Last week I finally got round to making a visit to a real luthier supplier to choose my own wood rather than taking pot luck on the Internet.
Once I had negotiated the M25 and found David’s place “The Hall” – tucked away in a leafy corner of East Sussex I was made most welcome and started working my way through his (extensive) stock. I had managed to pick out 4 sets of really nice resonant soundboards and some good looking Indian rosewood back and sides when digging around in the loft I came across some large beautifully figured maple blanks meant for a cello. Now I had been vaguely thinking about building one (I do play cello a bit) but until that moment this had been a guitar wood trip – it was about to get a lot more expensive!
Well the long and the short of it is I finally came away after many hours, much discussion with David – who is the personable character – and a few cuppas with a lighter wallet and a car full of wood sufficient for 4 new guitars and a cello!!
Having spent many many hours browsing the Kent guitars site in the past I decided to take the opportunity to visit Miles Kent at his place in Sevenoaks as I was going to be in the area looking for guitar wood.
Miles was most welcoming and he was kind enough to spare an hour or so looking at and playing some of the instruments I have made and provided me with great encouragement to persevere as well some extremely helpful and practical advice on the guitar characteristics that were often important.
I came away with greater insight as to the whys and hows of the differences in my instruments, encouraged by how wonderful Miles made them sound and inspired to try a more popular design than the Ramirez 1a on my next guitar and in a more conventional 650mm scale length.
My latest guitar was a bit of an experiment but has turned out rather well.
Slightly smaller body volume than earlier guitars and with a side port and dropped table on the treble side to make it easier to reach upper fingerboard. Also used the more traditional 650mm scale length.
Sound is very liquid and sweet with good sustain and the side port makes it easier for the player to hear.