New Instrument from Michael Thames

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
poriforo
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:31 am

New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by poriforo » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:32 am

Hello fellow members,
I wanted to share photos of my new classical guitar built by Michael Thames, who's based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It has an Italian Spruce top, and the back, sides, and fingerboard are made from African Blackwood; French polish finish. Spanish Cedar neck, with Gotoh premium tuners. I couldn't be more pleased with the build quality, sound, and playability, as it's the finest CG I've owned. Michael is great to work with, and would recommend him to anyone considering to have a luthier custom build an instrument from scratch.

I've always wondered how African Blackwood would sound, and from my perspective, Brazilian Rosewood doesn't have anything on AB.
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Last edited by poriforo on Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Stephen Taylor
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Location: Connecticut

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by Stephen Taylor » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:18 pm

Congratulations on your new guitar. How long did the entire process take?
Doesn't everybody want to play guitar?

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Christopher Freitag
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Location: New York, USA

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by Christopher Freitag » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:42 pm

Beautiful guitar, with great detail work. Congratulations!

And now I am kicking myself...I was in Santa Fe last fall and I would have arranged a visit had I known he was there.
Chris Freitag
cjfguitar

2013 German Vasquez Rubio Concert Special "Bernardi"; German spruce/Brazilian rosewood
2014 Garrett (Gary) Lee spruce/cedar double top; Brazilian rosewood

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Big bird
Posts: 280
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Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by Big bird » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:47 pm

Beautiful Guitar..... lucky guy, enjoy!
________________________________
Randy ( Big Bird, it's what my grandkids call me)
2015 ESTEVE 7SR - 650/52 Spruce/EIRW
2016 ESTEVE 8 - 650/52 Cedar/EIRW

Cincy2
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Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:07 pm
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by Cincy2 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:25 pm

A piano is just a piano but a guitar is a work of art AND an instrument. I'm a huge fan of African Blackwood for back and sides. I'm on my fourth or fifth instrument with this wood and like it better than Brazilian Rosewood for tone.

Cincy
A wood box, empty
A sensitive heart, too full
You and I connect.

cliffbryant
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:42 pm

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by cliffbryant » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:38 pm

Just beautiful! I'd love to hear it....

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Luuttuaja
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Location: Finland

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by Luuttuaja » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:43 pm

It looks really beautiful!

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spanishguitarmusic
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:58 pm
Location: Canada

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:52 pm

Wow, a very beautiful looking guitar! Very nice pictures! Would be so nice to hear what it sounds like, it must sound wonderful! Thank you for posting up the pictures.

poriforo
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:31 am

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by poriforo » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:28 am

Stephen Taylor wrote:Congratulations on your new guitar. How long did the entire process take?
It only took 3 months from start to finish. I don't know if he always builds like this, but including mine he started and completed 5 guitars at the same time. You know how they some professional athletes are gym rats, where they are always working at their craft? Maybe Michael is the same way in his workshop - always in there working on a new creation. He has a number of videos on you-tube of him discussing different parts of the build process, etc. along with some very nice performances by Gary Stewart and Matt Palmer. I would love to be able to purchase one of his Torres FE-17 guitars, which are visually stunning.

poriforo
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:31 am

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by poriforo » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:34 am

Cincy2 wrote:A piano is just a piano but a guitar is a work of art AND an instrument. I'm a huge fan of African Blackwood for back and sides. I'm on my fourth or fifth instrument with this wood and like it better than Brazilian Rosewood for tone.

Cincy
Thanks for sharing Cincy. I'm on board with what you have seemingly figured out some time ago. The A.B. instruments you've had were custom builds, or are there a few builders you uncovered that more commonly use this wood?

jim watts
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:19 pm
Location: Los Alamos, NM, USA

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by jim watts » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:30 am

Lovely!

Cincy2
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Location: Tampa, FL

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by Cincy2 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:08 am

poriforo wrote:
Cincy2 wrote:A piano is just a piano but a guitar is a work of art AND an instrument. I'm a huge fan of African Blackwood for back and sides. I'm on my fourth or fifth instrument with this wood and like it better than Brazilian Rosewood for tone.

Cincy
Thanks for sharing Cincy. I'm on board with what you have seemingly figured out some time ago. The A.B. instruments you've had were custom builds, or are there a few builders you uncovered that more commonly use this wood?
I'm going through a steel string acoustic phase right now. I own two guitars made by George Lowden in Northern Ireland. He uses African Blackwood regularly on instruments available for sale periodically at his US outlet (Heartbreaker Guitars in Las Vegas).
DSC05252.jpg
LowdenF50.jpeg
Sorry if I diverted attention from the OP's guitar but I had to share this AB beauty also.

Cincy
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A wood box, empty
A sensitive heart, too full
You and I connect.

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Tim522
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Location: Toronto

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by Tim522 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:12 pm

very nice!

chiral3
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Location: Philadelphia Area, PA / New York.

Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by chiral3 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:37 pm

Very nice Poriforo. Love the B&S. Michael was a member here a while back. He was a prolific poster of builds, tricks, and projects. I still use a method he posted to mass produce rosettes by wrapping veneers around a core with clamps and baking in the oven. Unfortunately he is one of many that don't visit anymore or expend effort to post. I'd highly recommend tracking down his posts if you want to he more of his builds through the years.
Whatever catastrophe or dynamic equilibrium this will eventually lead to will be a mathematical not a moral phenomenon. - A Fryer

Jabberwocky
Posts: 207
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Re: New Instrument from Michael Thames

Post by Jabberwocky » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:20 pm

Beautiful work by Michael as always. I love that spruce top!

He shipped this out before he left for the Land of 1000 Smiles for a holiday...
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