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Fanned Fret Guitar: Nylon String
2 years, 7 months ago Posted in: Blog, Classical Guitar, Fan Fret, Fanned Fret Guitar, Featured, Nylon String 8
Fanned Fret Guitar: Nylon String

Some days I feel like the most blessed person in the world as I quietly shape and smooth each piece of wood, carefully crafting my next work of art; in this case a new fanned fret guitar. Each time the experience is different, as different and unique as the clients for whom I am creating each guitar. I love the fact that the guitars are never the same. It’s easy for me to do that because I make each guitar specifically for someone, for a friend. Some clients I’ve only just met, others I may have built many guitars for, but no matter what, it’s is a privilege to create an instrument for them that they can enjoy for a lifetime.

Fanned Fret Guitar Front
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This fanned fret guitar is certainly one that was special to me. There is a certain richness to it, that just seems to look “delicious” for lack of a better word. The warm brownish- red tones seem to glow under the hand rubbed shellac varnish.

Fanned Fret Guitar Back
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The fingerboard has a 20″ radius for easy fretting and a comfortable transition so steel string players can feel at home too. The action and construction of the neck geometry are engineered in a way that lets the full voice of the instrument ring out even with the gentlest touch. I set it up to play with ease, no classic guitar technique required, and the guitar played with a silky smooth ease that even I could enjoy with my rusty playing chops. However with a simple adjustment to the truss rod, the neck relief and action can be fine-tuned to match a more aggressive classic right hand style using nails if desired. The neck profile was carved to a more slim and fast playing shape as compared to the larger traditional classic guitar shape.

Fan Fret Side Soundhole-Front
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The saddle is precisely adjusted for perfect intonation and the fan frets further enhance the overall harmony and in-tune-ness of the guitar by cutting down I on clang tone and evenly balancing string tension and feel.

Fan fret Headstock
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The modern fanned fret bridge design without the tie block significantly reduces the weight and increases volume and responsiveness.

Fan Fret Rosewood Side
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The elevated fingerboard paired with the asymmetry of the body shape give extra access to the upper frets and also changes the angle of approach that the strings relative to the soundboard and bridge. This adds a more rich and harp-like sweetness to the guitars powerful and versatile voice.

fanned fret guitar Side sound hole
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Fan Fret Rosewood detail
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Fanned Fret Guitar Specs:

Back/Sides: Brazilian Rosewood
Top: German Moon Spruce
Neck: Honduras Mahogany
Bindings: Macassar Ebony
Perfling: Lacewood/dyed Maple
Tuners: Custom Made Gilbert
Pickup: K&K
Scales: 25.4 – 26.1
Case: Custom Hoffee


Contact Me For Ordering Info


Back upper bout shine dark
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8 Responses

  1. Tad Nowinski says:

    Hi

    I would like some more information about this guitar

  2. Robert Howard says:

    It’s the most beautiful guitar I have ever seen! Congratulations, Nice job.

  3. Dear Tom,
    Since I got a copy of your book, which by the way drags me instantly out of this world each time I go over these beautiful pictures, I visit you web site every now and then to see what’s happening.

    Your new creation is visually absolutley stunning. These bindings and purflings around the body perimeter, while visually unobtrusive, are just … noble! Geometrical excatness, color and complexity don’t rival the beautifully figured back and sides – they just perfectly blend into the overall impression. And this Brazilian Rosewood alone is worth buying it, considering that the species is now virtually extinct. Certainly, the value of this instrument will not decrease over time.

    Another admirable aspect: Your sense for shape and geometry, your courage to diverge from the traditional shapes to explore new paths in design and construction. This will bring the art of lutherie forward, I’m pretty sure.

    Having read books about building spanish guitars for more than two years now (Courtnall, Sharpe, Middleton, Bogdanovich, Overholtzer, Jahnel, Sloane, Wynne, Huipe), the wish to build one with my own hands gets bigger each day, and I think I can really estimate your attention to every minute detail and craftsmanship… my honest admiration!

    What I personally cannot quite make friends with, is the soundport in the side. I’m missing the traditional sound hole in the top, and the beautiful rosette artistry around it, somehow. An I wonder, whether this has an effect on the projection of sound to the audience. I mean, if the player hears the instrument so loud, will he or she not play soft and quiet – too quiet for the audience?

    Finally, I’d like to suggest a presentation enhancement: The guitar stand. While technically ok, this matte black thing of tube and PU foam does not really match the niveau of the guitar it holds. How about to build one from some nice wood, with protective felt applications…? Just an idea.

    Greetings from the Switzerland mountains,
    Ulrich

    • Tom says:

      Ulrich,

      Thank you so much for your very kind words and great comment!

      The side sound hole can be something that is hard to get used to if you are just going by the look, but based on the sound it’s instant. I should write an article about this story because its kind of funny how it all began. To tell it as briefly as possible; It all started here in St Louis at the Great Midwest Guitar Show in 2000. I was talking with a friend while walking to the gallery area which had several different guitars on display. As I came around a corner, there was a guitar hanging on the wall with only a side sound hole; I commented to my friend that “there is no way that could sound any good with no hole in the front!” or something like that…

      Just as the words were leaving my mouth the maker of that guitar, Boaz Elkyam, picked it up and strummed an E chord in the first position.

      I think I might have had to brace myself from falling over, the sound was so powerful, and rich, and piano-like…..it was “the sound” I had been searching for or at least contained within it the seed of that sound, my sound. Later on, after another series of fateful events I was able to study with Boaz and also Eugene Clark as well as Gila Eban, and others, but those three specifically when it comes to my nylon string guitars. I have been experimenting and refining and evolving my design and my sound ever since. It is a simple matter of having more soundboard, like doubling the size of a woofer in a speaker cabinet.

      As for the guitar stand you mentioned, you are SO right! I have a new archtop guitar model, The Cremona, that I will be photographing in the next couple weeks, I will make a stand for it as you suggested, thanks for pointing it out!

      Tom

  4. Bill R says:

    This is the most beautiful guitar I have ever seen–a truly magnificent work of art. If I could afford it, I would buy it just to frame and hang on the wall like a fine painting. With your permission, I’ll print a picture and frame THAT. I really admire your great skill and artistry.

    Thanks,
    Bill R

    • Tom says:

      Bill,

      Thank you so much, that means a lot to me! In case you really do want to print any of those photos, I think I have the large image files still. Just tell me which one you want and I can send you a high res. image for printing, that way it will be a nice quality print.

      Thanks again!

      Tom

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