Chris Larkin / ASAS / Natural / Guitar For Sale
The ASAS range of archtop guitars
The luxurious ASAS archtop range has both full acoustic jazzers and a semi acoustic model.
I make my archtop guitars as acoustic guitars first and then add the floating pickup. This makes them louder, lighter and more responsive that the normal 'two humbuckers on the top' archtops. This system is more prone to feedback so, if required, a soundpost can be fitted in the bridge area that has little effect on the acoustic sound (linking the top and back in phase can be beneficial) but does reduce feedback.
All models share many features including deep, handcarved, tap tuned, arched tops and backs, multi-laminate rock/flamed maple necks, fully bound bodies and necks.
The finest spruce and maple are used for the construction with all detail work (bindings, headstock, scratchplate etc) made from contrasting woods.
The ASAS model has a smaller (15") body and 630mm scale. This gives a smaller acoustic footprint but is more feedback resistant at performing volumes and is a very comfortable size to play. Amplified the sound is full and rich.
The ASAST is a traditional 17" wide, 649mm scale jazzer with all that you expect from such an instrument including full range balanced sound.
Pickups are specially wound Kent Armstrong humbuckers, fingerboard mounted, giving clarity and tone.
Tails can be wooden or metal to choice. All hardware (Schaller/ABM) is gold plated.
The ASAS Semi shares the top size with the ASAS (15") but has a thinner body depth and a spine of cedar connecting the top and back. Usually a tunamatic bridge and stop tail are fitted but the wooden tail is an option.
Two gold covered Schaller G50 pickups are top mounted and pickup selection is by a five way rotary switch giving a very wide tonal rangeThe construction makes for a very woody sound with great feedback resistance for jazz but you can induce it for rock or blues. A very upmarket semi.
The standard high gloss finish is blonde for all ASAS models with the option of traditional or outlandish sunbursts.
Fitted hardcase included.
Each ASAS model is hand made to order, so choices include -
* fret type
* fingerboard radius
* fingerboard width
* neck profile
* Engelmann, sitka spruce or yellow cedar tops
* back and sides from quilted or birdseye maple
* body depth
* left handed
* many other options to make each guitar suit the customer - just ask about the possibilities.
Prices are exclusive of applicable tax/duties/shipping/VAT
Chris Larkin Custom Guitars, Ireland
About Chris Larkin
I work alone hand building a variety of instruments beside the beach on the beautiful west coast of Ireland. I am in my third decade of guitar making and it is still the best job in the world. And, so far, I get paid to do it. Nothing could be better!
Working alone gives me total control over the process. I do everything from buying in the wood to packing the instruments for shipping and nothing leaves the workshop that I cannot be proud of. Each day I look forward to going to work and learn something more about my craft. The more I learn the more I know I have to learn. And there is no Holy Grail in guitarmaking, there are too many variables in hand making an instrument to be sure of anything. The traditional 'rules' are there to be tested. At this stage, working with wood has become largely intuitive for me. And I am a wood junkie!
The wood junkie on the left is cuddling enough yellow cedar to make at least 40 flat top guitars when he cuts it up. This yellow cedar board is perfectly quartersawn with 80 grain lines per inch (31 per cm). Yellow cedar makes great archtops (jazzers and mandolins) and is also very good for steelstrings. In my opinion more people should try it.
The man on the right is taking instruction from Melody (the guitar building dog and real brains behind the business) on the best way to carve the top plate for an ASAS Semi. (yes Harvey, it is yours!)
I produce a limited number of master grade instruments each year almost all of which are exported (thanks to contacts made by exhibiting at the Frankfurt Musikmesse since 1985). Naturally I use the finest available materials. My designs are original, practical and, I think, beautiful. My instruments are individual for individuals.
My wife Syra is a professional painter (there she is on the left working on a portrait of Robbie Overson which was used for his album cover) and after years of makeshift workshops and studio space we finally designed and built our ideal workplace attached to our house in 1997. Syra has most of the upstairs with great natural light and wonderful views over the bays and mountains while I have the ground floor and an upstairs sprayroom. All of my areas are humidity controlled (47% RH) which gives me great confidence in dealing with the wood and the assurance that the possibilities of future climatic damage to instruments is limited to extreme conditions (which instruments should never be exposed to anyway!).
It is possible to order from a dealer or directly from me at the workshop. When a customer makes an order they will fill in a Conspec which is a document that specifies all aspects of the intended instrument. The Conspec is exchanged between me and the customer being changed by agreement until we are both happy with what is to be made. At this stage a firm price and delivery date is set. The Conspec now becomes the blueprint from which I will work when I am making the instrument. The Conspec can be changed at any time up until the start of building with agreement between the customer and me. As both the customer and builder have a copy of the Conspec there should be no surprises on delivery! Payment.
For orders from the workshop a non-returnable deposit of 30% is normally paid when the Conspec is agreed and the price is set. The balance is payable on completion of the instrument. A photograph of the finished instrument is sent to the customer (by mail or email) to show that the building is complete and shipping happens when the balance of the money reaches my bank.
For orders from dealers the payment details should be arranged with the dealer concerned.
Shipping costs are the responsibility of the customer. For orders from the workshop I can arrange shipping by insured courier at cost if required.
Someone once said that the only two things you can be sure about in life are taxes and death! I can tell you a bit about the taxes.
Orders from the workshop that are to countries within the European Union to persons who are not registered for VAT will have Irish VAT included in the price at the rate that is current at the time of payment. Orders outside the European Union will be free of Irish taxes but note that most governments charge some sort of tax on imported instruments. Check what this will be locally. Orders from dealers will include whatever taxes are relevant in that country.Your dealer can tell you about this.