10/20/2013

c.2008 Floyd Jasper Dobro-style Resonator Guitar



The daughter of the previous owner of this guitar dropped by on Saturday for me to have a looksie at a few of her Dad's guitars. This is one of them and it will more than likely be up for consignment here pretty soon.

If I'm reading the serial number information right, this Jasper was made in 2008. It's a Dobro-style guitar in the squareneck (raised strings, Hawaiian/bluegrass) fashion and sports an excellent Beard cone and an interesting design: there's no soundwell but there are some curious flanges that block most access (but not all) of the airspace in the lower bout area to the upper bout area. I'm guessing this was a delibrate decision to try to mellow out and warm up the tone as this square neck has a ridiculously sweet, very loud, and warm tonality.



Aside from cleaning up the guitar and restringing it, I also moved the cone/saddle position for better intonation. As is often the case, the cone shifted after what seems to have been a lot of use by its previous owner. Upon opening the case, the guit was practically filthy. It cleaned up nicely but there's moisture spotting around the end of the fretboard and soundholes.


These Jasper guitars were/are made by famed Dobro player Floyd Jasper. I haven't seen many of them around and while the overall build quality is folksier compared to fancy-shop Dobro clones, it's American-made and has a sound like no other Dobro I've heard: it's just surprising how loud and sweet this guit is at the same time. FYI, brand new this guit ran about $2k.

The generous nut width and high string height also give it a more modern feel and easy playability.


Woods: ebony board, laminate mahogany body, big old mahogany neck.

The frets were curled up a bit from Vermont dryness but I knocked them back in where necessary. I also leveled off any dryness-induced "barbs" from the frets on the side of the board.

The snowflake pearl inlay on the board is pretty cute, huh?


The tailpiece has some padding underneath to keep it from rattling. The current strings are some GHS "Vintage Bronze" in the 56w-12 gauges which make for a useful open D/low bass G tunings but the next owner will want to swap out for standard GBDGBD bluegrass tuning.


The top and back edges are bound.


This fella has a 25 1/4" scale length which means lower-pitch tunings will have enough scale to get good tension. While it doesn't really matter as far as a Dobro-style guitar's playability is concerned, the neck isn't 100% straight down its whole length (probably due to the 58w-14 strings that are common on these guys).


Like the rest of the finish, there's use-wear evident throughout, but it's not too obvious unless you're looking for it.



Like the rest of the instrument, the tuners hadn't been touched since it was brand new, and needed tightening up (these Rotomatics tend to get loose over time at the hex nut on top).





There's some finish flaking at the decorative strip at the tailpiece, here.


It comes with its original Cedar Creek custom "Jasper Resonator Guitars" hard case in good shape.



The plastic wasn't even removed from the medallion...!

No comments: