THE STARTING POINT IN DESIGNING YOUR GUITAR
The “standard features” available on Bashkin Guitars provide a multitude of choices that will influence the visual impact of your instrument as well as its tone and comfort in your hands.
Some players prefer to leave most of the decisions to Michael. After some exploratory conversation about your playing style, he will recommend a combination of body style, materials and design features that will be right for you.
On the other hand, during your first discussion with Michael you may become fascinated by the nuances of guitar design. Many Bashkin guitar owners immerse themselves in every detail, enjoy every decision, and form a very special bond with the instrument that results from this design partnership.
Michael invites you to collaborate as much as you’d like in this process. And if your acoustic and aesthetic taste takes you beyond his standard features, together you will explore more possibilities with his premium features.
The Highest Quality Tonewoods
All Bashkin guitars are made with Tonewoods that have been individually selected by Michael based on their cut, sonic and aesthetic potential. All Tonewoods are seasoned and dried before use. Tonewood storage and instrument construction both occur in a humidity-controlled environment to ensure long-term instrument stability. Upon placing your order, you are invited to consult with Michael on the goals for your instrument and reserve individual wood sets that best satisfy them for your guitar. Michael will provide you with images of the sets under consideration.
Custom Wood Bindings & Purflings
Michael makes all his binding and purflings – using nothing “off the shelf”. They are milled from the same board to ensure excellent color matching. Standard binding and purfling choices include Koa, Rosewood or Ebony with black and white veneers as decoration. Others woods are available on request.
Super Strong Headstocks
The headstock overlay is fully bound and mitered to match the body. In addition, the back of the headstock features a carved volute and hardwood 0.045” overlay, features that add strength and visual distinction
Bone Fittings, Back-Angled Saddle Slot, and Superior Under-Saddle Pick-up Performanc
The nut and 3/16” compensated saddle are carved from high quality bone, and they are meticulously adjusted to provide excellent action and intonation.
The saddle slot is cut at an 8 degree back angle, which has several advantages. First, the string pressure is focused down towards the bottom of the saddle slot, rather than forward against the front edge of the slot. This minimizes the stress on the front edge. Direct downward string pressure also enhances the performance of under-saddle pickups.
Signature X-Braced Back Controls Back Stiffness
The x-braced back is one of the visual signatures of Michael Bashkin’s guitars. The symmetrically carved braces with their graceful hardwood cap are clearly visible through the sound hole.
In addition to the aesthetic impact, the brace is functional. The height of the intersection of the brace controls the stiffness of the back below the sound hole. The stiffness of this area helps create the proper balance between the guitar's projection and the sound to the player.
Double-Sided Option for a More Active Top
Bashkin guitar customers can choose traditional single-sided construction or modern double-sided construction.
Many contemporary theorists believe the sides of the guitar are mainly structural members of the soundbox. According to this theory, as the stiffness and stability of the sides increases, more of the strings’ energy is focused into the top. To maximize this effect, double-sided guitars are constructed with a solid piece of wood glued to the interior face of the primary side.
For those who prefer guitars that are more traditional and lighter in weight, single-sided construction is available.
Hide Glue, the Luthier’s Choice for Centuries
All the major acoustically active components are affixed using hide glue. This glue has been used by luthiers for centuries and is considered acoustically superior to other glues. In addition, hide glue offers high heat resistance and won't 'creep' like most common wood glues.
Arched Plate Construction: More Power, Less Weight
The plates (top and back) are arched into a dome having a 25' radius on the top and a 15' radius on the back. This technique is also known as pre-stressed plates, spherical doming, and parabolic bracing. Arching the plates permits lighter weight construction without sacrificing strength or stability, creating a more powerful and responsive guitar.
Deflection Testing Ensures Correct Top Performance
At several phases of construction the tops are tested for deflection standards specific to Bashkin guitars. This methodology ensures consistency between guitars and can be adjusted to meet the criteria of the owner.
Waverly Tuners: Made in the USA
Waverly tuners are made in the US and I am proud to use these precise high-quality tuners on my guitars. The nickel tuners with vintage style knobs are standard on all my guitars. Gold finish with a variety of knob styles and materials are also available as an option.