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  #16  
Old 11-29-2017, 10:49 AM
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Washington State luthier Kent Chasson (http://www.chassonguitars.com/) uses adjustable necks in his designs. He also uses a novel upper bout bracing scheme.

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  #17  
Old 11-29-2017, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gstar View Post
Bill Wise of Charis Guitars has done them as well. Not sure if he still does.
Pretty sure he has moved away from that....
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  #18  
Old 11-29-2017, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dbradfie View Post
I'll 2nd Thomas Rein guitars. Some day I would like to try one personally, but there is are lot of video/demos/info out there on his guitars. I've only heard positive things about his guitars. He has also posted before on this forum, although it has been a while I believe.
I'm a big fan of Tom's work. His years of experience with classical guitars show in his steel string work and provide a great clarity in his voicing that is unique.
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  #19  
Old 11-29-2017, 05:50 PM
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Smile Baranik

I also have a Baranik Meridian with an adjustable neck. It is great for weather changes and dropped tunings, like some with a low C. The neck on mine is rock solid and does not change except when I adjust it. The intonation and playability is top notch.

I am a huge fan of the modern sound of Mike's guitars. To my ears, and for melodic fingerstyle, it is hard to beat.

Mike also uses a catalyzed polyester finish which is very durable and looks great.

There is a link to my build thread in my signature if you want to check it out. Sound clips are on the last page, and the glamour shots are on page 9.

Good luck in your search.
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  #20  
Old 11-30-2017, 04:06 AM
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Excellent comments. Thank you all.

How would you describe the tone of Baranik and Chasson Guitars. I’ve heard a few Baraniks on YouTube, and as was mentioned they seem more modern sounding, which is great. What about their dynamics and bass response (I’m not looking for a traditional guitar).
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Last edited by HNS; 11-30-2017 at 04:50 AM.
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  #21  
Old 11-30-2017, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by HNS View Post
I wanted a guitar with an adjustable neck basically to make a neck reset relatively easier.
A guitar can be designed an engineered so it will never need a neck reset, if that is more of a concern for you? I've engineered the use of carbon fiber buttress braces in our guitars to counteract the rotational torque forces applied to the neck block and upper bout sides. These are the forces that cause the upper bout area of the guitar to deform over time and necessitate a neck reset.

I'm not saying one method is better than another but I just wanted to share another option to address your question.
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  #22  
Old 11-30-2017, 07:41 AM
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My KR Guitar has an adjustable neck and cantilevered fretboard. I'm not sure if he's still building at the moment. I think his shop may have been destroyed in the California wildfires this year.
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  #23  
Old 11-30-2017, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by HNS View Post
How would you describe the tone of Baranik and Chasson Guitars. Iíve heard a few Baraniks on YouTube, and as was mentioned they seem more modern sounding, which is great. What about their dynamics and bass response (Iím not looking for a traditional guitar).
I describe the tone of my Baranik as "Grand Piano". Full bass, perfect amount of mids, and sparkling highs, all of which sustain and envelop the player. All of this with amazing string to string balance, no cross talk whatsoever. They are the epitome of the modern sound, which, as a finger picker, I love. My playing improved steadily after my purchase. The guitar just can do anything.

Steve
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  #24  
Old 11-30-2017, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim McKnight View Post
A guitar can be designed an engineered so it will never need a neck reset, if that is more of a concern for you? I've engineered the use of carbon fiber buttress braces in our guitars to counteract the rotational torque forces applied to the neck block and upper bout sides. These are the forces that cause the upper bout area of the guitar to deform over time and necessitate a neck reset.

I'm not saying one method is better than another but I just wanted to share another option to address your question.
I have one of Tim's guitars with the CF braces and can say without hesitation that it also adds to the tone transfer from the neck - the whole body just rumbles on my little Koa guitar.

Which begs a question regarding guitars with adjustable necks. I'm obviously no expert, and have only played one instrument with one. I'm assuming there is much less contact area due to the adjustability.....seems like this would "de-couple" the neck somewhat over a typical dovetail or even bolt on, effectively reducing tone transfer?

Just curious what others think.
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  #25  
Old 11-30-2017, 11:13 AM
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I've played perhaps 6 Meridians (Mike Baranik's adjustable neck guitar) and two dozen or more of his other guitars. My Meridian has a Colorado blue spruce top and cocobolo back and sides. I also have a Baranik PX, which is a 00-size guitar, with a blue spruce top and mahogany back and sides.

