New Fylde Acoustic Guitar – John Smith

March 30, 2013 in News

If any of you had a chance to see Mr. Smith on his UK tour, and soon to be Ireland, you would have noticed his new guitar. Well here is a little info on the new axe and you have to admit, it’s a beauty. Lisa Hannigan has dubbed it ”The Millennium Falcon”.

The Fylde Guitars website had this to say on the new guitar;

“John has finally managed to collect his new guitar, after nearly losing it to everyone who has visited here over the last two months.

The back and sides are Macassar Ebony, probably the wildest looking pieces I had. The top is stripy Cedar. John does like the exotic, but he didn’t like my suggestion of gold plating. I should have done it without telling him; it’s not like me to miss a chance like that”.

Millennium Falcon Reesonator John Smith

Ohhh What’s That?

Notice this is no normal acoustic guitar; this is a ‘J&S’ guitar! John describes it on his FaceBook page as an “eight string, fan fret, baritone, resonator, acoustic guitar”. What? Will here is a little information to talk you through what all that means.

Fylde Guitars

The guitar is custom build by the renowned Fylde Guitars. This is an English company, based in Penrith, Cumbria. It was started in 1973 by Roger Bucknall, who still works on the guitars today. Some of the most celebrated customers are artists like Eric Bibb, Gordon Giltrap and Bert Jansch.

8 String Guitar

A standard guitar has the customary 6 strings, these are tuned to E-A-D-G-B-E. This eight string seems to double the high ‘B’ and ‘E’ strings, this is very similar to a 12 string guitar. This produces a richer, more ringing tone than a standard six-string guitar. Essentially, these strings will produce a natural chorus effect.

8 String John Smith Guitar

Fan Fret

Fanned Fret Guitar
Again nothing standard here! Unlike a normal guitar where the metal frets across the fretboard are at conventional intervals, perpendicular to the neck of the guitar and vertical, on this guitar they are ‘fanned’. Meaning they are at angles.

Why? Many believe the benefits include more comfortable and ergonomic play, better intonation (often called ‘action’), and better control of the tension of the strings across the fretboard.

Baritone Acoustic

This has a longer ‘Scale Length’, this is the longest strings can be placed to produce a useful pitch and tone. A baritone guitar allows you to tune to lower pitch, normally a perfect-fifth below standard tuning (E-A-D-G-B-E) meaning it would be A D G C E A. But also able to tune a perfect-fourth below (B E A D F♯ B) and a major–third lower (C F B♭ E♭ G C).

Resonator Acoustic Guitar

Fylde Resonator Guitar

Unlike a normal acoustic guitar where the majority of the volume is produced and amplified through the sound-hole and body of the guitar. with a resonator the volume comes from one or more spun metal cones create the volume.

Want to know in full how resonator guitars work? Well, watch this video below.

Here’s John ‘wielding’ his new axe.


See this great guitar in action below:

If you have any of your own pictures of this guitar and any others please get in touch, we would love to see them and post them on the site.