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198? 1528-9 Ultra...

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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-05-27 8:20 PM (#535315 - in reply to #535313)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...


Joined:
December 2016
Posts: 71

leonardmccoy - 2017-05-27 7:33 PM

I say it's about time you replace the cracked bridge on that AD-18 (I bet there's some fat screws underneath there) and cut a better-fitting nut for her (the current one's way too short) with better string spacing, which is sorely needed here. Put that ol' iron to the test!


You're correct about the screws and the other mods suggested. My Aspen '18 is more of a family heirloom than a daily player; it's my first guitar, not my first choice guitar. My first choice guitar is the Custom Ultra.

As I wrote, I tuned the '18 for this video, then de-tuned it for long-term storage and there it will stay...until then next time I need a baseline guitar.
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-05-29 9:21 AM (#535324 - in reply to #531529)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1607

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Thanks for the photos and video Daren.

I didn't realize that the shapes of the head stocks for the AD-18 and AD-35 were as different as they are. The AD-18 is very Aspen-esque, but the AD-35 is very Martin-like.

I attribute the difference in sound between the two as the difference between any mahogany vs. rosewood. Personally, I prefer the sound of a rosewood guitar. They're a little brighter and the sound has a little more sparkle.
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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-05-29 8:24 PM (#535337 - in reply to #535324)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...


Joined:
December 2016
Posts: 71

You're welcome, Dan.

The '35's similarity in head stock shape may be due to Aspen's aggression in going after Martin's U.S. market share. Who can say?

It's been a while since I played the '18 (~January after I got home with the '35). At that time, I was surprised how similar it was to the '35. After watching the video, I agree with you; the '35 is a much cleaner sounding guitar.

The Custom Ultra moves that sound bar even higher (and I love the way it plays!).



Edited by DarenSavage 2017-05-29 8:27 PM
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BanjoJ
Posted 2017-05-29 11:15 PM (#535338 - in reply to #533579)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
September 2012
Posts: 772

Location: Canberra, Australia
DanSavage - 2017-04-08 12:02 PM


A couple of things. I didn't answer earlier, but I used this finishing system on Jay's #485 and it works fine. (Minwax polyu as the primer and Eastwood 2K as the finish coats)

I also wanted to let you know that the Eastwood 2K Aerospray High Gloss is on sale right now for $19.97 / can instead of the usual $24.99 / can.

I'd planned to buy only three cans for these four guitars, but with the drop in price I was able to buy four cans for about the same as what three would have cost.

I don't know when the sale is going to end, but given how well this stuff works for guitars you might want to jump on it.

Dan


Dan. I'm part-way through refinishing the top on my Folklore 1614, which I started a few months back but got distracted.

I'm thinking of using the same Eastwood 2K spray cans. Just to be sure, is this what it is?
http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-s-2k-aerospraytm-high-gloss-matte-...

Also, how many coats have you been using?

TIA
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arumako
Posted 2017-05-30 8:25 AM (#535342 - in reply to #535311)
Subject: RE: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 652

Location: Yokohama, Japan

DarenSavage - 2017-05-27 8:07 AM

Aspen vs. Aspen - Comparing the AD-18 & AD-35

Here's a short comparison of my Aspens; the AD-18 and AD-35. Both are about the same age, give or take a year. Since we're talking about the differences between the the AD-18 and AD-35, I thought comparing the sound of the the AD-18 and AD-35 would be an interesting way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Thanks for the additional comparison video Daren! A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, indeed!

Even with the cracked bridge the AD-18 has a real mellow sound doesn't it? So characteristic of mohagony back and side guitars. Is that made from solid or laminated mahogany? From the sound of the recording, it actually sounds like solid mahogany? Very neat. I have a SAC02 that is solid Englemman Spruce with solid mahogany back and sides. She's got a really interesting warmth/sparkle to her.

DanSavage - 2017-05-28  11:21 PM

I attribute the difference in sound between the two as the difference between any mahogany vs. rosewood. Personally, I prefer the sound of a rosewood guitar. They're a little brighter and the sound has a little more sparkle.

I think Dan hit the nail-on-the-head. Before the Washington Accords, Japanese builders were using a lot of Brazilian Rosewood, both in the classical and the steel string acoustic markets. Every once in a while you can find a decent pre-Washington Accords Japan vintage acoustic with Brazilian Rosewood that is auctioning for cheap. The BRwood back and sides really give the guitar a special sparkle. The nostalgia got me all interested in the Aspens again, and there is actually an Aspen Fan Club on FB!

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DanSavage
Posted 2017-05-30 9:53 AM (#535344 - in reply to #535338)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1607

Location: Lake Forest, CA
BanjoJ - 2017-05-29 9:15 PM

I'm thinking of using the same Eastwood 2K spray cans. Just to be sure, is this what it is?
http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-s-2k-aerospraytm-high-gloss-matte-...

