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Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2304
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Ruphus

Ruphus,

I hear this guitar perfectly. It reminds me of a Santos flamenco I built which was slightly mellow when first built but age took its course and pulled the beauty out to a more clear tone.

This is not unusual for some guitar models.

My ear tells me that this guitar is going to develop into a great flamenco like this....



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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 18:28:10
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Just tried following the link, but the VPN wouldn´t work.

Anyway, if properties can be heard out of Stephen´s video just the better.
I hope some people located there may have read you two´s posts and may contact Stephen / turning into more publicity for his shop.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 2 2015 19:37:16
 
Edzard

 

Posts: 20
Joined: Oct. 11 2010
From: Eindhoven - The Netherlands

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Very nice guitar Stephen!

Do you have some photo's of the guitar?

Your Website is very good too! Good photographs and decent information. Gives a good feel about your work and craftsmanship!

Well done.

Best regards,


Edzard
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 3 2015 7:30:34
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2955
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Not flamenco but I was lucky enough to have an excellent local classical guitarist record some Bach on one of my guitars... I can't stop listening to his playing



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Andy Culpepper, luthier
http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 5 2015 22:49:36
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Wow!

As you know, I always admired the very genre-related sound of your flamenco guitars.
The only aspect that remained to be cleared live for me was the actuall pristiness / speed of the instruments as this -to my experience- is what can be told the least through recordings (and the more close-miked, the less).

Only when with a little distance and with really good capturing there remains less uncertainty on this criteria.

And with this recording (which I consider your best so far) -and the player´s good touch, naturally- it seems as if the clarity of this guitar is there with todays top shelf like say from John Gilbert, Fritz Ober or Sebastian Stenzel and thelikes.

And I like it´s personality a lot. Namely a very balanced, lush, round and dry sound.
I learned from my versatile DeVoe already how rather fast decay of an actual flamenco mustn´t be detrimental at all for classical guitar music (to the contrary of my original exclusive for lots of sustain, formerly deemed substantial feature), and this guitar that you now showcase confirms again how decay must not be deal breaker at all.

I was expecting your classical builds to be not shabby either, but now it appears as if they are much more than just that. The full blown thing.

Very impressed,

Ruphus

PS:
I would try keeping this mic, guitar and room position for your coming tracks. It has been just perfect.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 6 2015 12:37:22
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2955
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Gracias Ruphus!
I recently sold that guitar and the lady who received it was pretty thrilled with it. I'm going to start a cedar top classical soon. I think moving the mic a bit further out as I did for that recording is a good idea. There is also a touch of reverb on the sound, which I don't normally use as I try not to "enhance" my audio clips at all, but I wanted to do justice to Isaac's playing with a nice recording.

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Andy Culpepper, luthier
http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 8 2015 15:17:30
 
estebanana

Posts: 8345
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Here is one more try at showing the sound of the 1st Hinoki/Spruce guitar I have made.

Honestly, not a good camera but, the guitar is fine enough that you don't need a million dollar camera or mic to understand how good it is. When I can afford one and also buy all my shop supplies I'll get better equipment.

This guitar is really nice, it's bright, but warm, has an easy to hit sweet spot, has plenty of power and can also speak softly. It has a nice husky voice that sings. Trebles are clear and fully present. So much so that the first person who tried it put in on reserve within three minutes. Sale pending.

Pictures to follow for those who asked what Hinoki looks like.

Thank you.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2015 7:55:29
 
estebanana

Posts: 8345
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

A look at Hinoki wood. It's similar to Port Orford Cedar or Cypress with some grain line showing, may be a bit more :"creamy" natural color.











Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2015 8:08:40
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

It sounds great to me. And thanks for using a "normal" recording equipment.

I get so tired of visiting this forum because there´s someone ALWAYS capable of nickpicking our work, our recording system, our glasses, whatever.

Lovely wood. And hats of for using local wood.

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Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2015 8:10:29
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

I have in no way been nitpicking on any glasses, and even stressed it, so there be no mistaking.

Anders,

Your ill-mannered approach and steady suffering of ignorance, that is making you tired of the foro ...
I dare assuming where your sales would be without this plattform, but if it is so useless to your Highness, the self-tought know it all master, then just let it be.

Why on earth are you returning all the time from periods of recovery, only to again endure miserable cluelessness?
There just is no hope. No one will ever really fathom your genius or match your endless wisdom in guitar matters.
-

Stephen,

To my ears this recording, likely due to no close reflections, is telling much more about the guitar. It sounds clearly flamenco.
-

I am really sorry to have hurt your feelings before. It was not my intention to do so.

