The commissioner of No 28 got in touch with me after seeing number 27, the first slope-shouldered dread I built. He was sure that was interested in a J45-like guitar, but it needed to work well for strumming and fingerstyle playing. I knew that the Adirondack spruce tops I buy from Old Standard Wood would produce a crisp, articulate sound great for fingerstyle, and we decided on Tasmanian blackwood for the body wood. Sourced halfway around the globe from Australian Tonewoods, this acacia species is a relative of Koa, and has a mass similar to Honduran mahogany but a harder surface. The result is a sound that has many of the desirable qualities of a mahogany guitar (dry, woody tone and a relatively quick decay) with increased definition and crispness. The acacia worked beautifully with my water-based dye sunburst technique, and looks very deep and shimmery under the sunburst and waterborne lacquer finish.
The top is an absolute powerhouse. When I first played it, I was instantly aware of how “awake” the neck is, with plenty of tactile feedback for the player. It has the powerful, beefy bass desired in this size of guitar, but the mid-range and higher treble notes have dimension and interest far exceeding what I would expect from a guitar this large. All of the purflings, bindings and rosette are crafted from real wood, and Taylor Mullins (Holter Pickguards) made a custom celluloid pickguard that looks perfect. I’ve used an adjustable neck joint inspired by Mike Doolin, though I keep tinkering with the joint design. This guitar is electrified via a K&K Pure Mini.
Overall, number 28 is a beaut, and a thrill to play; I hope it provides many decades of thumping excitement and rich sound.
Here is a sound sample played using a Clayton “Raven” pick.
|Sides & Back||Tasmanian Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon)|
|Binding & Accent Wood||Curly maple|