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Friends, here’s a guitar for the ages. One of our favorite builders of late, Leo Buendia, has come together with us on a custom project for one of our longtime clients that’ll stand apart from the already distinct group of custom Buendias we’ve commissioned over the past few years. This time, a one-piece back from The Tree Mahogany. Yes, you read that right. And it’s paired with a master grade Adirondack Spruce top, itself appointed with a chip carved rosette with Cedar insert and red Washi paper backing. To say this is a one-of-a-kind guitar feels like a gross understatement. Keep up with our build thread, and watch as Leo brings this beauty to life!

Model: OM
Fretboard: 14th-fret ebony fingerboard
Bridge: hand-carved Ebony
Bridge pins: Ebony with Pearl dots
Top braces: Sitka spruce
Binding: Ebony with black/white purfling
Saddle, 2 1/4” width, compensated Bone
Nut: 1 3/4” width, scalloped and compensated Bone
Truss-rod: lightweight, double action, including wrench
Head-cap Veneer: Highly-figured “The Tree” Quilted Mahogany
Back of Head-cap veneer: Ebony
Tuning Machines: Schaller M6 in gold with Ebony buttons
Fingerboard: Ebony, with Ebony binding and Maple purfling
Fingerboard Radius: 20′′
Case: Hoffee custom hardshell case
Scale Length: 25”
Soundboard: Master-grade Adirondack Spruce
Back and sides: Highly-figured ‘The Tree’ Quilted Mahogany
Cutaway: Florentine
Rosette: Hand-carved design with Cedar insert and red Washi paper
End graft: Custom hand-carved design to match rosette
Back Braces: Lattice Honduran Mahogany
Fingerboard Custom Inlay: 3rd to 19th in Spalted Maple
Back of the neck: Rectangular purfling Spalted Maple custom inlay
Body Wedge: Manzer-style tapered body
Headstock design: Wide shape with custom, hand-carved design to match rosette
Finish: French Polish body, Nitrocellulose Lacquer neck

3/29/19 Update:

7/3/19 Update: At long last, finished. We’ve had a few days to play this incredible instrument from Leo, record it and photograph it, and now it’s time to send it on to its new home. Here’s a link to the full listing! https://www.dreamguitars.com/shop/2019-buendia-om-cutaway-the-tree-mahogany-adirondack-spruce-053.html

We’ve locked in a custom build of another of Christopher Holcomb’s Kodiak resonators for one of our clients after we sold the first one we’d had (in “The Tree” Mahogany! https://www.dreamguitars.com/shop/brand-new-c-f-holcomb-kodiak-the-tree-mahogany-k16025.html). This time we’re looking at a Kodiak with some gorgeous Quilted Mahogany and a Cocobolo neck. Follow our build thread here to keep up-to-date on Christopher’s progress!

3/5/19 Update:

And that’s a wrap! We landed this beautiful finished Kodiak last month, and the new owner is more than happy with the result. Here’s a link to the complete listing: https://www.dreamguitars.com/shop/brand-new-c-f-holcomb-kodiak-quilted-mahogany-k19037.html. Give us a shout when you’re ready to build one for yourself!

We recently met up with a dynamic young player, Yasmin Williams, who was on the hunt for a quality steel string to take her playing to the next level. Here’s a sample of the kind of tone we’re talking about here: https://www.facebook.com/dreamguitars/videos/2022839427746979/.  After taste testing nearly every guitar we had in the shop, she finally found what she was looking for in Eric Weigeshoff’s Skytop Guitars. Yasmin had a few additional requests, and after working out the details with Eric we’ve settled on a custom build with a Teredo-holed Sitka top, multiscale fingerboard, and a few other juicy details. According to Eric, the Sitka came from a “log that was a float log in Alaska for about 50 years, and the mollusks got in then. Most of it was used for firewood, but I got a stash of it that’s been great to use as soundboards. This will be my 4th Teredo-holed guitar.” Eric has already started the build, and we wanted to keep you all in the loop as it progresses. Stay tuned and keep checking back, there’s a lot more coming down the line!

Custom Skytop Grand Concert
Multiscale fingerboard: 25.4″ to 24.9″
Back: Indian Rosewood
Top: Teredo-Holed Sitka Spruce
Binding & end graft: Curly Koa
Top/back purfling: B/W/B
Side purfling: Maple
Neck: Honduran Mahogany, C Shape
Nut: 1-11/16″
Saddle spacing: 2-1/4″
Bridge: pinless Ebony
Fretboard binding & 12th fret: Curly Koa
Headstock veneer: Ebony
Backstrap: Indian Rosewood
Tuners: Gotoh 510 Cosmo Black
Florentine Cutaway

9/28/18 Update: It’s been a few weeks, but Eric’s been busy at work on our custom build for Yasmin Williams. Now he’s finished building the jig for the multiscale fretboard, roughed-in the soundports, and glued and carved the back braces. Stay tuned for more!

10/11/18 update from Eric: “Got the top braced and carved, and closed up the box this week.”

