Sunday, March 17, 2013

Claro Walnut/Sitka Spruce 000

I was finally able to string up this guitar yesterday, and I look forward with some excitement to presenting it to Tiani, its new owner.

Tiani is the talented daughter of a family friend, and her youthful passion for music is truly refreshing. Although her musical inclinations have little in common with those of the players I imagine myself building for in the future, she's nevertheless a worthy recipient of this instrument on the strength of her originality and enthusiasm alone.

I began this guitar three or four years ago, and at some point over the course of its construction the decision was made to donate it to someone I felt could put it to better use than I could. There were some minor cosmetic blemishes that irked me, but more significantly, after the box was closed up and remedial work became impractical, I was concerned that the top was braced too heavily. As a result, I had serious doubts about its likely success from a tonal perspective and it took a back seat to other guitar projects for a couple of years. With that as a background, I was prepared to be less than impressed yesterday when I strung it up for the first time, and my initial assessment was indeed less than enthusiastic. However, after only a few hours, I was much less critical; in the absence of any other explanation, I suspect the strings simply needed to be left in peace for a short time to acclimatise to their new home: bent over saddle and nut and brought up to concert pitch. It's early days still, but I'm prepared to cautiously pronounce the guitar a success - I hope Tiani feels the same way!

I'll let the guitar settle further over the week ahead, make final adjustments to neck relief and action height, and hopefully hand the guitar over to Tiani soon afterwards.

Vital statistics:
Back and sides: Claro Walnut
Soundboard: Sitka Spruce
Neck: Tarzali Silkwood
Fretboard and bridge: ebony
Bindings: curly maple
Scale length: 24.9"
Finish: Grafted Coatings KTM-SV
Pickup: K & K Pure Mini