Fresh back from Kerry Char, the Portland luthier well known for expert Weissenborn and Knutsen restorations, is this rare (perhaps less than 50 conventional guitars were built, in total) Weissenborn all-Koa, round-neck guitar that Mr. Char converted from Hawaiian lap style to ?normal? Spanish style. Conversion entailed hand-carving a new bridge (We asked Kerry to use Koa, like the original, with an original-style fretwire compensated saddle, as we were aiming to keep the original tone and appearance. The guitar was refretted using thin wire, again to maintain a likeness to the originals which had extremely thin mandolin wire. The neck is straight and true and the playing action is now excellent. A new nut was made. The original bridge is in the case, so a conversion back to ?all-original? Hawaiian style could be easily done.
Designed to compete with the then newly-introduced Martin 0-18K, this guitar is of similar dimension and is X-braced.
The crispness of the Weissenborn burned-in brand on the interior bracing indicates that this is an early guitar, likely 1922-23. During this period, all round neck Weissenborns were built for Hawaiian (lap slide) playing. As the years went by, the brand wore down making the imprint lighter and more difficult to read on later guitars. We know this guitar was built prior to 1924, when Henry Stadlmaier took over distributorship and specified that all the subsequent round neck guitars be made in the Spanish style, with compensated saddles, lower bridges and action suitable for finger style play. Also in the early ?20s, Hermann Weissenborn was experimenting with lacquer spraying his instruments (he was one of the first manufacturers to try it). This guitar may have been an early test subject as there is a spray texture to the finish, and there does not appear to be an older finish below that, leading us to guess that this finish is original.
Comes with a swell arched-top hardshell Martin case.