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Old 11-17-2020, 12:04 PM
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Default Build Thread: Fairbanks Super Smeck

I was really impressed with Dale's work on my SJ and have spent quite a few hours picking on that guitar. I've been wanting to commission another from him and have been going back and forth between a Nick Lucas with maple back and sides and a Smeck. When I chanced on photos of the "Super Smeck," my decision was made.

Specs:

Top - Red spruce
Back and Sides - Figured maple
Scale - Standard 24.75"
Nut spacing - 1 3/4"
Saddle spacing - 2 5/16"
Fret wire - EVO 55090
Fingerboard inlays - Parallelogram
Pickguard - Outrageous
Tuners - Art Deco
Finish - Everything bursted
Case - Whatever she comes with

Here's an example of this (very rare) guitar. I'm sure JT will chime in with more background about this unique piece of Gibson history.







I opted for non-torrefied wood in this case.



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  #2  
Old 11-17-2020, 01:07 PM
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Hey Juston, Great Choice and congrats. I know it will be a GREAT instrument. Mine is the 2nd Super Smeck Dale built. It is just an incredible guitar and a joy to play. Please keep us updated on its' progress.

Last edited by fredsj200; 11-02-2021 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:42 PM
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Cool project, Juston! I'm looking forward to following the build.

As you know, this is Dale's interpretation of the one and only Super Smeck that Gibson built: a 1935 Roy Smeck custom ordered in maple with Super 400 trim.

I've played both the original and Dale's first Super Smeck. Both are absolutely fabulous instruments.
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Old 11-17-2020, 02:17 PM
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Following...

You do know that I will need you to have Dale tell you what type of Maple he is using... In Michigan, traditionally there was plenty of Black, Red and Silver Maple.
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Old 11-17-2020, 02:38 PM
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Here's a picture of Dale with the original Gibson Super Smeck (right) and the first one he built in 2016 (left).

Last edited by fredsj200; 11-02-2021 at 12:27 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2020, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post
Following...

You do know that I will need you to have Dale tell you what type of Maple he is using... In Michigan, traditionally there was plenty of Black, Red and Silver Maple.
I'm told it is European maple.
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Old 11-17-2020, 05:23 PM
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Juston - I will be eagerly following your build! I spoke with Dale last week and it sounds like they are finally settling into the new shop. I believe that he's gradually getting used to working with other people around and 'slightly' misses the solo days .

best,

Rick
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:49 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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I've never seen a Fairbanks guitar in the flesh (or sould that be wood) but they look wonderful and I had a long search for a Roy Smeck style guitar, finally resolved by importing my santa cruz "RS"
As I felt that the sound of the Roy Smecks was all about the rumbling bass -so I'm surprised at the choice of maple - but I'm sure it must work, as well as looks great.

If I were commisioning a Fairbanks I'd ask for less ornamentation but Nick Lucas fret markers, and a firestripe style pick guard, oh, and a 1 &13/16" nut width.

If interested, this is my SC -
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Last edited by Silly Moustache; 11-17-2020 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
I've never seen a Fairbanks guitar in the flesh (or sould that be wood) but they look wonderful and I had a long search for a Roy Smeck style guitar, finally resolved by importing my santa cruz "RS"
As I felt that the sound of the Roy Smecks was all about the rumbling bass -so I'm surprised at the choice of maple - but I'm sure it must work, as well as looks great.

If I were commisioning a Fairbanks I'd ask for less ornamentation but Nick Lucas fret markers, and a firestripe style pick guard, oh, and a 1 &13/16" nut width.

If interested, this is my SC -
SM, I know you're a big 12 fret aficionado. As am I! I think there are a lot of misconceptions about back and side woods, and few woods are understood less well than maple. The idea that maple can't have a big bass is, in my experience, wrong. Look at the SJ-200 for, example. My Circa 000 has plenty of bass. As does my big ol' maple Euphonon.

I mean, how many times have we heard, "I was pleasantly surprised when I heard xxx maple guitar?"

That being said, I don't have a particular tonal target in my mind's eye. I am open to being pleasantly surprised by the unique sounds of this instrument. I am much more hands-off on builds than I used to be. But I really love Euro maple and have had good experiences with it.

I love the 400 Super 400 trim, but also dig your suggested appointments.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:09 PM
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You are afflicted! And I am excited to follow along.
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  #11  
Old 11-18-2020, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewpartrick View Post
You are afflicted! And I am excited to follow along.
Yes, very afflicted.

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Old 11-18-2020, 12:39 PM
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Love a Fairbanks build thread, this will be cool.
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Old 11-18-2020, 12:43 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
SM, I know you're a big 12 fret aficionado. As am I! I think there are a lot of misconceptions about back and side woods, and few woods are understood less well than maple. The idea that maple can't have a big bass is, in my experience, wrong. Look at the SJ-200 for, example. My Circa 000 has plenty of bass. As does my big ol' maple Euphonon.

I mean, how many times have we heard, "I was pleasantly surprised when I heard xxx maple guitar?"

That being said, I don't have a particular tonal target in my mind's eye. I am open to being pleasantly surprised by the unique sounds of this instrument. I am much more hands-off on builds than I used to be. But I really love Euro maple and have had good experiences with it.

I love the 400 Super 400 trim, but also dig your suggested appointments.
hi Juston, you make a good points ... or should I say a "sound" point, when you mention the SJ200, and bass.

I will follow the progress of this build with great interest, and look forward to your first video playing it !!
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Elderly singer, guitarist, dobrolist and mandolinist.
I'm here to help and advise only

By request, I offer one to one lessons/meetings/mentoring via Zoom! See: https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=589058

https://www.youtube.com/user/SillyMoustache/videos
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2020, 03:07 PM
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Could not agree more about Maple. I don't know how long it will take before it loses its bad reputation. To me it is one of the very best tone woods out there especially in the hands of the right luthier!
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  #15  
Old 11-19-2020, 10:01 AM
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Smile Maple

IMO Maple gets a bad rap because so many factories built Maple guitars with the same architecture as rosewood or Mahogany instruments.

It needs a bit of finesse to deliver its best tone. I know Andy Powers did a complete makeover of the maple (6) line for Taylor ...

John Kinnaird nailed my maple/Cedar OVERLORD. It is a cannon and has a Ton of bass. And all the notes are FAT.

And Maple is such a beautiful wood!

Salud

Paul
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