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  1. #1

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    Incoming - Frans Elferink 18" Excalibur-archtop-colour-jpg

    Frans Elferink 18" Excalibur

    The difference between mine and the photo: mine will have no pickup, and no fancy inlay on the headstock. Also, the guitar depicted is an incredible 19"...

    I have yet to decide on string length - either 25.5" or 25", and nut width 45mm or 43mm. I'll probably go with 25.5" and 45mm.

    Spec:

    Non cutaway acoustic archtop
    X-braced, "hand-carved and tuned" European spruce
    Body depth: 85mm
    Back: hand-carved solid flamed European maple
    Rims: solid flamed European maple
    Neck: flamed maple
    Lots of ebony here and there
    Binding: on top, 7 ply celluloid. Fingerboard and headstock 3 ply. F holes 2 ply. Back and pickguard 1 ply.
    Inlays: block
    Tuners: Schaller Gold with ebony buttons
    Traditional nitrocellulose lacquer, Tobacco Sunburst, as in the photo

    Frans has had a good listen to my videos, and says he will have it tuned and set up for my style of playing. I should be able to travel to his workshop to pick it up in person. Very much looking forward to it!

    Price? I won't reveal the exact figure, but I am very pleased with it!

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Cool ! Now we all have to wait 11 months until we can hear you play it....
    "Oh, those jazz guys are just making that stuff up!" - Homer

  4. #3

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    Oh the wait - nothing compared to my blonde Eastman AR 372 - let alone the class of guitar....
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  5. #4

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    I agree with 25.5 and 45, great choice, why no cutaway ?
    -----------------------------------

    "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though." Jim Hall

  6. #5

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    There's no money above the 12th fret...used to be the 5th fret, but that's inflation for you!

  7. #6

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    Awesome! I am happy that you treated yourself to a wonderful guitar. I hope that everything goes smoothly and that it will be everything that you hope it will be and you'll have many years of joy with it!

  8. #7

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    PS: I went down a similar route a while ago and got a non cut-away luthier made acoustic archtop and never regretted it. It is the first guitar that I grab when I want to play unamplified.

  9. #8

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    18"! In the meanwhile practice dancing with a fat lady!
    Build bridges, not walls.

  10. #9

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    Haha. I'm tall, with long arms and fingers. Should be manageable.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankLearns View Post
    PS: I went down a similar route a while ago and got a non cut-away luthier made acoustic archtop and never regretted it. It is the first guitar that I grab when I want to play unamplified.
    Ditto!!! Very nicely done Rob
    measure with micrometer... mark with chalk... cut with axe

  12. #11

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    What? No Floyd Rose? I'll pass....

    Look forward to hearing it. That's a recipe for good things. (sets reminder on iPhone...)
    1948 Gibson L-7N
    1981 Epi Emperor T (MIJ Matsumoku)
    1998 Epi Zephyr Regent (Peerless)
    1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio
    2004 Gibson SG Special Faded
    2006 Epi G-1275 (MIK, Unsung)
    2013 Squier Affinity Telecaster, BSB
    (among others)

  13. #12

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    Rob, I am so excited for you brother! That guitar is going to inspire you big time. And when it does, its gonna put you over the top!
    The 85mm depth is going to be perfect with the 18" width. I am happy for you buddy.
    Something to look forward to.
    Joe DeNisco

  14. #13

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    Cheers, Joe (and everyone else!). I'd love to hear you play it, Joe, so get yourself over to Edinburgh.

    Well, that's the easy part over. Now I've got eleven months to find the money!

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Cheers, Joe (and everyone else!). I'd love to hear you play it, Joe, so get yourself over to Edinburgh.

    Well, that's the easy part over. Now I've got eleven months to find the money!
    I'd love to hear me play it too, so the next time I'm in Edinburgh you got a deal bro! Although, I think we'd all rather sit there and listen you make beautiful music with it! Especially putting a Drop "D" on that big boy!
    Thanks Rob.
    JD

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop View Post
    Haha. I'm tall, with long arms and fingers. Should be manageable.
    Congratulations! I'm tall too, so an 18" body isn't an issue. A 45mm (1.77") nut, however, is nearly classical guitar wide! I'm guessing you're a fingerstyle guitarist predominantly so that would work for you.
    There was a Borys (B420?) for sale on archtop.com for a long time, and I wondered if it was because of the 1-13/16" (about 46mm) nut.
    It'll probably be the longest 11 months you'll ever experience! Look forward to a review & video then!

