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New Shelley Park Guitar!!!

cbwimcbwim ✭✭✭
in Welcome Posts: 142

Am getting excited! Shelley and I just finalized the specs on the new guitar she is building me. One of her Encore models with the antiqued spruce top, solid East Indian Rosewood back and sides with Soundport, 660mm scale length like my previous one, narrowest neck profile. The body will be about 10mm thinner than usual. I had to sell #250 Montmarte after I tore my rotator cuff last year in January.

Until it arrives I have an odd hybrid that I have been using. Its an amped up Japanese guitar with the label "Decca" that I added a DR Tailpiece, moustache bridge and Schaller tuners to. The original fingerboard was defretted and planed into a long wedge and a new ebony rosewood with a bit of arch was added, including a zero fret. I just heard my friend David Brown play this guitar and it actually sounds fantastoic. being parlor guitar -sized its a good travel instrument.

Shelley will be working on this soon. I hope the border between US and Canada is open when its finished so we can get together for dinner and I can pick it up (her workshop is just a few hour's drive away - she used to be down here all the time as one of the backup guitarists in the early Pear Django days). Cheaper and better than FedEx - assuming the Canadians let me in. The last guitar was picked up just after the Winter Olympics and the border guards had nothing to do and inspected every crevice. Empty, new car and they thought I was a drug mule or something. Coming back into the US was easier and the guards were both guitarists and fans of Shelley's work.

BucovanmalmsteenBonesWilliejuandererrudolfochristBill Da Costa Williamsbillyshakes

Comments

  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Diamond Springs ,CANew Latch Drom F, Paris swing, Altamira m30d , Altimira Mod M
    Posts: 276

    I would go Insane waiting for a handmade guitar!

    congratulations! Look forward to seeing it when it’s done

  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 720

    There is something to knowing a guitar is coming and the anticipation. I enjoy the wait and the process. It is "almost" anti-climatic when the instrument arrives but then once you start playing it that usually heads in the rear view mirror. I had Vit Cach build me a covid guitar. Watching the pics of the build was a lot fun and I also was given some choices about the guitar. I basically told him to beat the hell out of it when antiquing it but I digress. The guitar since coming from the Czech Republic took nearly 3 months in transit. That was a bit nerve wracking but Michael here assured me that was normal especially at the beginning of Covid so again, I enjoyed the wait. One probably does not have many guitars built for them over a lifetime, it can a very positive experience if the builder is communicative and most are happy to share their work.

    BucovanmalmsteenrudolfochristBill Da Costa WilliamsBones
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 552

    Shelley was good to me sharing build photos along the way when I asked for them (otherwise known as guitar porn.) Yes, it is a bit exciting to anticipate the coming of the new instrument.

    Since this is a thing one only does a very limited amount of time, I'm wondering if anyone has any stories from the opposite side of the happiness spectrum, where the much-anticipated instrument comes to you and is everything you asked for, but fails to satisfy the sound you had hoped for? Sort of like that old Vertical Horizon song: its everything you want, everything you need, says all the right things at exactly the right time, but means nothing to you and you don't know why. That would be a bummer.

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,654

    I'm wondering if anyone has any stories from the opposite side of the happiness spectrum, where the much-anticipated instrument comes to you and is everything you asked for, but fails to satisfy the sound you had hoped for?

    Alas, yes… and it’s all documented in this old thread

    luckily this story has a happy ending…

    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 552

    Thanks for the tipper, Will. Seeing the "reveal" on your guitar makeover was a stunner. Absolutely beautiful. I think it really tied things together visually.

    How did you get on with the fretboard and/or pickguard? Did you ever do anything or just leave it be?

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,654

    Thanks, Billy. Alas I have been forced to give up any plans for a fancy raised pickguard as my guitar doesn’t have an arched top, and it would look kind of stupid....

    But I’m still thinking about art deco fretboard markers, have several ideas but am awaiting inspiration…

    ***

    However, over the past winter, I've been customizing my beautiful art deco plectrum banjo with a new flange (that's the "clouds" metal piece surrounding the drum)... I think it turned out nice...


    WilliebillyshakesrudolfochristAndyWBill Da Costa WilliamsJSantaBones
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 552

    I like the banjo. Like you, I've always admired the Art Deco look. Some of these "fanned" styles could be neat for your inlays. I'd agree with one of the responses on that other thread, it might be nice to take the motif from your rosette and try to apply it. Maybe use the similar color scheme in the fans (orange, creme, black), perhaps even have the triangle factor in. That unity of design could really bring it together visually (I see your banjo inlays could almost be seen as a sort of art deco cloud, providing that same unity). You do have the Art Deco style tuning pegs on the guitar that could also serve as a point of inspiration. Thanks for sharing!



    rudolfochristvanmalmsteenBones
  • Posts: 150

    The inlays look pretty Deco already

  • cbwimcbwim ✭✭✭
    Posts: 142

    That anticipation includes the 5-10 year wait for the guitar to age and develop its full tone. This was the case with #250 Montmarte. Unfortunately its full tone arrived right at about the time I fell and tore my right rotator cuff! The person who bought it compared it with his Favinos expecting a kind of "hybrid" sound - and was blown away by how well it sounded and said that from the other room while someone was playing it, one couldn't hear a difference.

    This one will have a sound port which will immediately be satisfying. I like the generally quicker tone of her Encores. Plus we are conspiring to do something new and secret with this one which may be a total success or a resounding failure - we won't know until it is strung up. And if it works, Shelley may decide to keep that feature a hidden secret.

    Also, finding the best strings and picks with these guitars takes some time and expense. I like the longevity of Pearse Strings but the tone is unimpressive. Others sound better but don't last as long. It took me a few years to voice her guitar to my preferred sound.

    She is working on it now however and after the border opens in late August (theoretically) I will hopefully be going up there in September or October or whenever she finishes it (I am not impatient - just lucky!) to see her and pick it up. We always have a great time talking shop since I am in a similar business making flutes - as well as the occasional tool for lutherie.

    WillieBuco
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,654

    the 5-10 year wait for the guitar to age and develop its full tone.

    Not if you use a Tone-rite whenever you’re not actually playing it!

    https://www.stewmac.com/strings-and-accessories/instrument-accessories/tonerite/tonerite-for-guitar/?gclid=CjwKCAjwruSHBhAtEiwA_qCppiMj9Hl5OZHKXjLe5bQN_vysrQ3EGGvm2-mni4EJvllQ6jnAiQOxoBoChP4QAvD_BwE

    vanmalmsteen
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
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