At this point, the number of First Hawaiian Conservatory of Music parlors I’ve worked on is obtaining ridiculous. I worked on two in November of final year and then a smattering of other folks over the past few years. This 1 is owned by a consumer of mine and when it arrived, it’d already seen some old function done to it — a neck reset, a replacement or reprofiled (with a 12″ radius!) fretboard, and a replacement bridge and tuners.
My work was easy — I installed a new, rosewood (stained) bridge, new pins and bone saddle, gave the frets a level/dress, match some correct 20s Oscar Schmidt-style tuners from my parts-bins, cleated old crack repairs exactly where necessary, and set it up with a standard set of 12s. It plays beautifully and has the standard, woody, warm, and folksy sound that these FHCM models constantly have. Unlike a lot of old ladder-braced parlors, the FHCM guitars take a flatpick or heavy fingerpicking very easily and return a sweet (rather than brash) tone.
The black finish on this guitar was added later and 1 can see the red/brown finish found on most FHCM models peeking out from beneath the topcoat. The guitar is produced totally from strong birch in the body and sports a poplar neck with a maple fretboard.
This 1 has a 1 three/four” nut width, 25″ scale, and just-over 13″ lower bout.
A replacement, decent-high quality bone nut was on the guitar when it got to me.
I also added side dots. Note the massive, jumbo frets and the 12″ radius to the board. The radius helps the left-hand really feel, I consider, over your average FHCM — but it feels a little strange at first when one particular is expecting 100% flat.
I had to touch-up around the bridge where finish had been crackled to the bare wood in the past. Whilst I typically use a pyramid bridge to replace broken or missing original bridges, I believed this pointed, light-belly bridge suited the appear — particularly with its coloration.
As you can see, the old neck reset gave the guitar plenty of height at the saddle.
The old tuners operate fine and have new, StewMac-supplied cream buttons.