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  #91  
Old 08-22-2022, 06:11 PM
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Just a few more...

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  #92  
Old 08-22-2022, 06:14 PM
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Wow--speechless!

I'm sure this will be a crowd favorite...
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  #93  
Old 08-22-2022, 06:39 PM
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Wow--speechless!

I'm sure this will be a crowd favorite...
I'm a-hopin'... But have you had a look at Joel's Mango/Sitka double-0 yet, Kevin? I bet that one wins best-in-show.
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  #94  
Old 08-22-2022, 07:36 PM
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This cute little creature is a common house gecko. They live in great abundance down here on the Gulf Coast. They are tiny and delicate- a jumbo size male is only about 4 1/2 inches long. They can walk on vertical glass, and they can literally run across your ceiling! They are the Spider-men of the lizard world; except they don't shoot webs. They are shy and elusive, hardly ever seen in the daytime, because they are nocturnal by nature.

Every night in the summer, about six or eight of these little critters congregate on my kitchen window, having a bacchanalian feast on the multitudes of small flies and moths that are drawn to the light from the window. Maybe I'm a bit daft, but it gives me a quiet joy to see these diminutive little lizards, having such a great celebration, right in front of me while I'm making dinner. I've always had a soft spot for these creatures, the birds, reptiles, amphibians, and other wild things, who live simple, honest lives and bring their own unique beauty into the world.

We've had a massive amount of rain this summer, and the local amphibian community is living in 7th Heaven. The dozen or so species of frogs and toads in my backyard sing epic operas every night, with the bullfrogs in the neighbor's pool holding down the low end. Emerald green tree frogs hang out with the Geckos on my kitchen window. What could be better than that!

So, early this year, I had sequestered away a few months of time, during which I could build whatever guitars I wanted to, with the aim of taking them to Tom and Kathy's house in New Braunfels in September. I just had to decide which particular rabbit holes I was going to explore; and it occurred to me to make a Gecko themed guitar, as an homage to my little buddies on the kitchen window.

If you've already seen the first part of this thread, you've already seen the Gecko guitar. But it's all done and strung now, and it might just be my favorite of all the 155 guitars I've made so far.
My inlaid Geckos are not anatomically correct; I took some liberties with their color and pattern, But they are unmistakably Geckos. Here are some close-ups of them.



The Gecko guitar is another EPC-F Performance Florentine, same model as the Ziricote/T-14 guitar. The back and sides are beautiful, dark, old-growth Brazilian Rosewood, and the top is Mastergrade Adirondack Spruce. That is, the top was sold to me as Adi; however I'm pretty certain that it's actually Red Spruce from the Appalachian or Smoky Mountains. The southern variant tends to have narrower grain spacing than the Adirondack stuff. Whatever it is, it's superb tonewood in every aspect. In other words, a perfect top to pair with this Brazilian Rosewood. This guitar also has an antique Black Walnut neck, same provenance as the Falcon guitar featured earlier. The bindings and body trim are beautifully flamed SE Asian Pyinma wood, which has a deep, 3-D chatoyant shimmer that is rarely equaled in any wood. The pictures don't really do it justice- you have to see it when it's reflecting light back at you.

Here are some photos of the rest of the Gecko Performance guitar...



More pics to follow... Thanks for looking!
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  #95  
Old 08-22-2022, 07:46 PM
Treenewt Treenewt is offline
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Steve, all of these are works of art, but that Gecko…I mean, it strikes a chord with me for some reason. ;-)

Beautiful work, as always!
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  #96  
Old 08-22-2022, 08:32 PM
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I should mention that the Gecko Performance guitar is built with Multiscale architecture, with a scale length spread of 25" on the high E, to 25.75" on the low E. This guitar is optimized for fingerstyle playing, and is very conversant with open tunings. I've actually kept it tuned down to various C-based tunings, including CGCGCD (C sus 2); CGCGCEb (C minor) and CGCGCE (C major), since it was strung up. I wanted to set it up to play clean, all the way down to C, with regular light gauge PB strings. It has such a majesty of tone down there- a feeling of profundity, especially in C-minor. If the eventual owner of this guitar wants to keep it tuned down to C, I would recommend Medium bottom/Light top strings. For all else, regular lights are just right.

This guitar also has the new bracing pattern- the Wide-Truss/Fan pattern, as seen on the Ziri Performance and the Falcon. Something really thrilling is happening with that bracing pattern. There's an extra dimension in the bass, and the trebles seem more sparkly... hard to define; you have to play it. And I hope you do!

Of course, it also performs very well in Standard A440. Actually sounds better at A435 or so. It has a low, fast action, and with a moderate attack, it plays clean tuned down to C. Pretty nice guitar, if I do say so.









WHEW! Holy moly, I'm exhausted. I disappear from human contact, virtual AND actual, for months and months, and then I show up and dump a bunker-buster bomb of photos on y'all. Sorry, that's just how I roll. I'm a hermit, and am somewhat lacking in social skills with my own species. And, I'm not all that bright, so only one thing at a time, please.

Anyway, Joel and I are all caught up on the photos, so now it's down to wiping off the last traces of fingerprints on our guitars, concealing the evidence, and putting on brand new strings, and gently secreting them into their cases for the trip to New Braunfels next week.
Wow, you know? I feel like Joel and I really accomplished something significant this year. It's a really, really GOOD kind of tired.

