Arabic oud by luthier John Vergara recently completed.
Scale length 590
Walnut bowl, spruce soundboard
Great player and good friend Ivan Gomez stops by to try the new guitars made by John Vergara.. here he tries the "Twin Flame" guitar. His comment in the end, "Nice basses, John"
You will see John listening to the greatest master of Flamenco music, Paco De Lucia, some ouds and guitars on the wall by John Vergara, a Karibyan oud (1954), and a flamenco blanca in the making.
Another Torres-based classical guitar is complete. Captivating, rich, full tone. 650 scale, 100% French polish finish. Here are some photos. Please stop by to try it out. "As people strive to reunite with their "other half", every musician searches for the instrument that fulfills his soul's needs. An instrument whose energy flows tangibly in every vein. An instrument he/she can call "the one". Twin Flame Guitar is as its name suggests: A tone of passion... and a body longing for reunion..."
Spanish Classical Guitar build based mostly on 1864 Torres (Sevilla).
French polish finish, 650 scale.
Rob Dukram, a guy I used to hang with in my band days as a teenager stopped by to drop off an old, but sweet Parker Nite fly which wasn't working. After some trouble shooting, I realized the piezo board was shot, several unsuccessful phone calls to Parker's tech support was futile. Rob told me he just loves the guitar, its feel and playability and is not attached to the stock electronics and that he'd be okay with installing regular pickups in there. I checked to see if it was possible, but of course it is with some rigging. I recommended some humbucker pickups that I had liked over the years, a Seymour Duncan '59 for the neck and a Screamin' Demon for the bridge. Rob decided to get the Jason Becker instead of the bridge. He send me the pickups and well, but were lost in Christmas' shit shuffle at the post office during peak shipping season. After getting them I cleared some odds and ends off my bench and got to his guitar. The pickup install on a Parker is not so simple and requires significant rigging to get right. First the humbuckers come with feet for the two screws that works every other brand EXCEPT Parker, so you'll see I had to clip those off, then I had to file/grind the rough edges off. Also, the pole screws needed to be clipped since they bottom out in the Parker Nite Fly's routed pickup cavity. After all that, I removed ALL the previous electronics. All the pots and even the 1/4" jack had to go. During install I realized the nice Japanese pots I had were not long enough for this, so I had to order those. Got them, installed them, and the pickups, soldered everything, and couldn't get the bridge pickup to work! I went nuts trying to figure it out, checked all my connections, I thought it was a faulty 1/4" jack, then I thought it was the toggle switch, then I thought it was one of the new quality pots!! Then I thought, maybe its the pickup!!! So I tested it with a volt meter, and sure enough, DEAD. (in 17 years of swapping pickups I've never came across a faulty pickup!) I called Seymour Duncan tech support (not too bad to get a hold of) and the technician told me to try this and that, I said nothing is working papito, you gotta help me get an RMA and send me a new one or repair it, and after some back and forth he agreed. I finally received the NEW pickup and tested it with the volt meter, and boom, got my. 7.5 ohms of resistance needed. Wired it up, setup the guitar and it sounds and plays like a dream. Rob will choose the knobs for the controls. There is an additional toggle switch from the previous electronic setup that is a ghost, but looks like it might do something cool like shoot sparks out of the guitar! (Ace Frehley style)
I chose the 1686 Stradivarius Goddard pattern. Which is wider than most. I did this because I wanted to produce an instrument with a warmer tone, preferably to play Arabic style violin on. It should be said that I am not a violinist, and have very limited abilities for technique and sound production. It should also be noted that the strings used at cheap Chinese strings. Proper strings should result in a better sound as well as a real violinist.
Here goes my story. Of how I entered luthiery (making and repairing musical instruments). It all started in my grandfather's workshop. I would poke around his shop because the place was cool. There were lots of tools, and wood in there and I also found my first playboy magazine in his shop! So one day he showed me how to clamp a piece of wood in a vice and how to cut it with a saw. At 5 or 6 years old, this blew my mind. I came up with plans to make a robot (a dream not yet realized!) and I couldn't stop fantasizing about all the possibilities. Then in Junior high school we had shop class, so there was the bandsaw, sanding machine, drill press, and that blew me away even more. I made my mother a wooden cross, and an ashtray. Not long after I discovered music. I learned how to play guitar, and then I realized I wanted to make one. But to make a guitar means you have to have a lot of your own tools, and the skills to build one. Fast forward to when I was 18 years old. I would get the guitar making magazines, and I'd look at the tools and how expensive they were, and all the beautiful woods. But again, everything was so expensive, there was no way to do this on my own. A few years later I found a guitar maker living in upstate, NY. I asked him if he would teach me guitar making, he said no. He died a year later. I asked another guitar maker, HE died a year later! Then I met a violin maker, asked him if he would teach me, and without him knowing it, he saved his life and agreed to teach me! So I started with violins, then sonehow started making ouds because I started to play oud after traveling to the Middle-East and being inspired by the haunting tone of the oud. But still, never made a guitar. So a life long dream has begun to be fulfilled!
Here the wood for the back was joined, the sides bent, and I will begin making the mould.
Here is what Amos wrote: "I just got a chance to play these two ouds after they were both repaired by John Vergara at his shop, Lord of The Strings, in Beacon, NY. The oud on the left is Ibrahim Sukar (Syria) and on the left is Haider (also Syria). John's repairs are solid, clean and resolved the issues that needed to be addressed exactly as I needed them to be. John was highly professional, punctual, explained everything he was doing, itemized each repair clearly in a simple invoice and even threw in some extras to make sure the repairs yielded the desired result before I brought the ouds back to Maine. Both of these instruments had serious issues that rendered one of them completely unplayable and the other fairly limited. They are both performance-ready now and the final amount I paid was extremely reasonable. I highly recommend John to anyone in need of stringed instrument repairs of any kind, not only ouds. Guitars, violins, violas, the list is a long one. Please visit his website at www.johnvergaramusic.com for more information. So glad to have these ouds back at home."