Also, how many coats have you been using?

TIA


Hi Paul,

Yes, that's the stuff. It looks like it's still on sale, so that's good. One can should be enough to spray the top. Personally, I always order a spare, just in case.

Of the Eastwood 2K, I use two coats. It'll need 4-5 coats of the Minwax polyu to build up a base for the 2K.

Let me digress and explain what I call a 'coat'.

I don't spray dusting coats. Instead, I spray a smooth wet coat using horizontal passes and overlapping each pass 50% over the previous pass and let if flash off for 10 minutes for the polyu and 15 minutes for the 2K.

Next I spray a smooth wet coat using a vertical pass and let it flash. Lastly, I spray heavy wet coat on a horizontal pass and fill in any areas that show orange peeling. Since it's got a pretty heavy coat of wet paint, to prevent runs and sags, I lay the guitar down on its back so that the top is flat.

This is what I call a 'coat' of paint.

In a warm environment, the paint will be ready to sand after about 8-10 hours. Usually I spray in the morning and let it dry while I'm at work. Then, I'll sand it in the evening. I dry sand until the polyu is built up enough to seal the wood. After that I wet sand with 400-grit.

Like I say, it'll take 4-5 'coats' of the polyu to build up a base, then 2 coats of the 2K.

I like to build up a thick coating of paint before I begin sanding. Thin coats of paint are not your friend here. It's only going to get thinner as you sand through the higher grits and at this point you really don't want to burn through the finish into the bare wood. (I've done it - ugh!)

Once I've got the last coat of 2K, I'm ready to start the finish sanding. At this point, I really don't want to burn through the finish, so I start wet sanding with 600-grit. Once the surface is uniformly flat, I'll start moving up through the grits. 800, 1000, 1500 and if I'm feeling really ambitious, 2000-grit.

Now the top is ready for polishing. I use cotton wheels in my hand-drill. I cut the initial polish using red rouge. Then, I use a cotton wheel and Maquiar's #9 Swirl Remover to bring the finish up to a high gloss.

When you're all done, you should have a finish that's about 5 mils thick, which is right about where you want to be.

Dan
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-05-30 10:12 AM (#535345 - in reply to #535342)
Subject: RE: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1607

Location: Lake Forest, CA

arumako - 2017-05-30 6:25 AM

I think Dan hit the nail-on-the-head. Before the Washington Accords, Japanese builders were using a lot of Brazilian Rosewood, both in the classical and the steel string acoustic markets. Every once in a while you can find a decent pre-Washington Accords Japan vintage acoustic with Brazilian Rosewood that is auctioning for cheap. The BRwood back and sides really give the guitar a special sparkle. The nostalgia got me all interested in the Aspens again, and there is actually an Aspen Fan Club on FB!

I jumped on buying the AD-35 for Daren because it's one of those MIJ guitars that used solid BR for the back and sides. Yep. I've visited the Aspen fan club on FB.

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BanjoJ
Posted 2017-05-30 4:49 PM (#535353 - in reply to #531529)
Subject: RE: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
September 2012
Posts: 772

Location: Canberra, Australia
Wow! Thank you so much Dan.

That's way more detail than I had hoped for, but exactly what I need.

We're coming into winter down here, so I'll have to wait for a warmish period before I can proceed.

Thanks again.
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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-05-30 10:27 PM (#535362 - in reply to #535342)
Subject: RE: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...


Joined:
December 2016
Posts: 71

arumako - 2017-05-30 8:25 AM

Thanks for the additional comparison video Daren! A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, indeed!

Even with the cracked bridge the AD-18 has a real mellow sound doesn't it? So characteristic of mohagony back and side guitars. Is that made from solid or laminated mahogany? From the sound of the recording, it actually sounds like solid mahogany? Very neat. I have a SAC02 that is solid Englemman Spruce with solid mahogany back and sides. She's got a really interesting warmth/sparkle to her.

You're welcome! My pleasure.

It does. I'm not sure about whether it's solid or laminated. I'll check tomorrow and let you know.

arumako

I think Dan hit the nail-on-the-head. Before the Washington Accords, Japanese builders were using a lot of Brazilian Rosewood, both in the classical and the steel string acoustic markets. Every once in a while you can find a decent pre-Washington Accords Japan vintage acoustic with Brazilian Rosewood that is auctioning for cheap. The BRwood back and sides really give the guitar a special sparkle. The nostalgia got me all interested in the Aspens again, and there is actually an Aspen Fan Club on FB!

It's funny you should mention that. While searching for the fan club, I came across an AD-35 that just came up for sale yesterday, that includes a hard case (in Lake St. Louis, Missouri--my folks used to live there) for $125! Interestingly, this '35's neck and head stock is more similar to my '18 than to my '35 (except for the fingerboard inlays).

