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  1. #1

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    This one has been in the works since late August.

    It's 18" by 3.5" in depth...a big archtop. The design is based on a 'little of this, a little of that'

    Here's beginning to current photo updates in 3 different shading stages below:

















    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 01-09-2016 at 04:15 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Greg,

    That is bad ass! When you get it home, I want to come visit! Maybe get some coaching to have one made for me? You're awesome dude. BTW, I like the color, but you know what you want.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by skykomishone View Post
    Greg,

    That is bad ass! When you get it home, I want to come visit! Maybe get some coaching to have one made for me? You're awesome dude. BTW, I like the color, but you know what you want.
    It will be a bit...I've requested to allow it extra drying time, so no rush to get it finished.

    Mr. Wu nailed the shape I was after, and the Cupid's bow and inlays brought a smile.







    edit - later photo update displays the shading is as close to my original request as one could reasonably expect. I prefer darker shadings, especially with white edge, fretboard, and headstock binding, which will reveal itself in time.
    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 01-09-2016 at 06:59 PM.

  5. #4

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    Cool.
    Is this going to be a FOTCABNBNGD (Fly Over To China AirBnB NGD)?

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by travisty View Post
    Cool.
    Is this going to be a FOTCABNBNGD (Fly Over To China AirBnB NGD)?
    Maybe, you buy in' bro?

  7. #6
    Premature on my part. First photos were only preliminary paint stages. Later photos display the color meets my standards exactly.




















    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 01-09-2016 at 12:19 AM.

  8. #7

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    Wow ... beautiful !

    It looks like leather.

    It sure won't sound like it.

  9. #8

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    Wow. Ive been reading these "Mr Wu" threads with great interest. Must be a lot of fun following a build for a custom-ordered guitar. This one already looks stunning.
    Jared

  10. #9

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    Love that color! Beautiful guitar!
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    Maybe, you buyin' bro?
    Not this time. Though it looks the bees knees.
    Might have to do one of these myself.

  12. #11

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    looks awesome 2b!

    There is something really satisfying with having your guitar build to your own specs. I hope it lives up to everything you want from it!

    We say "anticipated joy is the pures form of joy" ... so enjoy waiting for it to be finished!

  13. #12

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    That is a great looking guitar and a fabulous sunburst. Is it 25.5 scale 22 frets? my eyes aren't so good these days. All you need now is a Super 400 tailpiece.

  14. #13

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    Wow that really is very nice !! In some of the later shots there is a blond cutaway guitar in the right upper hand background, at 2am I was wondering if that was mine now in it's first spray stages. Hmmmm


    Really nice, a real monster !!

  15. #14

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    Bro, you are going 2b doing cartwheels when that comes home.
    It looks incredible. I am seeing a black finger style tailpiece, Kent Armstrong 12 pole, a piezo in the bridge, stereo out and Ebony Gotoh tuners.
    oh sorry, I just built my own guitar..
    i love it bro.
    Joe D

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Dedalus View Post
    Wow. Ive been reading these "Mr Wu" threads with great interest. Must be a lot of fun following a build for a custom-ordered guitar. This one already looks stunning.
    I've been on the waters edge for years. Jump in the waters fine!

    Quote Originally Posted by Para View Post
    That is a great looking guitar and a fabulous sunburst. Is it 25.5 scale 22 frets? my eyes aren't so good these days. All you need now is a Super 400 tailpiece.
    Yes on 25.5 scale and 22 frets.

    The nod to a Super 4' is it's depth. It ends there. But they're a fabulous tailpiece I'd never place on anything but a Super 400

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe DeNisco View Post
    Bro, you are going 2b doing cartwheels when that comes home.
    It looks incredible. I am seeing a black finger style tailpiece, Kent Armstrong 12 pole, a piezo in the bridge, stereo out and Ebony Gotoh tuners.
    oh sorry, I just built my own guitar..
    i love it bro.
    Joe D
    You're warm on the tailpiece option bro. But I'm taking a shot at having a solid Ebony created first. Hope to see it soon. You nailed the tuners!
    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 01-09-2016 at 03:43 PM.

