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Guitar #14  

Acoustic FC-Mini-Jumbo

Solid Macassar Ebony back and sides, Solid Master Grade Sitka top, Flame Maple neck, Macassar Ebony Fret board and bridge.


This guitar was custom built for James Anthony with his input into the size, shape, and woods used.  Surf  to the official JAMES ANTHONY BAND web site and check out the band!!! James has been playing guitar professionally for over 25 years, and has backed many legendary Roots, Blues and Rock performers live and in the studio including; RICK JAMES, SAM & DAVE, MAMAS & the PAPPAS, BIG MAMA THORTON, EDDIE KIRKLAND, KENNY NEAL, GENE TAYLOR and many more.

I first met James at a SOFGA evening where he was the featured artist that night.  SOFGA evenings generally draws some of the hottest guitarists in the Toronto and Hamilton areas.  To say he floored us all is a total understatement.  After all the guitar player finally located our respective lower jaws on the floor somewhere, we all realized it was a good thing he played last, because no other guitar would have come out of their cases otherwise.

At SOFGA, they encourage players at various levels to get up and play.  Lucky for me, I had already done my stuff (Read - Hacker) with one of the latest guitar I'd just finished building.
James played that guitar after his set and saw something special in that instrument.  He ask if I could pull off something he had been wanting for a long time - a small bodied guitar with a cut-a-way, and more brightness at the high end.  He didn't want so much of that low end boom that most full size guitars have.  He would be using this new instrument in the studio and wanted something where the bright tone could come through.  This guitar is the result of our collaboration.

This guitar is essentially a mini with a Jumbo guitar shape.  Just under 15" wide, and with a short shallow body only 4" deep.  The Macassar Ebony body gives added brightness.  A Master grade Sitka Spruce top, flamed Soft Maple neck, Ebony trim everywhere, and 22 mitered joins with maple pin lines makes this my most stunning instrument so far.  As for the finish - French Polishing is the most sonically clear finish you can put on an acoustic guitar.

So what is Macassar Ebony?   Most guitar players are used to seeing Ebony that is Black  (Gabon Ebony).  Ebony wood actually comes from a family of related small trees and shrubs which rarely supply wood wide enough to build a guitar.  Some yield wood that is completely back, others are black with streaks of silver or dark brown.   Macassar Ebony usually shows bands of black and deep chocolate brown.  The wood is vary strong and heavy giving a bright clear tone.   

Given the short supply of wide sections, and it's difficulty in bending, there are vary few Ebony guitars out there.  This guitar has a width of 14 15/16th" and the wood just fit.

Completed June 8th, 2005