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  #1  
Old 02-07-2017, 06:48 PM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is online now
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Default Klepper - SSD curly Oregon Claro - new sound clips added

Although I have often followed build threads here, I seldom post because I usually have nothing to add. I don't build, rather I'm mostly just an interested observer. So, this is a thread I didn't really expect.

I own many (probably too many) guitars, but my variety is in numbers, not size or design. My guitars are mostly traditional, mostly Dreadnaughts, mostly Martins, and increasingly skewed toward vintage guitars. However, there are some newer guitars that I really enjoy, a Martin CS-D18-12 and a cocobolo Proulx OM/D as examples. While not wildly out of the norm, owning the Proulx for a while gave me the idea that perhaps I should, at least one time, commission a custom guitar from an independent luthier.

Howard Klepper was squarely in my personal short list and after kicking the idea around in my mind for a while, I contacted Howard last year. We chatted by email and phone a bit, just to cover the basics and help me figure out if this was something I wanted to pursue, and once the decision was made I sent my deposit so that the process could officially begin.

From then until now we've discussed what I like, don't like, and want in a guitar generally. Then it was on to body styles and woods, and more decisions still to come.

Well, my turn is nearly here. Howard says the build may start as soon as a few weeks from now. To that end I've settled on his own design, the Small Sloped Dread, or SSD. Partly because I think it will make a great guitar, and it's very much his design and will stand on its own among my Martins. I don't think an OM or other size would have been a bad choice, but this is it for now.

So, long scale SSD with curly Oregon Claro. The rest of the decisions await.

Oregon Claro

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Last edited by Todd Yates; 06-24-2017 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:50 PM
rogthefrog rogthefrog is offline
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Congrats! This is going to be fun to watch.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:15 PM
joe white joe white is offline
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Claro walnut! Okay, now you've got my attention.
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:06 AM
tadol tadol is offline
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Claro is beautiful wood, and the curl in that set is gonna be impressive! Howard is a great person to work with - looking forward to seeing it come together!!
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:09 AM
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Congrats Todd!

The SSD is such a cool guitar, I played one years ago at Eric Schoenberg's.

I remember it being a great sounding instrument and very comfortable to play.

This is gonna be cool!
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:18 AM
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Oh boy, now the fun begins. I'll be watching with enthusiasm.
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:24 AM
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Being that I played Howard's personal Walnut SSD last December, I can certainly tell Todd that he is in for a real treat...
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Old 02-08-2017, 01:55 PM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haasome View Post
I'll be watching with enthusiasm.
Me too! I'm giddy, insofar as engineers get giddy.

Feel free to offer your thoughts on options as well. I have made all the decisions yet.
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:15 PM
MWB5007 MWB5007 is offline
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Todd, you don't know me at all but over quite a few years now I have benefitted from both your uncanny knowledge of Martin guitars and the marked and widely appreciated generosity with which you have shared that knowledge.

Please accept my most sincere wishes for an excellent experience and, in the end, a superlative instrument, it could not happen to a nicer guy (or cyber citizen)

Most sincerely,

MB
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:41 PM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is online now
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You're far too kind, but I do truly appreciate that anyone would think of me that way.

While we have not met, I have also followed your posts with some interest. I hope you enjoy watching the journey, and please feel free to weigh in with suggestions.
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Last edited by Todd Yates; 02-08-2017 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:29 PM
jmat jmat is offline
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Congratulations Todd! I was just playing my Klepper OM and it was sounding lovely. You will be very happy with the instrument and will enjoy working with Howard. The SSD sounds unique and fun!
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:19 PM
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Smile Options...

I am an option junkie! Yep...

I would ask Howard for a wabi-sabi headstock similar to his recent build! Cool burl.

If it was mine I would like a short scale 12 fret, cutaway. Sound port high on the shoulder to hit my left ear. Arm and back bevels. Especially on the back of the upper bout, to avoid poking me in the sternum. Snake headstock, gotoh 510s, and a slightly asymmetrical slim semi V neck with 1.75" Nut and 2 3/16" saddle spacing.

Come to think of it that is what John Kinnaird is building me again! Hahah
Comfort is really important at my advanced stage of decrepitude!!!

I Love curly Claro! This will be fun. Enjoy the ride!!!

Cheers

Paul
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:20 AM
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Are you thinking about unusual tweaks under the hood? What are you thinking about for topwood?
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:10 AM
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The walnut looks great. What will you choose for a soundboard?
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:22 AM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is online now
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To answer some of the questions asked:

The top will most likely be red spruce.

Long scale.

I'm unlikely to request anything too out of the ordinary. My preferences just don't run that way. Simple, classic, functional.

Whatever Howard does "under the hood" is up to him. I've described what I like in a guitar (tone and volume) and what I want from this one. He'll make the decisions about how to get there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmat View Post
...I was just playing my Klepper OM and it was sounding lovely...
An OM and SSD were my shortlist body sizes. I'd love to hear more about your OM.
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