  17. #16
    Okay, beginning to look like an archtop




  18. #17

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    It's gorgeous. Would love to order a custom build in the future if for no other reason than to enjoy the "process."
    Even vicariously it's a fun ride.
    Jared

  19. #18

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    That is a fabulous sunburst.

  20. #19

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    Really sweet ! The bigger the car the better the ride. If you don't mind me asking the cost of your new Big Bertha ?
    I like the reverse S400 neck inlays and the Jimmy f-holes and of course I am a sunburst guy too.

  21. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k View Post
    Really sweet ! The bigger the car the better the ride. If you don't mind me asking the cost of your new Big Bertha ?
    I like the reverse S400 neck inlays and the Jimmy f-holes and of course I am a sunburst guy too.
    About the cost of a dozen pro setups, and 3 sets of TI GB14's bro!

  22. #21

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    2B:

    Nice design details.

    The top at the cutaway center is thicker, so presumably you ordered the top to be first carved and then the cutaway cut, I like that. The re curve is deep. That should improve sonority. 25.5 scale and 3.5 rims, plus an impressive finish, make yours a very classy and classic instrument, though unique.

    Plus your ability to get through with your design requirements benefit all:

    You get a superb instrument.

    The WU family got an incentive to expand their craft venturing to try industry standards that are in demand. They might receive more orders now thanks to your direction and their willingness to learn by doing.

    And we consumers can also benefit.

    So you deserve not only congratulations but also thanks!!!

  23. #22

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    Mr.2b is da man !!!

  24. #23

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    That's going 2b an amazing guitar.
    Have fun buddy.
    Joe D

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by gcb View Post
    2B:

    Nice design details.

    The top at the cutaway center is thicker, so presumably you ordered the top to be first carved and then the cutaway cut, I like that. The re curve is deep. That should improve sonority. 25.5 scale and 3.5 rims, plus an impressive finish, make yours a very classy and classic instrument, though unique.

    Plus your ability to get through with your design requirements benefit all:

    You get a superb instrument.

    The WU family got an incentive to expand their craft venturing to try industry standards that are in demand. They might receive more orders now thanks to your direction and their willingness to learn by doing.

    And we consumers can also benefit.

    So you deserve not only congratulations but also thanks!!!
    Hi gcb!

    Thank you for the encouraging words! This is fun!

    But truth is, Lora's been holding my hand every step of the way. This isn't her first rodeo, or set of chopsticks!

    Lora has the patience of Confucius, and one seriously good translation program!

    I'm not desiring perfection...but honestly, thus far I've been blown away with Mr. Wu's skill set.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    I've been on the waters edge for years. Jump in the waters fine!


    Yes on 25.5 scale and 22 frets.

    The nod to a Super 4' is it's depth. It ends there. But they're a fabulous tailpiece I'd never place on anything but a Super 400



    You're warm on the tailpiece option bro. But I'm taking a shot at having a solid Ebony created first. Hope to see it soon. You nailed the tuners!
    2Bop,Love the latest photos of the burst. You spoke of an ebony tailpiece. But I don't think I see an ebony spacer in the binding. Are you using something with a metal base?

  27. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Archtop Guy View Post
    2Bop,Love the latest photos of the burst. You spoke of an ebony tailpiece. But I don't think I see an ebony spacer in the binding. Are you using something with a metal base?
    Thanks ATG!

    Yes...metal base is the plan...in the spirit of the metal plate of the Buscarino tailpiece I had Aaron Cowles install on one Heritage Super Kenny Burrell...I'm rolling the dice and going blind with a tailpiece crafted from a solid block of ebony. What have I to lose? The worst thing that could happen is to later install a fingerstyle or other style tailpiece on this side of the pond...No guts no glory!

    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 01-27-2016 at 08:26 PM.

  28. #27

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    Coming right along my friend.

    Guys until you DO one or two of these yourselves don't underestimate what Lora adds to the process of making sure she understands what you are asking for and translating it to Mr Wu. She's not just a pretty face in the process, she really does everything to make sure you are happy. And I confirm she has the patience of Confucius.

