I have always been fascinated with the amazing sustain that CBG's built by John McNair (RedDog Guitars) have.  If you are unaware, check the Three String Guitar Forum or do a YouTube search.  Over the many videos that he has posted, the common theme is sustain that seems to go on forever.

About a month ago I traded a few emails with John about the subject.  I asked what kind of effects he used and reverb settings on his amp.  John reported that he ran his CBG's "straight, without electronic enhancements".  And although I am a good builder, I wanted to get the inside dope.  About 3 weeks ago, I got a copy of his "Learn How to Build Handmade 3 and 4 String Slide and Fretted Guitars".  Over a couple of nights I viewed the video several times.  While much of what John teaches is pretty conventional, there are a few things that he does that I have never (seldom) done.

I decided to do a test build, closely following his instructions.  I can tell you that the results a right in line with the performance that John gets from his guitars featured on the videos.  I am so pleased with the results that I had ordered one of his "thin" pickups to install in this sustain monster to go with the dual piezo setup already installed.

Will I build all my CBG's totally John's way in the future?  No.  But John has opened the door to building an absolute sustain beast that should be one of my "go to" CBGs for years to come.  Thanks John!!!

(disclosure:  this is not a paid ad.  like many builders, while I like to do things "my way", I also like to learn for those that I respect.  After all these years, I'm glad I got around to checking out John's "How to" video.  I think whether your are a new builder or a seasoned (time worn) builder, there will be a lot that you can learn from John (RedDog) McNair)

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Sam I bought that same video when I first started building and the first one I built was a kneck through tight to the box lid. However I could not get the sustain like John created and have since moved my kneck through builds down from the box lid in thinking the sound board needs to resonate. I will say my first build had a killer bottom string that I've not been able to reduplicate as for sound! At this point I dug out the video and watched it again. I'm ready at this point to retry with my next build in going backup tight to the sound board to see what I've been missing out on. Any suggestions?

Chris,

 

check your page message board...

I know this an old post, but what the hell.  I am new to cbg's and only been playing for about three months.  John's How To Play video is what is teaching me how to play.  No kidding, I've probably watched it 100 times, I probably watched it 5 times before I even picked up my guitar.  Everyday when I get home, I put the DVD on and practice sometimes pausing the DVD to work something out, etc.

I had never been able to play six string or anything else and John is helping me string together some sound.  I like how he gives you enough and then lets you observe/ listen in the video clips later on the DVD. 

If he can teach a bumbling buffoon like me to play, then perhaps he can teach me to build quality cbg's. 

the problem I find is he ask premium prices.

are his 3 stringers worth over a grand?

I wouldn't pay that much, I am interested in knowing how he builds his git's and will probably order John's How To Build DVD.

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