Dale Fairbanks is a luthier from Hartford, Connecticut who builds premium reproductions of 1930's era Gibson acoustics. Having fallen in love with the tone of vintage Gibsons used by the blues players of his youth, Dale builds very high quality replicas which in many respects are better than the instruments that his work emulates. Offered here is a Fairbanks F-35 Roy Smeck model that Dale built in 2016.
The F-35 Roy Smeck is of course a 12-fret, short scale (24-3/4"), slope shouldered dreadnought. It has an Adirondack Spruce top, with the back, sides and neck made of Honduran Mahogany. It utilizes unscalloped Adirondack bracing. The neck has what Dale calls a "Modern Full C" shape which measures .865" deep at the first fret and 1.00" deep at the ninth fret. The fretboard is made of figured Ziricote, with a 12" radius, period correct fret wire and a 1-3/4" bone nut. It has a fully adjustable truss rod. The bridge is also made of Ziricote and has a drop-in bone saddle with string spacing of 1-3/8". The headstock overlay and the truss rod cover are made from lovely striped Ebony and the tuners are Waverly open backs. The guitar is 16-1/4" wide at the lower bout and the depth ranges from 4-1/8" at the neck block to 4-5/8" at the tail.
The 12-fret, short scale design of this guitar puts the bridge in the center of the lower bout which gives it a voice which other designs are incapable of producing. It can be both powerfull and sweet and it's tone is lush and well balanced. Please check out the brief sound sample included of this guitar, as well as the included video from North American Guitar of this very guitar being played. All I can say is, WOW!
Unlike a real vintage Gibson, this guitar has an ease of playability that will amaze you. I found myself playing it like an electric. It is set up with light gauge Elxiir phosphor bronze strings with 12th fret string heights of 5/64" on the low E side and 4/64" on the low E side. The neck has a vintage feel, but is not too big and feels terrific.
This guitar is in superb condition with only the lightest evidence of play. If you look REAL close from the right angle and under intense lighting you may be able to detect some very minor impressions from shirt buttons and the like, but you will really have to search to find these very minor imperfections. The frets show no observable wear. It comes in an upgraded Cedar Creek case, also in near mint condition, along with the original spec sheet from Dale.
A new example of this instrument with the included options would cost nearly $6.5K from Dale today. Get this superbly maintained 2016 example for substantially less. Just a marvelous hand-built Gibson-style replica at a great price. Highly recommended!
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