Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Moment of Truth

With the truss rod cover installed, the frets and body polished, it's almost time to string it up and see what it sounds like.

Before that, though, I need to glue the label inside the guitar. I learned a couple of months ago that the label inside a guitar is actually called an "etiquette," which is French for "ticket." I keep mine pretty simple and include my signature and the serial number.

Now it's time to string it up for what I hope is the final time prior to delivery. There is still a chance that there will be some buzzing that I'll have to run down and fix. I'm both excited and very nervous.

Sounds good in open position. I play each string on each fret and the notes are clear. I check the intonation--perfect on each string.

This baby is done.

I really like the tone of this guitar. I'm used to playing a dreadnought, a larger guitar with a rich low end, so that's the sound I'm used to. This guitar is more balanced i.e. the trebles are as distinct as the bass notes. Often balanced guitars are too balanced--the low end sounds thin and uninteresting. But I like the low end on this guitar--the notes are rich with complexity, full of nice harmonic overtones.

But it's the high B an E strings that really sing. It's almost like the whole guitar resonates when these strings are hit.

As far as playability, I'd say that this is the best of the three that I have built thus far. It fits comfortably in the left hand, and feels very natural. It frets easily in all positions. I think this shows that I'm making progress in my building skills.

And it looks good too. The zebrawood is very distinctive, the rosewood bindings are gorgeous, and the bearclaw really sparkles.

I am very happy with the way this one turned out.

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