Speaking of the cases- Joel and I both ordered custom Ameritage cases for these guitars back in early April. Apparently, Ameritage is understaffed, or overworked, because even with almost five months lead time, our cases won't be delivered in time for the show. So we both had to buy some off the shelf cases for our guitars. They are very good quality cases built by Crossrock; they aren't custom fitted, but they are a good fit, and they'll do for now. We can offer our potential guitar buyers about $100 off the price of the Ameritage Custom ones if they decide to opt for the Crossrock case; or, if someone buys guitars from us at the show, they can go home with the Crossrock, and then we can do a swap, and send the Ameritage cases when they finally, at long last, arrive.

Thanks to everyone for looking at the guitars, and for posting your generous words. Stay tuned- more coming.

I'll attach some photos of the Crossrock cases to this thread later.
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  #97  
Old 08-22-2022, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Treenewt View Post
Steve, all of these are works of art, but that Gecko…I mean, it strikes a chord with me for some reason. ;-)

Beautiful work, as always!
Yeah, who doesn't love a Gecko! They're massively cute, even when they're trying to sell you insurance.
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  #98  
Old 08-22-2022, 08:53 PM
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All of these look fantastic, but gotta say, the Pernambuco guitar is really gonna be a crowd stopper. Great builds.
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  #99  
Old 08-22-2022, 09:16 PM
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All of these look fantastic, but gotta say, the Pernambuco guitar is really gonna be a crowd stopper. Great builds.
Thank you, Tom. Can't wait to put the Pernambuco "Ginger" in your hands and hear you play it. I will be eager to hear your impressions.
You also gotta try the Ziri and the Gecko.
See you soon, my good friend. Thank you- beyond my power to express- for making this celebration happen.
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Old 08-23-2022, 07:53 AM
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Thank you, Tom. Can't wait to put the Pernambuco "Ginger" in your hands and hear you play it. I will be eager to hear your impressions.
You also gotta try the Ziri and the Gecko.
See you soon, my good friend. Thank you- beyond my power to express- for making this celebration happen.
Well OK, you twisted my arm, I guess I will just have to give them a go PLEASE!
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  #101  
Old 08-23-2022, 05:08 PM
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It’s been really fun watching Steve tap into his creative artistry as these guitars have come into existence. I said it before and I’ll say it again…I’m the guy in the slow lane, using my signals and driving the posted speed limit out there in the shop every day.
I’m in my lane, feeling really comfortable and confident, and allowing myself to relax while I cruise down the “Luthier’s Memorial Highway” at the posted speed limit…and really enjoying the ride…

…and then Steve comes flying past me doing 180mph in his souped-up super car waving as he goes by.

I love what I’m doing…and I really love the “Birdseye View” of what he’s been doing. Go Steve…go!!!
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  #102  
Old 08-24-2022, 07:10 PM
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The clock is ticking, faster and faster.... Joel an I are scurrying around like cockroaches in the kitchen when someone turns on the lights at 3:00 AM...
Well, maybe not like that, but more like the proverbial chickens, running around with their heads chopped off. Whatever. We are getting stuff DONE!

We're going to do a dry run on loading up my car with guitars and luggage this weekend. We need to see how much we can fit. My car (a 2018 Hyundai Sante Fe) has a lot of cargo space; but between Joel and me, we have at least eight guitars coming with us. If there's a tiny bit of space left, and Joel doesn't have to ride on the car roof, I'm going to try to squeeze in ONE more. THIS one:



This is an ES-75 Siren guitar, my smallest model, and the Sister of the Falcon, which is the cutaway version. I actually brought this guitar to B.I.G. last year, though I really had to hurry to get it strung up on time, and in my opinion, it wasn't really ready for showtime yet. There were some issues with the finish, and I felt the tone of it was a bit too strident and fundamental.

I had experimented on this guitar by making my usual X-Fan pattern, but using very slender, tall braces. It did sound pretty good, and Dustin Furlow seemed to take a shine to it at the BIG show; but to my ears, it seemed like the top needed some loosening up, to bring out more bass, and more color in the tone. So I brought it home, and decided to do a partial refinish on it; and also to attempt to re-voice it.

So, one night, I sat on my couch, and reached into the sound hole with stub chisels, a Japanese violin knife, and sanding sticks, and carefully carved and shaped the knife-edge tops of the fan braces and the "lucky seven" braces down to a lower, lighter profile. It was actually pretty easy to do, because I put a head lamp inside the guitar, and I could see what I was doing through the two sound ports on the bass side.

When I got the refinishing work done, and strung it up, WOW, I mean Eureka! The exact effect I was hoping for had occurred. The Siren now sounds rich, and big, and complex, and very even across the spectrum. It sounds like at least a double-0, if not bigger. I think it's my newest hot crush! The Siren is a joy to play.

The top is a Mastergrade specimen of German Spruce; the Back and sides are Brazilian Rosewood, and bindings and other trim are super-flamey Pyinma. The scale length is 24.5", and I currently have it strung with light gauge strings, tuned to DADGAD. It plays like a dream. This little guitar is now 100% ready for showtime. I sure hope it fits in my car. I'd love for you guys who are coming to the B.I.G. to play it and tell me what you think.








I love my job!
I hope to see you in New Braunfels, a little over a week from now. It's not too late to get in on the fun...
Thanks for looking...
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  #103  
Old 08-25-2022, 08:25 AM
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If I were you I would be finding room for this one. I like it a lot.
I’m picturing you driving down the road to Texas, fully loaded vehicle, with Joel riding on the roof playing this guitar. Lol
I like your happy ending re-work story too!
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  #104  
Old 08-25-2022, 08:58 AM
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What a stash!!! Beautiful stuff, Steve. You will have a blast for sure….

Enjoy it All

Paul
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  #105  
Old 08-25-2022, 10:22 AM
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Really beautiful work Steve. Looking forward to seeing these in persons.

John
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