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  1. #1

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    Formerly the My New Ms Lora/Mr Wu Project


    Hey Everyone !!

    I've been kinda quiet because with my new living arrangement my
    discretionary funds are quite limited. I had told Ms Lora for some time I wanted Mr Wu to build me something really very, very special. I had a basic design in mind, something with Byrdland dimensions but with a normal scale neck and instead of set in the top pickups one (or possibly two) floating pickups. Best woods possible and best inlays. A real stunner. I think after this project it might be some time before I can buy again. Any of your retired fellas know what I mean, money doesn't go quite as far as it used to and I feel the pinch more than ever.

    But that aside I contacted Ms Lora and what I am having made is a 17 x 2 1/4 rims (not including the thickness of the top or back), natural finish. A couple months ago a buddy of mine showed me a Campellone Special. Boy was I in love. So I asked Ms. Lora and I got a general quote for the job. I go back a ways with her and I actually own two Mr Wu guitars (I did not know this) already. The very early Eastman Prototype 810 I have was a Mr Wu made guitar (he remembered the back plates) and my Yunzhi YZ23 BigMike Special (a Pisano AR880 copy with floater) from 5 plus years ago Mr Wu also made (he was with Yunzhi at the time).

    Details: Mr Wu's name in chinese characters on the headstock, all other inlay work just like a M Campellone Special will be done by Mrs Wu. So while I am going back and forth with Lora about life and details on the guitar I stumble on an auction on eBay for a ebony pick guard off of a Campellone Special with a hand wound Kent Armstrong PAF-O pickup attached. Market must be real slow, I won the pick guard for $76.00. In person it's lovely. Here's some pics. Noticed the thickness of the maple slab (at the cutaway). So this is what's going on with me. Obviously as soon as I saw that back wood I was very excited. Ms Lora will send me progress shots as usual and I will keep you all posted. So glad to finally be doing this.

    Ms Lora/Mr Wu Special Project-p7124710-jpgMs Lora/Mr Wu Special Project-img_8501-jpgMs Lora/Mr Wu Special Project-back1-jpg
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 02-01-2016 at 03:34 AM. Reason: Termination of Relationship With This Site

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    ​I mentioned that I have two Mr. Wu made guitars already. I did not know that back in the early days of Eastman Mr. Wu was one of the star builders there. And then at Yunzhi too 5 years ago or so when I had the Pisano copy made. Here are the two guitars. You can see that the early Eastman 810 prototype was a dead copy of a Benedetto Manhattan. Those block inlays are stick ons and I just haven't gotten around to getting them taken off. I sent these photos telling Ms Lora how much I loved both of these guitars, she showed them to Mr Wu and he recognized the plates on the Eastman. I told her I wanted wood that special, no matter the cost.

    Ms Lora/Mr Wu Special Project-11986577_10153254732087239_2224140413162932507_n-jpgMs Lora/Mr Wu Special Project-12002325_10153254732102239_9015944202518841361_n-jpgMs Lora/Mr Wu Special Project-11224312_10153254757542239_912099380872305882_n-jpg

  4. #3

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    Now I'll be in that middle of the night check my emails mode (from my iPad) to see if Ms. Lora sent me pics. Dang this is gonna be cool !! I even put a tiled version of that wood shot as my screen saver. Think I am pumped ?!?! LOL !!

    Ms Lora/Mr Wu Special Project-12109064_10153276020702239_7396634147125099530_n-jpg
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 10-05-2015 at 11:02 AM.

  5. #4

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    Very cool Mike. Looking forward to the progress pictures. We're fortunate to live in an time where 'special' and 'affordable' can be used in the same sentence when it comes to archtops.

  6. #5

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    Lora must have been up very late, just as I was getting ready to walk my dog (08:10 EDT) I got a brief email with this updated photo. It appears that they have started the carving process (notice some of the beauty marks from the first photo are now carved away). SO excited...

    Ms Lora/Mr Wu Special Project-qq-22270-2925520151009185824-jpg

  7. #6

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    Ha ha. Yes, such a display of intelligence and humor. Except that almost everyone I've shown it to has come up with about the same thing.

