Kevin Aram commission

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Michael.N.
Posts: 6619
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:28 am
Location: UK

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by Michael.N. » Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:39 pm

The oil finish that Aram uses is extremely thin. There simply isn't a lot on there that offers a great deal of protection. It is very easy to apply, virtually anyone can do it. It's best done before the actual wood starts to get grubby otherwise it's not so easy to get it back to pristine.
Historicalguitars.

130161martin
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:46 am

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by 130161martin » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:08 pm

Big bird wrote:Nice, rosette design is very cool and unique. Very tastefully done guitar, congratulations!

Please post some pics of the finished guitar after you receive it.
I definitely will, Randy!

130161martin
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:46 am

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by 130161martin » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:10 pm

Pinewhisp wrote:Beautiful, especially the rosette. Is it known what woods were used in the rosette?

Kevin Ryan (Pinewhisp)
Hi Kevin…I'm pretty sure Kevin will have used various native English woods in the rosette - but I'll ensure I get the full spec off him when I eventually collect the guitar...

130161martin
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:46 am

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by 130161martin » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:56 pm

UKsteve wrote:
130161martin wrote:I must admit, I was initially a little concerned about how best to look after an instrument with an oil finish - but Kevin has assured me (in advance) of its durability, and also how much easier it is to touch up/repair etc.
I was looking at a used Aram last year. Guitar was structurally fine and sounded fine also but the finish was completely destroyed pretty much everywhere, right through to the bare wood. That's great - the guy who has owned it had played it daily for years. Bravo. It was prett tatty though and I had to factor in the price of a refinish.

However, when I asked Mr. Aram about a refinish he refused to do it. So I assume oil is easy to repair, as long as someone else does it.
That was the one on e - b a y, wasn't it, Steve? I looked at that one myself and exchanged a fair few emails with the lady whose family were selling it. The original story I was given was that it had been 'hardly played' and was in 'as new condition', although the photographs accompanying the listing weren't 100% convincing. The pictures looked more to me as though it might have been a shellac finish (which Kevin does offer as an alternative and has done on some of his guitars), but you would be better placed than me to comment on that.

In the end, and having read of your experience, I was glad I didn't bother going down to look at it. If the price had been anywhere around the £2.5K mark, I would perhaps have gone for it - but as it was, the price they were asking wasn't that far off from a new one…

But I will be asking Kevin about care and maintenance etc!

UKsteve
Posts: 612
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:48 pm
Location: St Albans, UK

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by UKsteve » Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:34 pm

130161martin wrote:That was the one on e - b a y, wasn't it, Steve? I looked at that one myself and exchanged a fair few emails with the lady whose family were selling it. The original story I was given was that it had been 'hardly played' and was in 'as new condition', although the photographs accompanying the listing weren't 100% convincing. The pictures looked more to me as though it might have been a shellac finish (which Kevin does offer as an alternative and has done on some of his guitars), but you would be better placed than me to comment on that.

In the end, and having read of your experience, I was glad I didn't bother going down to look at it. If the price had been anywhere around the £2.5K mark, I would perhaps have gone for it - but as it was, the price they were asking wasn't that far off from a new one…
Yes, that was the one. I've never played a classical guitar in worse cosmetic condition: The previous owner sure got a lot of fun from it. "As new" is a trillion miles off the mark. I expect used guitars to have wear - they are used after all - but this was a whole different league. Like I said, bare wood all over the front and back.

Again, there was nothing structurally wrong and it sounded fine but at their asking price a refinish would have taken it to the price of a brand new one direct from Mr. Aram. I contacted Aram to get a price for a refin that could be factored into the purchase price, but was surprised to find he wouldn't consider it at all. Perhaps a refin only applies to the "original owner" or perhaps he won't do them at all? Don't know.

What I do know is that he offered to build me a brand new guitar for a price that was certainly much less than one tends to see from dealers or even the used market. You did the right thing going direct.

I was after a "traditional" instrument at the time as a different flavour to my two lattice guitars. Something else came along very shortly after and I didn't pursue an Aram. Perhaps in the future...

Portland Bill
Posts: 344
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:44 pm
Location: Water Orton UK

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by Portland Bill » Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:55 pm

UKsteve wrote:
130161martin wrote:I must admit, I was initially a little concerned about how best to look after an instrument with an oil finish - but Kevin has assured me (in advance) of its durability, and also how much easier it is to touch up/repair etc.
I was looking at a used Aram last year. Guitar was structurally fine and sounded fine also but the finish was completely destroyed pretty much everywhere, right through to the bare wood. That's great - the guy who has owned it had played it daily for years. Bravo. It was prett tatty though and I had to factor in the price of a refinish.

