Friday, December 25, 2009

Laminate Guitars in the Works

I've been getting a lot of e-mail researching laminate archtops. Linda Manzer and I are in the process (albeit slow process) of making our own laminate material. In the interim I am starting two laminate archtops on spec using wonderful Finnish material from over 45 years ago. The tops will be decided after I have the frames finished and backs attached. I will either use laminate tops or if someone is interested, I will carve a solid top for at least one of them.
One will be a full size 16" model, 14 fret neck joint with X brace and single pickup with ebony appointments and the other will be a 14 1/2" model with 15 fret neck joint, spanish cedar channeled block for feedback control and two pickups with exotic rosewood appointments including tailpiece as seen on the archtop on my site (unless the guitar is sold prior to completion with customer mods). I will post pictures on the guitars as they come along. The materials for both of them are superb and assuming I do my job right, they'll be a nice pair when they are done!

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have on these or any other instruments.

Also the Sarola (or Sarello) is in finishing now and will be something to behold once complete. In keeping with it's unique nature it is getting a finish that will be a work of art in itself. Mark Korven, the owner, played me a few recorded pieces done while the instrument was missing a large side section but strung up. Once done I will be sure to upload some pieces!

So I hope you all have a fantastic New Year and take care of one another! - Tony

Cool article on my good friend Hari Sihvo

Article says it all!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sarola continues.....

Here are a couple of recent pictures of the developing Sarola.... It has already gone through another upheaval since this picture a week a ago but I will save that for later when it is back together. The instrument has been in a modular configuration throughout the process so I can keep taking it apart for any changes to the neck attachments. Eventually it will all be glued together and the cutaway side glued in. Right now I have eight sympathetics coming through the fingerboard like a sarangi with friction pegs..... This picture however has 12 'symps' with steinberger tuners, which proved to be too heavy and had an adverse affect to the tone. You have to try to find out!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gerard Mcvay composition

Hi Tony,

Feel free to post this on your web site. It is an original composition from 1991, played on the laminate archtop you crafted in 2007. I love the resonance and sustain of this fine instrument. The guitars action is effortless.

I am playing on this clip with Tomastik medium gauge strings through a Acoustic Image Focus amp connected to a 12-inch Raezer's Edge cabinet.



2009 Montreal Guitar Show!!!

Here are three of the five instruments I had with me in Montreal for the amazing Montreal Guitar Show which wrapped up on July 5th and was an incredible success for all those who participated and all those that ran the event with the precision of a swiss watch!
Congrats to all for such an amazing event.
Special thanks to Bill Garrett who performed a beautiful mini concert at the event with my guitars. He is a class act. He was originally going to accompany Hari Sihvo who had to bow out with health issues but is ready to give it a go next year when he is back in fine form!!
Thanks to all who stopped by my table at the show and played my instruments. That is what
they are made for and there were some real virtuosos that took the time to play them. I will resist dropping names and appearing cheap and opportunistic!
Another highlight for me was an interview for an upcoming book that takes a look at the field of instrument making from an anthropological perspective.
I look forward to reading this in depth perspective on the craft when it is out there for public consumption. Thanks to Kathryn Dudley for taking the time to look into our world!

Well that is all for now but I am sure there will be more news to share soon. have a wonderful summer!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sarola in the Works

Here is Mark Korven checking out the 'Sarola' while we can still get inside through the cutaway and modify bracing and add reinforcement for upcoming sympathetic strings.
This is a hybrid of a cello and the traditional indian sarangi. Eventually I will have links to soundfiles of the very talented Mark playing this instrument as well as more pictures. First though it must be completed!!!
I will be picking up from where we are now, once I have the guitars being built for the 2009 Montreal Guitar Show prepped for finishing. Phew... what a busy spring.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pre spring adventures

Tony Duggan-Smith - Mark Kett - Pat Metheny - Linda Manzer - Joe Yanuziello

Taken in New York in late January at the release of the limited Manzer/Metheny guitar series on which we all worked in various capacities.

Linda Manzer- an incredible feat of building!
Pat Metheny - R&D and inlay designs
Mark Kett - all the fabulous inlay work
Joe Yanuziello - the superb finishing job on the guitars
Me (Tony) - planing, fretting and set ups (not sit ups)

Paul Simon was one of the first customers to buy one and the event was very well received with wonderful musicians attending including the very talented Steve Cardenas. Congrats Linda!!!!

Also had the chance to spend some quality time with good friend, Carol Kaye of Kayos productions talking about guitars, music, life and everything in between. She is a class act and anyone serious about promoting their entertainment careers in the USA should seriously consider her services, assuming she has time!

Now back to work on a prototype 'Sarola'. Half cello - half sarangi, this hybrid will be strung up any day now and my shop readied to plow ahead with three new guitars for the fabulous Montreal Guitar Show in July. Pictures to follow!