Marc Beneteau has been building custom acoustic guitars out of his workshop in Canada for 43 years.  He builds such high quality instruments that many modern virtuosic acoustic fingerstyle players (including Don Ross, Tony McManus, and Dustin Furlow – our Fret Buzz Episode 28 and 29 guest) choose to play Beneteau guitars.  If you play or simply appreciate acoustic guitars, you won’t want to miss this conversation between Marc and Fret Buzz co-hosts Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray.
The guys talk about the renaissance of acoustic guitar music, with players like Don Ross, Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee, and others pushing the limits of what can be done with acoustic guitars and inspiring new players.
Next is a discussion about humidity and how that affects acoustic guitars.  Marc educates the guys on the qualities of different types of wood and how guitars built from those different woods have unique sound qualities.  Softer woods like mahogany, koa, and walnut produce different tones than harder woods like rosewood.  But Marc says that the back and sides don’t do as much to the overall tone as the guitar’s top, which is often made with spruce or cedar.  And keep in mind that the body shape, string type, method of picking, and other factors all affect your tone too!  Another interesting topic of conversation is the regulations that Marc deals with in exporting guitars across national borders.  He has to register and cite all restricted woods that each guitar contains when he ships any guitars from Canada into the US or elsewhere.
Marc gives Joe and Aaron his take on factory-built (like Martin, Taylor, and Gibson) vs. custom guitars.  He talks about the “mojo” of a hand-built guitar and advises against buying factory-built guitars sight-unseen.  Next, Marc weighs the merits of old vintage guitars against new custom guitars in the same price bracket.  This leads to talk about the process of torrifying (a process of artificial aging) the tops of acoustic guitars.
Finally, Marc tells about CNC vs. hand-crafted guitars.  CNC is “Computer Numerical Control,” which is essentially referring to the use of automated computer-controlled cutting machines to cut/shape/sand the wood pieces for guitars.
Marc is incredibly informative and friendly as he shares many insights into acoustic guitars.  Drool over his guitars at
Music provided by Don Ross: It’s Fun Being Lucky, and From France to India
Welcome back to another episode of Fret Buzz The Podcast. Today we’re going
to get into part two with Mark Beneteau of Beneteau guitars. In today’s episode
we first talk about Don Ross playing Benneteau guitars, then we dive into
humidity and what that does for an acoustic guitar.
We also dive into the different woods and the effect that each one of them
actually has. Then we get into a conversation about buying a custom
guitar versus factory-made and this idea of old versus new. Marc
also educates us on a process called torrifying, which helps age the top of
the guitar and thus, ages the sound. And lastly we end up on CNC verses
handcrafted and why Mark prefers handcrafting all of his guitars.
Quickly, I do want to mention that Fret Buzz The Podcast is coming up on its
fiftieth episode. We’ve got some really good guests coming up so if you haven’t
already, hit that subscribe button. Make sure that you are tuned in every
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head on over to and check out our page there. Also, I do want to
mention that we do have the Songwriters Club at where
we go live on YouTube once a month and we give feedback on all of our Tunes.
