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A return to the four brace Selmer style. Lutz spruce top, walnut laminated back and sides. Mahogany neck with walnut spline, ebony fingerboard, Evo Gold 47 x 104 frets, 670mm scale. Ebano 8.5 gram bridge, Golden Age tuners (for now, Miller’s are caught in the the supply chain) and Miller tailpiece. French polish, of course. For Sale

#82 is a Selmer size petite bouche in the style that is continuously evolving here. A custom order. Very happy with this one. Snappy and articulate with huge dynamic range. Lutz spruce top for high stiffness to weight ratio, four braces like Selmer 503 but narrower, taller and elliptical, again for higher s/w ratio. Curly walnut back and sides, walnut neck, ebony fingerboard, nickel silver frets. Miller hardware, Ebano* bridge, French polish finish.

*Ebano is (was) a “man made wood product” that resembles ebony. I used it for fingerboards and bridges for 40 guitars after I developed a sensitivity to rosewoods. I was pleased with it as it was lighter than ebony, very stable and uniformly black. Unfortunately, it is no longer offered. I bought up a bunch of blanks for bridges before they were gone, but was too late to get a stock of fingerboards for future use. I’m now using ebony for fingerboards and can’t say I’m totally unhappy about it but I do note ebony is quite a bit less stable during humidity changes resulting in changes in neck relief. Well, that’s why I use an adjustable truss rod.

#81: A new one for Brad Brose. Brad specified the lovely rosette, the small diamond fret marker and collaborated on many of the details. It came out lovely.

Patterned after Joseph DiMauro’s iconic heart hole design. Top is Lutz spruce, birdseye maple back and sides (laminated). Mahogany and walnut neck shaft, ebony fingerboard, 660mm scale, EVO Gold frets. Mother of Pearl fret makers and head plate logo. Miller enclosed tuners and custom CB tailpiece. Light tinting and French polish finish. Here’s a short video of Brad playing it in my shop:

A new one in the style of Joseph DiMauro the elder. I’m super pleased with this one and was going to keep it as a demo here in the shop and at festivals (eventually), but a CB guitar owner came for a shop visit and had to have it 🙂

Lutz spruce top, birdseye back and sides. Mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard EVO Gold frets, 670 scale. Ebano bridge, CB custom tailpiece.

Mike Horan approached me about building a guitar similar to the Selmer from their transitional period played by Django in the late 30s and featured in the J’attendrai video and promotional pictures from the time. Unlike the petite bouche of the 1940s, this guitar is 640mm scale like the early Maccaferri gran bouche models, but 14 fret to the body and petite bouche like the later guitars. I’ll let Mike describe his first impressions:

Craig, I pulled myself away from playing my new guitar long enough to write to you.  I finally had a chance to really play it this morning for a few hours.  First, the neck shape and nut spacing is perfect—you got it exactly how I prefer it.  The short scale is a lot of fun to play, it definitely makes certain chord shapes and single-note passages easier to grab.  And the sound is beautiful.  It is quite a bit more subtle than my Corazon, which I expected.  But it is lush and fat and rewards a careful right hand—-I was overdriving it at first but got it figured out now.  More so than my other guitars, it really pops when you pick it back by the bridge, but sounds as warm as butter closer to the soundhole and with a gentler attack.  At the risk of sounding ridiculous, I would say this guitar wants to be played “romantically.”  Which is what I hear and like so much in early Django.  So I think you hit it out of the park here. Thanks again for taking on this project!

I probably would never have built this guitar on my own, it just wasn’t on my radar. So glad Mike engaged me to do it. It clearly proves to me that a short scale Selmer style has a lot to offer and can compete without apologies with it’s longer scale brethern.

Lutz spruce top with four brace pattern, birdseye maple back and sides (laminated). Butternut neck with walnut center spline, ebony fingerboard, EVO Gold frets, Miller tuners and tail. French polish finish (of course!).

Thanks Mike!

A new petite bouche in the style of Joseph Dimauro the Elder. Dimauro body shape, Lutz spruce top, walnut laminated back and sides. Walnut neck, 670 scale, ebony fingerboard, nickel silver frets. Golden age open tuners, CB custom brass tailpiece. Satin French polish finish. Hardshell case. Sold

The owner Coleman McMurphy wrote me after receiving the guitar:

Dude. My mind is completely blown. It’s so much better than I expected, and I expected it to be awesome. I can’t believe how many different sounds I can coax out of this guitar. It’s just a completely different class of guitar.  Thank you so Much!

#77 is Selmer size with petite bouche. European spruce top and curly mahogany back and sides Neck is a modern shape and size make of mahogany with walnut center reinforcement and Ebano fingerboard. Scale is 670mm, nickel silver frets. Miller enclosed tuners and Miller tailpiece. French polish finish. Very similar in sound to #76, so have a listen to Matt Henry’s videos in the previous post.

Matt has been a tremendous friend and help to me as a builder. He has played each of the last 50+ CB guitars and offered his thoughts and constructive criticisms on each. His critiques have been both perceptive and articulate. Matt was one of my first customers commissioning an early Derecho and later #38,. Almost 40 guitars later since #38, Matt was ready for a new guitar that matched our mutual evolving sense of what makes the ideal gypsy jazz guitar. Here are a couple videos of Matt playing #76 (be sure to listen with headphones or good speakers):

Specs: Selmer body shape and size. Lutz spruce top with custom CB bracing. Laminated curly walnut back (vaulted) and sides. Walnut neck, 670mm scale, ebony fingerboard, nickel silver frets. Miller hardware, Ebano bridge, Argentine 10s and French polish finish.

A petite bouche Joseph Dimauro style for Jordan Koel with the Hot Club of Ann Arbor. Torrefied Sitka spruce top, curly French walnut back and sides (laminated). Walnut neck, Ebano fingerboard, stainless frets. French polish finish. Rubner three on a plate tuners, Miller tail. Solid sound, loud and clear.

Les “Doc” Cunningham liked the 12 fret Orchestra I made for him last year and ordered up a 14 fret Derecho to go with it.

Torrefied sitka spruce top, curly French walnut back and sides, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard, 660mm scale, EVO Gold frets, Bustato style tailpiece, Miller brass enclosed tuners.