First off, both of my Baraniks are loud. That is to say that they have plenty of volume and dynamic range. I don't like guitars that don't have a proportional response to the attack and that peter out when you dig in. I've always felt Mike's spruce topped guitars have a punchy quality to them, with an immediate, lively response to the pick attack. That's a very important quality for me, as I play with finger picks and tend to play heavy handed. They are a tad more compressed than a vintage-inspired guitar on the front end of the attack, which adds a bit more warmth. It keeps his guitars from being ice picky and one dimensional. I've played redwood and cedar topped Baraniks and they are much more on the warm, complex side of things. So there's certainly a range to be had just by switching top wood, and a pretty significant range in my opinion. With spruce, the guitar has a huge dynamic range, with plenty of volume even for people like me that use fingerpicks. Soft touch or heavy touch, the guitar responds proportionally which, in my opinion, is exactly what you want. It'll whisper sweetly or tear your face off. I play my acoustics like I play my electrics - with the goal of deafening the listener. Ha ha.

Bass response can vary from guitar to guitar. I've played Meridians with big bass and less bass, and that's certainly something Mike can tune. He can pull as much bass out of an OM, if desired, as most builders in the OM size range that are looking for big bass response (with the exception of the Somogyinistas). The bass response on my particular Meridian is somewhere in the middle, but again, Mike has enough control and experience to adjust that aspect in a predictable way (one of the benefits of having 200+ guitars under his belt).

The overtone content is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between very dry and super lush, which I think allows his guitars to flourish in situations where complexity and sustain is needed without garbling the notes. I think that guitars that over-emphasize sustain and overtones can suffer from issues with clarity when the tempo speeds up and note separation is desired. I think Mike is right in that sweet spot that is satisfying to a player looking for a lush, complex sound without going overboard. If you've ever played a Goodall Standard, you will know what a guitar with massive overtone and sustain sounds like. While that quality can certainly be fun in certain situations, it's not for everyone. In my opinion, guitars with too much sustain and overtone content can lack versatility, particularly when you really pick up the tempo. So I would say most Baraniks I've played fall short of that level of overtone and sustain which, in my opinion, is much to their credit. It makes them more versatile guitars.

He tends to build guitars with a side sound port, and I've done quite a bit of A/B testing with and without. My PX had no side sound port for about 2 years before Mike added one. I believe his guitars benefit tremendously from that addition because the player gets a much more 3 dimensional soundscape. I remember listening to my PX when played by another guitarist before the sound port was added and feeling that I was really missing out. I was able to get much of what I heard as a listener in front of the guitar once the sound port was added. Mike definitely builds his guitars around the use of the sound port to enhance the player's experience.

His guitars are complex and musical and reflect his 25+ years mastering the craft of acoustic building. He's also up there with the best of the best when it comes to wood working skills. His lines are very precise, his designs are very well thought through, and his execution is quite literally flawless. Neck profiles have the "just right" feel and setup is uncompromising.

There is no doubt that Mike builds in a modern voicing style, though I don't think he thinks of it in those terms. He's focused on building guitars that are, in his words, extremely versatile. I've heard several performances of his guitars, most notably by Dorian Michael, and I'm always impressed by the enormous range of sound qualities that can be pulled out of just about anything Mike makes, from his parlors all the way up to the Meridian. I remember Dorian playing a 00m that Mike built at HGF in 2013. He did a progressive jazz piece that sounded fantastic, with complex chord formations and fast solo runs. Not only did that little guitar have a ton of volume and headroom, but it was fantastically musical, particularly for a brand new guitar.

I've known Mike for about 8 years, and I will say you will be hard pressed to find 1) a nicer guy to work with, or 2) someone more willing to put in the time and effort to deliver exactly what you want. Having worked on 2 builds with him, I've seen him go through 3 or 4 mock prototypes for various aesthetic designs before final implementation. I will also say, on one final note, that his UV-cured finishes are gorgeous to behold and incredibly durable. tI would be hard for me to recommend a luthier more highly. And I will say there is still a lot of room even within the Baranik family of guitars to shape the sound substantially with wood choice and by discussing your goals with Mike.

