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  1. #1

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    I've been googling so deep for a used B-120 that I unearthed an old New England PBS show about Roger. Probably been seen by many here, but I've been studying up for a few of years and never ran into it. Jump to about 3:40 to get to him and his old Vermont shop. Watch before that for some very creaky local set-up that's good for a few laughs. Fun fact for me: apparently it's pronounced 'Boris'.

    Crossroads | Borys Guitars | Season 8 | PBS

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  3. #2

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    A few years back, there was a Borys B-120 on my local Craigslist for $4,000. After about 2 weeks it was gone. I regret not buying that.

    A Borys is probably the only luthier built archtop that would interest me, but I do not have the temperament to deal with Roger (or the wait), so I probably won't get to own one anytime soon.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    I've been googling so deep for a used B-120 that I unearthed an old New England PBS show about Roger. Probably been seen by many here, but I've been studying up for a few of years and never ran into it. Jump to about 3:40 to get to him and his old Vermont shop. Watch before that for some very creaky local set-up that's good for a few laughs. Fun fact for me: apparently it's pronounced 'Boris'.

    Crossroads | Borys Guitars | Season 8 | PBS
    Wow! I have never seen that video before. It was really interesting. Thanks for posting the link. I had a Borys B-120 for a while. The workmanship was impeccable. The only reason I didn’t keep it was because the nut width and scale of that particular guitar didn’t suit me. It sure was a nice guitar though.
    Keith

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    A few years back, there was a Borys B-120 on my local Craigslist for $4,000. After about 2 weeks it was gone. I regret not buying that.

    A Borys is probably the only luthier built archtop that would interest me, but I do not have the temperament to deal with Roger (or the wait), so I probably won't get to own one anytime soon.
    This is kinda funny: I saw one on Reverb a while back that was in Los Altos. Beautiful deep sunburst with a borked finish repair on the bass side near the bridge. I'm leery of Reverb at best. Even more-so since I'm over the border now. "Let's see... who do I know in the Bay area that I could get to go take a look? My old buddy Dave in SF? Nope... great guy and plays a bit but knows nothing about archtops. Cliff? Larry? All the same thing dammit. Hmmm... what about my forum-mate Stringswinger? Apparently he blows right by there on the way to Santa Cruz. Knows his f-holes for sure. I wonder if there's any way I could ask him to check it out..."

    Long-shot at best, but looks like anything along those lines is definitely off the table for me now :-)

    Lately I've been thinking the wait isn't all that bad compared to trying to find an existing one. His rep is kinda scary though, and again... I'm over the border and on the other side of the continent. But I lived in NYC all thru the 80's. Hell... I even played a couple gigs in Hoboken. I'm starting to think about a trip back to see some old friends, meet Roger in person and maybe even commission a guitar. I'm thinking maybe I could get on his good side since I'm a pro wood-worker too. I know how to hang in the shop.

    I'm a little anxious about how long he's gonna keep building...

    Keith: I envy you getting to know one! Too bad it didn't work out. BTW: I happen to already know the size, scale and nut suits me to a T or I wouldn't be so hot and bothered,

  6. #5

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    I've dealt with Roger twice over the past 25 years and yes, he is not the most communicative luthier on the planet but he is a straight up guy, stands behind his product and is true to his word. I've also dealt with Victor Baker and Bryant Trenier and both have their own special character traits .... THE most forthcoming, friendly and responsive guy of the bunch was Matt Artinger and besides his friendly nature the quality of his guitars is on par with that of all of the above.
    If I was looking for a top-level lam-top archtop Roger's name would be on the top of my -short- list. The waiting time was around 18 months last time this came up, maybe even less.
    Rumors die hard on the www ....

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by gitman
    I've dealt with Roger twice over the past 25 years and yes, he is not the most communicative luthier on the planet but he is a straight up guy, stands behind his product and is true to his word. I've also dealt with Victor Baker and Bryant Trenier and both have their own special character traits .... THE most forthcoming, friendly and responsive guy of the bunch was Matt Artinger and besides his friendly nature the quality of his guitars is on par with that of all of the above.
    If I was looking for a top-level lam-top archtop Roger's name would be on the top of my -short- list. The waiting time was around 18 months last time this came up, maybe even less.
    Rumors die hard on the www ....
    Yes, I am a bit surprised to see these character references in a public forum, and I have seen them before. All of the luthiers I know come with their own quirks, as do people in all other walks of life. Having said that, never a problem with some like Mark Campellone! Very patient, great to work with.

    I have been in touch with Roger several times for info on a B-160 which I found used, he has always been cordial and answered my questions promptly. A lot of luthiers aren't too interested if you purchased second hand.

    Really like the guitar BTW, 1 3/4" neck 25" scale and perfectly shaped. Had questions about changing the pickup, also something luthiers often don't want to hear, again no problem.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    This is kinda funny: I saw one on Reverb a while back that was in Los Altos. Beautiful deep sunburst with a borked finish repair on the bass side near the bridge. I'm leery of Reverb at best. Even more-so since I'm over the border now. "Let's see... who do I know in the Bay area that I could get to go take a look? My old buddy Dave in SF? Nope... great guy and plays a bit but knows nothing about archtops. Cliff? Larry? All the same thing dammit. Hmmm... what about my forum-mate Stringswinger? Apparently he blows right by there on the way to Santa Cruz. Knows his f-holes for sure. I wonder if there's any way I could ask him to check it out..."


