Available

I build instruments from the range that are purchasable throughout the year. As with all of my instruments, these are built to the highest standards from the very best materials. For me, it is essential that clients are 100% delighted with an instrument, so I offer a 7 day 'play it' period to all clients buying an instrument on spec.

I currently have 1 instrument for sale.


NO:-99 The TARAN DS2

My 99th Guitar! A Maple/Swiss Moon Spruce Taran

An exquisite presentation version of The Taran in flamed maple and moon spruce. Built for exhibition at the Holy Grail Guitar Show 2018, this is a lightly-built fingerstyle guitar with an immediate response and the same depth and “pizzicato cello” tone that I love in good maple guitars. The cutaway gives you access all along the neck and all in all it’s a stunner. I know my friend John Thomas of the Fretboard Journal was particularly taken with this instrument describing it as one of his highlights of this year’s HGGS.
— Michael Watts

My 99th guitar is an exploration into a new area of asymmetrical detailing.  However, this rippled Maple and Swiss Spruce Taran has another development at its core.

I build with a cylindrical back, not a domed or flat back as is the norm. This cylindrical form helps a number of areas of the guitar. Firstly, it makes it more comfortable to play as the narrowest depth of the body is at the edge of the lower bout which is also where your playing arm sits. Secondly, it makes the back stronger while still able to vibrate. On this Taran, I wanted to work on this second aspect: vibration.

The Back's fundamental influence on a guitar...

  • Stiff = Volume
  • Resonant = Richer sounding 

With this in mind, I increased the radius of the back, making it naturally stiffer because I wanted this Taran to have power. However, this is where for me it gets very exciting! What if the back could be stiffer and more resonant? I'm used to working with Rosewoods that, when braced, ring like a bell. However, when I brace Maple it doesn't, and this is because there is too much bracing on an already light piece of wood. So, a design change that demanded a new bracing shape. Through a lot of experiments and very careful brace material selection, I have managed to make a back that is stiffer but also infinitely lighter and it rings like a bell.

The outcome - A maple guitar that has a richer sound while still being powerful and punchy. 

THE DETAILS

  • Back & Sides - Rippled European Maple.
  • Soundboard - Master Grade Swiss Moon Spruce.
  • Rosette  - Stabilised Russian Birch Burr and black and blue veneer.
  • Bindings - Ebano & Scottish Sycamore purfling.
  • Front Purfling - Rippled Scottish Sycamore purfling around the soundboard stopping at the Micro bevel.
  • Linings - Laminated Rippled Scottish Sycamore with blue veneer.
  • Bevel - Taran Micro Bevel in Ebano and blue.
  • Neck - Reclaimed light weight Mahogany.
  • Fret Board - Ebony bound with Ebano with 0.3mm white line on player side only.
  • Fret Markers - 9Ct Gold dots with 9Ct Gold Circles at 5,7&9th fret. Blue Russian birch burr at 12th fret.
  • Frets - Jessica wire with Semi-hemispherical fret ends.
  • Headstock - Rippled Scottish Sycamore grafts with black 0.3mm veneers under sheaths.
  • Handmade Tuners in Gold & Blued steel by Keith Robson.
  • Hand Carved Solid Ebony Bridge with Ebony Pins.
  • t. Hand cut from solid 9 Ct Gold sheet.

SIZES

Frets to body: 14 

Body Length: 480mm

Max Body Width: 382mm 

Depth: 118mm

Scale length: 645mm

Width at nut: 45mm

Spacing at saddle: 59mm 


The Taran in Madagascan Rosewood

The Taran - In  Madagascan Rosewood and Bearclaw Swiss Spruce

Saved for a Taran

 

I've been lucky enough to have been able to work with some of the best wood specialists in the country over the years. In 2013, I bought some sets of Madagascan Rosewood. Unbelievably beautiful in their own visual subtlety, but even more incredible for their glasslike tap tone and endless sustain. 

This is the classic 'Taran'. A smaller than Om guitar, perfect for evenings by the fire although equally at home on stage or in the recording studio with excellent balance across a hugely dynamic range. 

