Michael Tilton. Joey McKinney. Derek Smith.
I still need to get the CD with Big Black Helicopter on it. There was another song on there about a man who lived on the river?
I saw the Lazy Eights play like 49 times. I’ll never forget the first time. It was at the GB Brewery, totally packed, we had to wait to enter. One person out - one person in. The "stage" was one strip of yellow sheriff tape enclosing the band in the middle of the packed room. They barley had enough space to play. Wilborn was cranking on the fiddle so hard a string broke and slashed his forehead, he rolled his eyes as if to look up in anticipation of the blood which started dripping off his brow. An expeditious pause then played on with three strings, never missed a beat. Always had a good time at every event. Such great people and awesome music.
~ Forever Groupie
We need to discuss a guitar and finalize the wood we saw at your shop. 😀
The woodworking is done on this Nautilus I am taking to B.I.G. 3 in Texas this September. A very unusual and lovely set of Brazilian, Carpathian spruce from Transylvania, bound up in Macassar ebony. I am expecting good things from this little fellow. ... See MoreSee Less
I am getting bored with saying how great these guitars look and sound, so I will say I enjoyed the "accompanied by" vs. "coupled with" haha and I love it when you go to FunkyTown and bring Funky Face with it!
Wow, it even earned the honor of Ben demoing fingerstyle!
Would love to more about your guitars Mike
If you have not listened to the new Frog and Toad album, The Open Road, it is so good, do it. It will land in your favorites stash!!
Another magnificent build. Love the tunnel redwood-cocobolo combo. The best word in came come up with for the tone is - lush!
Love to hear you improvise Jazz and have so much fun enjoying your creations! Thanks, Ben!
Dang! That last song reminds me that I need that album with Big Black Helicopter!
Yeah amazing instrument! Embarrassing to even attempt to comment as it will always be understated. I made an effort. Congrats!
Such a full, satisfying and glorious tone with lots of mids. Well done!
i love your explanations about everything...and of course listening to your music.
Just when I thought they couldn’t get any better…
Absolutely stunning my friend. You do coco/redwood so friggin well 😍 might be my fav combo now
Will that model handle medium gauge strings? Just curious?
I just finished this Sidewinder in cocobolo and Tunnel 14 redwood. This is the 16” version of my Comma Series instruments, and it is big and bold. Already, at only one day old, it has an absolutely commanding bass response, but the highs are still sweet and fat, with sustain galore. I got this cocobolo from a giant plank- a beam really- that had been left out in the weather for a long time. It was a chalky grey on the outside ( I wasn’t even sure what it was…) and it was so heavy, I could not lift it alone. Perhaps 6 feet long, 18” wide and 12” thick. It was severely checked, and I was sadly only able to get a few sound sets from it. The cool thing was that under that oxidized exterior, the wood still had the crazy purple/yellow and orange colors that freshly milled coco has. However, whatever it’s tragic past, I think it has a glorious future! ... See MoreSee Less
I am always happy to share my techniques and ideas, just as I have benefited from others sharing theirs with me. David Higham just completed this Comma inspired instrument, and I think it looks fantastic. Now I may just turn around and borrow his idea for the tail-door to give better access to the interior. Bravo! I am honored. ... See MoreSee Less
Ben, I should have mentioned that I borrowed the access panel idea from Kent Chasson, with his permission and his generous help. I need the panel because the neck is fully adjustable for 'yaw' and 'pitch' and adjustment is made from inside the box. I'd also like to add that I've received extremely generous help from other professional luthiers such as Steve Kinnaird, Stephen Sheriff (Edwinson) and Steve Fischer, and I'm just an amateur dabbler. I only make instruments for fun, for myself and a few family members and friends.
Thank you so much for your generosity... your inspirations will spread throughout the world of luthiers...🍻
I think to look at this as a compliment and embrace collaboration is to be applauded! We all grow together by sharing each others stories, ideas, and advances in our artistry. To look at it as competition brings everyone down a level and keeps us from moving forward together.
As a repair person as well as a builder, I can totally get behind this. Too many guitars are being made with no access to the areas where cracks typically happen in “flat” top instruments.
I love how it is fairly common for builders to share ideas and take inspiration from one another. This is a great example.
Beautiful & very clever. You have to school me in modern bracing thinking.
Ben's revolution has begun. 100 years from now these will be the norm and the x brace will be considered like ladder braces are now.
I’ve always wondered about interior access on your guitars, especially as I prefer an undersaddle pickup arrangement…hope you come up with something cool!
I forgot to say, Gorgeous Build! You're attention to the tiniest details pays off, handsomely, and the design and look of the access port is nothing less than brilliant!
wow... "what do I know" sounds SO much more ... uh... complicated? when it's stated in French!
Ben, owning (and playing!!) one of your guitars is definitely on my bucket list. But even if that never happens you have blessed me so much by watching your art unfold with each guitar you build. Absolute works of art!
It is truly amazing to see a piece of fine wood reach it’s true potential in the hands of an artist
Gorgeous. Nice to see old world craftsmanship these days. A true work of art.
Yeah and I pretty much asked back in the day about finding Adirondack with good figure and what did you say to me ? Lol 😂
Beautiful work Ben, your work is amazing
Full agreement there. The tap tone even comes through when I tap on the phone screen￼
That is absolutely one of the most amazing Adirondack tops I have ever seen. Besides being stunning visually, does the tap tone reveal even more secrets about prospective tone? Just framing that exquisite piece of wood would compete with any Picasso or Rembrandt. Wood art made into a Ben Wilborn guitar. Someone will be a very happy camper!
