An Update on my New Lefty Suhr Modern Guitar. (Part 1)

Halfway February 2010, I started toying with the idea of having a new custom Suhr guitar built.


Interestingly enough: I had sworn when I got my last custom lefty Guthrie Govan Suhr (picture on the left) only a couple of years before, that THAT was going to be my last, all-time favorite guitar ever.

However: I had been so used to playing Floyd Rose bridge equipped guitars for so many years, that somehow I could not get used to the lesser tuning stability of my new Guthrie Govan model equipped with the Gotoh bridge.

Hence, fast forward to February 2010: I had to get 1 more, last Suhr guitar.
This would be THE ultimate Suhr Vreny model that would have EVERYTHING I ever wanted or could dream off in a guitar.

The week that decision was made, I spent about 90 hours (besides my 40+ hours of teaching that week) on the Suhr website and on other guitar websites doing research.

I was so excited about the decision to design my most custom, more personal guitar ever, that I hardly slept that week. I ate at my desk spending all my time practically reading EVERYTHING ever posted on the Suhr website and forums.

At the end of that week, I pretty much knew EXACTLY what I wanted.

And then came… the waiting.

I sent Suhr my spec sheet the week I had figured it all out Feb 2010, and as I had expected, received a response a couple of days later informing me that there was 1 to me important spec I could not get.

Their CRC routers (the machines that are computer programmed to make an entire guitar body out of a piece of wood) were not programmed yet to produce left handed carve top versions of their Suhr Modern (name of one of the Suhr guitar models)

That left me with 3 options:

  1. Go for the lefty Standard model, which is available as a carve top left handed. (This model however is a 22 fret guitar, and I really wanted to get the 24 fret Modern, so that eliminated the Standard as an option)
  2. Give up on the carve top idea and go for a flat top body design so I could put my guitar into production right away.
  3. Wait till hopefully in the not too distant future the lovely people at Suhr find the time to program their CRC routers to produce lefty versions of the Carve Top Modern body.

I decided to wait.

And wait…

and occasionally I sent Travis at Suhr guitars an email to get an update on the probability of the Lefty Modern Carve Top being an available option any time soon.

Every once in a while I did more research and improved or modified my initial spec sheet.

Fast forward to May 2013.

I started to realize the way this was going, there was absolutely no guarantee I might not have to wait another 5 years (or decade, who knows?) to get this guitar I was so anxiously waiting to get.

Dropped carve top out of my wish list, and moved on with the decision the guitar was going to have to be a flat top guitar body, in order to get this going.

I justified my decision and healed my (initial, slight) disappointed, when I found out that Steve Morse swears by flat top (or flatter guitar tops in general), because it makes the transition and feel more even when switching between his classical guitar and electric guitar.

The positive, healing influence that Steve’s opinion and preference for flat top had on my disappointment about not being able to get carve top, was greatly enhanced of course by the fact that he is one of my top 10 favorite guitarists,

In addition to that: being a fellow classically trained guitarist myself, his opinion on the greater similarity in feel and playability between flat top electric (versus carve top) and classical guitar, now actually made me feel that flat top was a better decision. I now felt that carve top would have looked really great, but would not have been the best performance decision.

A great example of how “adversity” can turn out to be your best friend.

(soon to be continued)

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