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New Bartlett Retrospec on order!!!

GotTheSilver

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Apr 14, 2007
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Hey, all! I just sent a deposit off to Tom Barlett for a Retrospec and am really excited! I've heard only great things about him as a builder. I heard about him a couple of years ago for his LP replicas. I thought long and hard about ordering one, but in the end decided I didn't want a replica, but a LP inspired guitar that was a bit different. So I then looked into his Retrospec model that he co-designed with Kim LaFleur and Magnus Melkersson. There are several people today doing a body style that is a cross between a Les Paul and a Telecaster, but most of them don't get it quite right in my eyes. Tom's guitar, however, looks great to me. Something about it just works, and looks very classic. And the youtube videos all sound great! I finally got to play one at Austin Guitar House last month. It was the semi-hollow one with the f-hole. That is an amazing guitar, and it convinced to pull the trigger on the order.

I'm in Tom's build queue for a June 2018 delivery. I have already started looking at pictures of tops. I have been debating between a sunburst or black, but at this point am leaning to an unfaded cherry sunburst. This is exciting already! And only 9 month to go until delivery! :hee
 

GotTheSilver

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Thanks, Dave. I'm really excited! I have narrowed it down to two tops and have asked Tom to make the final decision based on what he thinks is best for the tone.
 

sws1

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Dec 4, 2001
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I couldn't possibly handle waiting until June 2018. I'm far too impatient.

Maybe post some pics along the way if you can get them.
 

GotTheSilver

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I couldn't possibly handle waiting until June 2018. I'm far too impatient.

Maybe post some pics along the way if you can get them.

Yeah, 9 months. What am i doing? Having a baby?!?!

I will post a pick of the top once the final selection is made.
 

renderit

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I played a couple over at the same place. I thought they felt superb. Congrats!
 

GotTheSilver

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I have made a final decision on the top! Ignore the Les Paul outline in one of the photos, it will be a Retrospec body shape.

It has been a fun process so far. I gave Tom a description of the type of tone I am going for. Then I looked through pictures of a bunch of different tops and chose a handful of candidates based on appearance. Tom checked out the tops, tapped on them and listened to their tone. He gave me feedback on the tone of each top. There were a few tops that I really liked visually, but Tom said they did not work tonally for what I was after, so they were taken out of the running. I narrowed it down to two tops based on Tom's feedback and asked Tom to make a final decision based on which worked better for tone. Thus, we came to the top below. I am thrilled with it! I think it looks really cool. For a while, I was afraid that the ones I liked visually were all going to be knocked out for tonal reasons, but that did not happen.

This is my first time posting a pic from my new flickr account, so I hope this works!
https://flic.kr/p/YUsbkxhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/158575019@N08/

https://flic.kr/p/YFN8bahttps://www.flickr.com/photos/158575019@N08/
 

rockabilly69

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Jul 29, 2001
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Thanks, Dave. I'm really excited! I have narrowed it down to two tops and have asked Tom to make the final decision based on what he thinks is best for the tone.
I like these guitars, but IMNSHO I would have him tap as many tops as possible to get the best tone, and if it was a plaintop, just have him do it in black, or better yet, his aged Goldtop, which he does a great job with! That said, no matter what, I bet he is going to build you one hell of a guitar! Congrats.
 

GotTheSilver

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I like these guitars, but IMNSHO I would have him tap as many tops as possible to get the best tone, and if it was a plaintop, just have him do it in black, or better yet, his aged Goldtop, which he does a great job with! That said, no matter what, I bet he is going to build you one hell of a guitar! Congrats.

There was a lot more to the process than my post suggests. I started out with quite a few tops. Tom tapped them all and told me which ones would work for tone and which ones would not. Actually, my top picks for visuals were cut because Tom said they were not optimal for tone. We went through this process a few times to narrow it down to my two finalists, then Tom made the tie breaking decision with his ears. By the time we got to this point, I feel like we were splitting hairs on tone and any of my finalists (more than just the two) would have made an excellent guitar.
 

rockabilly69

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There was a lot more to the process than my post suggests. I started out with quite a few tops. Tom tapped them all and told me which ones would work for tone and which ones would not. Actually, my top picks for visuals were cut because Tom said they were not optimal for tone. We went through this process a few times to narrow it down to my two finalists, then Tom made the tie breaking decision with his ears. By the time we got to this point, I feel like we were splitting hairs on tone and any of my finalists (more than just the two) would have made an excellent guitar.
Well that does explain alot:) It's going to be a great guitar!
 

GotTheSilver

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OK, I finally have an update to post!!! First off, due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to use the top that I originally picked out. So I had to go back to the drawing board and choose a new top. See the pic below of the new top. Then, Tom emailed me the two progress photos on Friday showing the body all glued up with the top carved and the neck glued up and carved. Everything is on schedule to be completed next month!

27235860267_be19b68663_b.jpg
[/url]New Top_smallhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/158575019@N08/[/IMG]

27235861477_47ba93d9bd_b.jpg
[/url]20180511_111347https://www.flickr.com/photos/158575019@N08/[/IMG]

27235861057_efd69776ac_b.jpg
[/url]20180511_111402 https://www.flickr.com/photos/158575019@N08/[/IMG]
 

corpse

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I think providence was at work here- that other top was not a soul mate- this one is.
 

GotTheSilver

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I think providence was at work here- that other top was not a soul mate- this one is.

Ha ha! I actually really liked the original top. I liked the "flourish" of figure on the bass side. I was disappointed at first, but I do think this could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. In the time since I first ordered the guitar, I have thought a lot about tone. I have not really changed what I am looking for at all, but I think I am probably better able to describe it. This reset allowed me to give Tom what was probably a better description of the tone I am looking for, and I was able to send along some sound files that really exemplify what I am after. In the end, I think that will contribute to this being a great guitar for me.

We then started the whole process over, where I chose a number of tops from Tom's stash. Tom tapped them all, and narrowed the field to a handful of finalists based purely on tone (not visuals). He gave me a description of what each one sounded like. He and I narrowed it down to this one top based on its tonal properties and what I was looking for sonically.

Plus, the new top is no slouch in the visuals department.
 

corpse

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Have you gotten down into the weeds as far as what magnets are going into the pick ups?
 

GotTheSilver

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Have you gotten down into the weeds as far as what magnets are going into the pick ups?

I could not tell you the difference between A2 and A5 magnets, so I am relying on Tom's judgment there. Pickups are easily changed, so if I don't like what is in there initially, I can swap them out for other pickups later.
 

rockabilly69

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With it getting so close to completion, I bet you're biting on the bit to get that guitar in your hands:) It's gonna sound fantastic, and with that under-stated flame, look just as good. I've been a Bartlett fan ever since I heard the clips EdA put up of his Burst knock-offs.
 

GotTheSilver

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With it getting so close to completion, I bet you're biting on the bit to get that guitar in your hands:) It's gonna sound fantastic, and with that under-stated flame, look just as good. I've been a Bartlett fan ever since I heard the clips EdA put up of his Burst knock-offs.

Yes, I am getting pretty anxious to get the guitar! :spabout Won't be long now!
 

GotTheSilver

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