View Full Version : Experience with Russell Guitars?
12-27-2010, 09:14 PM
Just came across him. His semi-hollow looks spectacular and he has been one of Eric Schoenberg's luthiers. Pretty high pedigree. Any experience with his instruments, or with him in general? If looks were at least half of the worth of a guitar, I would already order one. I am starting to dream of that semi.
12-28-2010, 05:52 AM
Fantastic man to work with. Enthusiastic and full of ideas. I am excited to see the end result. He is sometimes a little busy and therefore slightly slow returning emails but I never worry....when I get one it's a volume (again showing he is a perfectionist).
12-29-2010, 11:17 PM
As stated by "tradarama", he's a perfectionist.
His work is top notch. Great person and well worth every penny you will pay.
He's also rather humble about his background.
12-30-2010, 10:25 AM
Cool. Thanks for the input.
01-05-2011, 02:56 PM
I should start off by saying that James is a good friend of mine so I am biased! But James is first and foremost an incredible human being as is his wife Layne who takes those beautiful pictures on his website among other things. James is extremely forthcoming and humble. As mentioned, he has amazing attention to detail which is why he is a Schoenberg builder. I have played a bunch of his acoustics as well as a few electrics that he has built. His acoustics are very powerful and ballsy but typically lightweight. Even his small bodied acoustic sound huge. This is not an easy task but he pays so much attention to the little things. I have always been fond of his binding and purfling work which is just so clean. That is probably why LMII has detail shots of his guitars in their catalog. I had a chance to see the Portland semi-hollow in James' shop a couple weeks ago and i don't think James had even set it up or dressed the frets yet but it played perfectly! Very sweet and refined instrument. The cool thing is that James is not just an acoustic player/builder who builds a couple of electrics. He is a pro player and teacher too. But his electrics are great because he is an electric player! He has a pretty killer amp collection including an older Tone King Meteor II that just kills.
If I had to choose my favorite Russell though (and I have told James this!) it would be the Waimea. A killer take on a slack key in a nylon string format built for a mutual friend of ours Jeff Cook who is always a great player in his own right. This guitar is one of the most gorgeous sounding, looking, feeling overall guitars I have seen in a long time. Check out the miter joints on James' work. Doesn't get much better.
The Portland is just sick too. Gonna be a great addition to James line. Reminds me something of a Jeff Traugott meets Bill Collings Custom Shop.
01-05-2011, 03:24 PM
Wow, that Portland model is just plain freaking beautiful!
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