All the best,

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 11 2015 12:11:04
 
estebanana

Posts: 8345
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

quote:

Stephen,

To my ears this recording, likely due to no close reflections, is telling much more about the guitar. It sounds clearly flamenco.
-

I am really sorry to have hurt your feelings before. It was not my intention to do so.

All the best,

Ruphus


Thank you Ruphus, I hope we continue to have friendly relations on the Foro.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 1:14:36
 
estebanana

Posts: 8345
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

It sounds great to me. And thanks for using a "normal" recording equipment.

I get so tired of visiting this forum because there´s someone ALWAYS capable of nickpicking our work, our recording system, our glasses, whatever.

Lovely wood. And hats of for using local wood.


Thank you for voicing your understanding and support of using local woods. Us real guitar makers adapt and utilize the sustainable resources at hand.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 1:19:06
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Stephen,

It´s not about snobbish perspective, like me looking down my nose and telling people to get themselves finest of gear. That´s not my style.
(If you make a foro search on recording gear for instance, you will see advice from me on good picks in entry level and prosumer range, though personally owning upper shelf devices, for obtaining which -as a sound freak- I once used to sacrifice daily life budget.)
And besides, due to having to feed the dogs (who since the poisoning have a screwed metabolism and need even more fodder than dogs usually do) while local hyper inflation has made basic food a true luxury, I am living on pretty small footprint myself. -Actually seeing my personal diet, I bet hardly anyone else on the foro to be getting along as humbly. Let aside the massive fleecing I am going through here, which leaves me as no rake anyway.

The opportunity for making videos is not so ultimative between low-fi and expensive high-fi as you seem to think. Especially not since the last 3 -4 years or so. For just sound even since a longer time than that. (Good little recording gadgets available for little cash since mayb 8 years or so.)

Manufacturers of cell- and smart phones have meanwhile managed to produce incredible miniature features that allow for quite some photography and sound recording. I have been impressed by videos through iPhones, but am sure that much less expensive varieties from other brands will deliver comparably or just as well.

Such was what I had in mind. And as almost everybody (except of me who does not want one) seems to be getting himself a smart phone of some kind sooner or later, I suggested you to employ one for your demos.

Even though some appear able to discriminate instruments particularities from low-fi recordings, it can´t be denied that by logic of the matter pristine takes will help discerning distinctively better.

From there, the suggestion I made -to the contrary of any malicious niggling- was in a sense of provided presentation as good as possible.
It certainly won´t harm any luthier to have his guitars presented as realistically as possible for potential customers who either can´t try them live or may be triggered to visit shop after a first impression through online media.


In fact, personally drooling over a guitar which unfortunately is still overseas, just these days me was promissed to be receiving another, technically better recording of it soon. So that I can be even more excited in the anticipation of some day getting it into my hands.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 11:51:24
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Getting good sound is cheap nowadays, which makes it understandable when people complain about it.

The idea that you need to spend thousands is a thing of the past, specially when you can keep recording the video part with what you already use. One needs to know what to buy and how to use it, that's all.

100€ or less is enough to get good sounding recordings, which might explain why people get a little pissed when hearing a guitar that they are about to pay 3000€ for, recorded through 3€ audio recording equipment.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 14:40:48
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3225
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Sr. Martins

As a teenager in a previous geological era I got interested in hi-fi, and through the offices of a generous mentor I learned electronics and built my own equipment. At that time I was also fortunate to know professional symphony musicians, who made good money.

I noticed that none of the musicians had good sound systems, though they could have afforded much better equipment by paying only a little more. When I brought this up the answer was always, "No recording sounds like the real thing, so why waste money when you still have to use your imagination?"

Although much better sound equipment is widely available nowadays, it is still true that no recording sounds like the real thing. I say this while about $20,000 worth of carefully selected gear sits in my listening room.

Perception is not passive. All sensory perception requires at least a good deal of processing by the brain. Vision requires movement of the eyes, identifying an object by touch requires motion, etc. All perception is active. I think that skilled listeners like musicians and good luthiers are better at perceiving musical qualities from limited or even distorted recordings than the average person who has not honed their listening skills for this purpose.

Others, having honed their skills in listening for the faults of recording technique and recording and playback equipment, may concentrate more on these qualities of recorded sound.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 15:20:47
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Although much better sound equipment is widely available nowadays, it is still true that no recording sounds like the real thing.


IMO, you (and many others) are missing the point.

If you're selling something, it's all about the way you market your product and how you're efforts are perceived.

The sound of the guitar doesn't even matter, your presentation of your product matters. If in this day and age you refuse to spend a few bucks to make decent sounding videos and keep arguing with people who ask for those samples... well, I think (not me, your eventual customers) that says a lot about how things might go when dealing with you/your business.


