Just placed and order for a custom FS

Welcome to SCGC Players Forum Forums A General Discussion Just placed and order for a custom FS

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    • #6258
      iim7V7IM7
      Participant

      Hi, I am new to this forum, but I expect that I know a number of you who frequent some other guitar related forums.

      I had no idea how SC worked with clients, so I reached out to Tad (we have a common friend) and he was kind enough to explain to me Carolyn’s role at SC and how it worked with their dealer network.

      With the help of Carolyn (I believe with some consults with Richard), I was able to select the foundational wood and bracing choices for my FS. I play mostly solo jazz chord melody with both a pick and my fingers. They recommended that we use some light, stiff Italian Spruce braced using their standard tapered brace pattern, but using Adirondack Spruce  with HHG to best meet my playing style and tonal goals.

      Italian Spruce Top Set

      For the back and sides, they recommended some figured Black Walnut that they had sourced from back east that Richard thought was fantastic.

      Black Walnut Back & Side Set

      So the custom aspects that are different from the standard model are:

      – Narrower 1-3/4” nut width with 2-5/16” bridge spacing

      – Jescar EVO 43080 frets

      – Italian Spruce top

      – Black Walnut back & sides

      – Ebony peghead veneer

      – African Blackwood body, fretboard and peghead binding with black/maple/black purflings

      – Paua Abalone rosette and top purfling

      – Abalone SCGC mini logo on peghead and bridge pin dots

      – MOP Deco inlay position marker just at 12th fret

      – Buttered toast sunburst

      – A tortoise teardrop pickguard because of my hybrid playing style

      – Custom Macassar Ebony buttons for Gotoh 510 tuners

      I believe that construction may begin in late October early November timeframe.

       

       

       

       


      Santa Cruz Italian Spruce | Claro Walnut FS*

      *On Order

    • #6260
      indexless
      Keymaster

      Congrats!

      the waiting is the hardest part

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by indexless.
    • #6262
      bert
      Participant

      Welcome iim7v7im7, yes we have crossed paths, I have recently been admiring your Froggy Bottom on the UMGF. I go by ‘bertram’ there, been playing SCGC for 20yrs and believe you will be very happy with your decision. Eric Skye is a member here (plus has his own SCGC model), you’re in good hands as far as genre goes.

      This is a fairly small, intimate community that is a very friendly place thanks to Rich & Tad, make yourself at home.

      best wishes, bert

       

    • #6264
      Hank
      Participant

      Welcome iim7v7im7 ….That is Brilllllliant.

      You’ll like our small group if you understand the passion for all things SCGC.

      I also am waiting for my last guitar from SCGC…..Due last day of January.


      1993 Martin HD-28 IR/Sitka
      2001 SCGC F Cutaway Maple/German
      2008 SCGC OT Madi/Italian
      2015 SCGC OM “The Tree” Hog/ European
      2016 SCGC 1934 D45 Braz/ Adi
      2016 Taylor K62 CE Limited Edition 12 string all Koa
      2019 SCGC FTC Granadillo/Redwood
      Life is a journey…not a guided tour,
      The Bay,The Gulf Stream , The Open Ocean are particular about who they share their secrets with.

    • #6265
      iim7V7IM7
      Participant

      Thanks for the warm welcome and well wishes.


      Santa Cruz Italian Spruce | Claro Walnut FS*

      *On Order

    • #6268
      haasome
      Participant

      This should be a fun build. It should be beautiful and have a great touch. I’m awaiting delivery of a Custom put in during February, but is now running a couple of months late. All that’s good is well worth the wait. Carolyn is always terrific to work with. Keep us posted with updates & good luck.


      – Paul –

    • #6276
      Mr. Jelly
      Participant

      Wow! You’re a lucky man. That looks to be a amazing guitar.


      SC 00 Sitka/Hog 1929 Cowboy purfling Buttertoast
      Collings 001 T
      Waterloo WL-S Deluxe

    • #6277
      iim7V7IM7
      Participant

      Can someone explain to me how Santa Cruz’s build workflow in the shop works?

      Is it a small team who each does specific operations (e.g., gluing up & thicknessing plates, rosette installation, bracing, side bending/linings etc.) or do individual luthiers in the shop do most of the work on an instrument?

      I suspect the former approach, but I have never visited their shop. I believe they have about 20 employees including administrative colleagues. So I suspect that guitars are made in batches with different unit operations distributed across the shop. Any insight here is most welcome. I know that tops are signed. So is that just the portion of the team who glued up the plates and braced the top?

      Also, can someone confirm that SC uses a 14” fretboard radius? Lastly, does anyone know the top dish radius that SC uses on their F models?

       

       

       


      Santa Cruz Italian Spruce | Claro Walnut FS*

      *On Order

    • #6278
      haasome
      Participant

      I’ve had two customs made by SCGC and can confirm the radius is 14” – I asked. However, there are other members that understand the separation of duties better than me. Hopefully they will chime in about the build process.


