Saturday, March 24, 2018


You might think (fill in the blank) about anybody who'd take time for cereal box repair. You might be wrong.


Sunday, March 18, 2018


Thank you for reading/watching/bidding!

Bob Weir model WY-1 
Alvarez Yairi 

Listing expires March 25 Sunday, 6:57PM (Eastern I think)
 That's today. Winning bidder: hold off on payment until tomorrow when I get actual ship price along with destination.

Measured string spacing at bridge: 54mm (2.129" or about 2-1/8")
Measured width of fingerboard at nut: ~42.5mm (1.676")
Solid Cedar Top - Electric-Acoustic
Guitar alone weighs 4.6 lb
Has been kept in a smoke-free environment

Selling for less than what I paid, let my need for quick sale be your gain!
Listing says $20 shipping which is unrealistic. 
My text states buyer pays actual cost

Q: "Hello, wondering about photo 9; is that a hole that goes clear through top?"
A: No, these are surface dings or blemishes. I caught the reflected light to make sure you could see them. It's just another view of the lower bout visible in the lower right of the first picture.

Q: Is there much fret wear?

A: I'll take some more pictures tonight to ease your mind about fret wear, I never noticed any but will look again. 
Update: Yes there is some visible fret wear, but IMHO it's minimal, not enough to affect playing. My Gibson got way worse than this before I decided to have it worked on.
It was hard to photograph but I tried:

Q: Is neck straight?
A: Not sure how to quantify neck straightness, have you ever seen a picture that was able to prove that? But I'll look and get back to you. 

Update: No, the truss rod is adjusted for some relief as is commonly done. This was even harder to photograph. I am not equipped to try to measure the string-to-fret distance at the moment, but it's easy to play (IMHO, apart from string spacing not fitting my fat fingers).

Next day with natural light, some longer exposures for better depth of field. The 2017 nickel (about .073" thick) fits the low E string at the 19th fret and the high E string at the 7th fret. Easy action, I'm not a hard strummer.

Q: Has this ever been repaired?
A: I am not aware of any repair, other than I once had a luthier remove the nut because I had a crazy idea of trying to change the string spacing. I never followed through, just put the nut back on. Today I found the original listing (I bought it in '07) where the seller claims it is (was) "all orig".

UPDATE 3/23/18: I put a new battery in and the connector broke! So I just replaced that.

Q: How is the intonation and does it stay in tune?
A:  Maybe I can make a recording showing the intonation (but not today). It's been a while since I played this guitar regularly but I certainly don't recall any problems like that. My experience is that cedar top guitars in general hold their tuning noticeably better than spruce top guitars. It's a quality guitar, I don't think you'll have any problems. 
Update: to my ear the 12th fret harmonics match the fretted pitch perfectly. Not that I'm claiming to have perfect ears, but it's better than my old Gibson for sure. 
UPDATE 3/23/18: I made a little recording, FWIW.  
 The left channel is the direct out with the sliders level center, the right channel is the Zoom H4n built in microphone about a foot and a half away from the guitar. I thought that Wilbury's riff might be good to demo intonation (I played it slow in hopes of doing that) but maybe with my bad playing I'm shooting self in foot. Whatever. Like I said, fat fingers, need wider neck than this. (It's a poor workman who blames his tools.) 
Dang - somehow I screwed that up. Here's a new recording:

I believe this soundhole thing is like this D'Addario Planet Waves O-Port

I had question about the above photo (I believe): 
"Hello, wondering about photo 9; is that a hole that goes clear through top?"  
The answer is: No, these are surface dings or blemishes. I caught the reflected light to make sure you could see them.

I thought I didn't know the combination. Silly me. It is what it is (and is evident) or it wouldn't open!

Turns out I bought this guitar in '07 (I found the old listing which you can see here). The seller made a big deal about it being formerly owned/played by someone I'd never heard of. It pleased me to see those lower bout dings in the old pictures. Wasn't me put them there!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Bluebirds March 2018

Mealworms at the kitchen window

March 10 They certainly appear to have taken possession.
March 11 Sunday (actually it looked like this on Friday)
March 18 Sunday. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

2017 Recap

September 9, 2017
Looks like a young Rufous-sided Towhee? Female?


 September 15, 2017
I was excited to find this Underwing moth caught in our window and further pleased to be able to rescue it. Perhaps it is the Ilia Underwing. When I was young I remember thinking Aholiba Underwing, but reference says that's a western cousin.
Had it not been trapped as it was, the lovely hindwing colour wouldn't have been evident.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Bass String Conundrum

March 11, 2018 

I decided to try tape-wound strings on the beautiful Martin bass that Nancy got me decades ago. But, as usual, every solution creates a problem. 

 Problem #1: at the ball end, the winding is too fat to fit in the slot in the bridge.
I suppose I could get to it with a file but jeez this is my only Martin and I'm a little bit reluctant to hack away as I might with a "lesser" instrument.

Problem #2:  The same blue winding extends too far from the ball, such that it would lay over the saddle. To my mind, that just ain't right.
Shown here is the G (lightest) string, clearly in the wrong hole but that's the only slot it will fit in (per problem #1).

Solution #1: Not finding the right thickness wood and not wanting to start a major archaeological dig to excavate power tools I superglued some bits of light shim together and drilled this piece to anchor and space the strings. 

You might be wondering what that crud is on that otherwise lovely ebony bridge. I am too. Gotta scrub it off one of these days.

Here's the internal view. 

You may wonder what the heck's that copper foil about. When I first played this instrument plugged in (it has an under-saddle piezo) I found it had a hum. Grounding the strings made that go away and that is how I did it. So I fear that problem may come back and if it does I'm not sure what I'll do. I can wrap my new spacer with foil to connect the strings to my ground, but as the tape-wound strings will be electrically isolated from my fingers it may be in vain. Stay tuned.  

I don't know the Martin model but the strings I'm trying are D'Addario ETB92.