They may be new tunes, they may be old tunes but nonetheless, we do enjoy the
process of talking about our songs. So if you’d like to join, head on over to and submit your tune. And lastly, if you have any
feedback or comments about any one of the shows or topics that we’ve talked
about or would like to talk about something that you would like to see in
the future, email me at I’d love to have a
conversation with you and get a little back-and-forth going. Well, I think that
takes care of everything. So without further ado, let’s get into Part 2 with
Marc Beneteau of on Fret Buzz The Podcast. I’ve been learning
some of Don’s music and a lot of his tunings are I mean Klimbim you dropped
the low E string down to a C and or no to be A sorry and then Michael
Michael Michael you tuned it down to a C and like I just the guitar sounds like
at least my guitar sounds flabby floppy it does not sound it doesn’t sound right
like it’s just not meant to be tuned down that far you do you know what’s
gonna length your guitars I should but I don’t
hey you don’t need to doesn’t matter but that’s an indication that the scale
length isn’t long enough for the straight I mean if you were gonna play
that string all the time I guess you could put a heavier string on it it
wouldn’t give you the full spectrum but it would stop it from being too floppy
but you probably do that for one string and then or one song and then you you
tune back up you know for the next song exactly what I do yeah yeah so that
makes it tough I guess that’s why people have multiple guitars on stage at them
oh that’s right you know it’s are for those low tunings yeah you’re more
recently getting into acoustic kind of modern acoustic music but these these
players me personally yes yeah yeah I mean I when I gig I usually have a
looping pedal and the Gibson es-335 and you know depending on
where I’m playing it I’m either at a bar or oceanfront stage usually people want
you know cover music for the most part but I’ll sneak in jazz tunes and
whatever else and I need to be very versatile yeah it is it’s the guys like
Dustin Furillo and Matt Thomas around there’s not a whole lot of them but guys
that are you know that make one guitar sound like three people without any
electronics and I I started getting interested in being able to do that and
the more I’ve looked into it and listened I think I heard Dustin actually
turned me on to Don Ross and cuz I was I was into Tommy Emmanuel and had done my
research getting outside of that and I put on Klim boom and I my jaw kind of
dropped and then I listened to it again and then I listened to it again and I
think I listened to it like at least five times in a row and then I read and
got my wife and I was like you have to you this amazing stunning song and then
I was on a quest to learn how to play that from that moment and like two weeks
in my life were devoted to Clem him Wow try to play it every couple days now but
uh but yeah I loved it and that’s why getting to talk with you is special
because you know you’re on the leading edge as I see it these these really
high-end acoustic guitars and you know somebody like Don Ross is playing your
guitars that speaks world’s to your to your methods and you know your product
well thanks this is it’s really kind of quite exciting because there’s so many
good players out there now I mean just this this sort of new style of acoustic
guitar playing is you know is solo acoustic guitar playing all of them are
different there’s so many the great players and what I’m finding is that
most of the people that I deal with my customers are just really enthusiastic
and a lot of them are really good players in my opinion they’re not
professionals but you know there’s just such a renaissance of guitar playing now
that it’s it’s quite exciting you know and I get I
get this from people all over the world it’s really it’s really cool yeah you’re
in a good spot because you know what the internet they’re really sit has been a
runnin we called a Renaissance of acoustic guitar music yeah yeah
absolutely and everybody learns up each other and you know inspires each other
and is you know and now this you have access to you know pretty well any
player that’s doing YouTube videos you know so that that’s that’s really
something yeah it’s great I really quite quite enjoy this this stage I guess in
the development of the guitar yeah yeah and then you you uh you said you
obviously started off playing guitar all the way back yeah and the 70s do you do
you play with anybody and to say that I don’t play much at all I you know my
grandson is 20 years old and he’s a a really fine guitar player like he’s
saying he came up in the kind of a kind of a punk punk band kind of player but
he’s quite talented and he’s kind of kick-started me into into playing again
I kind of let it go away you know I build meters all the time but I don’t
force myself to play like I used to used to love it I played you know in rock
band saw you know as a as a young person and yeah yeah you know some acoustic
guitar but you know if the other side of it is that the players now are so good
mmm that I mean you know it’s it’s amazing how good they are and you know I
