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Old 05-05-2017, 07:17 PM
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Default JOHN BUSCARINO, Rhapsody (Carved EIR / Carpathian Spruce) w/ Sound Clip

Last year, I commissioned a "Rhapsody" model, carved back, steel string flat top from North Carolina luthier John Buscarino (http://www.buscarino.com/). John has been a luthier for more than 40-years now. He is best known as a premier archtop luthier and trained with Bob Benedetto but John also trained with Augie LoPrinzi where he learned classical and flat top building.

John made me a "Cabaret" model carved Honduran Rosewood backed nylon string back in '014-'015. I was so pleased with it, that I wanted to try one of his larger sized carved back steel string guitar with a modest rim depth (for playing comfort). Bruce Sexauer made me a fantastic carved back 000 sized guitar using Bigleaf Maple in '015 that I adore. For this one, I wanted to try a lower damping wood. Carved back guitars both operate and sound a bit different than a typical flat backed flat top. They are 75% flat top but possess some of the attributes of an archtop in terms of speed and projection in my experience.

John has now actually begun to construct the guitar so I will share some build shots as he proceeds. Here are the preliminary specifications for the guitar:

DIMENSIONAL:
Model: Rhapsody
Lower Bout: 16.0"
Neck Block Depth: 3.50"
End Block Depth: 4.00"
Scale Length: 25.0"
Nut Width: 1.75"
String Spacing: 2.188"
Fingerboard Radius: 16"
Cutaway: Venetian
MATERIALS:
Top Wood: Carpathian Spruce
Rosette: Abalone, Maple, Ebony - Style 40
Pickguard: 0.020" Gaboon Ebony
Body Wood: Carved East Indian Rosewood
Binding: Birdseye Maple
Top Purfling: Style 40, Abalone
End Graft: Tapered Birdseye Maple
Neck: Three Piece Mahogany/Maple
Fingerboard: Gaboon Ebony
Fingerboard Binding: Birdseye Maple
Fret Wire: Jescar EVO 47104
Bridge: Gaboon Ebony
Head Plate Veneer: Gaboon Ebony w/ MOP/Abalone Keystone & MOP Buscarino Logo
Back Veneer: Ebony/Maple/Ebony
Head Plate Binding: Birdseye Maple
Tuners: Gotoh 510 with Ebony Buttons
Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer, Autumn Burst
Case: Hiscox Artisan
John is selecting a Carpathian Spruce set for this build that he originally sourced from John Preston at Old World Tonewood (http://www.oldworldtonewood.com/) who gets his tonewood from the Carpathian mountains in Romania. I have had archtops, gypsy and nylon string guitars from this spruce and all have been fantastic guitars. John has a shop policy not to build with any set that has not been around his possession for at least 5+ years so they are stable and well seasoned. John is picking out a variety of sets from his wood locker to choose from. Some are plain tops and other are bear-clawed. I have to think a bit about what will look good with the sunburst.



We chose some beautiful, quartersawn East Indian Rosewood (EIR) sets for the back and sides. EIR is such a ubiquitous tonewood, but finding quartersawn billets of aged wood is far less common. John had a number of 1" thick back sets of EIR sets custom cut to his specs for carving by Vikwood (http://www.vikwood.com/about_us) over 20-years ago. John presented me four sets and I chose set #1 and #2.



Here are sets #1 (bottom) and #2 (top) after being rough carved on his Shop Sabre CNC. The outsides are on the left and the inside on the right. Unlike simple flat back sets, when you carve an arch into a 1" thick billet you don't know exactly what you will encounter. I still need to decide which one that like best. I know which one that I prefer, but I am curious which you like and why?



More when I get it...
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Acoustic Flat Tops by: Mark Blanchard, Laurent Brondel, John Buscarino, Kent Chasson, Howard Klepper and Bruce Sexauer

Last edited by iim7V7IM7; 03-05-2018 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Updated Specs & sound clip
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2017, 07:50 PM
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This is probably the first carved rosewood guitar I've ever seen. Looking forward to following along.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by matthewpartrick View Post
This is probably the first carved rosewood guitar I've ever seen. Looking forward to following along.
Mario Beauregard made a Brazilian Rosewood archtop that he recently showed at the Artisan Guitar show. Also, John made me a Honduran Rosewood carved back nylon a few years back. Here's that build thread from back then...

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=352417
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Acoustic Flat Tops by: Mark Blanchard, Laurent Brondel, John Buscarino, Kent Chasson, Howard Klepper and Bruce Sexauer

Last edited by iim7V7IM7; 05-06-2017 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:37 PM
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I like the one on the bottom, but I'd be happy with either...
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Old 05-06-2017, 03:55 AM
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I chose set #1... (numero uno on cinco de mayo)

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Acoustic Flat Tops by: Mark Blanchard, Laurent Brondel, John Buscarino, Kent Chasson, Howard Klepper and Bruce Sexauer

Last edited by iim7V7IM7; 05-06-2017 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:05 AM
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Beautiful stuff! Thanks for posting.

Kim Walker built an archtop with Brazilian rosewood back and sides:



I wrote an in-depth piece on the build for Fretboard Journal.
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Old 05-06-2017, 04:55 AM
Jabberwocky Jabberwocky is offline
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Set 2 would have been my choice, if I were to be so blessed. It is more symmetric in grain to my eyes. Both sets are fantastic.

I can understand why you chose Set 1: the grain is a lot more linear. Is that the right word for it?

Looking forward to your build.
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Last edited by Jabberwocky; 05-06-2017 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
Set 2 would have been my choice, if I were to be so blessed. It is more symmetric in grain to my eyes. Both sets are fantastic.

I can understand why you chose Set 1: the grain is a lot more linear. Is that the right word for it?

Looking forward to your build.
Both sets are very nice. Set#2 has a few pin knots, and does the Rorschach bookmatched symmetry thing quite well. I can see why you like it. This variety of EIR is the type that turns deep brown (vs. red and purple) under finish.
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Acoustic Flat Tops by: Mark Blanchard, Laurent Brondel, John Buscarino, Kent Chasson, Howard Klepper and Bruce Sexauer
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:02 AM
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Very interesting. This will be fun to watch!

Steve
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:48 AM
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I'll be watching this thread for sure ... this will be interesting for sure!
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kinnaird View Post
Very interesting. This will be fun to watch!

Steve
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wren View Post
I'll be watching this thread for sure ... this will be interesting for sure!
That makes three of us...
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Acoustic Flat Tops by: Mark Blanchard, Laurent Brondel, John Buscarino, Kent Chasson, Howard Klepper and Bruce Sexauer
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:06 PM
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Default Top Set...

John presented me three different top sets to chose from (some plain as below and others with bearclaw) and we selected a beautiful, tight grained, AAA Carpathian Spruce set today.

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Acoustic Flat Tops by: Mark Blanchard, Laurent Brondel, John Buscarino, Kent Chasson, Howard Klepper and Bruce Sexauer
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:23 PM
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It's rare to see a carved rosewood back! Very beautiful, it will definitely be fun to watch.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard F. View Post
It's rare to see a carved rosewood back! Very beautiful, it will definitely be fun to watch.
Yes, finding quartersawn billets of rosewoods is less and less common but Being in the business as long as he has, he has a great wood locker. John also made me a carved Honduran Rosewood backed nylon hyrid a few years ago so this will be my second Buscarino.

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Acoustic Flat Tops by: Mark Blanchard, Laurent Brondel, John Buscarino, Kent Chasson, Howard Klepper and Bruce Sexauer
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:09 PM
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That top looks pretty darned sweet, tight, straight.....
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