-22-2013, 10:04 PM
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Again, given that I'm going for a MODERN voice (that would be the opposite of vintage, for those of you concerned about such details), the choice of traditional woods is less important. John suggested African Blackwood, and I have every reason to believe he'll deliver an amazing guitar. That wood was selected several months ago, along with most of the other details on this guitar.
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  #19  
Old 03-22-2013, 10:08 PM
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Once you have let known your intention for the tone, listen to the luthier
Regardless of what has happened, just enjoy every moment of this NEW build.
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  #20  
Old 03-22-2013, 10:24 PM
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My Circa 00 is Red Spruce and Mahogany, about as old school as it comes. I also played the 00 that you played at Healdsburg, when John had it at Swannanoa. It was a little different, but not different enough to call one vintage and the other modern. When I think of modern sounding guitars my reference would be something along the lines of a Ryan guitar.
We can talk about tone all day long and I know it's your money. I know you will end up with a great guitar, I hope it's the guitar that you are looking for. That being said, I don't know anybody that would steer you to John for a "modern" sounding guitar.
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  #21  
Old 03-22-2013, 11:17 PM
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Good grief you guys are a tough crowd. I played a Circa 00-12 at HGF. I liked it. I asked John to build something similar. That guitar is described BY JOHN HIMSELF as a modern interpretation of the vintage sound. It is also described by Jim Magill the same way. Either way, it's academic. I liked what I played, and I trust John to build something reasonably close to that guitar, particularly as most of the ingredients are the same. He recommended the African Blackwood as a great option.
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  #22  
Old 03-22-2013, 11:19 PM
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I stand by what I said. You will get a great guitar
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  #23  
Old 03-22-2013, 11:32 PM
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I stand by what I said. You will get a great guitar
I'm going to have to go ahead and agree with you there.
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  #24  
Old 03-23-2013, 12:03 AM
billgennaro billgennaro is offline
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congrats on the new build! i see it is not your first. it must be great excitement to commission new guitars from such fine builders. i played my first Circa a few months ago at Luthier's Collection. it was a red spruce over koa 00-12. i took it home wanting to buy it but the fact that it didn't have a cutaway was a deal breaker in the end so i returned it. but, i must say, it was a fabulous guitar in every way. the description of it being a "modern interpretation of a vintage sound" is on the mark in my estimation. its one of those guitars that, if you hold it in your hands and play it, you're going to want to take it home. i have some fine guitars and a Circa 00-12 would fit right into the mix. i'm feeling a bit envious.

best of luck with the build.

bill
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:06 AM
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Congrats on starting what looks like a wonderful build Juston. Of course it's a tough crowd but I am sure everyone means well.

I think it will be great (from what I've heard on John's work). Enjoy the journey.
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  #26  
Old 03-24-2013, 11:52 AM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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If someone said to me that he or she wants a "modern" sound, I would not think without a bunch of further discussion that I knew at all what was wanted. I've heard the word used to describe guitars that I consider to be on opposite ends of the tonal spectrum (e.g., Somogyis and Taylors). "A modern interpretation of the vintage sound" would just muddy the waters with an oxymoron.

In the discussion of Juston's Kraut, I saw a few people call that guitar "bright," when to me it was the opposite (from what I could hear). I would have called it dark.

I try to steer the tonal discussion to terms that have some objective meaning, such as frequencies, treble, midrange and bass, fundamental and overtones (although these get misused, too), attack or rise time, and sustain. I also find it very helpful to ask people which maker or manufacturer's guitars they like and dislike, and why. That can tell me a lot about how they use the language.

I am confident that John will build a great guitar; he is an outstanding builder. Whether he will build a guitar with a "modern" sound or a "modern interpretation of a vintage sound" as Juston intends those descriptions, I have no idea.
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  #27  
Old 03-24-2013, 12:31 PM
RiloKiley RiloKiley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
If someone said to me that he or she wants a "modern" sound, I would not think without a bunch of further discussion that I knew at all what was wanted. I've heard the word used to describe guitars that I consider to be on opposite ends of the tonal spectrum (e.g., Somogyis and Taylors). "A modern interpretation of the vintage sound" would just muddy the waters with an oxymoron.

In the discussion of Juston's Kraut, I saw a few people call that guitar "bright," when to me it was the opposite (from what I could hear). I would have called it dark.

I try to steer the tonal discussion to terms that have some objective meaning, such as frequencies, treble, midrange and bass, fundamental and overtones (although these get misused, too), attack or rise time, and sustain. I also find it very helpful to ask people which maker or manufacturer's guitars they like and dislike, and why. That can tell me a lot about how they use the language.

I am confident that John will build a great guitar; he is an outstanding builder. Whether he will build a guitar with a "modern" sound or a "modern interpretation of a vintage sound" as Juston intends those descriptions, I have no idea.
That's the crux of the problem, isn't it? There is no objective, measurable determination of what "modern" or "vintage" sound like, as far as adjectives used to discuss tone those two terms have to be some of the worst.