    2B, in your case it looks like the lacquer has dried and he's scraped all the bindings clean and polished them up (a stark contrast to your last photos), also the extra headstock inlay work was also done. WOW it's so nice.

    I half expect updates myself any time now... Hubba hubba. I half expect similar detail updates such as remaining headstock inlay work and ???? Let me locate my crystal ball.

    I wake 3-4 times a night to let a cat out and hit the bathroom. After everything is quiet again I check my bedside table iPad to see if there is an update. Should I find one it's HOURS before I can get back to sleep. Lately I'm going over my last batch of photos and ogling the flamed out wood and the workmanship.

    Mike
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 01-27-2016 at 10:10 PM.

  29. #28

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    Beautiful color. Love the split-block inlays and s-holes. Perfect choices. The more I look at archtops as I get old, I think s-holes are by far the superior aesthetic, they reflect the larger body shape. But, jmo.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    Okay, beginning to look like an archtop





    Holy moly that looks amazing!!!

    It it must be so tough as a builder (let alone a builder who speaks a different language!!) to send out photos of the process. How many people know what an archtop looks like through every stage of construction. Anyway, my point is they must have to do a lot of hand holding along the way. Dear client, I promise this is what it should look like at this point, it will be amazing when completed, trust me.


    And they delivered, big time!!!

  31. #30

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    This is really breath taking !


    Quote Originally Posted by gcb View Post
    The top at the cutaway center is thicker, so presumably you ordered the top to be first carved and then the cutaway cut, I like that.
    I am wondering too ... Did you order the top to be carved first ?

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by gcb View Post
    2B:

    Nice design details.

    The top at the cutaway center is thicker, so presumably you ordered the top to be first carved and then the cutaway cut, I like that. The re curve is deep. That should improve sonority. 25.5 scale and 3.5 rims, plus an impressive finish, make yours a very classy and classic instrument, though unique.

    Plus your ability to get through with your design requirements benefit all:

    I don't know how you guys came to that conclusion. I know when I ordered my Campellone Special Copy that Ms Lora sent me photos of the plates she had Mr Wu carefully look for. The top plate already was cut with the cutaway. Maybe my old eyes just are failing me. Whatever it is 2B's Bertha project surely is rocking !!!!! I was thinking he started his project at least a month before me, his in late August, mine in late September, early October.

    And your tailpiece option, years ago I had Steve Holst build me a couple tailpieces, I didn't specify how just what I wanted them to look like. No brass or metal plate was used to attach them to (as many guitar manufacturers and builders like Eastman/Wu use) but he used two pieces of wood hinged with a metal pin. Enjoy these old photos

    Current Mr. Wu 18" archtop build-p7290033-jpgCurrent Mr. Wu 18" archtop build-p2160007-jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images Current Mr. Wu 18" archtop build-qq-20151021093300-jpg 
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 01-28-2016 at 01:28 PM.

  33. #32

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    How to you get on this Mr.Wu train ? I want to hop aboard.

  34. #33

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    ​Now you're talking Vinny... I'll PM you Lora's userid here.

    http://www.yolandateam.com
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 01-28-2016 at 02:40 PM.

  35. #34

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    Sweet 2b. Aren't you concerned that adding pickups, hardware and strings will ruin the appearance?

  36. #35

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    Way to go Greg! You the man! Love the update.

    Thanks, Steve

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ View Post

    I don't know how you guys came to that conclusion. I know when I ordered my Campellone Special Copy that Ms Lora sent me photos of the plates she had Mr Wu carefully look for. The top plate already was cut with the cutaway. Maybe my old eyes just are failing me. Whatever it is 2B's Bertha project surely is rocking !!!!! I was thinking he started his project at least a month before me, his in late August, mine in late September, early October.

