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  #91  
Old 05-04-2021, 09:43 AM
brianlcox brianlcox is offline
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Hi Bruce,

Is the "Blemish Guitar" going to be available? If yes, could you please post the most important specs, such as nut width, spacing at the bridge, lower bout width and tonal goal? I just might be interested, but in case the spec's don't work for me, it might be helpful for someone else anyway.

Feel free to either post here, PM me, or email me at [email protected]

Thanks,
Brian
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  #92  
Old 05-10-2021, 04:18 PM
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For those who noticed the last post, and that it was not answered in a timely way; it actually was, but through email.

The guitar is available, though I'd be happy to show it at Woodstock, if I still have it. It is a killer great guitar, and is an example of a guitar that was merely good for the fist few days and then suddenly bust into flower. When its replacement is strung about a week from now, I will try to record them both back to back to see if they are both as close to the tonal target as the first one seems.

Meanwhile, I have been building another violin. It is a violin that was started by peer Michael Hemken, but he died a couple of months ago and will not be able to complete it. He was a friend and had his workshop in nearby Winters, CA. I have been assisting his widow, Revalee, with his estate. I also have 2 of his complete guitars, 2 complete violins, and a half dozen of the violin bows that were his focus for the last several years. Wonderful bows, if you're interested.

The incomplete fiddle was just the ribs and blocks, plus a completed top. I built a back for it thinking I would put his top on it, but the top proved too far short of perfect, which is likely why he stopped. So I am in the middle of a new top for it.

Last week I ordered and received some Myrtle billets from Northwest Timber. They were well dried, so I went right to the bandsaw and now have 9 more sets of Myrtle than I did previously. This is more than I expect to have time left to use, so I decided to squander two sets on one guitar. I am making a CN model from all-Myrtle, and flitch matched at that. It will have a Myrtle neck as well, and I do think I will put a little too much abalone on as frosting.

Myrtle seems to be a better tone-wood than I ever would have guessed, and if it is a superior to Koa as I currently believe, this guitar should be a stunner. I expect to have it for Woodstock, if it actually happens.
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  #93  
Old 05-10-2021, 06:54 PM
Calves2997 Calves2997 is offline
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Don’t forget to save one of those Myrtle sets for my upcoming guitar!
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  #94  
Old 05-10-2021, 07:35 PM
Richard Mott Richard Mott is offline
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Hi Bruce, fascinating to hear you will attempt an all-myrtle instrument. I remember you writing years back that for all-koa instruments, you’d developed a strategy of sorting the wood so that the lightest koa was used on the top. Does it seem likely that a similar approach will make sense for the myrtle? Is there much variation in density? —Richard

Last edited by Richard Mott; 05-10-2021 at 08:47 PM.
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  #95  
Old 05-10-2021, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Mott View Post
Hi Bruce, fascinating to hear you will attempt an all-myrtle instrument. I remember you writing years back that for all-koa instruments, you’d developed a strategy of sorting the wood so that the lightest koa was used on the top. Does it seem likely that a similar approach will make sense for the myrtle? Is there much variation in density? —Richard
So far, I have not noticed nearly the variation in density in Myrtle that I have in Koa. It probably exists, but my experience is limited.

I referred to this guitar as "flitch matched", but that is not exactly the case. All of the Myrtle comes from the same billet, so is a flitch, but the billet is nearly 40" long, and I have taken the top from one end and the back from the other. The sides are the whole length, nearly, of course. Since I have 9 consecutive slices, I could have made the top and back truly flinched, but since one end has wilder grain than the other, I chose the less wild for the top. The top has a much more complex job to do than the back, and I want every chance of success.