basically you know I just I just play you know simple step out then so I enjoy
it and I’m not bad or anything but you know it’s this there’s such a difference
between what was good 20 years ago when what’s good now you know is good and I
know there’s no reason not to not to play but I you know I just well I’ll
tell you something okay that’s when getting out of winter even
though you wouldn’t know it today it’s it’s just a few degrees above freezing
and oh it’s not it’s not a nice day today but typically I have actually and
again I’m kind of ashamed of this but I’ve left my guitar in its case all
winter you know because normally it for me to
play I would like to have it out on the stand like this and so I can just grab
it and I’m not as inspired to go get the case out get the guitar out and sit down
play so it’s like you start sitting right there I’ll pick it up and I’ll
play so we’re getting into playing season now so you know that’s all I can
say yeah I think that goes for a lot of guitarists across the world where you
know it is for some odd reason if it’s sitting in that case you’re less
inclined to to go grab it worse if it is sitting off to the side you know it’s
you’re you’re more inclined to grabbing it but unfortunately if it is just
sitting out its exposed to the elements and yeah yes yeah
that’s why I keep it in the case in the winter it keeps a humidifier in it but
now we’re past that season we’re fine so you know I can just keep it out and play
it yeah we we had on a local luthier in my region Larry or wolde he was done
somewhere in the the teens I think in our yeah like episode 10 to 20 kind of
range and he he really brought up the he drove home the point of humidifying
you’re you either your guitar case or the space that your guitars are sitting
out in and now I have my I have a humidifier going and I have my humidity
sensor and what I’ve noticed over the past few days is it’s spring his maybe
it hasn’t hit you up in Canada but it is hit Virginia Beach it is very humid and
right now I’m it I’d yeah I’m at 58 percent humidity is that too much is
that bad for my guitars now well there’s no it’s not on right now okay naturally
that humid yeah you don’t you don’t want it too humid it’s that high humidity is
not going to damage the guitar like low humidity will but it’s not good I’ll
give you a little very quick anecdote one of my very first
guitars back when I was living I’m still living in Ottawa was in my first shop
which was a spare bedroom in the house we rented and I built a guitar and sold
it to my neighbor and my neighbor was a bit of a do-it-yourself guy and so back
then there was I don’t they probably don’t have them they were called dampest
they’re they’re like a to was sponge in it and that’s how you apply your guitar
you soak the tube right well I said well I don’t need to do that I can make my
own so he made his own homemade dampen and he brought the guitar over to me a
while later and the thing that looked like a balloon it had been it pumped
right up because it was so saturated humidity so luckily you know we got rid
of his damp it and and it came back down to normal
but high humidity is not it’s not particularly good for the instrument 15%
you’re fine I don’t know what they build Taylor’s that I build my guitars at
around 45% sort of in the middle it can handle going in either direction but
yeah as I mentioned with mine even here I mean we are getting into spring – not
today but you know and I can throw away the humidifier you know not really but
you know I mean but for the summer until until late fall you know and I can tell
generally if your heats coming on in the house if you’re you know if you’re your
your heaters in the house your furnace is on then you probably have to start
thinking about it you know and if you have a humidity indicator that’s your
way of telling and so for me once once we get into starting a spring I can
leave the damp off though the dehumidifier off they then just put it
out them that’s fine okay okay can we jump over to woods sure from
behind bars that’s one of the things that I really really want to talk about
and you know there’s all these different woods out there now and I have like this
one’s got open call back sides and Jefferies noise talking about
the oh the rosewood is gives it a shimmery overtones and the mahogany’s
darker so this is a two-part question for you one what is your take on
different woods than the quality of sound that is produced and two what what
is your process for selecting woods going out and getting them and then how
do you deal with the changing regulations okay things have really
changed in the guitar world and one of the biggest changes is the Internet and
the Internet has caused a rumor and the cost thinking to kind of get really
skewed okay so what happens now is people go on and
on the internet and they see that like you said certainly would you guess it
has a shimmer to it and that starts cycling around and then it gets repeated
and next thing you know those words are great those words of that these would
sound like this that would sound like that and really I dare you to do a blind
test you’d be amazed at how surprised you’d be at how a lot of this stuff is