    And your tailpiece option, years ago I had Steve Holst build me a couple tailpieces, I didn't specify how just what I wanted them to look like. No brass or metal plate was used to attach them to (as many guitar manufacturers and builders like Eastman/Wu use) but he used two pieces of wood hinged with a metal pin. Enjoy these old photos

    Current Mr. Wu 18" archtop build-p7290033-jpgCurrent Mr. Wu 18" archtop build-p2160007-jpg
    Hi Big Mike,
    Thanks for your comment.
    What I notice from the pics is that the top of 2Bs guitar is thicker in the center of the cutaway area. It gets gradually thinner on a downward slope from the area adjacent to the neck to the left, extending over the perimeter of the rims. Like in Gibson carved archtops.
    This seems to be one design quoted by Benedetto where the top and back plates are carved symetrically as if there is no cutaway. Normally ending in stiffer tops.
    Of course I can understand your point as meaning that this very result could be arrived at by doing the carving after the cutaway is cut. And I agree.
    That´s why I said “presumably.” My logic being that in production one could build and carve non cutaway plates and then as needed do the cut and final tuning depending on how many cutaways and non cutaways are ordered. But not the other way round. In a one by one case, it could be in any order.
    The point I wanted to make from the pics is that in the normal Yunzhi design,the thickness of top and back plates over the rims is uniform. I checked this difference between my L5 studios an my Yunzhi. In this respect 2B’s seem to be a crossbreed between a Gibson and a Yunzhi. Very unique.
    By the way, I see that you have a new Yunzhi Project ongoing. Wish you the best!
    Last edited by gcb; 01-28-2016 at 04:05 PM. Reason: missing spaces between words

  38. #37

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    I looked those new photos over real close and saw the binding on 2B's is fatter in the middle of the cutaway, ala say a Super 400. I checked my Campy Special copy progress shots and mine is more in the Benny shape, the binding is a consistent thickness... Check out that flamed out neck.

    Cool talking with you.

    Big
    Current Mr. Wu 18" archtop build-qq-20160113124602-jpg

  39. #38

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    Hey thanks a lot BigMike !!! awesome axes for the money for sure.

  40. #39

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    Big Mike,

    that guitar is a real beauty.


    Like the neck flame and how the neck extension is cut. Neat.

    Nice talking to you also.

  41. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by ESCC View Post
    Sweet 2b. Aren't you concerned that adding pickups, hardware and strings will ruin the appearance?
    Was it Guild that coined the phrase "made to be played?"

    Quote Originally Posted by gcb View Post
    Hi Big Mike,
    Thanks for your comment.
    What I notice from the pics is that the top of 2Bs guitar is thicker in the center of the cutaway area. It gets gradually thinner on a downward slope from the area adjacent to the neck to the left, extending over the perimeter of the rims. Like in Gibson carved archtops.
    This seems to be one design quoted by Benedetto where the top and back plates are carved symetrically as if there is no cutaway. Normally ending in stiffer tops.
    Of course I can understand your point as meaning that this very result could be arrived at by doing the carving after the cutaway is cut. And I agree.
    That´s why I said “presumably.” My logic being that in production one could build and carve non cutaway plates and then as needed do the cut and final tuning depending on how many cutaways and non cutaways are ordered. But not the other way round. In a one by one case, it could be in any order.
    The point I wanted to make from the pics is that in the normal Yunzhi design,the thickness of top and back plates over the rims is uniform. I checked this difference between my L5 studios an my Yunzhi. In this respect 2B’s seem to be a crossbreed between a Gibson and a Yunzhi. Very unique.
    By the way, I see that you have a new Yunzhi Project ongoing. Wish you the best!
    Thanks all for the support and encouragement. A big thumbs up to Lora, Mr. Wu and his spouse, for taking on a project beyond what they've been requested to produce before.

    Good eyes Big Mike! "Crossbreed"...hey, I like that!
    I said, a "little of this, a little of that."

    Think "guitar gumbo!" Hey, grandfather was from Louisiana so I've creole in the blood

    Here's better pics on the cutaway just arrived today.

    After placing the order, where I was holding my breath was requesting the "cupids bow." From my desktop perspective that seems to have turned out pretty decent.

