The T1 Troubadour is based on the earliest steel string guitars. As a beginning luthier, I was always reading and buying books on guitars. Also, I have always been interested in history. Thus, I love the old instruments and especially the ones that came through the shop. I have enjoyed these little guitars from Martin, Gibson, Washburn, Harmony and more for decades. Looking into this, you can see the time would come for a parlor guitar in the A. Davis line-up.
Dimensions: Total length: 38.75in 98.43cm – Scale length: 25.5in. 64.77cm – Body length 18.0in 45.72 – Body width: 13.5in 34.29 – Tail block: 4.0in 10.2cm – Total depth 4.625in 11.75cm
Born of necessity…
Near the end of 2010, the economy was tanked and A.Davis guitars was sinking slowly into the mire. I was assembling spec bodies; building ukuleles and using every scrap of wood just to keep busy. I built some of my best guitars during this period. Simply, the Troubadour was created because pieces of wood I had were bigger than a uke and smaller than a guitar. The result is a sweet sounding instrument with bright warmth, clarity and surprising bass response.
Smaller acoustic guitars are better at staying in the lane in the studio or orchestra. The M1, my first guitar design received great reviews from engineers and producers because it was easy to mic. Crucially, the tonal qualities align with and compliment the vocals. Also, there is lesser chance for thumpy overtones and dead notes in the first position. Perhaps, the Troubadour does this a little better than the M1.
The Song that changed the world!
I got the last piece of the puzzle backstage, before a show here in San Diego. Phil Sloane was co-headlining a small venue with John York. York replaced David Crosby in the Byrds and is an A.Davis guitar lover(x2). Famously, P.F. Sloane wrote Secret Agent Man and Eve of Destruction. Arguably, Eve of Destruction and the line “You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin'” changed the face of America more than any other song. Subsequently, the voting age moved from 21 to 18. Anyway, I brought a T1 to the show and the first thing Sloane said about the little guitar was “Put nickel strings on it.”
Surely, I listened. It was fun to hang out and chat with two old hippies that literally changed the world. These were two people who worked hard to inspire the love and awareness we are still searching for 50 years later. However, my backstage visits are always about gleaning pearls from the experts to improve the guitars. You can hear the results of Sloane’s recommendation here:
Sadly, Sloane passed on only a few months after that day. York carries on. He still sings like a bird and his stories about the 60’s are first hand accounts. You can catch him at small venues in East L.A. County or Pasadena. I will continue to build these little parlor guitars. Maybe, you can change the world with one…