just rumor you know every piece of wood is different certainly different woods
have different general characteristics but let’s say from the back and sides
the back and sides don’t do nearly as much as you’d think
towards the tone of the guitar they color the tone but they don’t make the
top most of the tone comes from the top if they don’t think that famous story
about torres the classical guitar builder in 1860 to build a guitar with
paper mache back and sides in the center well who knows how much reality that is
but that puts the point across that most of the sound comes from the top and so
that’s a tough one because I’m always dealing with that with cost
who are looking for a certain wood because they heard that it kind of give
a certain sound and in the back and sides there are certain differences
between the softer woods like mahogany and walnut Colette to an extent and
compared them to the harder woods like the like the Rose woods are the pingas
they will definitely give you a slightly different voice but not as much as you
think so the difference between one wood and another wood are generally pretty
subtle if indistinguishable depending on the
woods you’re talking about okay and that’s a tough one because customers
don’t want to hear that they want to hear that this wood is gonna be oh you
know nothing you’ve ever heard it before and the point is you can make a great
sounding guitar out of lots of different woods and so sometimes it just comes
down to aesthetics and that’s literally what I do with with customers to an
extent I will I’ll sort of try and find out what they like you know I find out
what kind of sound they want so I can steer them to a general category of
woods and then narrow it down by which what appeals to you you know because I
think you have to you have to like your guitar I think you know I think that’s
important you have to like what it looks like you have to like everything about
it so you know and that’s that’s that’s another part of the factor the back
inside woods as far as the restrictions or less changed a lot inside ease we’re
talking about the society’s regulations which are the restrictions on the
certain restricted woods you guys in the u.s. don’t have it as builders in the
u.s. don’t have it as bad I’ll probably get pushback on this but the fact is
your average of American builder could probably build guitars for an entire
lifetime and never never have to export one because your market is so big that
that’s easy that’s probably pretty easy to do I’m talking with small shop
builders I’m not talking about the big companies of course they export but
you know you could you could easily make a career never export a guitar and
whereas in Canada can’t do that our market is one-tenth the size of yours so
in order to make a career I have to export so I you know I I sell to
customers all over the world including quite a few into the US so I have I’ve
had to deal with this site ease and it involves I have to catalog and they
register every piece of restricted what I have including like little things like
bridge plates headstock veneers my you know pieces for binding everything you
know backs in size everything so I have to apply for that it takes it might take
a month to get the pit work so right I’m starting at guitars now and one will be
African Blackwood trying to think if there’s any than any other site
Eastwood’s in there but I have to apply for the El imply for that now so that
might have the guitarist finished I’ll have the paperwork it would be ready to
go and it has to go out with the with the guitar and you get set to originals
and they get sent out with the guitar so you better hope that UPS doesn’t lose it
because then you have to reapply for new ones but that’s my reality it’s the new
reality you know it added to that I’ve talked to the site these people recently
and they said there may be some changes coming to ease the restrictions on
guitar or instrument makers which makes sense I’ll give you an example I’ve got
a guitar going out and it has what’s that it has bubinga bindings okay that’s
not a lot of wood when you add up the wood for the bindings and the you know
the little tiny bits yeah so that probably comes out to an ounce or two of
wood and I have to get society’s paperwork for that guitar because of
that tiny bit of wood now that’s gets a little silly as opposed to you know
countries that are importing you know thousands of pounds of wood you know so
I mean I think there’s there may be some changes coming I’m hoping that’s
supposed to happen this and I’m very hopeful that they will ease
the restrictions to some extent for builders with small shop villages
especially because we don’t really use a lot of a lot of what we do use we guard
very carefully hmm do you have you ever been on trips to exotic places to
actually pick out this wood I wish I’m for vacation yeah
vacation I know I haven’t and that’s that’s it I don’t think it would be I
don’t think you could do that any I don’t think you could just go down there
and buy a rosewood log and have it shipped home you know there’s so many
restrictions on that kind of stuff right now about 20 years ago I got a call from
a local guy here and he says you inch precedents of rosewood and I’ve heard