However, when I asked Mr. Aram about a refinish he refused to do it. So I assume oil is easy to repair, as long as someone else does it.

:lol:

Portland Bill
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Location: Water Orton UK

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by Portland Bill » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:11 pm

I bought and later sold via this forum a 2010 Kevin Aram, it was an absolutely beautiful instrument, flawlessly built with a gorgeous tone, probably the best guitar I ever owned, I would have no hesitation in ordering from him.

Jon Gillard
Amateur luthier
Posts: 49
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Location: Devon UK

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by Jon Gillard » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:48 pm

Kevin was talking about working out a new rosette design when I paid a visit a while back to buy and some wood and get more invaluable advice and an appraisal of my latest build, great to see the result.
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130161martin
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:46 am

Kevin Aram guitar UPDATE

Post by 130161martin » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:44 pm

Hi All...

Last month, I posted some 'work in progress' pictures of a guitar I commissioned from UK builder Kevin Aram.

It's now finished - although, frustratingly, I can't make it down to collect the guitar until at least early next month due to work commitments etc.

So, in the meantime - and until I can take a few more detailed photographs myself - here's it is.

Kevin mentioned that the week he completed the guitar, it was photographed by a Paris-based online classical guitar publication, 'Orfeo', who should be running an interview with him in their next issue, so there is a good possibility that the guitar will appear there! :)
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cliffbryant
Posts: 356
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Re: Kevin Aram guitar UPDATE

Post by cliffbryant » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:58 pm

Very beautiful indeed! Does this guitar have Kevin's usual oil finish? I can't tell for sure with the photos. Please let us know how it sounds when you are able to get your paws on it!

130161martin
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:46 am

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by 130161martin » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:00 pm

Jon Gillard wrote:Kevin was talking about working out a new rosette design when I paid a visit a while back to buy and some wood and get more invaluable advice and an appraisal of my latest build, great to see the result.
Hi Jon...

I'd originally asked Kevin to do something along the lines of the spalted wood rosettes that American builder Jeffrey Elliott features on his instruments (which I'd originally seen on an Elliott guitar played by Ralph Towner).

Although Kevin said Mr Elliott had showed him how to make the spalted rosettes, he didn't want to slavishly copy the design...and in hindsight, I'm really delighted with what Kevin came up with - completely original/unique, in - apparently - slivers of spalted beech.

What I was particularly pleased about was that when I posted some pictures of Kevin's work on Facebook, another maker - whom Kevin has mentored - thought the workshop surroundings looked 'familiar', but didn't recognise the workmanship!

Would be really interested in seeing some pictures of your own work some time...

130161martin
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:46 am

Re: Kevin Aram guitar UPDATE

Post by 130161martin » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:02 pm

cliffbryant wrote:Very beautiful indeed! Does this guitar have Kevin's usual oil finish? I can't tell for sure with the photos. Please let us know how it sounds when you are able to get your paws on it!
Hi Cliff...

Thank you! Yes, it's an oil finish - and I'll try to do a full appraisal, with more pictures, as soon as I've got it! ;)

UKsteve
Posts: 612
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:48 pm
Location: St Albans, UK

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by UKsteve » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:48 pm

Looks nice and looking forward to hearing what you have to say about it: self-evidently, you must be very excited.

Is the back of the headstock spliced on?

130161martin
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:46 am

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by 130161martin » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:59 pm

UKsteve wrote:Looks nice and looking forward to hearing what you have to say about it: self-evidently, you must be very excited.

Is the back of the headstock spliced on?
Hi Steve…thanks and, yes, very excited - but a lot of work to get out of the way this month before I can collect her, unfortunately.

Not sure about the headstock, but an Aram they had recently at the Stafford Classical Guitar Centre featured 'a V-joint at the head'…so entirely possible/probable…

I've decided to stay on Kevin's waiting list for another four years (until a 'landmark' birthday)…I've already got ideas for another, taking his 'Storm-Damaged Guitar' idea a step further… ;)

Jon Gillard
Amateur luthier
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 2:37 pm
Location: Devon UK

Re: Kevin Aram commission

Post by Jon Gillard » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:54 pm

Thanks Martin, I don't seem able to post pics , but will do in future, completing 2nd guitar and planning next to be made with the Yew I bought from Kevin.
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