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Old 11-30-2010, 07:12 PM
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Default Mcknight Highlander review....

It's been about six weeks or so since Tim and Mary came up to see me and brought my Osage/Sitka Highlander along. The honeymoon phase SHOULD be over, so I thought it was a good time to write a review and post at least a rough soundclip.

The story goes like this.....I played this instrument in the summer of '08 at the original Mcjam. I maybe got 5 minutes on it before Don noticed the bridge was lifting. Of all the Mcgits I played that day, this one was the one that stuck out in my mind (I really believe there is some magic in that '59 Sitka!)

Tim stuck it in the back of his shop and it was basically silent for two years.
A few months back he did the repair, put a new neck on it, changed the bindings, put a soundport in it and french polished the whole body.

I've literally been putting 2-3 hours or more a day on it since I received it...many nights I'll get up at 3 a.m. because it's "calling" me from the closet
As many of you know, I'm an awful hard bugger to please.....not many guitars stay in the closet for too long....this guitar has a voice unlike any other I've played or owned. Seems like I'm remembering Tim telling me it was the first one he built after attending Ervin Somogyi's voicing class. I'm SO glad he went!!!

First, the guitar is very loud.....now that certainly isn't everything to my ear, but it makes it easier to pull tone out of it without overworking your right hand....with a pick or fingernails. It has a woodiness and fullness that far surpasses any OM or even SJ sized guitar I've ever played.

But, the most pleasing characteristic to me is how it maintains such great string separation and focus, even in the lows and low/mids, which is very hard to do with a guitar that is so loud and responsive. The trebles are very "fat" as well, and the scary thing is, it's just a baby. I can't imagine what's going to happen when it's 2-3 years old!!

Bottom line is that this is the finest guitar I've ever owned, and very likely ever played. It will be interesting when I get Rick's Walnut/Engelmann Goodall GC (the guitar I've judged all others by in the past, and the one that caused me to go on a massive search resulting in the custom Webber I have) That will be a fun "battle"!!!


I've spent the last few weeks dialing in the setup.....and in the process, I wacked off one of my fingernails a few days ago, so the soundclip below is a strummer (I'll post a fingerstyle piece when it grows back!) It's a bit rough....first take when I realized I had a half hour or so this afternoon free to set up my recording gear.

The recording is done with an Audix VX5 on the vocals (and I'm not going to tell you what mic I'm using on the guitar until most get a chance to listen to it) into my Tascam DP-01FX....a little reverb, and the lead vocal and guitar part done live, harmonies added quickly. I think it gives pretty good representation of the incredible voice of this guitar.

Tim and Mary are not only two of the finest people I know, but they know how to "make sawdust" too

I've been writing a song for Rick, but it's going very slowly.......but, this old Loudon Wainwright III tune is one that reminds me of him, we used to play it often, and now it seems pretty appropriate.

http://www.box.net/shared/cgr70ta594















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'13 Charis SJ Koa/Sitka
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'14 Cordoba C9 Mahogany/Euro Spruce

Last edited by fitness1; 12-13-2010 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:27 PM
billgennaro billgennaro is offline
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i like the looks of your guitar. nicely understated, if you know what i mean. recording sounds good. i loved Louden Wainwright for many years. nice voice you've got too.

thanks for posting.

bill
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:37 PM
darylcrisp darylcrisp is offline
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Thumbs up

real nice Todd

Guitar is top shelf-a great sound there, love the looks of it, woods and all

daryl
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:55 PM
Rick Jones Rick Jones is offline
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Sounds amazing....but are you Louden Wainwright? You sound just like him!!

That's a lovely looking guitar too!
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Jones View Post
are you Louden Wainwright? You sound just like him!!

!
I've seen him enough, I ought to sound like him - LOL
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"One small heart, and a great big soul that's driving"

'13 Charis SJ Koa/Sitka
'13 Mcknight/Poling GC Koa/Italian
'10 Eastman E10D Mahogany/Adirondack (heavily Todd-ified)
'14 Cordoba C9 Mahogany/Euro Spruce
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:03 PM
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Todd,

YOU make the Osage sound pretty nice. Rick would appreciate you singing that song on your McKnight.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:56 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Congrats on a beautiful guitar; thanks for posting the nice song -- nicely done. I'm going to look forward too to your fingerstyle song. I'm anxious to hear that guitar again!