that before I go well maybe in everything and he said okay so he he
said meet me at this the small mill just like a small yard where they were
milling local lumber and he had a pile of rosewood logs that he had bought into
a pallet that came up from police so it was Honduran rosewood and this
stuff had been sitting out and it was cracked a hell I mean it was just
horrible looking but I took a chance on it and I actually got quite a bit of
lumber out of it by very careful cutting I brought it to another mill and they
cut it the way I wanted it they ended up getting wood out of it and I still have
a little bit of it but it was way more work than it was worth but that was that
was an interesting experience like all these little rosewood marks mm-hmm so
you know you don’t have any do you have any foreign context that you work with
the chip you would consistently no no and that would be I don’t I don’t think
I could do that because again because of the restrictions you can’t just import
wood si you know guitar meter you used to be able to do
that but luckily here in Ontario within two hours of me I have two
world-class wood companies would importing itself you know companies that
they have went from all over the world and they’re great and I get to go there
I go there I’ve got the trip planned soon and I go there and I just see what
they have and they have I mean even for me and I’ve been in this business all
this time they have ones that I’ve never heard of you know so there’s always you
know there’s always interesting stuff and I find my winning lumber form I
don’t buy guitar sets generally because it’s way more expensive to do it that
way I have a good bandsaw I can process guitar sets myself and so that’s my my
my preferred method of doing so I you know we’re lucky we have access I
imagine if I lived open prairie somewhere or you know anywhere but here
I mean I there’s lots of places where you couldn’t do that you couldn’t just
go and pick up wood yourself you’d have to rely on on suppliers to send you
guitar sets and stuff and there I do that to some extent with certain woods
but generally speaking you know we’re lucky here to have the access to these
companies that have this great wood just yeah okay yeah I imagine that’s pretty
fun to find something that you’re unfamiliar with and kind of take a
chance on it and see what it yeah it’s fantastic I mean I just you know I go
there yeah yeah yeah absolutely part of the reason I got a you know if I’m
asking you all these questions about going out to find these woods I went um
my wife and I went on our honeymoon to India which so crazy to some people but
we think fascination yeah but anyway so I the whole time I’m trying to find I
wanted to see somebody playing sitar like I wanna hear somebody like Ravi
Shankar playing guitar and that I finally found this music shop and I met
the little the guy who owned the Little Shop yeah
and set up a sitar lesson in his shop with him and then from that I actually
ended up purchasing a sitar from him and it’s sitting exactly it’s a really cool
instrument but I had this flash like sitars are really expensive to get in
the United States right and I know yeah I got it for like $500 with the
conversion and then there was shipping cost but I had this there it was more
than a quick thought about like this guy totally wanted to set up a business deal
with me to ship sitars to the United States like you know if you were willing
to go out to the source and import them yourself you know if you even if it
costs you after shipping $700 in year but you were able to sell sitars for 2
grand in the United States he could make a lot of lot of money thought I would
imagine if you were willing to go out and find contacts in Africa Central
America or whatever I I would think that could be a lucrative thing obviously
you’ve got plenty to work plenty to keep you busy yeah yeah unfortunately yeah I
don’t think I could do that but it’s a great idea what you do it and you send
me Andy woods yeah every great job I get to go on trips yeah yeah go to the
exotic places get overdressed oh okay yeah I guess he’s gotten to that that
stage hmm he probably has people doing all the all the dirty work for him yeah
yeah sure I imagine over the years since you’ve been doing this for quite a while
that the price of certain woods have fluctuated quite a bit as the demand for
certain woods go up and down yeah I think ones that have gone down this is
the ha ha ha ha hey yeah and actually there I’m trying to think a
wood that has never I don’t know about you guys what you guys think in the
electric guitar world it’s different but in the acoustic guitar world I love
maple but I can’t sell a maple guitar you know even a nicely figured one and
so that’s the wood that I kind of would have liked to have used more and and
it’s still relatively reasonable to buy as far as price goes and it makes a
beautiful guitar but I haven’t been able to just to generate any sales I have
about I have over a two-year waiting list right now and I won one maple
guitar in there and it’s the first maple guitar that I will have built in
probably 10 years Wow there’s a good example most of the woods have kind of