That is a fantastic looking top..and I bet the sound of the top is going to be exquisite!! Fantastic architecture inside that will let the Master Grade Adi do it’s best.
Absolutely no argument here! Love your work!
This is such a fine top... and I know one thing or two about Adi! Just, wow!
I second that emotion
that top is going to look sweet when finished the grain will jump out
It's tough disputing that claim. That's one gorgeous top.
I just realized the date, and that BIG guitar show in Texas is approaching fast. So I dug through my stacks and came up with this lovely Nautilus sized set of Brazilian which I will couple with a Carpathian spruce top and Macassar ebony binding. I don’t get to build many guitars on spec these days ( not complaining!) but it’s fun to build whatever suits me. I love the dark staining that shows throughout this set. ... See MoreSee Less
OMG ! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ your such a tease! I hate you ! Lmao 🤣
Actually I love you in the friendship kind of way ! Haha 😂
That’s gunna be a gorgeous guitar . Just don’t sell it until I see if my lotto numbers come in ! 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣
Oh and you should use a Moon Spruce top one day . 😉
Does it matter that it looks to be flat sawn? Or is it so old that if it was going to crack, it would have done so by now? Just interested. I'm a hobby builder and could never afford to build with wood like that.
This rosewood, I was told in great earnestness by the man who sold it to me, was salvaged from a beam in a dilapidated barn in Brazil. It makes sense that a farmer would use the materials that are at hand. I stayed in a very humble hotel once in Costa Rica that was entirely timber-framed in teak. I work in a field that consumes natural resources, and I am a person who considers the preservation of the environment to be of utmost importance. These things can easily be at odds. I try my best, but I find that I owe my ultimate allegiance to my work, so maybe I am primed to believe unprovable stories like I just told. I’m often ambivalent. I do like to remind myself that it’s unlikely that in a lifetime’s work I will consume more than a couple cubic yards of wood in total. ... See MoreSee Less
That is a mighty beautiful piece of wood probably made more so by the loving cows eructating and chewing their cuds peacefully under it while the harvest moon made friends with stars that danced across the night skies like honey bees to a golden, pollen soaked, bloom.
You are not “consuming” as much as “transforming”. You craft amazing instruments that will decorate lives for a very long time.
Unreal.... wherever it came from. I can't think of a more fitting use for it.
We may only consume a few cubic feet in our time, but we can plant and cultivate a few thousand. All about how we can give back and nurture for the future beyond us.
it is beautiful wood. I've been told that in Central America they use Mahogany for concrete forms like we use Pine in the States.
What a beautiful piece of wood. Your craftsmanship and artistry deserve this fine grain. Wonderful!
That is spectacular! In your gifted hands, it will be put to the highest and best use. Hopefully, for generations to appreciate and enjoy. ❤️❤️
Some years back there was a Japanese man in Portland who had a business partner in Brazil. They had been exchange students together. They were salvaging buildings made of Rosewood. I still have some of that wood. Beautiful stuff. The story was verifiable and certified with paperwork.
Wow that’s some good looking stuff . Makes me hungry . Lol 😂
You transform wood as another commenter said into a beautiful instrument that brings the joy of music to the world . Your use is minimum against the black market butchers of Forests .
That’s so gorgeous! I would love to hear it when it’s done.
Turning trees into music. I don’t think they mind.
That is sublime! Just beautiful!
That is beautiful wood.
Will that one be playable by June 13th when I’m in town?
Meanwhile Brazil burns through its rain forest. Use the wood.
What an awesome instrument, Ben! I don't play any fiddle tunes on the mando either, but I'd love to try one of these!
Nice sounding instrument! Someone shared photos of this instrument to our octave mandolin group. For your first time building an octave, you hit really close to the perfect sound, and that’s only speaking to what I personally prefer in an octave tonally. I’m sure playing style and pick selection play into tone as well. It looks easy to work your way around.
Well that was fun and different. I was going to comment on the surprising sustain, but you beat me to it.
Gee... wish I didn't know how to play like that! Sounds better than any mandolin I've ever heard!
I was about to say I’d like to hear some Classical repertoire on it, when you mentioned Vivaldi. Outstanding instrument, Ben.
The sustain is amazing. Sounds great!
Lot of challenges for a build like this!! Love it! Everything is so clever and masterfully done! 👌
Superb. Sounds like the archtop soundhole might be a new type of Bézier curve.
That thing sounds immense! Ever considered an archtop Nautilus? Oh, wait, of course you did!
I looked up the festival and here is how they describe Ben's guitars: "Ben's focus as a builder is on his own unique designs, which he has created as a response to his desires as a musician, and his knowledge as a craftsman. Ben's guitars are sleek and modern and employ all of his hard won techniques and secrets for voicing and responsiveness, but they are not strange. In your hands they feel timeless and alive, and in your ears, they create all those sounds that you always imagined a guitar should produce: warmth, harmonic sophistication, intensity and articulation. As a guitarist himself, Ben puts particular emphasis on the way they feel and perform. Wilborn guitars are built by a player, for players." Yep!
I think I recognize a guitar from Mike Kennedy and that must be Mike, the three piece back, maple and IRW I think.
Lots of maple in that room it seems. I like it!
That’s got to be fun!
That’s a passel of gee-tars!
That's what my scalp looks like?! 😂
Please post your schedule, Ben. Looking forward to meeting you.
I just noticed that there is a Wilborn Arum for sale at Dream Guitars on consignment. Here is Al Petteway playing it. I've never met Al, but he has demo-ed several of my guitars over the years, and is such a wonderful player.