  17. #16

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    Classicals are usually 52mm, so definitely not that wide. I need to try both 43 and 45 before making a decision.

  18. #17

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    I thought you were expecting a premature baby elephant!!

    Congrats in advance. Glad too see you decided on an Elferink.

    25.375" is where the money's at
    Great Deals with Great Folks: max52 (Guild-Benedetto Artist Award); prickards (Ribbecke GC Halfling); Cincy2 (Comins Concert)

  19. #18

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    hey hey great news...i think you made a great choice..congrats...

    let the anticipation begin


    cheers

  20. #19

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    Great guitar. I can't wait until you give us a sample.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    I thought you were expecting a premature baby elephant!!

    Congrats in advance. Glad too see you decided on an Elferink.

    25.375" is where the money's at
    Hi Jabber,
    I think 25.125" is where the REAL money is at (exactly between 24.75" & 25.5")!

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by helios View Post
    Hi Jabber,
    I think 25.125" is where the REAL money is at (exactly between 24.75" & 25.5")!
    I tried that with Roger Borys and he said, "Why don't you go with 25" like everybody else?" So, I'll be getting 25"...
    Great Deals with Great Folks: max52 (Guild-Benedetto Artist Award); prickards (Ribbecke GC Halfling); Cincy2 (Comins Concert)

  23. #22

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    Ha. Some of you are almost as excited as me.

  24. #23

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    Rob, for you....

    Oh ye cannae fling an Efferink oot a 20 storey flat,
    Seventy jealous Jazzers will testify tae that!
    If its acoustic or electric and th' tone is second tae none
    The odds against it reaching us is ninety-nine to one!

    Ha ha ha.

    Oh I am fighting that G.A.S right now.

    Nice one mate, we all deserve something special.

    Enjoy
    “When a wise man points at the moon the fool considers the finger.”

  25. #24

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    Congratulations! 11 months goes by faster than you think

  26. #25

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    Congratulations, Rob !
    A tough decision you made !
    And what of importance gonna happen in these 11 months ?
    How will you be able to wait for these 11 looooong months, I want to know !
    Make a jazz noise here

  27. #26

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    Great!

  28. #27

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    That Looks like a wonderful Guitar.
    sorry for the waiting time-actually, he is Building my tonemaster at the Moment so you have to wait

  29. #28

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    Hey, fabiansey, you are clearly a man of wisdom and taste! Do share with us your new soul mate when it arrives.

    Jazzbow - now, that was funny! I'll be singing myself to sleep with it.

    339inJune - what am I going to do, indeed? Work, dream, work, dream, work - what else is there?

  30. #29

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    Rob, Glad you made a decision. Myself, I think the scale length is right at 25.5. The 25.5 just has a bit more snap or clarity. I would definitely go with the 45MM. One can easily flat pick on that nut width but the additional width really in my opinion makes a difference on finger-style. The other thing to discuss with him is the string spacing at the bridge. I've seen some guitars where the 1.75 nut width was negated or diminished by a narrow spacing at the saddle or bridge. This is most often on non custom instruments where the builder or assembler if you will is trying to use a aftermarket bridge.