Regards, Glenn
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fitness1 View Post


What a beautiful guitar. Each piece is complimentary of the others. And, the french polish on that old wood really warms up the top. Congratulations Todd. Sounds great too, but I need to hear some fingerstyle from it.
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Last edited by ChuckS; 11-30-2010 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:14 PM
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Sounds great too, but I need to hear some fingerstyle from it.
When I get my nails back, I'm going to take my time and redo an old song I wrote for my Dad some years ago. It will go on the Mcwebsite when it's done, and I'll post it here too....

I'm sitting here writing some new "twists" to it as I type.
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"One small heart, and a great big soul that's driving"

'13 Charis SJ Koa/Sitka
'13 Mcknight/Poling GC Koa/Italian
'10 Eastman E10D Mahogany/Adirondack (heavily Todd-ified)
'14 Cordoba C9 Mahogany/Euro Spruce
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:57 PM
Idaho John Idaho John is offline
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Default you know...

I am not so sure it's not Loudon Wainwright, I just listened to "High, Wide & Handsome," and it was exactly the same voice. It sounds like Mr. Wainwright is hanging out on the AGF incognito...and doing so with a beautiful McKnight OM!

Congratulations! Tim does such beautiful work and I wish my job situation could have been that I could have one of those OMs as well, but...

And you do that guitar justice - Mr. Wainwright or not.

john
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:19 AM
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Congratulations Todd, That is a seriously cool guitar, your singing voice aint too shabby either....
Can you please hurry up and fix your nails, stick on some falsies or something but hurry along and do it now please.....Or even better, you could post it to me for a couple of weeks and let me run my acrylics over the strings then I'll just post it back to you...honestly.....
Beautiful guitar Todd, I'm thrilled for you bro, All the best ..Neil.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:10 PM
darylcrisp darylcrisp is offline
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Todd

Us Guitarded ones need more info, such as:

nut width
string spacing at the saddle
scale length
weigh the guitar and put that on here as well

i sure like the sound of this one.............a lot!

thanks
daryl
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darylcrisp View Post
Todd

Us Guitarded ones need more info, such as:

nut width
string spacing at the saddle
scale length
weigh the guitar and put that on here as well

i sure like the sound of this one.............a lot!

thanks
daryl
1 3/4 (but the string spacing is VERY near 39 mm at the nut)
2 1/4
25.5 scale
I'd call the neck profile a shallow C
hmmm....don't have a way to weigh accurately....maybe Tim keeps records?

oh, and now that so many have seen and listened......I'll tell you what mic I used to record the guitar with:



an Audix F15......go figure. 59.00 brand new with a new XLR cable!!!
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"One small heart, and a great big soul that's driving"

'13 Charis SJ Koa/Sitka
'13 Mcknight/Poling GC Koa/Italian
'10 Eastman E10D Mahogany/Adirondack (heavily Todd-ified)
'14 Cordoba C9 Mahogany/Euro Spruce

Last edited by fitness1; 12-01-2010 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:09 AM
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Todd, Tim, Mary

That guitar is absolutely stunning aurally and visually. Sounds like a larger instrument to me. Very, very nice. Nice job on the recording/performing as well. After my daughter's dance class last night, for whatever reason, the insructor asked me how i thought they looked. i know zero about dance. Zero. I told her that if it were music, I would say they're hitting all the right notes, but I'm waiting for an emotional comittment. I played this track for my daughter as an exaple of someone making that bold leap...past technical accuracey and towards music....

okay now talk to me like i'm 7....
started learning this song and i can't figure out for the life of me how you're counting it. i played a youtube clip of loudon and i'm still torn as to how to count it in my head. im down to 3 choices, but stuck. feel like an idiot asking this, but i've got a mental block...
thanks for sharing this whoile thing with us!!
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:09 PM
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Hi Rick ~

Thank you for the compliment.

This guitar is made of very pretty wood that Tim chopped up and rearranged to make into an instrument. Although I chose what woods to use it was God who added the natural bling to give it that "stunning" effect.

It is important to me (us) that our guitars match the owner's personality. This one fits Todd well. He really made it sound good.

Todd - you can guide him on the playing side. That's the area we lack!
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