Archive News 2003
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The last bulletin of 2003 is all about
globetrotting. This is Paolo Lubrano.
Paolo is now officially the most determined
of Brook customers having come all the way from Turin in Italy to visit
our workshop - he got a flight from Italy to Stanstead, a taxi to a hostel
overnight in London, a train to Exeter, a connection to Yeoford where
we picked him up in the car. We booked him in to our favourite B&B
in Yeoford that evening, took him out for a meal and he travelled back
the following morning
He went away with a Lyn that we had
lying around waiting for a suitable suitor - plus our appreciation for
And this is Ross Smithard from Australia.
Ross ordered a Kit mini travel guitar
with a slotted headstock and Fishman Matrix pickup system. He sent us
this picture of him taken the other evening with his new instrument just
after it had arrived.
It's heartwarming to know that our guitars
are becoming sought after across the globe and we'd like to thank Ross
and Paolo for seeking us out when there must have been simpler options
in their vicinity.
Custom touches are an increasingly popular
way to personalise your instrument and that is exactly what guitar picker
Kai Rune has opted for here
Kai is a Norwegian living in London and
has decided to incorporate a bit of Norway on his headstock with this
fjord scene. Kai supplied a photo and we set about trying to re-create
it in an inlay. We decided on smoky pearl, walnut, spalted beech and thuja
burl for the most appropriate materials and the end result is quite striking.
Kai's initials are also inlaid at the 12th fret and overall the effect
is a very individual Tamar
He opted for a lovely wood combination of English flamed walnut for the
body and purfling with dark bearclawed sitka for the top.
Now that's good taste!
It's been a while since we made one of
these but this is an example of our Otter
acoustic Bass, being modelled here by Kevin, one of our team of luthiers
The last Otter we made was a fretless
model but this one is fretted which is the preference of Mr Eric Anderson
from Norway who seems to have taken a liking to some of our less common
models (see News for June 2003)
This particular Otter is in Indian
rosewood and European spruce with an 864mm (standard 34") scale length
and has a tobacco sunburst finish
Moving from one end of the spectrum to
the other, we recently had the pleasure of attending some concerts by
the inimitable Michael Hurley who
took a few moments out of his busy schedule to try his particular magic
on one of our Bovey travel guitars.
They seem to have got on rather well together
We had to prise them apart afterwards but we took these pics just before
The gigs were fantastic - in case you were wondering
One of the local woods we like to use
in our shop is Yew. It isn't employed as widely as Rosewoods and Mahogany
in the guitar building world but there are some who like to seek out something
a bit different and we are impressed with both the sound and the appearance
of this tone wood.
This is a Yew-backed Taw and it belongs
to Tim Marks here who obviously likes a few personal touches such as a
slotted headstock and a bit of 12th fret inlay for good measure.
While you lot have been enjoying the heatwave
we've been getting on with producing our recent crop of instruments. There
are a whole load on their way to Hank's Music
Store up in London but this one won't make it that far as it has
already been intercepted en route by Mr John Tootle (pictured)
It's quite a unique instrument - A cocobolo
Tamar with a scale length of 640 mm
which means it's a nice hybrid size for players who combine a bit of picking
That cocobolo is a fine wood and produces
some stunning results
Here's a peek at the top which sports
some nice decor too
The remainder of our output for this month
should be arriving at Hank's any day
now and here's a preview below
The full order list is: Rosewood Kit,
Bird's Eye Maple Torridge, Ovangkol
Taw, Gum Okement,
Rosewood Teign, Rosewood Bovey
and finally an Ovangkol Taw
A true Brook Connoisseur could pick them out from this picture!
We also received a visit recently from
'Guitar' magazine who wanted to do
a piece featuring some shots of our workshop.
