The "chopper" aesthetic

Talk about things that are not necessarily related to music or the guitar.
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Mollbarre
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The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by Mollbarre » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:59 pm

Well...I like all kinds of looks (for all kinds of things)... ethnic, traditional, modern...etc., but every now and then I don't know what to think.


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simonm
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Re: The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by simonm » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:47 pm

Apart altogether from the appearance, there seems to be a misunderstanding about what "one-off" means. According to the article there are 7 of this particular "one-off".
As part of a series of one-off custom guitars ... Only seven of the Martin American Chopper custom acoustics will be made available. They will be sold for $39,999 each.
I suppose we should be in awe of any company that can manage to sell these things. There appears to be a whole bunch of "one-off" series launched recently.

Given that it is a dreadnaught, I doubt if the metal will make any much difference to the sound anyway.

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Mollbarre
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Re: The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by Mollbarre » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:20 pm

I suppose they mean a "one-off production run".

Would anyone actually play one of these? Looks more like something you'd hang on the wall or hide, er, I mean, store, in a closet.
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:38 pm

simonm wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:47 pm
Given that it is a dreadnaught, I doubt if the metal will make any much difference to the sound anyway.
Will the metal make it stomp proof?

The "poor man's Kertsopoulos" aesthetic is quite amusing:
kertsuopulos.jpg
... but the shape? I hate dreadnoughts - why do they make them like that? There's no appreciable improvement in sound, the proportions are ugly in the extreme, they're virtually always amplified live - what's the point?
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Wuuthrad
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Re: The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by Wuuthrad » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:08 pm

Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:38 pm
... but the shape? I hate dreadnoughts - why do they make them like that? There's no appreciable improvement in sound, the proportions are ugly in the extreme, they're virtually always amplified live - what's the point?
I'm with you, I cannot stand dreadnoughts- I much prefer a parlor steel string or a concert (the smaller size, not the grand concert, which both resemble a classical shape.)

If I remember correctly, as Martin moved away from the Stauffer shape guitars, and after designing the X bracing which is now ubiquitous in acoustic, or steel string guitars, he was making
different shaped and larger body steel strings which would be loud enough to be heard in bands, like country and bluegrass.

If you watch Earl Scruggs, who is credited as inventing Bluegrass Banjo by combining elements of Classical fingerstyle arpeggios and Country and Folk music, he was also a talented Guitar player, and would often hold the upper bout of the guitar against his ear to hear his own playing while performing with his band.

I reckon it was a practical development to have a flatter upper bout as a result of this style of playing, as you can see the band would share only a mic or two, and I assume people might also want to copy this style, after having watched one of the all time greats of the bluegrass genre.

But for me the dreadnought is really uncomfortable and I never really liked the sound of it when compared to other styles.

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gitgeezer
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Re: The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by gitgeezer » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:55 pm

Harley riders are the last of the nonconformists. That's why they all dress alike.

simonm
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Re: The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by simonm » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:07 pm

Wuuthrad wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:08 pm
...

I'm with you, I cannot stand dreadnoughts- I much prefer a parlor steel string or a concert (the smaller size, not the grand concert, which both resemble a classical shape.)
...
A bit more than a decade ago when I got back into making instruments I did a dreadnaught and an 000 type using StewMac kits. Both turned out OK but I have pretty much never touched the dreadnaught and don't know anyone in that scene. It is basically for bluegrass or an other music where single string runs using a plectrum are order of the day. It is much too awkward for fingerpicking. The 000 style, basically a classical shape with steel strings, is a nice finger picking instrument. However, it too is sitting in a case and only rarely pulled out. No interest in steel strings any more.

Maybe I should stick some metal studs on and call them limited editions but of course I'd have to build a whole bunch more or I couldn't call the one-offs. Is 7 the minimum for "one-off" or is it just a lucky number?

Given that there are people who spend enormous amounts of money of tricycles that take up as much road space as a commercial vehicle or four large motorcycles riding together, there is clearly a market for daft. Good luck to Martin. Wish I or my wife could crack that market.

marvluse

Re: The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by marvluse » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:17 am

$40K minus 1 ????????? Well, I suppose it makes sense, if one has large amounts of money and very little taste. :roll:

Wuuthrad
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Re: The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by Wuuthrad » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:31 am

It's all about the bling! Interesting parallel to the classical guitar which generally has little. I guess the music speaks for itself?
"I can sense the atonal...I always try very hard to bring it out."
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Wuuthrad
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Re: The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by Wuuthrad » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:32 pm

simonm wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:07 pm
Wuuthrad wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:08 pm
...

I'm with you, I cannot stand dreadnoughts- I much prefer a parlor steel string or a concert (the smaller size, not the grand concert, which both resemble a classical shape.)
...
A bit more than a decade ago when I got back into making instruments I did a dreadnaught and an 000 type using StewMac kits. Both turned out OK but I have pretty much never touched the dreadnaught and don't know anyone in that scene. It is basically for bluegrass or an other music where single string runs using a plectrum are order of the day. It is much too awkward for fingerpicking. The 000 style, basically a classical shape with steel strings, is a nice finger picking instrument. However, it too is sitting in a case and only rarely pulled out. No interest in steel strings any more.

Maybe I should stick some metal studs on and call them limited editions but of course I'd have to build a whole bunch more or I couldn't call the one-offs. Is 7 the minimum for "one-off" or is it just a lucky number?

Given that there are people who spend enormous amounts of money of tricycles that take up as much road space as a commercial vehicle or four large motorcycles riding together, there is clearly a market for daft. Good luck to Martin. Wish I or my wife could crack that market.
Dreadnoughts, named after a warship of all things, are more or less the de facto standard for acoustic (steel string) guitars in the US (and probably elsewhere,) despite their somewhat limited tonal pallete and uncomfortable shape. Seems to be the case across many genres of music as well.

I do really wish history had shed a more favorable light and legacy on CF Martin's Stauffer Guitars, and were still in mass production- or any production for that matter!

Check out http://www.earlymartin.com/stauffer.html
for some "Early Bling"
"I can sense the atonal...I always try very hard to bring it out."
- Julian Bream

Andrew Pohlman
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Re: The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:15 pm

marvluse wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:17 am
$40K minus 1 ????????? Well, I suppose it makes sense, if one has large amounts of money and very little taste. :roll:
Taste is irrelevant. Who the heck would spend $40K on a factory guitar? Even if I had a disposable $40K sitting around, I still would not spend it on a guitar. My guitars sound fantastic and play excellently ... and cost far far less.

From a design perspective, I guess I have bad taste too, because I like it. It's a steel string, so I allow far greater latitude in design philosophy than a more traditional classical instrument.

With Martin's new construction materials, I'd be surprised if it was all wood, barring the aluminum and copper, that is. They now use stuff like: FSCA Certified Richlite fingerboard and bridge (um, that is phenolic and ain't wood), "Rust Birch Laminate" neck - last time I checked, birch rust was a disease, highest quality plastic saddle, and the famous Martin name. :( I'm not implying that the Harley themed instrument is fake materials ... and for $40K it better not be.
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marvluse

Re: The "chopper" aesthetic

Post by marvluse » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:29 am

Andrew Pohlman wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:15 pm
From a design perspective, I guess I have bad taste too, because I like it. It's a steel string, so I allow far greater latitude in design philosophy than a more traditional classical instrument.
Ain't nothin' wrong with steel strings, I love the sound. Never played them much, though, the neck is too narrow and the strings too close together for these old fat digits of mine. :lol:

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