Sponsored By
 
Sexauer JB-CN
 
A small-body, multi-scale guitar built with Brazilian rosewood.
May 3, 2023
 

Northern California luthier Bruce Sexauer is one of the most experienced builders of individually-made stringed instruments around. We recently hosted Bruce in the Peghead Nation video studio, where he showed us three of his current models, an FT-L00-JB/2, a JB-16, and a JB-CN. We featured the olive-wood FT-L00-JB/2 a few weeks ago, and in this video, Bruce and I discuss the smallest guitar of the three, the JB-CN (which Bruce refers to as the “Couch Noodler”), and I play the instrument solo and in a duet with Peghead Nation instructor Doug Young playing the FT-L00-JB/2.

Bruce’s CN body is similar in size to a 00. However, while all Sexauer guitars are rooted in traditional construction methods, this instrument looks nothing like a vintage-style 00, due to its Florentine cutaway, multi-scale fingerboard, and 13th-fret neck joint. The guitar was built with spectacular Brazilian rosewood back and sides, which Bruce says he selected from several hundreds of “stumpwood” sets that were available in the late 1990s, and its top is a made from a piece of Italian spruce that Bruce acquired from Rivolta Tonewoods near Milan more than 20 years ago. The body is bound with koa, and the guitar has simple dots in the fingerboard that serve as position markers. A small soundport in the bass side of the upper bout serves as a “monitor” to the player. As he does with many of his guitars, Bruce used a set of Schertler tuning machines, which he likes for their precision and light weight. 

I found the guitar to be incredibly fun and satisfying to play. Its compact size makes it very comfortable, but it also has a robust and powerful tonality that gives it a character akin to a larger instrument. The multi-scale adds a little tension on the bass strings on what otherwise feels like a short-scale guitar, and I enjoyed playing in both DADGAD and standard tunings.The guitar had a lovely, rich and refined sound when I played solo fingerstyle, and it more than held its own against the larger FT-L00-JB/2 when I played it with Doug.

Bruce Sexauer has long impressed by combining innovative, modern designs with traditional construction methods and some of the finest materials available. This JB-CN is one of my personal favorites among dozens of Sexauer guitars I’ve had a chance to play over the years, and I would encourage anyone in the market for a high-end flattop to check out Bruce’s work. 

SPECS: 13-fret 00 body. Italian spruce top with X-bracing. Brazilian rosewood back and sides. Honduran mahogany neck. Ebony fingerboard. Brazilian rosewood bridge. Multi-scale fingerboard measuring 25 inches on the bass side and 24.5 inches on the treble side. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₁₆-inch string spacing at the saddle. Schertler tuning machines. Made in the USA. $18,000. sexauerguitars.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2024 PegheadNation.com