You can see a full transcript of the article
(warning - it is approx 400kb)
This little job might look like a guitar
but in fact it is our first ever Brook Uke
If this one satisfies our curiosity and our exacting standards we have
tentative plans for introducing soprano, concert, tenor and baritone size
models to the Brook range
Looks pretty good once it's strung up
So why are we moving into this area? Simple; because of the weight of
public demand. The Ukulele is becoming more and more popular and people
have been inquiring if we built them.
For instance, such organisations as
'The Ukulele Research & Development Society'
simply could not manage to function if there was a shortage of top qualty
Some might think that was no bad thing!
The guy in the pith helmet is none other than Sir Humphrey Comfy. The
others are probably on day release from a local hospital in Exeter
This lot meet every month in Exeter. So
if you've got a uke and a silly hat (required) why not join in?
Anyone for Darts?
This is our model called the Dart,
named after the river on Dartmoor.
Now and again somebody orders one and we get to build one of these, but
because of its specialist nature it is one of our less well known models.
However, there are some people out there who just aren't satisfied with
a single cutaway and opt for the double cut as featured on the Dart
We've been working on this one recently and that gives us the opportunity
to show you some pics of it's development through the build process
The picture above gives a revealing internal view of the double cutaway
and the bracing on this instrument.
Once it's got its top fitted and has visited the
spray shop it looks ready for the road
And that's just as well because after this
has been given a thorough test and we've taken some close-ups of the custom
inlay work, then it's off to Mr Eric Anderson from Norway who has ordered
this one and would like to hear it ASAP
Here's Jack modelling
our latest 4-string creation ( We're not quite sure what we're calling
this yet) We always enjoy this 'road testing' part of the process
It was made for
Mike Selley who has now managed to get hold of three of our instruments.
The scale length on this one is 560mm and Mike intended it to be tuned
D-G-B-E but it works equally as well tuned as a standard mandola
It sports a kingfisher
inlay on the asymmetrical headstock (see news bulletin for July 2002)
and we're shortly going to be completing a 6-string version with the same
body design so watch this space
Three of our guitars
have also just left for Ivor Mairants ready for the London
Guitar Show at Wembley Arena (10th and 11th
May) and a couple more have been sent to the London
Resonator Centre in Islington so London residents
and visitors are going to be spoiled for choice in the Brook department...
at least until they all get snapped up
You're not seeing
double. Don't adjust anything... just meet
the Creedy twins...
This pair of parlours were made for a
German customer called Franz Mang. Franz has a band called Robespierre
and will be using these on stage.
They were both made in Sitka Spruce and
English walnut with a bridge inspired by a Victorian parlour guitar. Here's
a closer look at the six string
Sometimes it hurts to pack 'em up and
The latest CD from Adrian Legg is
now available in the shops and from his site
and we're excited to see that his beloved Creedy
is not only the main guitar for the body of the album but Adrian also
decided to feature it in the artwork!
This snippet from the recording
information on the back cover pinpoints where you can hear the Creedy
We also heard reports that Adrian's
one-off show in London recently was a fantastic event. A London show is
rare treat for UK fans of this virtuoso guitarist as he is kept busy in
the States most of the time.
Still, if you missed it, the album is a real delight and it's refreshing
to hear Adrian put a fine acoustic through its paces
This Baritone Tavy
is the most intriguing of our recent guitars
Sled and snow are optional extras but
the rest of the details are:
690mm scale length.
Tuned C F Bb Eb G C
D'Addario Heavy 14-59 phosphor bronze strings.
Previously we've made our baritones with a longer scalelength and the
lower A - A tuning. For this instrument we've shortened the scalelength
to give us an instrument that is a lot closer in feel to a standard guitar
but also adds a huge rich depth to the sound.
Ever wished you could tune your guitar
down a couple of notches without any loss in volume or sustain?...
For the first News item of 2003 we are proud to announce that Portishead's
Beth Gibbons' solo CD is available now
Beth, Paul Webb and Adrian Utley all have
Taws and were recently seen giving
a stunning performance on the TV programme 'Later, with Jools Holland'
Here's a shot of
Beth at our workshop playing a 12 string version of the Taw