The Master Grade Madagascan Rosewood delivers power and clarity with the depth of tone you would expect to find from any exceptional Rosewood.

The Neck is Old reclaimed Brazilian Mahogany and has carbon fibre reinforcement rods as well as a 2 way truss-rod making this Slim C profile neck sing all the way up to the ‘dusty end’ with no wolf notes and no loss of power in the high notes. The polished Rocklite fret board is an incredibly stable and sustainable Ebony like material that is so easy to maintain, with a 45mm nut width giving a great balance between comfort and room. The bridge is solid Ebony from Cameroon and is hand carved to maximise strength and reduce weight. A string spacing for light to medium strings of 59mm break over the careful intonated bone saddle with an increased break angle, heightening even further the response and clarity of this guitar.

This guitar's side unit is single sided with laminated Scottish Lime linings. These linings increased the side stiffness and thus increase response of the soundboard getting the most out of the Master Grade Swiss Bearclaw Alpine Spruce top and its bracing of Sitka Spruce. The Taran has its own unique bracing pattern using a mixture of hand carved parabolic and scalloped bracing to balance the guitar's powerful full bass, with thick singing trebles and everything in between.

The rosette is a Mosaic of reclaimed Belizean Rosewood which has an almost holographic look, this wood shimmers in the light! The guitar is bound with highly rippled Mahogany and has a purfling of fine black and white veneers, this is also echoed on the bound rosette inner edge.

Matching Madagascan rosewood veneers with black under sheaths for the headstock face and back, the scarfed head of this guitar is virtually indestructible. Beautifully crafted tuners by Keith Robson in gold and Ebony for the most accurate and stable tuning around and the timeless t. logo is hand cut from solid gold and then hand inlaid to finish the head stock. Gold also features in the fret markers with circular 12th fret markers with polished gold dots for all the other major frets. Fret Wire is the highest quality Jesscar wire, hard wearing nickel silver finished with semi hemispherical fret end for maximum comfort.

The whole guitar is finished in Melamine Lacquer polished to a high gloss. This incredibly durable finish, applied in extremely thin coats, gives a protective finish that doesn’t hinder the guitar's wonderfully responsive soundboard.

Materials

  • Back & Sides - Madagascan Rosewood.
  • Soundboard - Swiss Bearclaw Spruce.
  • Rosette  - Reclaimed Belizean Rosewood and Rippled Mahogany.
  • Bindings - Reclaimed Rippled Mahogany and Scottish Sycamore purfling.
  • Neck - Old reclaimed low density Brazilian Mahogany.
  • Headstock - Madagascan Rosewood grafts with black veneers under sheaths.
  • Handmade Tuners in Gold and Blued steel by none other than Keith Robson.
  • Hand Carved Solid Ebony Bridge with Ebony Pins.
  • t. Hand cut from solid Sterling Silver.

Sizes

Frets to body: 14 

Body Length: 480mm

Max Body Width: 382mm 

Depth: 113mm

Scale length: 645mm

Width at nut: 45mm

Spacing at saddle: 59mm 

 

This unique guitar is now sold. 



Scottish Sycamore Springwell 2018

2018 Springwell in Beautiful Scottish Sycamore and carved Swiss spruce

MATERIALS

  • Back and sides in  Scottish Sycamore.
  • Soundboard the finest Swiss Spruce.
  • Neck material is reclaimed Mahogany.
  • Necks in reclaimed mahogany with two-way truss rod are used for stability.
  • Ebony headstock veneers with matching back graft.
  • Ebano Rocklite finger board bound with 19 frets.
  • Bone nut at  33mm.
  • Hand carved Ebony bridge with 41mm string spacing.
  • Bindings on the front and back in Ebano with a white pin line purfling.
  • Taran ’t.’ hand cut logo on the head stock in Sterling Silver
  • Fantastically accurate and stable Waverly Tuners in Chrome with Ebony buttons.

Out on loan and may become available in the future.


Instruments that have gone


Sold March 2018 - Cocobolo & Cedar Springwell

 

 

Sold March 2018 - Mahogany and Old European Spruce Tirga Mhor

Built through continuing development with Martin Simpson and sold to Malcolm Middleton, half of Arab Strap....