De Faoite Guitars - Terz Parlour

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VikingBlues
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De Faoite Guitars - Terz Parlour

Post by VikingBlues »

Trying to sell the house with all the work that entails (and so far getting nowhere), plus an incident where our youngest dog getting bitten by an adder, with the resulting treatment, convalescence and worry, has not meant much time to spend on forums this last few weeks. :thumbsdown:

On the plus side the dog seems to be pretty well recovered, apart from what looks likely to be scarred muscle tissue under the skin causing a bulge. Which we need to keep an eye on. Thankfully we realised pretty quickly that something was wrong and he got treatment at the vets within a few hours.

During this time I have had the fortune to be able to try out for free over 3 weeks a hand made small parlour guitar. Dave White has a guitar building business called De Faoite Guitars and is a member of a UK based acoustic guitar forum that I'm a member of. He has sent one of his guitars on a "road trip" around some forum members for them to try out, make recordings and videos, and review. The guitar is called "An Fea Caol".

It has been a joy to play :D - beautifully set up with a very comfortable playing action and with an impeccable finish. The guitar top was made from Lawsons Cypree (a tree that used to grow in Dave's garden and had to be felled a few years back as it became a danger to the house). The back and sides and neck are Cuban Mahogany from an Edwardian Dresser. Cuban Mahogany is very dense and heavy. The resulting sound is sweet, mellow, rich and beautifully balanced over bass, mids and trebles. A very good bass and mid response for such a small guitar.
It is also the first guitar I've tried with a small sound port in the bass side of the upper bout. It gives the player so much more of an idea just how good a sound is coming from the guitar. I'm baffled that it isn't a standard practice.

It is a short scale instrument (610mm) and is designed for Terz tuning - like a normal guitar with a capo at fret 3.
So in standard tuning = G, C, F, Bb, D, G.
Though I had it most of the time in the equivalent of DADGAD with a capo at fret 3.
F, C, F, Bb, C, F .... not as easily said as DADGAD!

Image
This is it compared to my Tanglewood TW73 Parlour. Quite a bit smaller and a you'll see the shorter scale.

Image
This is it compared to one of my Vintage Giltraps that I usually play.
You will see that the "An Fea Caol" has a similar pinched waist to the Giltrap.
I have a real liking for sound produced by guitars with that shape and An Fea Caol was no exception.

Image
No bling, and no flashy detail, but just a very pleasing look with an air of quality about it.

Comparing "An Fea Caol, the TW73, and the Giltrap guitars:-
Upper Bout = 225mm, 245mm, 282mm
Waist = 168mm, 207mm, 205mm
Lower Bout = 310mm, 355mm, 405mm

Waist v Upper Bout = 75%, 84%, 73%
Waist v Lower Bout = 54%, 58%, 51%
So it is close to the extreme pinch of the Giltraps waist - much more pinched than the normal factory made acoustic guitar shapes.
I don't know why there's so few factory made guitars with a more pinched waist like this - the sound so damn good.
It usually only seems to be the hand made operations that make guitars of that shape.

Here's a couple of sound samples :-

:music1: https://app.box.com/s/b2j2rhnzoiu4yaz9ok50oad1xnva0mal
An improvisation in the equivalent of DADGAD with Newtone Heritage strings.

:music1: https://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13756673
Semi Improvised around some of the ideas, note and progressions of a Pierre Bensusan piece - much simplified of course. Also in DADGAD equivalent.

I passed the guitar on to the next forum member in the chain today. :tears:
Fortunately I find I still enjoy the sound of my cheap Vintage brand Giltrap guitars. :phew:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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12bar
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Re: De Faoite Guitars - Terz Parlour

Post by 12bar »

I'm currently on my annual Holiday in Italy, congrats!
Will answer If I'm back home...
Can't bei without guitar so long, so I bought a cheapo classical guitar, Eko, an Italien brand.
Sounds great for less than 100 bucks.

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Blindboy
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Re: De Faoite Guitars - Terz Parlour

Post by Blindboy »

I'm so glad your dog is OK. A good friend of mine lost her dog to a rattlesnake bite last year. It happened right behind her house.
That is a lovely little guitar. I like parlour guitars a lot... In fact, the only flattop guitar I own is an old Regal parlour guitar.
Good luck with your house. I'm (slowly) remodeling ours in case we ever need to sell out and move somewhere easier to live. I would prefer to stay, but we're getting older.
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"

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VikingBlues
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Re: De Faoite Guitars - Terz Parlour

Post by VikingBlues »

Blindboy wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:56 am
I'm so glad your dog is OK. A good friend of mine lost her dog to a rattlesnake bite last year. It happened right behind her house.
That is a lovely little guitar. I like parlour guitars a lot... In fact, the only flattop guitar I own is an old Regal parlour guitar.
Good luck with your house. I'm (slowly) remodeling ours in case we ever need to sell out and move somewhere easier to live. I would prefer to stay, but we're getting older.
We were lucky that we noticed the bite quickly and were lucky that it was a bite to the leg - if it's a bite to the face where a dog sniffs at a snake it gets really nasty. A rattlesnake would be in a higher league for venom than an adder I think. What a terrible shame for your friend - a tough thing for her to go through.

We're hoping that one day the house sells - we need to move somewhere that will be more suitable for retirement and older age.
We also need to move to a smaller property and cheaper area to release funds so I can retire at a sensible age. :sad:
Until we move and know what funds are released I don't know when to retire.

When I was passing the wonderful Terz parlour on to the next person in the chain (the forum owner as it happens) I got to try some of his acoustics. Martins, Yamahas etc. But also got to try a "Taran" acoustic guitar - made by a luthier called Rory Dowling from Fife. What a wonderful, beautiful guitar that was - only needed a few notes to realise that! Unfortunately I couldn't think of a way of leaving with the Terz Parlour and the Taran guitar concealed on my person. Both guitars out of my price range - so I'm missing playing the parlour and regretting the missed opportunity of not playing acoustic guitar years ago when I might have managed to get something as good as them. :tears:
12bar wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:23 pm
I'm currently on my annual Holiday in Italy, congrats!
Will answer If I'm back home...
Can't bei without guitar so long, so I bought a cheapo classical guitar, Eko, an Italien brand.
Sounds great for less than 100 bucks.
Hope you're having a great holiday! :D

100 bucks is more my budget! Not the 4000 or 6000 bucks of those two i've tried and will never afford.
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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