      – Paul –

      • #6279
        iim7V7IM7
        Participant

        Thank you


        Santa Cruz Italian Spruce | Claro Walnut FS*

        *On Order

    • #6280
      tadol
      Moderator

      I’ve never asked about those specifics, but from the people I’ve talked to and what I’ve noticed in the shop, there is a constant training program going on, and jobs get rotated to keep people from getting too burnt out in any one position.  They hire luthiers who have gone through luthiery school primarily, but not exclusively. Richard, and the more senior luthiers, work with the newer people to make sure they understand the “Santa Cruz” way, and the internal procedures since they work on so many customs.  Now, most of this was gathered and my interpretation was determined based on their pre-Covid operations, and I do know that their general operations and working conditions have changed considerably since then, but I don’t have any specifics on what those changes are. I do know they have modified their air handling systems to increase air changes, and installed more barriers to keep work areas more isolated, but how it affects their on-going training and shop safety sessions – no idea –

      Richard is amazingly generous and happy to share his knowledge, so perhaps we can add those questions to a podcast in the future –


      Lots o’ SCGC guitars! But never ask which is my fav

      • #6281
        iim7V7IM7
        Participant

        Thanks…A rotation system is what I suspected for cross training for colleague development and long-term viability (people move on). Certain operations are also likely done by their supply chain (e.g., purflings, bindings, shell inlay etc.). I am curious how the customer player input moves from Richard/Carolyn to wood selection and bracing of the top. Does the luthier performing these tasks know the input goals of the client? It would be good to understand the SC journey post-Carolyn, from wood to instrument as a project moves through the shop.


        Santa Cruz Italian Spruce | Claro Walnut FS*

        *On Order

    • #6284
      Mr. Jelly
      Participant

      The understanding I came away with is that the builders spend time in every area of building the guitars. One person doesn’t build one guitar. Or do the same job forever. I’d suggest  googling your question and checking out some Richard Hoover and Santa Cruz guitars YouTube videos. It’s been awhile since I’ve done that.


      SC 00 Sitka/Hog 1929 Cowboy purfling Buttertoast
      Collings 001 T
      Waterloo WL-S Deluxe

      • #6285
        iim7V7IM7
        Participant

        I had done that and found 2008 video with Willie Carter giving a tour 13 years ago and one with Teja Gerken about 3 years ago. I got the sense that Santa Cruz made more guitars/year (700-800/year) back then than the do today. The operation can be seen from wood storage/conditioning, plate thicknessing, side bending, block/lining installation, top/back bracing, closing the box, neck manufacture, CNC operations, dovetail installation, finishing, setup/plek etc.. So it is a cross trained, team built instrument.

        I was curious as they moved to lower their manufacturing volume (e.g., ~400/year) with a greater percentage of customization, how shop operations may have changed? How does the input post Carolyn writing up specs travel with the project through the shop in terms of player’s intent? I suspect that once the spec sheet is written up, the team members just do the best that they can to create the guitar. Guitars are more than just recipes. I was wondering if player information or intent (e.g. they care more about responsiveness, or headroom, timbre of the trebles etc.) is communicated beyond the spec. sheet that follows the order through the shop?


        Santa Cruz Italian Spruce | Claro Walnut FS*

        *On Order

    • #6292
      iim7V7IM7
      Participant

      FYI, I heard from Carolyn. My FS will have a 12” to 18-1/2” compound radius.


      Santa Cruz Italian Spruce | Claro Walnut FS*

      *On Order

      • #6293
        haasome
        Participant

        Did she say that was peculiar to the FS model?


        – Paul –

      • #6294
        iim7V7IM7
        Participant

        Unfortunately, I did not ask the question broadly, but just in relation to my guitar. I also asked about the top and back dish. They are 33’ and 12’ radii respectively. I know years ago, they were all 14” radius. I believe over the years they have moved more broadly to a compound radius.


        Santa Cruz Italian Spruce | Claro Walnut FS*

        *On Order

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by iim7V7IM7.
      • #6297
        haasome
        Participant

        I just looked at my correspondence with Carolyn in October 2019 where I asked – “What is the fretboard radius on my OM & OMG? Are all SCGC the same?”

        Looking at her answer I see our miscommunication. She said “It’s 14” on both.” She wasn’t addressing my question about all guitars. So this is new information for me. Thanks. I’ll have ask about my H13 under construction. It’s not an issue really because I seem to get along with most fretboards, but still worth knowing.


        – Paul –

      • #6346
        haasome
        Participant

        I thought the radius on my new h/13 seemed a little different. An email to Carolyn was promptly answered. The fretboard has a compound radius of 12″ – 18.5. This is a first for me. So, there you have it.


        – Paul –

    • #6347
      iim7V7IM7
      Participant

      I have found that differences in fretboard radius in a practical sense are transparent to me. I have guitars with a variety of fretboard radii from 12” to 20” and a variety of compound radii. After a few minutes playing an instrument I forget these specs totally.


      Santa Cruz Italian Spruce | Claro Walnut FS*

      *On Order

      • #6348
        haasome
        Participant

        My experience too.


        – Paul –

    • #6349
      iim7V7IM7
      Participant

      For those of you interested, I also found out the top and back radius dish of an FS Model. The top dish radius is 33’ and the back dish radius is 12’. These are both fairly small radii by vintage standards and more similar to those used in modern lutherie.


      Santa Cruz Italian Spruce | Claro Walnut FS*

      *On Order

    • #6350
      Daniel
      Participant

      Sounds like you’re going to have a great guitar.

      Welcome to the forum!

      Can’t wait for photos of the completed guitar.  😉

      Daniel

    • #6351
      Mr. Jelly
      Participant

      I see your guitar is going to be a buttered toast sunburst. I have a buttered toast on my 00 and still get a kick out of it every time I see it.


      SC 00 Sitka/Hog 1929 Cowboy purfling Buttertoast
      Collings 001 T
      Waterloo WL-S Deluxe

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