Santa Cruz "RS" query

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    • #636
      Silly Moustache
      Participant

      Hi, I have one of  these, and after trying Gibson Jackson Brownes and a Huss & Dalton, the Santa Cruz suits me very well (happy user).

      However I have never seen or played a real Gibson “Roy Smeck” and I’m wondering how closely the RS resembles the original Gibson design in terms of body dimensions and strutting etc.

      Any info on this wold be much appreciated.

      BTW – are they still in production? To order only?

       

      Thanks in advance.

    • #818
      Richard Hoover
      Senior Moderator

      Thanks, as always, for your contributions SM.

      Roy Smeck was like the Eric Clapton of his day; beloved and wildly popular. His name evokes a fine legacy, but also represents a trade name that doesn’t belong to us. Nonetheless; we are poor counterfeiters, or more accurately, we don’t even try to replicate vintage instruments because we can’t resist the temptation to apply the improvements of the ensuing years. We also can’t help but put our own vibe and design sense into the efforts. For the RS model I went off photos, physical observation and listening to some examples of the old Roy Smeck’s and similar models then went from there without feeling obligated to “hold true” to the original.

      As a historical lesson; we took relentless flack when making Tony Rice a guitar that met his requests for many personal modifications and tonal improvements over his revered, but tubby old ’34 Bone. A unique new design for contemporary acoustic music incorporating jazz phrasings and articulate single line lead work. As a result we were faulted, and still are, by those that feel we failed in the attempt to faithfully copy the old icon ala Maestro John Arnold or the Merrill Bros. Lesson learned; we’ll leave reverent reproduction to those that inspired to do so.

      More to your question; the SCGC RS honors the body depth and shape, sound hole size and string length of the original . We also kept in mind the overall spirit of the artist and a sense of the ethos of the era in which it was born. Otherwise we did our own thing.

      All the best,

      Richard

      • #820
        Silly Moustache
        Participant

        Hi Richard, thank you for your fulsome reply. It is great to get a response from the “man himself!”  I’m very happy with my “RS” number 6501 which I believe was built in 2012 but acquired some time later.

        I need wider fret boards  – 1 & 13/16″ nuts are my preference and so all of my flat-tops are 12 fretters, and the “RS” style seemed to be an essential member of my humble collection.  it is one of only two non slotted headstock  flat tops.

        I have seen from the ‘net that the sunbursts have varied greatly since introduction, but I am delighted by the ‘burst on mine, so much so, that I’m a bit scared of gigging it!

        I applaud you strategy about respecting the finest American designs of the 20th C, whilst retaining your own thing! – most notably the H13, which I’ve long admired.

        If interested (and you dolt have to be!)  here’s a short video of me playing mine and singing a Jerry Jeff Walker song about an old Roy Smeck guitar.

        Thanks again and best regards from the UK!

         

         

    • #819
      Richard Hoover
      Senior Moderator

      Dear SM…P.S.

      The SCGC RS model is still available, as are most designs from our last 40 years of custom lutherie. Some designs can fade into the background in reaction to market demand, though never hesitate to ask us!

      Best,

      Richard

    • #831
      Richard Hoover
      Senior Moderator

      Good job SM! Gotta love that.

      JJW would be pleased with your rendition, no doubt. He had an affinity for Santa Cruz town and we got the pleasure of him hanging out on our couch occasionally to hear some of the un-broadcastable versions of his calssics.

      Nice legacy of Americana chronicles from that gifted guy. Thank you.

       

    • #832
      Richard Hoover
      Senior Moderator

      Good job SM! Gotta love that.

      JJW would be pleased with your rendition, no doubt. He had an affinity for Santa Cruz town and we got the pleasure of him hanging out on our couch occasionally to hear some of the un-broadcastable versions of his calssics.

      Nice legacy of Americana chronicles from that gifted guy. Thank you.

       

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