    The biggest remaining "design" challenge, as pertains to my overall vision, is the tailpiece. But I have to say, design wise, Mr Wu has nailed everything on the dozen or so items of my design list. Aesthetically, I'm very impressed.












  42. #41
    Okay, by now some of you may, or may not, have figured out what the overall design is. I desired an archtop whose combined elements gave a nod to several iconic guitar makers - Gibson, Benedetto, and D'Aquisto to name a few.

    Corny? Perhaps, but it's different. Let's see how she sounds.

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by xuoham View Post
    This is really breath taking !

    I am wondering too ... Did you order the top to be carved first ?
    Hi Xuoham!

    Yes, and for me it was most important to get the top shape as close to the design as possible. Although not exact, the shape of the top's cutaway gives a slight nod to a D'Aquisto NY'er. Some may have guessed that?

  44. #43

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    It looks really amazing 2b. You got me going..

    I am seriously thinking of doing something like that. I would like an 18" Blonde Johnny Smith. The white blonde, not the yellow blond. 25" scale. Just a Rose on the big Gibson headstock and one on the ebony pickguard. Finger Tailpiece. Could probably even use your pattern. Just add F-Holes. Kinda like that rare Heritage 18" JS. I might do it. I'll call it the "Ronny Smith"..

    Big Mike, how do they play? Do they require a major fret level/polish when you receive them? Are they stable? Sorry for asking all these questions.

    Joe D

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    Was it Guild that coined the phrase "made to be played?"
    Indeed it was!Very nice pics!

  46. #45

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    I don't mind answering questions at all. I'm so pleased to see some of what I think of as the heavy hitters here getting ready to try it !!

    Keep in mind I have not bought from Lora in 6 years. My John Pisano copy needed some fret end dressing and not much else. I chose to replace the chinese electronics with a Bartolini 5J and Schatten hidden controls. But watching all the build threads here and at ICW before I became a member here I gotta say Mr Wu has really taken his craft a long ways. And Ms Lora too, has really taken what she does and she's working with Mr. Wu and they really drive themselves to do the ultimate best they can. And now with Mrs. Wu doing the crazy nice inlay, that Blue Tulip motif on Bertha is mind blowing... So watch my thread when I get my Campy Special Copy and I'll fill you in. I don't expect to have my tech do much more than install TI GB12 flats and set her up and install the Campellone made pick guard I scored on eBay (with a Kent Armstrong hand wound PAF 0 on it...)... check out their website and use one of the models that suits you as the template. And now that 2B has this 18 inch monster working you can tell Lora you want something along those lines (send her photos) in 18 inches and if you can supply photos of the Rose you want used do that. Pictures go a long way compared to words...

    I'm pleased as heck for ya Joe and Vinny...

    Big

    Handmade Jazz guitar supplier in China---Yolanda Team

  47. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe DeNisco View Post
    It looks really amazing 2b. You got me going..

    I am seriously thinking of doing something like that. I would like an 18" Blonde Johnny Smith. The white blonde, not the yellow blond. 25" scale. Just a Rose on the big Gibson headstock and one on the ebony pickguard. Finger Tailpiece. Could probably even use your pattern. Just add F-Holes. Kinda like that rare Heritage 18" JS. I might do it. I'll call it the "Ronny Smith"..

    Big Mike, how do they play? Do they require a major fret level/polish when you receive them? Are they stable? Sorry for asking all these questions.

    Joe D
    Thank you Joe!

    I loved that blonde 18" HJS! I almost pulled the trigger on it before the good Dr. snapped it up on the Heritage forum.

    This is the second 18", that I'm aware, requested of Mr. Wu. The first was in the shape of a Super 400 some 18 or so months ago....or that guitar, a blonde, may have been a Yunzhi build...I can't recall. It was forum member " silastcb" from this thread that convinced me building an 18" presents no challenge to either Yunzhi or Mr. Wu.

    https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/guita...tml#post325963

    Lora is really skilled in Photoshop. I'd think she'd have little difficulty re-producing the Rose inlays. I say that based upon the Tulip inlay in the headstock of this guitar is based upon a simple color photograph.