    When I had that headstock done Lora sent me a clip of Mr. Wu's name pronouncement. Can't seem to find it right now though. No it doesn't sound anything like "Frank" or "Gibson". It's an inspiring instrument. Everything about it. Lora has a pretty voice too.
    Last edited by geoffsct; 10-10-2015 at 03:51 PM.

  8. #7

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    Considering what Mr Wu and Mrs Wu will be making for me it seemed only fitting that THEIR name be on the headstock, not something else. I'm sure the finished guitar will speak for itself when completed.


    On another wholly serious note, my 92 year old Mom, Georgia Hale, broke her hip sitting down awkwardly on the toilet seat. She has hip replacement surgery Sunday at 11am Chicago time. Please keep my Mom Georgia Hale in your prayers... I really would appreciate it.

    Big


    \\

  9. #8

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    She'll probably do great Mike. That's such a common procedure lately. My mom is about the same age & she's still out there on the golf course! They're like teenagers these days.

  10. #9

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    ​I have to use a local Senior Center bus to get my shopping done and I'm with a bunch of them, some of the ladies I'm tightest with are in their early 90s and they amaze me. My Mom, God Bless her, has really bad habits, she would rather nap and then sit watching tv. I keep explaining to her how my recent divorce and walking the dog every day has greatly increased my general well being, lowered my blood pressure and helped with my labored breathing... She's like all us Hale's, we're stubborn as can be. She's in a good location though so I am hopeful. As gruff as I am at times I'm such a wuss when it comes to my Mom. I appreciate all your well wishes and prayers folks...

    NOW. Time to wait for the next photo updates !!! That's right, let's get this here thread rolling !! I expect probably to see pics of the carved top and then of the body being assembled (minus the neck). Ya'll should do this at least once just to be constantly excited by the whole progress shots. Things have come a long way in 5 plus years and Mr Wu has really excelled at his craft... I AM truly pumped.

    Big

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ
    Considering what Mr Wu and Mrs Wu will be making for me it seemed only fitting that THEIR name be on the headstock, not something else. I'm sure the finished guitar will speak for itself when completed.


    On another wholly serious note, my 92 year old Mom, Georgia Hale, broke her hip sitting down awkwardly on the toilet seat. She has hip replacement surgery Sunday at 11am Chicago time. Please keep my Mom Georgia Hale in your prayers... I really would appreciate it.

    Big


    \\

    Hi, Mike,

    My best wishes for you Mom.

    Yours
    Lora

  12. #11

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    thanks Lora,

    you are a true friend.

    Big

  13. #12

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    Hi Mike,The new build looks terrific. It's nice to know that I already owned a Mr.Wu. You could have had Campellone in Chinese on the headstock.Mark doesn't speak the language. I think. Can't wait to see the three together on the deck. Our prayers and wishes to your mother.

  14. #13

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    Prayers, best wishes, mojo coming over for your mom

  15. #14

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    Archtop Guy, thanks for the compliment (he sold me the Eastman Prototype way back when), it's weird how people gotta have an American name on the headstock to want something. And one of the Eastman reps in the states told me back then Eastman had no one that could do inlay, thus no names on the old prototype headstocks. LOL but true.

    Mom had a very scary Sunday, my sister got in there Sunday night and Mom had a good night's sleep and I got to talk to her via my sister's speakerphone. So I'm much more positive feeling than last night. Hopefully her heart rate stabilizes and they do the hip replacement today or Tuesday. At 92 surviving a hip transplant is dicey... So keep those good thoughts coming. This thread will likely get quiet until I hear again with progress reports and photos. Thanks to everyone.

    Big

  16. #15

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    Mike,
    I am sorry to hear about your Mom. To be able to withstand all that trauma at her age would be amazing.
    I wish the best for you her. And you too by the way.
    Stay strong buddy.
    Joe D.

  17. #16

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    Best of luck with your Mom's medical challenges, Mike.