I will get the rosette in in the morning, most likely, and should have pictures by afternoon.
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  #96  
Old 05-10-2021, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Calves2997 View Post
Don’t forget to save one of those Myrtle sets for my upcoming guitar!
Your set is already put aside, Carlos. It is a far more interesting piece of wood than what I am using for this guitar. Too wild for a functional top, IMO, but great for back and sides.
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  #97  
Old 05-10-2021, 11:24 PM
awchiu awchiu is offline
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Hi Bruce,

Good to see you back in the forum. My condolences on the passing of your friend.

I've always liked the look of Myrtle but have never played one to hear its tone. How would it differ from say Mahogany? I know it's difficult to explain tones in words, but would like to hear your opinion anyway.
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  #98  
Old 05-11-2021, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by awchiu View Post
Hi Bruce,

Good to see you back in the forum. My condolences on the passing of your friend.

I've always liked the look of Myrtle but have never played one to hear its tone. How would it differ from say Mahogany? I know it's difficult to explain tones in words, but would like to hear your opinion anyway.
I am not an expert on Myrtle tone, having built just 2 guitars with it. As it happened, both guitars seemed unusual in the same way, so there may be a pattern. The commonality was that the nature of the tone seemed exactly right. Neither something missing nor too much of anything. With careful comparison to everything I have on hand, no guitar I had seemed as perfectly centered tonally as the recent Myrtle CN#3, and those who have been following KNOW what Bob and I think of his year old Myrtle FT-000-C. So I am taking a chance on an all Myrtle, and then I'll make something for Carlos, possibly from Myrtle.

Here are the closely related plates for CN#4:





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  #99  
Old 05-11-2021, 09:25 PM
awchiu awchiu is offline
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Wow, that's a stunning set of woods!
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  #100  
Old 05-12-2021, 07:56 PM
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Buffed out Andrew's guitar today after a month of curing +/-. Not only that, but the neck is glued to the body and drying overnight. Tomorrow I hope to do inlay, frets, and make and attach a bridge. Strings the next day.





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  #101  
Old 05-13-2021, 11:23 AM
awchiu awchiu is offline
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Bruce,

Thanks for the update, it's looking amazing!

Look forward to the final assembly in the next 2 days.
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  #102  
Old 05-13-2021, 06:17 PM
Richard Mott Richard Mott is offline
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The back of that guitar is out of this world!
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  #103  
Old 05-13-2021, 10:12 PM
tadol tadol is offline
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Finally made it back up to Petaluma - and with a recently acquired new puppy, wasn’t too sure about how we could spend some “guitar” time while worrying about the dogs, but they hit it off like they’d been friends for life -

But aside from that, I really wanted to check out this new mad rose guitar, as it is so similar to mine, BUT, built with a different tonal/play style goal, and I really wanted to compare them. Mine is a flatpicker/strummer/singers guitar, which I can seriously lay into - and its fantastic for that. But this new guitar was built to respond to the nuances of a fine fingerstyle player, to create volume and tone with a lower energy input. Well, I’m not much of a fingerstyle player, but I could definitely tell the differences. Neither is better, but each has its own character. As mine was built to suit my style and technique perfectly, I definitely prefer it, but I know a lot of others would prefer this new one.

What was also interesting, is that mine was built to emphasize the natural characteristics of the mad rose, but the second was built with the goal of being as close to the tone of Brazilian rw as possible, and it does have many of those characteristics. It really proves that it’s the builder, (and the player), even more than the materials, that controls the ultimate tone of the instrument. (Note: this does not mean a builder can make maple sound like Brazilian - )

Wish I’d had more time, but I will be watching this all myrtle guitar closely - I’ve been amazed at some of Bruces other hardwood topped guitars, and still fondly remember his all walnut guitar, and I’m thinking this might actually turn out better, both visually and sonically. And now that I know the dogs are good friends, Pepper and Koal definitely want more play time!
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  #104  
Old 05-15-2021, 05:20 PM
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A day of two behind my previously suggested schedule . . . but it is going well. Here's one of the lighter belly bridges I've made:



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  #105  
Old 05-15-2021, 06:54 PM
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