11/5/18 update from Eric: “All coming along swimmingly at this point. Got the box closed and bound, and now working on the fretboard.”

12/3/18 update:

We don’t rest on our laurels, and neither does Bill Tippin. Bill just finished the latest Al Petteway Signature model, which we sold in a few days, and the next week we went ahead and locked in the next build for one of our clients! Bill is already hard at it! Here’s a couple of preliminary photos, and stay tuned for more as Bill moves through the building process.

Tippin AP Brazilian back place

Tippin AP Brazilian headstock overlay, Abalone trim. The inlays are only resting on top, they haven’t yet been installed.

Tippin AP Brazilian headstock overlay, Abalone trim. The inlays are only resting on top, they haven’t yet been installed.

Tippin AP kerfings installed

1/8/18 Update (Bill’s cranking away!):

Brazilian Rosewood back braced with Spruce

Center strip inlay with a twist.

Rim assembly showing the arm bevel from below.

Rim assembly showing the arm bevel from above

Rosette installed!

4/11/18 Update: We’re very nearly there! Bill’s finished construction, and it’s in finish now. Here’s a few shots to tantalize you.

Arm Bevel

Fresh, clean, contemporary lines.

Gorgeous pairing of Abalone and sapwood

Neck carve on the jig

Close up of the neck pocket and cutaway

Close up of the neck pocket and cutaway after the bevel has been added

Bill’s signature soundport

Bill’s rosette

Our client wanted a reminder of his mother inlaid into the guitar. Bill threads the needle, so to speak!

What happens when you put Al Petteway in the same room as one of our long-time client’s personal guitar treasure trove? Something like The Collector’s Passion! Al sets down a permanent record of some of the finest guitars we’ve ever seen, from Somogyi & Traugott to Greenfield, Lowden, Olson, Martin—the track list goes on. Al’s fingerstylings render Tony’s exquisite collection in full technicolor, a rare glimpse of what must surely be guitar heaven. Available now at Dream Guitars!

We’ve sat Al down with Paul to discuss how this CD came about, Al’s recording process, and how the various guitars complemented each piece. This interview is an excellent companion to the record.

Here’s the interview! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxaYC_1TznA

Hi gang!

The good news keeps pouring in, which in our case means more amazing custom builds with our favorite luthiers. The latest addition to that roster is California-based luthier Isaac Jang. We’ve been telling anyone will listen that both his aesthetics and his acoustics are astounding, and that’s led to one of our clients coming forward for a custom build. He wanted all the bells, all the whistles, and even the boxes that they came in. This afforded Paul another opportunity to talk it over with the client, weighing the pros and cons of each option, and the result is a Jang OM that’s dressed to the nines for both fingerstyle and flatpicking. Check out below for a full spec sheet and the first salvo of photos from Isaac’s bench. More to follow!

Here’s Paul on that process:

“Helping players build a custom instrument for their music is one of the most satisfying things I do. Being a player myself, I’ve realized that having an instrument that fits like a old pair of jeans is immensely satisfying. One of the misunderstandings about custom building guitars is that a dealer like us adds cost. We do not: we always sell at the same price as the builders themselves. What we do is add value by giving the client objective third-party opinions coupled with years and years of experience regarding wood combinations, tonal needs, and how to avoid common pitfalls. For this guitar the client and I went through many pictures of sets of wood for both the back and sides and the top. But even before that I had a conversation with Isaac to ask about what wood he currently had in stock that he was really impressed with.

I do this a lot. Each time I work closely with the builder to make sure the client gets the best possible results, keeping the lines of communication open between both parties so no balls are dropped. A big part of what I do is make sure that the builder knows how the guitar will be played. I make sure to understand the genre of music the client plays in, their particular playing style, whether the guitar will be fingerpicked and/or flatpicked, amplified or not–the list goes on, and on. There’s a lot that goes into building a custom guitar, but the result is a perfectly-tailored instrument for that particular player. You can’t find that anywhere else.”

New Custom Isaac Jang OM Specs:
Brazilian Rosewood back and sides
Adirondack Spruce top
Voiced for 70% flatpicking, 30% fingerstyle
Uchida Bendaway cutaway
1 3/4″ nut
2 1/4″ string spacing
Medium setup for light gauge strings
K&K Pure Mini
Heelblock strap button
Gold Gotoh 510s with Ebony buttons
Subtle body wedge

Hand-picked Brazilian Rosewood back and sides

Closeup of the back set. Excellent straight-grained stuff, very stable!

The sides after bending. Smooth curves and chocolatey goodness!

Laminating the sides. Lots of spring clamps with plywood cauls to span the middle.

2/2/2018: Oh so close! Heading into the spray booth now, then it’s on to final setup.

2/14/18 Update:

So close! Back from the finishers, Jang’s latest is read for final setup. We should have it in-hand in only a few days, so stay tuned for Dream Guitars’ full video and photo workup! We promised the owner we’d get it to him as soon as possible, so we’ll be quick.


Stay tuned for updates! As the build progresses, so will our blog.