    What are you waiting for bro!

    Fret level and polishing is an anticipated given. But considering the minimal cost, I think of it as part of the initial setup. I'll have the luthier install the '1100 at that time.
    Last edited by 2bornot2bop; 01-28-2016 at 06:43 PM.

  48. #47

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    How did you find Mr. Wu in the first place? Amazing looking guitar btw!

    This may sound a bit unusual but I would like a custom guitar built as a nylon archtop style with a shorter scale, say 620 mm or so, with a cutaway, spruce or cedar top, and whatever amplification system would work to get towards jazzy nylon tone. Could Mr. Wu do this type of custom work?

    Your girl here looks rather big and bold. Eighteen inches plus the depth - that is a lot of guitar!

  49. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    How did you find Mr. Wu in the first place? Amazing looking guitar btw!

    This may sound a bit unusual but I would like a custom guitar built as a nylon archtop style with a shorter scale, say 620 mm or so, with a cutaway, spruce or cedar top, and whatever amplification system would work to get towards jazzy nylon tone. Could Mr. Wu do this type of custom work?

    Your girl here looks rather big and bold. Eighteen inches plus the depth - that is a lot of guitar!
    Mr. Wu, in his association with either Yunzhi or Yolanda Guitar (?), has been mentioned on the forum for some time. Lora moved from Yolanda Guitar, a while back, and seems I recall Mr. Wu left either Yunzhi, or Yolanda Guitar, to begin on his own? My memory fails me. I'd imagine Big Mike can fill in blanks on that, but I've known of Lora's expertise from having worked with several here on the forum for several years.

    When Lora chose to sign on with Mr. Wu I figured she must have complete confidence in him.

    I'd recommend placing an email with your specifics to Lora directly. I'll PM Lora's email to you.

    I'm a big bottom lover! Oh yeah, she's got that umph!

  50. #49

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    Lora was originally with Yunzhi.

    Mr Wu started out when Eastman was formed, I have one of their very first guitars, Mr Wu made that back a long time ago, around 2002 or earlier when Eastman took it's first guitars to a NAMM show. Drop dead Benedetto Manhattan copies, stunning woods from the companies wood pile (Eastman was begat from a company in China that made violins, violas, cellos...). I'm a member of an Eastman Guitars group on Facebook, when I posted shots of my Eastman prototype one of the reps, with Eastman at it's inception spoke up saying he remembered the back plates used on it, they made a special trip to Beijing to their wood stash and hand selected only the very best woods for the prototypes that went to NAMM, and later these guitars were given as artist promotional guitars to musicians in the Maryland area where Eastman has their headquarters.

    Later Mr Wu left Eastman when the two principal partners of Eastman split up, the partner that left Eastman took a sizable stash of wood and formed Yunzi, wanting to try selling direct to the customer with no warranty or dealer network/markup. Mr Li I hear was that other partner that created Yunzhi. While they were with Yunzhi I ordered a YZ23 (John Pisano AR880 with a floating pickup) and Mr Lora helped translate the order and it turns out Mr. Wu built it.

    But these people wanted a better life for themselves and they tried it on their own: Ms Lora and Mr Wu worked selling direct to customers without Mr Li as their boss or him deciding how much they'd get paid building and selling the guitars to customers. So they made YolandaTeam.

    I worked with Lora in 2009 emailing back and forth a long time before I felt comfortable buying,
    and it was a good experience and great guitar. Thanks to her diligence I decided next time I wanted a custom guitar it'd be with her and who she felt comfortable with as the builder. That's Mr. Wu again, a 3rd Mr Wu guitar for me...

    I think I have more experience with this and most of the people here have met Lora through threads I started here or on the Ibanez Collector's World site before I joined here in 2011.

    Big

  51. #50

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    Big Mike,
    one thing big about you is your heart. You are always willing to help. You are a good guy.
    I am far from a heavy hitter. Like you I just LOVE ARCHTOP GUITARS!
    thanks buddy, Joe D