Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Going Bespoke (Part II)

Work has started on the new guitar (see blog below for more details). Here, Roger Bucknall is choosing the wood for the back and sides, by going through a few piles of 'Rio' (which used to be known as Brazilian Rosewood before it became environmentally contentious to use it for instruments and such like).


This particular Rio is quite legal and fully licensed - I mention this because I don't want Greenpeace kicking the door down in a morning raid, thinking I've breached some sort of international agreement with Brazil.
So why choose the more expensive option of Rio for the guitar's back and sides? Well, basically it was because my ears told me to. Let me explain... On a standard Fylde Falstaff  the back and sides are made from carefully selected Indian Rosewood. This particular wood is very good at its job of providing a sturdy 'box' to support the guitar's more flexible spruce soundboard and I was quite prepared to have it on mine... Until, that is, I played an instrument with Rio back and sides. 
It's difficult to describe the difference - it's a bit like banging on about wine - how a Chateau Whatever '59 differs from the more excellent '62. But it did make one heck of a change to the character of the sound - at least, to these tired old ears. The only way I can describe it is that, dynamically and tonally speaking, Indian Rosewood gave me five gears - but Rio was the equivalent of upgrading to a six gear sports box. Whatever it was doing, it made the whole guitar sing - I could feel every note I played as well as hear it and so I just had to include it in the recipe for my new instrument.
The saga continues... watch for further updates soon!

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