Oh, and I almost forgot, Mike has added 3 features to the Meridian which I really find enormously helpful for ergonomics. First, the waist is fairly narrow, which puts the guitar at a nice height relative to your shoulder and forearm. The waist is asymmetrical and slightly forward shifted which, again, is designed to put the guitar in a more comfortable spot while playing seated. Finally, he uses what he calls a "drop top" which narrows the depth of the lower bout somewhat in the area where you arm hits to the top with the goal of relieving pressure in that area. It's not too dissimilar from a wedge design, though it's less dramatic.

The adjustable neck design isn't just about eliminating the need for a neck reset, by the way. It's fantastically useful for small changes in weather conditions or to raise or lower the action depending on what you're playing. Normally, that means you need to shim or lower the saddle. In the case of the Meridian, you can make the adjustment in less than 10 seconds. So the utility reaches far beyond simply obviating the need for doing a neck reset.

And you have to love the killer cutaway and binding design . . .


Last edited by justonwo; 11-30-2017 at 11:51 AM.
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  #26  
Old 11-30-2017, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by HNS View Post
Excellent comments. Thank you all.

How would you describe the tone of Baranik and Chasson Guitars. Iíve heard a few Baraniks on YouTube, and as was mentioned they seem more modern sounding, which is great. What about their dynamics and bass response (Iím not looking for a traditional guitar).
I own a custom guitar made by Kent (Brazilian Rosewood/Engelmann Spruce Concert Model) for about 3-years now. I have found that trying to describe the details of the timbre with word descriptions or through online recordings can be a very confusing and sometimes misleading undertaking. I likely play different music and in a different style than you. I have played about eight of Mike's guitars across the years at luthier exhibitions so I have a good sense of Mike's work as well.



BOTH Kent and Mike make superlative guitars, are experienced builders and both happen to be fantastic guys. BOTH make guitars that are responsive, balanced with no weaknesses in any of the registers that I have found. Many aspects about emphasis on fundamentals or overtones is honestly somewhat commission specific for both builders. Aspects regarding bass response and dynamics are also commission specific attributes to discuss with a luthier. A guitar can be adjusted to address these requests to some degree. These adjustments come at a costs in my experience. Dynamics and responsiveness can come at the expense of headroom. Bass can come at the expense of balance in timbre etc.

Best idea is probably to pick up the phone and begin a dialogue with both and see what you think.

Good Luck...
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  #27  
Old 11-30-2017, 12:26 PM
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I'm really impressed by the knowledge in the above comments. It's one of the best threads I participated in for years.



Tim McKnight: I'm not sure what you mean by carbon fiber buttress braces, are they the braces that run from the neck and end block to a vertical beam on the sides? I saw a pic of them once. Are they supposed to diffuse long-term tension? Do they bend over time? Any issues with them?. What tone are you after Tim, if I may ask.

El Conquistador: That's what I'm looking for. What size guitar do you have?

Justonwo: Thank you for a very elaborate and helpful post. That's a beauty of a guitar. I agree with you, I also need the easier neck adjustment for changes in humidity. I'm just a hobbyist, but I'm thinning the herd and upgrading my guitars.

iim7V7IM7: "Dynamics and responsiveness can come at the expense of headroom. Bass can come at the expense of balance in timbre"... you're absolutely right. I need it to be a versatile well-balaced guitar, not a one trick pony. How would you describe Chasson guitar tone?

Can the adjustable neck and the carbon fiber be made in one guitar? I wonder how responsive it would be.

I play fingerstyle with the flesh, so I like a higher and quicker attack to compensate the lack of nails and a relatively more dynamic response for the same reason. Often I use a pick as well, and sometimes I dig in a bit. SO a little bit of headroom is useful.


Thank you all .... great and highly appreciated help.
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Last edited by HNS; 11-30-2017 at 12:31 PM.
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  #28  
Old 11-30-2017, 12:53 PM
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If your concern is about neck resets and not the desire to change action on the fly, all you really need is a full bolt on system. Many builders, myself included, do this standard.
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  #29  
Old 11-30-2017, 02:26 PM
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El Conquistador: That's what I'm looking for. What size guitar do you have?
I have Mike's 00M.

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  #30  
Old 11-30-2017, 02:54 PM
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In addition to the above I would add Gary Southwell and Ken Parker
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