Given that this '35's sticker is the same as my '18 ('76-'77), and with the similarity in necks/head stocks, it's probably safe to assume that it's the same production year guitar. I believe my '35 was built in 1979.

Aspen Acoustic Guitar with hard case and music - $125

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DanSavage
Posted 2017-05-31 11:45 AM (#535366 - in reply to #535362)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1607

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Yep, I think that would be a safe assumption.

WRT the Aspen serial numbers, as I recall, the first two digits are the model and the next two digits are the year it was made.
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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-05-31 5:01 PM (#535368 - in reply to #535366)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...


Joined:
December 2016
Posts: 71

DanSavage - 2017-05-31 11:45 AM

WRT the Aspen serial numbers, as I recall, the first two digits are the model and the next two digits are the year it was made.
I checked the labels, and found that the AD35 is a 1977 model, and the AD18 is unknown due to my teenage Coke sticker that tore off the part of the label with the serial number.

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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-05-31 5:20 PM (#535369 - in reply to #531529)
Subject: RE: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...


Joined:
December 2016
Posts: 71

I just did a quick search for Aspen AD35-G and came up with this Reverb ad. What's interesting is that it's serial number lists it as 3 guitars from mine. Mine is 4494, this is 4491.

1977 Aspen AD35-G ad

After more searching, I found that the previous Aspen I pointed out was an AD28. Sort of a half-way between the AD18 and AD35. Not sure what the G stands for.



Edited by DarenSavage 2017-05-31 5:24 PM
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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-05-31 8:04 PM (#535371 - in reply to #531529)
Subject: RE: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...


Joined:
December 2016
Posts: 71

Let's get this back on Ovations!

I picked up the Custom Ultra again and it was like coming home. So nice it put the dog to sleep (not really, she's always like this).

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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-05-31 9:47 PM (#535373 - in reply to #531529)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 476

Location: Spin axis of a California map
Daren.. I'm developing a real crush on that guitar (the Ultra) since I first saw and heard it in your video. And I totally agree on the "coming home" part since I always feel that same way after playing another brand and style. Kind of like crawling back into your own bed after being on the road, no matter how nice the hotels were.
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arumako
Posted 2017-05-31 10:29 PM (#535374 - in reply to #535373)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
October 2012
Posts: 652

Location: Yokohama, Japan
Love O Fair - 2017-05-31 11:47 AM

Daren.. I'm developing a real crush on that guitar (the Ultra) since I first saw and heard it in your video. And I totally agree on the "coming home" part since I always feel that same way after playing another brand and style. Kind of like crawling back into your own bed after being on the road, no matter how nice the hotels were.


+1

...man, I know I've said it before, but that Custom Ultra is drop-dead to the floor, beautiful! Stunning!
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-05-31 10:51 PM (#535376 - in reply to #535369)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1607

Location: Lake Forest, CA
Whoa! That's cool. What would be the odds that your guitar's sibling is up for sale.

I just checked again and that AD35 on Reverb is sold. (Actually it was sold on 4/11/2017)

Edited by DanSavage 2017-05-31 10:52 PM
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-05-31 10:54 PM (#535377 - in reply to #531529)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 476

Location: Spin axis of a California map
@aumako - "that Custom Ultra is drop-dead to the floor"

Yeah.. that's obviously what Daren's dog Greta was thinking right before that last picture was taken. I just now went back and reviewed the rebuild process photos and it is once again affirmed that Dan truly is a master at his his craft!
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-06-01 1:14 AM (#535379 - in reply to #535371)
Subject: RE: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1607

Location: Lake Forest, CA
DarenSavage - 2017-05-31 6:04 PM

Let's get this back on Ovations!

I picked up the Custom Ultra again and it was like coming home. So nice it put the dog to sleep (not really, she's always like this).



Yep. That's a real purdy guitar.
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DarenSavage
Posted 2017-06-05 5:10 PM (#535426 - in reply to #531529)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...


Joined:
December 2016
Posts: 71

@Love O Fair: Thanks for the kind words. I'm becoming rather partial to it myself.

@DanSavage: I bet you're just saying that because you're talking to a customer about a guitar he bought from you.

Edited by DarenSavage 2017-06-05 5:14 PM
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DanSavage
Posted 2017-06-05 5:42 PM (#535431 - in reply to #535426)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
June 2012
Posts: 1607

Location: Lake Forest, CA
You saw through my charade -- again... LOL!
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Love O Fair
Posted 2017-06-22 12:36 AM (#535603 - in reply to #531529)
Subject: Re: 198? 1528-9 Ultra...



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 476

Location: Spin axis of a California map
Heck, I'm just trying to figure out where that quote from me came from.
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