stuck around when they’ve gone up in price and mahogany has gotten more
expensive you know South American mahogany is is partially restricted I
know that so we’re switching to other ones I’m actually in the process of
trying to find a suitable replacement for my neck wood because I’ve always
used mahogany I love mahogany from the necks it works really well and you know
there are the mahogany so I tried African mahogany and so far it hasn’t
really worked out the same so I’m in the process of trying to find a substitute
for that yeah if anybody out there knows of a strong can you give us so your
typical guitarists out there yeah probably you know can’t afford to go to
a custom builder and I mean I know from my own personal experience I didn’t even
know custom builders I mean I knew it existed but it wasn’t something that I
had put thought into I see good we come out of the woodwork and there are you
know like depending where you are there’s quite a few it’s still a bit of
a rarity you know I mean I can a sight I live in a town 35,000 people and I bet
you if you asked the average per Street even guitar player they wouldn’t
know anything about custom builders you know even in this town so you know
unless you’re really focused on that end of the guitar world you know it’s not
that common anyway you were going to ask about what would suggest to somebody who
can’t afford some guitar well that’s part of my question my other you know if
you’ve grown up with you know everyone’s heard of everyone has dreams of getting
like at least if you don’t know about the custom guitars yeah you’re taught
your big three or Taylor Martin and Gibson right now I think is the general
consensus yeah could you maybe speak to the quality of those guitars and maybe
compare like what at what point would you want to go Beneteau or larvae or
some another custom-built guitar over those well that’s a good question
because they’re all well-built guitars oh I don’t know much about Gibson now I
really don’t see them around much I’m not really aware of them too much but I
mean these companies have all been around a long time and they you know
presumably do it a good job I think there’s some kind of there’s a special
mojo with a hand-built that’s different and it’s there’s something there’s
something in this modern world that’s kind of special about going to an actual
craftsman who builds your guitar but having said that there’s no reason why
you can’t get quite a good guitar if you stick with the regular you know the big
three for example right and know that because I don’t know their lines I don’t
know the difference between their I’m sure they have different lines for
summer you know sort of their high-end hiring guitars that are built with the
better materials but I mean we all I mean everybody covets a 1930s Martin if
it’s in great shape you know because they’ve been building great guitars for
a long time and I’m assuming they still build really good
it’s a matter when you’ve got a big factory like that I think that you have
to pick and choose theme of the guitar rather than picked by model you have to
try the guitar because they’re all gonna be a little different and you might pick
up one that’s just an absolute gem you know everything comes together and the
guitar sounds fantastic so there’s no reason why you can’t do that and if
you’re looking for a decent guitar and you obviously can’t afford you know the
high price of a hand-built my suggestion is that you you don’t by silencing you
you if hopefully you live near a music store that has a good stock and you can
go in and try instruments and you you know I did that with a friend of mine a
friend of mine he’s retired and he wanted to start to learn how to play
guitar and so I took him down to my little mom-and-pop guitar shop here and
we looked through a whole bunch of $300 guitars and one just stood out it was
just you know it played well it sounded better and you know who’s the same price
as the others so that’s the one I said here this is the one you want to buy
this one because it sounds better and he wouldn’t been able to do that on
his own so that’s my suggestion is that is that you you know take the time to
try instruments and find the one that speaks to you and it doesn’t matter what
the price is if it works if you like it then that’s all that’s important yeah do
you think that for the price you’ve got these old these historic Martyn models
that gave her thousands and thousands of dollars yeah and then you can also buy
like top-of-the-line hand-built guitar for similar price and many times I mean
sometimes the Stork ones are even more expensive but do you think that a new
guitar can sound without the wood aging in the guitar doing its thing over time
do you think that a new guitar is gonna sound as good but with better setup we
made new guitars probably a better bet a structural standpoint you know guitar
that’s been around a long time may have some structural compromises it’s going
to have that patina of sound that because it’s so old there’s something
that happens to the tone over time it gets the the brittleness if I can
describe it like that that that has a real that you it would be very difficult
