10/21/2016

2000s Paul Hathway Cittern



Paul Hathway makes a good, simple, no-frills cittern. This one is a 10-string, has a 23" tenor-style scale length, and is intended to be tuned in various "Celtic" tunings -- modal G, modal D, or takes on DADGAD alternatives. The owner brought it in for a setup and had me string it for FCGDG, though the gauges used can be up-tuned to GDAEA. I was impressed with the sparkle and presence of the instrument -- and more impressed but the quick neck and its perfectly-functional truss and "zero fret" install.


Wood appears to be solid spruce (no binding) over solid mahogany with a rosewood board and bridge. The top bracing is strange -- it's a fan-brace pattern -- and as a result the top has sunken a bit, though it's stable and all the bracing is tidy.


A properly-installed zero fret means setup was a breeze and the 18:1 sealed tuners make this easy to keep in order. I've used gauges 44w, 32w, 20w, 13, 9.




The bridge is uncompensated so it sits at an angle (for compensation) on the top. Miraculously, the slots don't have to be compensated individually for this tuning. They're almost bang-on-the-dot with a 1/8" tilt.





The tuners are Gotohs.



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