    If anybody here needs to have an archtop checked out anywhere from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, PM me. If I can, I am happy to help.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    This is kinda funny: I saw one on Reverb a while back that was in Los Altos. Beautiful deep sunburst with a borked finish repair on the bass side near the bridge. I'm leery of Reverb at best. Even more-so since I'm over the border now. "Let's see... who do I know in the Bay area that I could get to go take a look? My old buddy Dave in SF? Nope... great guy and plays a bit but knows nothing about archtops. Cliff? Larry? All the same thing dammit. Hmmm... what about my forum-mate Stringswinger? Apparently he blows right by there on the way to Santa Cruz. Knows his f-holes for sure. I wonder if there's any way I could ask him to check it out..."

    Long-shot at best, but looks like anything along those lines is definitely off the table for me now :-)

    Lately I've been thinking the wait isn't all that bad compared to trying to find an existing one. His rep is kinda scary though, and again... I'm over the border and on the other side of the continent. But I lived in NYC all thru the 80's. Hell... I even played a couple gigs in Hoboken. I'm starting to think about a trip back to see some old friends, meet Roger in person and maybe even commission a guitar. I'm thinking maybe I could get on his good side since I'm a pro wood-worker too. I know how to hang in the shop.

    I'm a little anxious about how long he's gonna keep building...

    Keith: I envy you getting to know one! Too bad it didn't work out. BTW: I happen to already know the size, scale and nut suits me to a T or I wouldn't be so hot and bothered,
    Mine was an unusual guitar. It had a 25.5” scale and the nut width was more than 1 3/4”. When you combine a very wide nut with a long scale, it can be a bit much for a player with average sized hands. I just found it to be a bit much for me. The guitar was beautiful in every other way. If the neck and scale had been a little narrower and shorter, I would have never let it go. Funny thing, the previous and subsequent owners all felt the same way about that one. I’m doing ok though. I have some other guitars that suit me very well.
    Keith

  10. #9

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    CC if you have the money to lose, then do it.
    You have accepted their might be some risk from previous reviews so you’re going into the situation with some knowledge. That knowledge of course could be wrong but you have taken it onboard.

    If you absolutely cannot accept or afford any funny business, go elsewhere. Not because Roger may give you some but because you expect their could be some.

    I’m not claiming Roger will give you trouble nor can I vouch for him.

    In fact Roger doesn't even need to be part of this approach. It’s a simple formula most would use if basing their decisions with no emotion.

    Convincing yourself however that you can deal or connect with someone because of something you perceive they might appreciate (or whatever) is a red flag. You don't need to befriend someone to gain their respect and if you do, I wouldn't deal with that person at all because you are glad handing away the first principle and you’re subconsciously admitting the person you’re dealing with cannot be trusted. Otherwise why would you need to do it?

    There is often no smoke without fire and in the case of Roger, only you can decide if the smoke is warranted.

    I have no comment of roger at all, except that I have his method for making laminate plates and intend to use it.
    Last edited by ArchtopHeaven; 11-21-2021 at 02:42 PM.

  11. #10

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    Thanks All! Just wanted to add that every transaction I've read about here since I've joined is positive. That amounts to somewhere around a dozen or more guitar orders. The other stuff I've read is mostly innuendo. I've read other reports elsewhere on the web. Maybe he had a rough patch. I've had a few over the years.

    I live in an archtop wasteland.The idea of going to NYC has more to do with seeing the thing in person. And I hear he has some sample neck carves to choose from that I'd like to check out too. I have some aesthetics in mind: low bling and amber finish. If trying to buy used it becomes another hoop to jump thru. Or not. All his instruments are beautiful, but that particular build stands above the rest for me.

    The stuff I said about getting on his good side was supposed to be something of a joke. Too bad it didn't quite play like that. I would like to meet him, and I'd enjoy seeing his shop and his processes just because I'm a wood guy. I like the idea of taking the trip to make it even more special. If I can swing it...

    Maybe my joke should've been more like: "Rumour has it he's a bit of a curmudgeon. I'm OK with that. I'm a native curmudgeon speaker myself."

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft

    Maybe my joke should've been more like: "Rumour has it he's a bit of a curmudgeon. I'm OK with that. I'm a native curmudgeon speaker myself."
    My problem is that I am too much of a curmudgeon to deal with a fellow curmudgeon.

    Good luck with the Borys. They are, from what I hear, a worthy choice.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccroft
    Thanks All! Just wanted to add that every transaction I've read about here since I've joined is positive. That amounts to somewhere around a dozen or more guitar orders. The other stuff I've read is mostly innuendo. I've read other reports elsewhere on the web. Maybe he had a rough patch. I've had a few over the years.

    I live in an archtop wasteland.The idea of going to NYC has more to do with seeing the thing in person. And I hear he has some sample neck carves to choose from that I'd like to check out too. I have some aesthetics in mind: low bling and amber finish. If trying to buy used it becomes another hoop to jump thru. Or not. All his instruments are beautiful, but that particular build stands above the rest for me.

    The stuff I said about getting on his good side was supposed to be something of a joke. Too bad it didn't quite play like that. I would like to meet him, and I'd enjoy seeing his shop and his processes just because I'm a wood guy. I like the idea of taking the trip to make it even more special. If I can swing it...

    Maybe my joke should've been more like: "Rumour has it he's a bit of a curmudgeon. I'm OK with that. I'm a native curmudgeon speaker myself."
    Sounds like a plan CC. Go for it. It's what you want.