to to replicate that in a brand new guitar with a brand new it’s like okay
you went this 1964 Chevy or do you want this 2019 Chevy the 2019 has got lots of
bells and whistles that the implement doesn’t have and it’s probably
everything’s brand new but the old it’s got the Mojo you know I mean this you
know I I restore motorcycles as a hobby finished motorcycle so I have a 1971
Norton and it is ultra cool but it’s if somebody got it off of their new Suzuki
and got on this thing they think wow what’s but is its charm and that’s you
know that’s the thing with it all an old guitar is I totally get why people are
just passionate about vintage instruments I have that I’m feeling for
that myself even I don’t have any I had a 1920 Martin uke but I don’t have it
anymore but I so I totally get it and that speaks that that means a lot when
you’re choosing an instrument because you’re willing if you absolutely feel
passionate about this instrument about the whole history of it you know let’s
say it’s a 1945 Martin then you’re going to overlook the shortcomings if some and
there usually are some because the other part of it speaks so so so much to you
but if you want a working tool you know a yeah a and a really good hand built
from a good builder or a good factory made guitar is probably a better bet
because it’s it’s you know structurally it’s going to be
really good it’s it will have good it should have
really good tone though it won’t have that each tone one way that you might be
dealing at the age tone is to go with a torrefied top are you guys familiar with
that at all no I’m not okay the torrefied top is this process that’s
been introduced fairly recently in which they take regular top with your spruce
and they they put it in a kiln and I if I had don’t have this correct exactly
correct then my apologies you’ll probably hear about it I said all
letters too they heated up with an absence of oxygen okay that’s the
difference you don’t just heat it up you use not like like a kiln where you just
heat it you eat it with absence of oxygen what it does is it the the top
wood not only does it come out with a kind of a golden color it just changes
the color of the wood but it also it’s like it ages it so that sounds like a 20
year old top coming out of this up it’s an interesting thing
the jury’s still out for me even though it’s been used and successfully by
Martin and other well-respected companies so I have to take that into
consideration I just haven’t had a lot of personal experience I just had some
some of my top storified so that I would have them on hand and I’m really looking
forward to trying it and what that’s supposed to do is it gives you that aged
sound right out of the box don’t know what the long-term ramifications are
going to be but it’s an interesting concept and it’s being used now I’ve
used maple in that way I used maple that had been the center pipe and the same
process had been used on this maple and I was using this maple for bindings and
I went through I don’t know how many bindings but they all broke because it
made about the whistle that barely got four pieces out of 30
that that didn’t break when I tried to ban them that makes me a little leery I
don’t know if that affects that you know if that’s just applies to the top one or
not but you know for what it’s worth you know it’s an interesting process and
we’ll see where it goes mmm yeah yeah thanks for letting us know
about that yeah keep my eyes out yeah do you have any interest in
building any instruments aside from guitars I think I saw in your studio
tour you do build some ukuleles yeah I’ve got some Yuke’s I love u k–‘s
I don’t advertise them much I don’t it’s not like I’m looking for you excels
because I I can’t get enough you know nukes don’t bring the same as
much money obviously they don’t even bring proportionally enough money
because there’s still like building a small guitar so that there’s there’s to
have almost the same complexity that’s a guitar so it’s not economically feasible
I think to be a lute build sorry a u builder you have to build a lot of them
you know you have to have this kind of a production line going in as soon as
things certainly a production line everyone around the other direction
because I don’t I don’t like that idea you know there’s certain there are small
shop builders soul builders like myself who build enormous numbers of guitars
and to do that you have to really set up a production you know like it’s got to
be like a little factory in even though I’ve built close to $800 800 horse in my
career I can’t I would hate to have it go to that point because I really like
the being able to the hand hand do a lot of the stuff you know yeah there’s a
story that goes along with each build and having that relationship with that
customer and yeah kind of builds into like you were talking about before the
Mojo of the guitar oh yeah for sure and you know another thing that I do is that
and I find this happens a lot more and more probably as that customer’s
philosophy if I can take along the building process and I can’t
do that a lot I mean but I do do it and I know that it really cool for the
customer to see the instrument come together and that’s it that’s a cool