This is nothing personal, just basic marketing 101.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 15:31:48
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Ahhh, thats what its about.
So you mean that if I could (I cant) stop being a grumpy and annoying old hippie-punk-scumbag and instead eat my happypills, cut my hair, smile my Colgathe smile, then I would be a rich, famous and reknowned luthier that everyone would be singing about when alone in the shower.
I think its better they just eat their happypills themselves and sing "oh what a wonderfull world".

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 16:06:30
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

So you mean that if I could (I cant) stop being a grumpy and annoying old hippie-punk-scumbag and instead eat my happypills, cut my hair, smile my Colgathe smile, then I would be a rich, famous and reknowned luthier that everyone would be singing about when alone in the shower.


No..

But if you "stop being a grumpy and annoying old hippie-punk-scumbag and instead eat my happypills, cut my hair, smile my Colgathe smile", then you will "stop being a grumpy and annoying old hippie-punk-scumbag and instead eat my happypills, cut my hair, smile my Colgathe smile".. that's all.

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"Ya no me conoce el sol, porque yo duermo de dia"
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 16:18:05
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3225
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Sr. Martins

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sr. Martins

IMO, you (and many others) are missing the point.



A reasonable conclusion, considering the "in reply to" line. But I just happened to click "reply" while reading your post, not intending to address your point specifically. I agree that the image a luthier projects on the net is important. There is at least one luthier, not on this forum, from whom I would hesitate to buy a guitar despite testimonials from recognized pro players, due to his egregious trolling on another forum in years past. One of his well known pro friends urged him to stop well before he did.

Said luthier has invested a lot of money in high end video and audio equipment. He says it is a hobby, but I suspect that using the equipment to sell guitars enters into his calculation. His Youtube uploads are professional, with excellent players. His guitars really sound beautiful. But I would not expect them to sound in real life the way they do in the videos, knowing some of the processing he applies to get that lovely sound.

I would be surprised if they didn't sound good in real life, just not exactly the same as in the videos.

However, for me at least, it wouldn't make much difference for the luthiers on this forum just to spend a few hundred bucks on better sound gear. There's a lot more to making a good demo.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 19:29:06
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

However, for me at least, it wouldn't make much difference for the luthiers on this forum just to spend a few hundred bucks on better sound gear. There's a lot more to making a good demo.


It's not about good and well produced demos, that might even result as a shot in the foot (in this particular business).

- You can even use the most colored microphone you can find but if you have a clear sound instead of the usual cheap-ass-low-bit-rate-full-of-artifacts, that works to your advantage.

Potential customers like to see/hear a clear presentation of any product.. because we're used to it! We're used to having HD videos for anykind of crap that is presented to us so, by comparison, you're already "losing" if your video/audio sucks.


- You want your customer to believe that you're not only crafty but also a very detail oriented person who will only use the best woods and materials..

..then you go and show them that you can't be bothered to spend 100€ to create better quality presentations of your products?

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"Ya no me conoce el sol, porque yo duermo de dia"
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 19:48:44
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1800
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Sr. Martins

I'm with Rui on this one. But suggest any further discussion on the matter is moved to the new
"Luthiers share your recording setups" thread, so that people can flick through this fine catalogue of new hand made guitars without having to skip through pages of discussion on recording gear...

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Ay compañerita de mi alma
tú ahora no me conoces.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 20:46:32
 
estebanana

Posts: 8345
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

-

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 12 2015 23:55:52
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3225
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Sr. Martins

I believe I understood you the first time. I was just pointing out that your generalization doesn't really apply to me. Could there be other exceptions?

But perhaps you are right about the conditioning of the general public by slick TV commercials.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 13 2015 0:37:43
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

I was just pointing out that your generalization doesn't really apply to me.


No, I didn't mean that. I get what you're saying and I only tried to expand on that.

quote:

the conditioning of the general public by slick TV commercials.


Exactly.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 13 2015 1:05:06
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 905
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

I think presenting yourself well is important too. I have recently paid for some wizz kids to do a make over on my business. A 'Re branding' as such. It's still going to be the same guitars though. Brands constantly market themselves and reinvent the wheel just to stay fresh otherwise we may get forgotten. I will let you know the results.

Of course though on the other side of things. You still have to be able to make a good guitar to sell it.

I am pretty useless at playing guitar and that is why I became a guitar maker. I wanted a career doing something creative with the guitar. I have a great ear but my fingers are too slow. You will never see a video of me demoing my own guitars because I cannot do them justice and in the end I feel will only put people off!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 13 2015 10:00:29
 
tijeretamiel

 

Posts: 438
Joined: Jan. 6 2012
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

Back to guitars....

