|The Signature Series - SN322
Available: Charis Signature Series SJ in Indian Rosewood / Western Red Cedar
What makes this a Signature Series? This guitar contains two developments. First is an adjustable neck feature. Playability is one of the main components of a great guitar. What good is a beautiful guitar with wonderful tone if the playability is poor? One major component of playability is string height or action. As a luthier I want to create an instrument with action that is right for the customer. But how do I do that if the customer is not sitting in my shop where I can observe playing style etc and work with him/her to set the action? Of course there are some objective measurements that can be used, but frequently the requirement will be, "I want the action as low as possible without buzzing." That is a very difficult design spec. And then, let's face it, we are working with delicately braced woods which move with humidity and under different string tensions, altered tunings etc, so even if I hit the mark perfectly it probably will not stay that way forever. Why not make an intuitive user adjustable action that the customer can "tweak" as needed? (I must say here that this feature is not an excuse to ignore humidity issues. Runaway humidity, high or low, can and will still destroy any fine instrument!) In combination with the truss rod to adjust neck relief the user adjustable neck allows easy adjustment by the player. And there is no changing out saddles or adding shims which changes the way the top is driven by the strings.
The fingerboard and neck heel both fit into pockets in the body. The neck pivots on an upper attachment bolt and two screw heads that control alignment. The lower adjustment mechanism draws the heel in or out of the pocket in the body causing the neck to tilt forward or backward. This is the fifth guitar I have built with this concept. The previous four, (two owned by friends so I could keep an eye on them, one by touring Christian recording artist Michael Card and the last on the Overo), are all working well after a couple years use. There are many production issues that need to be addressed before this will become a standard or optional feature for Charis. Even though this is a prototype guitar the full warranty of Charis applies. I will stand behind this instrument just as I would any instrument that leaves the shop with my name on it.
I can hear it already, "But Bill, everyone knows (at least everyone with an internet connection) that this type joint is far inferior tonally to a dovetail neck attachment." Well, all I can say is the proof is in the playing. This guitar is every bit the tonal equal of my standard bolt on neck and based on comparisons with other guitars with dovetail joints this criticism just doesn't stick. Hearing is believing.
The second feature of this Signature Series guitar is the Truss Braced back bracing. These braces are both stiffer and lighter than the solid scalloped braces typically used. Testing shows the top two braces to be significantly stronger than the solid scalloped braces. The bottom two braces are marginally less strong than the solid scalloped braces but certainly strong enough for the application. The solid scalloped braces are probably heavier than needed for this application.
What are the results? Typical reaction by those who have played this guitar are that the string separation, balance, and sustain are exceptional! The complexity of the overtone rich cedar top rings out clearly, the trebles are sparkly, and it projects very well. This is every bit a Charis SJ Cedar/Rosewood if not more.
Don't pass up this opportunity to own this very affordable Signature Series Charis direct from the shop. Please email email@example.com or call 989.686.9775 for price and availability. This one will not be in the shop long.