1. #1

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    I've been thinking on Borys 120/Wyble type for a few years. Can't act now, but PSA Bory’s Jim Wyble for sale has whetted my appetite and sharpened my mind.

    I have identified my Great White Whale. It'll take me a year or two to ready my harpoon. I want to be prepared when The Great Beast finally breaks the surface, so I have a question or two for owners here. Particularly Q'Aman and Jabs, who seem to own a half dozen or so between them.

    I've read everything on Roger's site about specs. It seems he customizes the basic design for his clients. EG: I've noticed 120 deluxe with and without fret board inlay, and with the deluxe banner at the top of headstock.

    Neck profile: Do they vary like inlays do, or do they tend to one shape in particular? I'd be most interested in a flattish 'D' on the thin side (front to back). My Eastman Pisano 880 is a perfect neck for me, if you happen to know that one and can compare.

    Wyble VS 120: I understand the spec differences. Do you notice much difference in sound and playability between them? I switch back and forth between 24 3/4 and 25 all the time so that doesn't matter much to me. I guess I'm wondering more about the longer body & thinner laminated sides of the Wyble.

    Upper access: I do play up there and I have fat hands. In the pics the cut-away seems a bit narrow, but the horn seems shortish. I'm thinking access would be just fine. My Eastman is pinchy. My Lehmann is great (shorter horn). Any comments?

    Are there other physical variations I should be aware of?

    I guess it's clear by now that I live in an archtop wasteland, and may have to buy sight unseen (done it before). Unless one shows up in the Pacific Northwest, in which case I'd happily take a trip down to meet it in person.

    Thanks in advance for any and all input!


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    All I can tell you is to deal with inches, and not millimeters. RB doesn't do MMs. Let's leave it at that...

  4. #3

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    Roger's guitars are in a league where you won't have to worry about a re-sale in case your Great White Whale doesn't comply with your requirements re dimensions etc. The tone of his guitars is well known, as is the playability and the response and the rest is up to you and your dilligence/willingness to make the instrument work for you. Good luck for your chase !

  5. #4

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    Roger has a selection of carved necks of different neck profiles where you could go and try each one for best fit. The best thing to do for a perfect fit is to call on Roger in Hoboken. I could not be there in person so I asked for a 1959 Gibson neck profile, 0.875" under the first fret, erring on chunky. Roger came close and gave me a neck of 0.885" under the first fret. Good enough for me. Send Roger your Eastman 880 Pisano profile. I am sure he can nail it.

    Inlays are optional. If you ask for them, Roger will make them.

    I received two B120s. I have no experience with the Jimmy Wyble. Roger's Jimmy Wyble is based on the form of Jimmy's 1928 Gibson L5. It is a little longer in body length than the B120, with a shallower cutaway. The B120 is really comfortable and is Roger's best known model. There is a 17" B120 Custom that Tony Dicaprio plays. I have both. Both my B120s have the 25" scale length. I have a B120 that used to belong to a woman guitarist from Vermont. That one has a 24.75" scale length.

    Oh yes, I asked for a 3" rim depth. Roger recommends 2.75" rim depth but you may order them as shallow as 2.25" deep, I think.

    Q's for Borys owners-img_2980-1-1-jpgQ's for Borys owners-img_2993-jpg

  6. #5

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    Jabs pretty much summed up the details. As for my Bory’s guitars, the necks are quite similar in shape. Since I’m able to visit Rogers shop - I communicated my needs and he nailed it precisely.
    I had my neck cheeks slimmed slightly to approximate a smooth V/C shape. I do not like D shaped shoulders.

    As for my B120 and Wyble, the B120 has an outstanding acoustic tone , and the Wyble is close. But I find the Wyble more comfortable to play. The slightly longer body and positioning of the body side on your leg seems a bit less cramped, and the scale length is proportionately perfect for me.

    Both of these guitars are outstanding examples - and arguably some of the best laminated offerings on the market. Many, many pros play these guitars.

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  7. #6

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    Upper access: I do play up there and I have fat hands. In the pics the cut-away seems a bit narrow, but the horn seems shortish. I'm thinking access would be just fine. My Eastman is pinchy. My Lehmann is great (shorter horn). Any comments?

    Ok so i had a B120..it was killler. love it, except this..i couldn't access the upper frets very well.

  8. #7

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    Thanks for all the info guys!

    I hope to find one that already exists, so it's very helpful to know Roger customizes that much. It means I'll want to handle it before buying, or find a friend to do that for me. Or find somebody reputable who can be trusted to give the straight dope about neck shape and body depth. The standard depth is my preferred one. Good to know they can vary.

    All the rest has been ticking my boxes for a while now. Except maybe upper access. But I can adjust. I remove pick guards when possible, so that's a start. May be my least favourite part of the design. It almost always is. Thanks for the direct answer to that one.

    Q'Aman: interesting about the Wyble comfort. As a long time Les Pauler in years gone by I think either works for me. Interesting that you seem to like the sound of the 120 a bit more. Please do post more PSA's if they come around.

    Jabber: nice looking examples there. I especially like Honey.

    Thanks for the tip SG. I figured that. I know how to handle myself if I decide to go back to Hoboken :)

    Resale? Ha!! I've sold 2 in 53 years of playing! Not something I seem to do very well. I've also been married to the same gal for over 45 years. Maybe that explains it.

    (there are a couple on reverb now... the antique natural in Florida looks sweet. don't have the dough just now... or the stones to go that route)

  9. #8

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    Someone can correct me if I'm wrong but I think the main difference between the 120 and the 160 (Wyble) model is the scale length? With the Wyble being 25".

    I know there are some body differences as well. I believe both necks are 1 3/4" wide.

    The B160 is the first 25" scale I've owned, and I like it a lot, it provides room for chord melody especially in the lower positions. The neck is medium, not skinny on mine, not sure if that is the standard or not?

    In terms of acoustic sound yes, it sounds good, but in my mind these are electric guitars first and foremost, with laminated tops and good resistance to feedback, and I think that is why so many pros play them. I would think that a carved archtop from a top builder would be a more resonant acoustic guitar.