Furthermore, using words in general to describe sounds ranges from vague to pointless in my opinion. I'm not saying it can't or shouldn't be done, but I will say that if you are commissioning a guitar and you want to communicate what tone you want out of it, it makes infinitely more sense to use soundclips. Refer to a recording, youtube clip, whatever. If it is audio it will do a much better job than words in getting your ideal tone across than saying "bright" "bassy" "balanced" "modern" etc.
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  #28  
Old 03-24-2013, 02:41 PM
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Make sure to let John build "his guitar" and all will be good... As I'm sure you will do. I've had bad results when I have told builders I want a guitar to sound like this or that, or if i want it built differently than they normally do, which may be outside of their tonal envelope. John's guitars are nothing short of exceptional. I have played a bunch of his guitars on my visits to his shop, and although I have played a few that simply weren't a good fit for me & my style, I've never played a bad one... in fact every guitar was superb in its own right and some actually made me weak in the knees. Trust John to do what he does best and you will be rewarded with an exceptional instrument.
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  #29  
Old 03-24-2013, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleplucker View Post
I stand by what I said. You will get a great guitar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
If someone said to me that he or she wants a "modern" sound, I would not think without a bunch of further discussion that I knew at all what was wanted. I've heard the word used to describe guitars that I consider to be on opposite ends of the tonal spectrum (e.g., Somogyis and Taylors). "A modern interpretation of the vintage sound" would just muddy the waters with an oxymoron.

In the discussion of Juston's Kraut, I saw a few people call that guitar "bright," when to me it was the opposite (from what I could hear). I would have called it dark.

I try to steer the tonal discussion to terms that have some objective meaning, such as frequencies, treble, midrange and bass, fundamental and overtones (although these get misused, too), attack or rise time, and sustain. I also find it very helpful to ask people which maker or manufacturer's guitars they like and dislike, and why. That can tell me a lot about how they use the language.

I am confident that John will build a great guitar; he is an outstanding builder. Whether he will build a guitar with a "modern" sound or a "modern interpretation of a vintage sound" as Juston intends those descriptions, I have no idea.
Right, which is why when I describe the tone in detail to John, as I did with Ray, in a very descriptive document using what I believe are fairly unambiguous terms, I will not simply say, "Please build me a modern interpretation of a vintage guitar." I will describe in great detail what I think that means . . . just as I have always done with builders. And I will expect John to ask questions about my descriptions. And I will further expect there will be extensive discussions back and forth until we are both clear what the other means. You are making an incorrect assumption about how I will communicate what I want to John and have therefore created a phantom issue.

We have already had some of those discussions and I think we both have a pretty good idea of what we heard from our one common point of reference (the HGF 00-12). Construction will not begin for some time and we have many, many discussions ahead of us, and I still need to write my formal design document where I lay out in painstaking detail what I want. Of course, wood decisions are subject to change over the next couple of years if we both come to the conclusion that we're headed down the wrong path. I will also be doing what I can to play more Circas to jog my tonal memory. So there are some very incorrect and presumptuous conclusions being drawn about how sophisticated and involved the discussions will be with John. I have always, and will continue to go to a lot of trouble to communicate my goals using objective terms that both parties can agree on.

I am not in the slightest surprised at the attempts to use this thread to stir the pot about the Kraut. Nor am I surprised by the obvious misrepresentation/oversimplification of the issues that arose during that build and the subtle negative inferences, particularly given the sources.
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  #30  
Old 03-24-2013, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiloKiley View Post
That's the crux of the problem, isn't it? There is no objective, measurable determination of what "modern" or "vintage" sound like, as far as adjectives used to discuss tone those two terms have to be some of the worst.

Furthermore, using words in general to describe sounds ranges from vague to pointless in my opinion. I'm not saying it can't or shouldn't be done, but I will say that if you are commissioning a guitar and you want to communicate what tone you want out of it, it makes infinitely more sense to use soundclips. Refer to a recording, youtube clip, whatever. If it is audio it will do a much better job than words in getting your ideal tone across than saying "bright" "bassy" "balanced" "modern" etc.
Again, crux of what problem? Why are we making the (incorrect) assumption that my only communication with John has been (or will be), "Hey build me something cool that sounds good with not too much vintage and a pretty good amount of modern and make sure it has a fair amount of rad without being eclipsed by warmth."

When I commission guitars, I write a 2 or 3 page design document that usually goes through several revisions. Topics include:

1) my tonal points of reference. Guitars I may have in common with the builder that they know well. Ideally, something they built.
2) attack and decay
3) sustain
4) overtone context
5) balance, relative strength of mids,bass, trebles
6) note separation
7) type of music to be played and playing style (with picks, mostly fingerstyle)
8) Volume and projection
9) player's experience vs audience
10) neck profile, depth, width etc
11) ergonomic details, scale length, saddle spacing, etc, etc
12) aesthetic details
13) etc etc etc

I have absolutely no desire to leave things undefined and risk a disappointment, so I go to great lengths to communicate what I'm looking for and to make sure the builder knows what I'm talking about.
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