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A little Nobel droolfest - Vintge guitar show Pomona 2011

 
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:31 pm    Post subject: A little Nobel droolfest - Vintge guitar show Pomona 2011 Reply with quote

At the last minute my sometimes playing partner (and B-bender student) Walt and I decided to hit the vintage guitar show in Pomona. I haven't been since Mur and I went about 10 years ago and it flat sucked - we were in and out in 20 minutes! The shows had really deteriorated into a "shark line" and parking lot full for dealers' buyers looking for carry-ins, crap guitars built from parts on Friday night and absolutely ridiculous prices.

What a change

This was back to the old days! One of the big halls at the LA Fairgrounds was nearly full, there was NO shark line (and only a few private-party guys in the parking lot, mostly trying to sell stuff...like one '37 'bone). The instruments were FAR better, the selection wider, and the descriptions very honest - most dealers had a sheet under the instrument stand listing every part that was replaced, swapped or repro (a "1952 Telecaster" tht in the past would have ben pawned off as original with a $40k price tag was $12.5k, and neck repairs, replaced/aged pickups, guard, control plate and some '52 but not from THAT guitar parts fully disclosed. Heck, I started adding up what I could sell to buy it while in the past I would have laughed at the fakery).

A TON of fine acoustics - very few D-28's but a couple dozen 60's/earlier D-18's, all fairly priced. Only ONE booth where a "don't touch" rule and bad attitude was in effect, and it was also the only one with suspect instruments. Everyone else encouraged playing, plugging in amps and cranking them, testing effects, etc. I was personally pleased to see that one of the few commercial (new instrument) booths was Trussart, since I have a VERY early SteelPaul (now Steel DeVille) made with electronics he can no longer get. James is a great guy and there were 12 year od kinds being encouraged to try out $5,800 Rusty-finish Teles (he also has a Jazzmaster-like model and several with wood bodies/metal tops).

But the king of the show for me was Nobel #295 - I neglected to shoot a pic of the 3-piece Cocobolo back, but it is stunning. It's also an oddity - the shop selling it got it in with TWO fretboards on it...one glued to a planed-down lower one. They removed that mess and installed a really tasteful board with incredibly comfortable, inward-curved binding that made it play like butter (no sharp fret edges nor hard binding corner - nice soft edges).

It was a little neck heavy, something I've noticed on the few other Nobels I've played. I think I know why - the tech who did the fretboard replacement was there and described the odd non-adjustable flat steel bar "trussrod" Roy uses...or at least had in this one. He said it was 3x the weight of a normal rod - but it'll NEVER move!.

The tone was very complex; it had an incredible variance of sounds depending on pick attack (I was using a self-made 2.5mm casein faux-tort pick...I'm making them regularly now) and distance from the bridge. FAR more variation than ANY Martin I've played. I play with a light grip, but when I'd bear down it'd get that clear, vocal-like upper-mid tone Clarence and Tony Rice are known for (and most modern players don't come within a mile of). Punchy, clear and articulate (plus I could have played all day without getting tired or sore). It was not incredibly loud - I would not use the "bluegrass cannon" phrase - but it had great projection and I think it'd mic really well.

The price is a bit higher than most newer Nobels, but this serial number isn't real new (and the guitar was in absolutely dead-mint condition except for a weird problem with some finish flaking - an issue that is not a big one to me at all.). If anyone is interested shoot me an email (sometimes I miss PM's) and 'll get you the contact info. If you are shopping for a high-end dread you couldn't do much better IMO.

I left the pic sideways so it wouldn't shrink too much when rotated:

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Steve-o



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 115
Location: Glendale, CA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot, I love your report, but sheeeesh,,, he is Roy Noble. He has yet to receive a Peace Prize.
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1361
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! but for alot less $ you can get a better guitar from Don Wilson or Wayne Henderson Cool
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve-0, there are quite a few folks on this forum who have expressed interest in not just Clarence's, but other Nobel guitars. My post also included a little info regarding changes in the local show over the years besides the info regarding that particular guitar. There would, based on past discussions, been interest had there been a D-18 or D-28 CW model - and Nobels don't come up very often.

Brian - it may be that other builders can do better for less, but making such an absolute statement of "truth" ("for alot less $ you can get a better guitar...) might be a bit strong.

I was just posting a personal observation of a particular instrument that might be of interest to some members (and honestly, to me it was THAT good - I don't "score" guitars very high at shows or anywhere else for that matter...to darned picky!).


Last edited by Silverface on Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1361
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim I apologize for the negative tone in my post.
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Steve-o



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 115
Location: Glendale, CA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian-
".... you can get.... a Wayne Henderson..."??? Have you checked his waiting list lately?
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Steve-o



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 115
Location: Glendale, CA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess maybe Silverface didn't get my attempt at humor. Roy, an old friend of mine from college, makes WONDERFUL guitars, but his name is Noble, not Nobel.
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Dogbear



Joined: 23 Jun 2007
Posts: 275
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
you can get.... a Wayne Henderson..."??? Have you checked his waiting list lately?


Right around 10 years if at all, but if you work at it, it can be less.

Don Wilson works in Wayne's shop and has been close friends with him for many years and makes guitars under his own name. You can't "order" one but what he makes, he sells on the "market" or to friends.

Neither one advertise, have a web site, or a price list - They don't need to, everything they make is sold before it is completed. They are that good.....

I have played around 50 Henderson's, 10 Wilson's (including Brian's exceptional BR D28) and more pre-war Martins than I can remember, but I have not played a Roy Nobel. Maybe one day I can make the comparison.
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Murr



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 384
Location: http://www.youtube.com/user/skydogz1

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome looking guitar . . .looks alot like Clarence's.
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Murr



Joined: 24 May 2008
Posts: 384
Location: http://www.youtube.com/user/skydogz1

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



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