  31. #30

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    Thanks for your input, Rob. I'm pretty much decided on 25.5" and 45mm. I don't think we need worry about after-market bridges in this case, and I will certainly discuss it with him. As it happens, I'm more interested in plectrum playing on this guitar than fingerstyle - I'll keep my fingertips primed for gut strings on my classical. As such, I don't want the spacing too wide at the bridge, but I'll certainly be discussing it with Frans. Cheers, Rob.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob taft View Post
    Rob, Glad you made a decision. Myself, I think the scale length is right at 25.5. The 25.5 just has a bit more snap or clarity. I would definitely go with the 45MM. One can easily flat pick on that nut width but the additional width really in my opinion makes a difference on finger-style. The other thing to discuss with him is the string spacing at the bridge. I've seen some guitars where the 1.75 nut width was negated or diminished by a narrow spacing at the saddle or bridge. This is most often on non custom instruments where the builder or assembler if you will is trying to use a aftermarket bridge.
    I must agree with you Rob taft,I have a piece right now that is 1 3/4" nut yet feels tight spaced. I think it's do to tight saddle spacing.
    RoB Mackillop, It's good that Franz is aware of your style else I would worry about 25" tension not being enough to drive an 18" top. Franz also makes a depth that you may want to consider. He makes the depth at the neck 2 7/8"s and widens to 3 or 3 1/4"s at the base. That may be a comfort option you might think about. Congratulations on the order. He make a fine guitar.

  33. #32

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    May I suggest adding a cutaway for 2 reasons. One: In case you want to play some fancy licks up there to impress someone
    Second: Just in case you decide to sell in the future, you'll increase the amount of buyers interested.

    Frans Elferink builds great guitars at a very reasonable price. Extremely happy with my Tonemaster!

  34. #33

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    Thanks for the last two posts. Plenty of time ahead to finalise details. But I am decided on no cutaway.

  35. #34

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    Lovely guitar Rob, can't wait to see/hear you play it. Nice one.

  36. #35

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    Congratulations, Rob! Looks like a lovely guitar and will be in the hands of a great player.

    Can you reveal a bit about your decision of which luthier to approach? Much as I would love to get a spec guitar created for myself, I don't see that happening anytime in the near future. But I do listen to these exotic creatures created by various skilled luthiers mainly on YouTube and I've certainly been tempted by Elferink guitars. How did you decide which luthier to choose?

  37. #36

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    I came to him through the playing of Jesse van Ruller - one of the best jazz players on the scene today. Then I visited his website, and had a severe case of GAS. But that was a few years ago, and I wasn't in a position to spend the money required. Over the last few months I think I finally found my voice on the archtop guitar, happy to explore written compositions for the instrument, and quality arrangements. I improvise every day, but prefer listening to worked out compositions. And I also came to the acceptance that I am much more an acoustic player than an electric one. The dynamics and tonal nuance of an acoustic instrument really draws me. So, I started formulating the notion of a purely acoustic archtop, without even a floating pickup, with X bracing for a more subtle modern style of playing. So I started looking around for a luthier in Europe - I did not want to add 20% taxes to a US price. I also think the archtop has had almost as long a history in Europe as in the States, and there are many fine luthiers here. So, I wrote to three of the best, explaining what I wanted, and sharing my recent videos with them. They all responded positively, but Frans Elferink just struck me as someone who intuitively knew what I was looking for. We've cut back a little on the bling, to spend more time getting the soundboard just right. I'm very pleased with my choice, and I'm sure Frans will create something I'll be very happy with. Well, here's hoping!

  38. #37

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    There's is something so majestic about a non-cutaway. I think its the symmetry.
    Seeking beauty and truth through six strings.

  39. #38

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    Thanks for the quick response, Rob! Sounds good to me, as do the Elferink archtops I have heard by video if not in person yet. I did not know that there is a 20% surcharge tax on US made goods which would certainly discourage me in your shoes. There are a plethora of fine luthiers closer to home in Europe in any case.

    I visited your (new?) web site or blog a few days ago - very, very nice! Your videos and playing are very elegant. Great job. I didn't comment on anything due to my haste, but I will certainly return.
    Last edited by Veritas; 04-13-2017 at 10:03 AM.

  40. #39

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  41. #40

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    Awesome .....

    I have an 18 inch acoustic non cutaway Campellone that is very nice .... hope yours is at least as good


    I try to play using a "classical position" with the guitar in my left leg or using a strap, even when sitting .... 18 inch is easy to play that way ... I'm ready to go for a 19 inch if I ever have the cash for one


    My guess is that you'll do fine with a big guitar ... I need to dig up your videos and listen to your playing at some point

  42. #41

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    I'm trying to establish enough order to enjoy my 18" guitar's acoustic bark.

  43. #42

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