  18. #17

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    One thing I like about this place, as crazy as we get when someone is having a serious issue everyone shows how classy they are. Thanks John for the PM and thank you guys for the encouraging words... Appreciate it.

    Big
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 10-12-2015 at 10:35 PM.

  19. #18

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    Ok, well I was sweating it big time and my sister texted me this about an hour sooner than I thought my Mom would be going in for her surgery, it was dicey as hell all day, her pulse kept racing and then flagging. She didn't get why she was there, or why my sister was there, or what happened to her. Then the docs decided it was no or never, the longer you wait the less chance someone of her age and poor health survives this declines very rapidly. Then I got THIS little gem:

    Good news from Chicago:
    Moms surgeon just came
    out and said she did good. He put two rods/pins in her leg. She is in post op now.

    Barb says Mom will likely have her rehab at the hospital which is great.
    I'm so glad she just is still alive

    My Mom has this phobia about being in anything like a convalescent home, so does my godfather. So the doc said she can have her rehab, about 10 days of it if lucky, right there at the hospital in the same rehab facility she was in in July and then again in August when she had her two TIA's then... This is huge.

    AGAIN thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers and PMs. I thought for sure I was gonna lose her today. Every day is a Blessing, go hug anyone you love, call those you haven't spoken to in a while. Nothing is Promised...


    Big

  20. #19

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    Great news Mike!

  21. #20

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    That's wonderful Mike. Glad to hear it.

  22. #21

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    Hey Big~

    Looks like you are once again on the hunt for another beautiful, custom archtop from Yolanda Team, et al.

    I'm confident that they will build their 'Big'-est US cheerleader a magnificent instrument.

    All the best to you and your mom. You've had your own life challenges, yet maintain that Big Mike positive spirit that is infectious.

    Take care, and keep us posted...on both fronts.

    Tim

  23. #22

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    Tim you old rascal you.

    You know my back deck here in Jersey is very conducive to guys with chops like you plugging in and playing my gear. Remember how you used to rock that little oceanfront valley I lived in when you came over. My pizza making skills have improved a bit too buddy !! Thanks for the encouragement. Hope all is well with you and the wife.

    Mike

  24. #23

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    Glad to see this joint back up and running. Speaking of backup(s) this thread took a bit of a hit.
    So most important, my Mom is in a great rehab facility, her hip is slowly mending. She's far more with it than last week, she's got an appetite, and she's a little grouchy. When my Mom is a little grouchy that's good news. She gets PT once a day and every time I talk to her she's a little perkier

    On the guitar front I got this shot of the top, since the crash of the site it's been glued together, the shape cut and then carved. Lora's visiting family in the country and alls well. I figure around November 1st she'll be back and there might be update photos.

    be well, missed ya'll.

    Big

    Ms Lora/Mr Wu Special Project-image-jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images Ms Lora/Mr Wu Special Project-image-jpg 
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 10-24-2015 at 11:51 PM.

  25. #24

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    Good to hear from you, Big. Good news about your Mom. May her recovery be speedy and thorough!

  26. #25

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    You look at the number of threads that rave about Ibanez jazz guitars. Well, guess what people thought of them 30-40 years ago. You'd have gotten laughed at playing a Ibanez 335, L5, JS or Byrdland copy in the 70s until people heard you plug it in and play it.

    Eastman broke some pretty good ground switching from making just
    violins, violas and cellos to making arch tops. And they've come up with some very interesting variation like the Pagelli series, the ElRey's, The Pisano models, their twist on 335 style guitars with the T184-6 models and of course their flat top acoustics are nothing to sneeze at. And the best of the craftsman from the original company wanted a better life for themselves and branched out on their own eventually and they EARNED it. I think working with Mr Wu is like cutting to the front of the line and getting the best guy there is at the moment to make your guitar YOUR WAY. I can't wait for more updates on this Byrdland/Campellone Dream Guitar...

    I gotta say I really missed the place when the service provider was having troubles. Sure good to see Jack talking about his latest buys and all you other guys posting...

    Big