proud of the process and it brings you back to the fact that you know you’re
dealing with the craftsman there’s actually building that you saw I know
the things I don’t use C and C which is very common notice you see you see a lot
of incredible looking detail and you know that it was pretty well done by C
and C you know Rose I don’t do that I’m old school I like and I’m happy that the
only CNC stuff I do is I I have my B logo mate because you know that’s just
repeating and so I have those cut but I am like them and other than that
whatever I do I do old school website or that price for a very short time once
until they realize I just wanted to play guitar instead of good work and and I
I’ve got a great love for for fine metalworking which is you know a lot of
production stuff a lot of like old school stuff pre computer-controlled
stuff was was just really fine set up and like metalworking techniques and I
do a lot of that in my shop I have a metal lathe so I’ve made some tooling
and I mean if you know it all you have to do is look at a typewriter from 1910
and see that’s fine work that’s like really an interesting and intricate
little machine you know to tell that there’s only you can do a lot of really
good work without having to resort to CNC I’m not an instant it’s just not my
comfort zone and I think that you can do great work without it what does CNC
stand for computer God you would ask me that no magic is cuz I when you first
said set it on your know what you’re talking about but I
when I yeah I started talking about it I understood what you were preferring
programming a machine with a router for example to cut very intricate you know
you program so if you can program it you can do this call you know you can watch
it and then you know you don’t have to go in and do it all by hand which is you
know there’s two different skills and I like the the old-world skill of doing it
by hand even though I can’t get as complex as you can with it with the you
know program I just I don’t I just need something to me you know I like I like
to say that I can do that I just I just feel like it’s it’s it’s a skill that is
it’s valuable to me to know that you know if I if I have to come up with
something I can do it by hand my neck aches for example a lot of people have
the next curve sequence cnc machine then they just finish them off well I think
and I might have a wrong here but I think you have to have a different
program for every different next shape whereas somebody comes to me like I get
this all the time I want the neck and I want it slightly shape and I want you
know this thing this with no what’s up well I just have it you know I like to
do with the old-school way with with the hand tools and I can vary it as much as
I need to to get it just where they where they want it or I can copy
something it already exists I’ve got somebody who’s that’s a tailor Nick and
that’s the thing about Taylor’s right the necks are really really easy to play
yeah so I’m gonna have to find that model and take some copies of the the
shape of the neck but I’ll be able to do that and they come up with a pretty good
excellently well I know Aaron’s got a some sick a sick child yeah it’s life
unfortunately yeah but thank you we really do appreciate your taking the
time to speak with us today it’s it’s been an amazing conversation oh this has
been really fun I really like this this is great thanks a lot for the
opportunity yeah we I’ve loved getting to you I’ve had you know I’ve been going
through so much of this in my interest in acoustic guitars to be able to ask
you all these questions that I’ve you know I’ve been reading on forums and
it’s just not the same as asking some darkness professionally who builds these
and really knows the the answers if on a deeper level yeah yeah so hopefully this
has provided value to our listeners and yeah yeah and I highly suggest everybody
go out and check out the video of his studio the shop it’s it’s it’s a great
it’s a great video it’s well thank you and listen to Don Ross playing
Benneteau guitars I imagine he uses them in the studio too because that’s what
it’s any of his videos on the Mt would have usually yeah yeah so you can hear
the incredible sound combined with his incredible skill yeah and yeah Justin
furlough as well yeah and Dustin furlough season a Bennett oh yeah
there’s a lot of them out there yeah where can everybody go to find out more
about you well my website is is it is Manitoba charge calm and B e and e te au
for those who think I’m Italian I’m not French yeah that’s that’s the first
question they can contact me you know they can email me and yeah I’m always
happy to answer questions awesome thank you so much for being here yeah yeah I
hope you have a great rest of your weekend you know we’re doing some
painting this afternoon my daughter’s we’re going over to paint my daughter’s
ceiling so that’s gonna be really fun yeah painting ceilings is hard also it’s
a big shoulder workout yeah and you get the nice splatter on your face
yes that’s right all right thank you so much we really do appreciate it yes
awesome mark have a great day painting take care
all right bye hey everybody

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