Hey guys, I know that many of you are interested in Cole Clark acoustic guitars so I thought I'd share an experience I had recently. I emailed Cole Clark customer service with some questions about their "Fat Lady" range of acoustics, and I ended up getting an answer back from Brad Clark (founder of Cole Clark) himself. I think this will give you an idea of the standard of customer service at CC, and a pretty good insight into the nature of CC guitars:
My name's Jason Connor and I'm hoping to buy either an FL1A or an FL1AC sometime in the near future. There are a few things I'm a bit confused about and I was hoping you'd be able to help me out:
1) Can you please explain the tonal difference between:
* Top- Solid Bunya or "A" grade solid spruce top
* Solid Bunya, Qld Maple or blackwood back and sides
2) I've read that I can order direct from the factory, how exactly does this work? And will I be able to specify which woods I would like?
3) Does a cutaway detract from the tone of the guitar?
Thanks in advance, and I'm sure you probably hear this alot, but I'm stoked to have discovered a guitar company as passionate about guitars as I am. Keep up the great work!
The question re Spruce, the gradings and Bunya is now the most frequently asked question, and a little difficult to answer.
Timber is naturally 'individual', and choices can be subjective.
The grading of Spruce: 18 to 20 growth rings, or years, per inch, meaning, 'close grain' strong, with limited 'run-out', meaning that the grain, from the side view of the guitar's soundboard, runs parallel with the soundboard, for strength reasons.
'AAA' may also mean light and even in colour, clear of sap pockets for instance, or any 'defect'. This does not mean that the instrument which is comprised of this will sound superior to the piece which is not.
In fact if one is considering a mellow sounding instrument, wider grain may be the considered choice, and colour and or 'defect' may well be irrelevant.
One brief of Cole Clark was to dispel some of what may be the industry's marketing bull****, forgiving the expletive.
We make simple solid timber instruments with high quality, realistic amplification: Affordable professional quality is our brief. Our ranges are simply visual upgrades, each model being better dressed than the previous. We refer to them as 'ladies', with no disrespect.
Some do not appreciate our candour: I recommend other brands.
Rosewood, Ebony and AAA Spruce are more expensive for reason that they are more expensive for us to purchase. Are they better?
Each timber or combination has its own sound signature: Maybe not better, just different, like individual voices.
Some have gotten used to 'traditional woods, choices', and so they are preferred.
Others simply make the judgement on a hearing, by comparison. This would be my suggestion, and yet the former is valid.
Bunya is almost as light in weight as Spruce, is generally a little stronger, is more even in growth, with a similar 'janka', crush, or softness. The sound reflects this.
Guitars of course reflect the construction, the woods, the finish, and then the player.
Often Bunya is colourful by comparison with Spruce, and in many instances where customers are not exposed to 'Spruce marketing', they will chose Bunya on sound and visual... Choice is a good thing!
I have avoided the 'A, 'AA' and 'AAA' 'gradings'.
But a good Spruce guitar is also good!
Spruce, northern hemisphere slow growth, can take several hundred years to reach a sufficient size to comprise a guitar's soundboard. Bunya can take 60 to 80 years and in a plantation, is indigenous to Australia, specifically southern Queensland. It grows well all year! Southern Queensland may be a nice place to grow! I advise we consider our environment, plant more trees. We love trees.
Bunya may well figure quite strongly in the future guitar making...
Cole Clark does demonstrate that without foregoing quality, environmentally friendly instruments have been created and are used by some of the world's best players.
I also have one.
We add value to our guitars by design and working on them for longer: I would say that we deploy our technology well, finally, hopefully, to the customer's advantage'. We work hard.
We do not sell direct: Respect to the shops who stock and show ranges of many brands: We all need to eat!
I would say that the cutaway can reduce the instrument's bottom end and efficiency a little.
We may need to 'FAQ' some of this!
Thanks for your interest!
thats top notch customer service! i was thinking of buying a Cole Clark as my final acoustic guitar.
thats pretty sick dude. awesome that someone wqould actually take the time to write that out and explain it. props to them.
what a company - you can tell they really care.
props to them.
props to them.