Nice clean work Stephen, the Hinoki looks very nice indeed. I presume the spruce you use is imported? Have you ever come across any 'native' spruce in Japan? I think I read somewhere of a old Yamaha flamenco, I think it might have been Ezo/Yezo spruce.

What was the Port Orford Cedar like you made some guitars with? I post on an steel string guitar forum, and someone I exchange posts and messages with is going to make a blanca with POC soundboard, back, sides, and also the neck. The latter is something I am intrigued by, it's not something I have seen before. He's eager to use as much POC as the tree grew in his front garden!

Would it be possible to ask what the width of the saddle is on your guitar? I received a new guitar recently with a 1.7mm wide saddle which seems very narrow.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 13 2015 10:39:11
 
estebanana

Posts: 8345
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to tijeretamiel

quote:

Back to guitars....

Nice clean work Stephen, the Hinoki looks very nice indeed. I presume the spruce you use is imported? Have you ever come across any 'native' spruce in Japan? I think I read somewhere of a old Yamaha flamenco, I think it might have been Ezo/Yezo spruce.

What was the Port Orford Cedar like you made some guitars with? I post on an steel string guitar forum, and someone I exchange posts and messages with is going to make a blanca with POC soundboard, back, sides, and also the neck. The latter is something I am intrigued by, it's not something I have seen before. He's eager to use as much POC as the tree grew in his front garden!

Would it be possible to ask what the width of the saddle is on your guitar? I received a new guitar recently with a 1.7mm wide saddle which seems very narrow


First, thank you.

I use Spruce that is Engelmann or German, it comes from various places the usual vendors. Jim Frieson also supplied me with some nice top wood when I came to Japan, as a start up gift. He sometimes checks in and reads here. He is a nice guy who makes super fine guitars in Hokkaido, the Northern island.

Some people have used Port Orford for soundboards, but I prefer spruce. There was a Japanese maker who passed away that I heard about who used Hinoki for flamenco soundboards sometimes, and that has me intrigued, but have not done it yet. I think, just my opinion, Port Orford and Hinoki might make better Steel string soundboards, but then a few people have used it on flamencos with success.

There is spruce here, but I have yet to grab a good piece, there is also some nice pine, which looks very promising if you get a light board. I just roughed out a three piece viola top of salvaged pine, some Brescian violas were made with pine tops and I'm working on a Brescia model viola, the second one.

My saddle material is 2.5 to 3mm and I make the slot at 2.5 and fit the saddle. I've seen some thin saddles, as long as it supports the strings securely. Someone like Alan Carruth would probably have more technical data or insight about saddle thickness. He lurks on the other forums. But if the saddle holds the strings and does not chip it's probably ok. And if not ok can probably be replaced with a wider one.

I hope I answered all your questions. Write me if you need more detailed information on POC or Hinoki - or start a thread about it and I'll respond. I have pictures from the lumber mill that cut it for me, and more information. It's nice wood, it's plentiful, I like it.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 13 2015 13:55:09
 
tijeretamiel

 

Posts: 438
Joined: Jan. 6 2012
 

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to estebanana

Thanks for the reply Stephen,

Yes, I know of Jim Frieson, he posts on Delcamp and seems like an knowledgeable gentleman, sounds like a fantastic and generous gift.

The only POC blanca I have seen is one built by Tom Blackshear, and there's a video of it being played by Myrddin online which I really like the sound of. Good to hear the Hinoki is plentiful and available; it seems to fit in the way of Cypress for Spanish makers as it was cheaper and more available than the imported rosewoods in the early days of the flamenco guitar.

How's the Viola coming along? Do you have any plans to make another cello? I enjoyed seeing the build for that. I really love the cello as an instrument, wonderful sound.

Thanks for the info about your saddle. It's not something I ever noticed before, but I spent far more time in the last few days measuring and adjusting two saddles for my steel string guitars which drove me a bit insane for adjusting them to the radius of the fingerboards and have become a bit saddle crazy now!

I know what you mean about Alan Carruth, that guy is one man guidebook to technical aspects of the guitar, he pretty much wrote a really detailed reply to a question about intonation on Delcamp; a real honour to be able to access a mind like his.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 14 2015 11:05:31
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2955
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Tom Blackshear

New guitar finished. My Andaman Padauk negras have become pretty popular, and as a results my supply is dwindling I might have to think about charging a little more for them.
This is a nice one with a strong, clear, supported tone.









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Andy Culpepper, luthier
http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 20 2015 23:21:20
 
RTC

Posts: 667
Joined: Aug. 20 2008
From: DFW Area, Texas

RE: "Luthiers share your creati... (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Very nice guitar Andy.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 20 2015 23:49:12
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