"One Bad Cat..."

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dobrodoug's picture

"That's one bad cat to clean up behind!"  a quote from the late, great Gene Wooten as shared with me by Bobby Wright.

(You got to love Southern euphemisems - hope I spelled that correctly...)

This thread is to extol the virtues of Bobby Wright of Sneads Ferry, NC.  Some of you may remember me getting my purple Clinesmith sometime in 2005.  It is a beauty and is the purple maple model shown on Todd's website.  It was custom made for me and an absolute treasure.  The only thing I didn't like about it was it's sound.  The treble 'D' string was flat and tinny sounding, there was litttle sustain above the 10th fret on any string and the volume was just ordinary.  I tried everything I knew to do - adjust the tension on the spider/cone screw with assistance from Todd via telephone, tried different strings - nothing seemed to work.  So I gave up and looked for another guitar.

I bought a Scheerhorn in early 2006 and moved on.  As life progressed, I stepped away from playing and sold my Scheerhorn to- none other than Bobby Wright.  Little did I know how our paths would again cross.

Well in 2009 I picked up the only reso I had - the purple 'Smith and began playing again.  And, a new search began for a guitar.  I bought 2 Fishooks - one a brazillian/spruce beauty that Bobby had set-up.  It is a work of art and the sound, clarity, sustain was incredible.  So, I began to wonder - what could he do for the Clinesmith?

I now have the answer!  The Clinesmith is incredible. I raked across the strings and the volume had almost increased by 50% or more.  The reso is clear as any I have ever owned or played and the sustain has that "Bobby Engineered" sound.  I am more than pleased.  The Gene Wooten quote was offered by Bobby to me as I played - it a true 'Hoss'!

For anyone needing set-up or repair work, I highly recommend Bobby.  He is a true Gentleman and his hospitality is second to none.  I even got to play my old Scheerhorn...


Thanks Bobby!



MarkinSonoma's picture

I'd love to send my Clinesmith to Bobby for a new setup, I just have a hard time with the 3000 mile trip.

Your story reminds me that as you get to the upper echelon of reso builders, say the most highly regarded 8 or 10, there is very little that separates these guitars in overall quality, but a professional level setup is what makes all the difference.

And sometimes having another craftsman set up the guitar aside from the actual builder seems to be a very good idea because the setup guy sees and hears things that the luthier of the instrument might not.  This is not the first time I have heard someone say that they aren't all that happy with the 1st or high D string on a Clinesmith, and send it to a fellow like Bobby and he has a whole different perspective on it.

WRM's picture

Bobby is great. He set up two guitars for me and they sound wonderful now.

Doug, I visited him back in June while I was on vacation and I even got to play your old Scheerhorn.Smile



martinman54's picture

Bobby is the master of the D string in my book.  My old Gold Tone PBS-M has the best D I've ever heard, thanks to Bobby.

Rake's picture

Hey Doug,  I talked with Bobby about setting up my Walnut Clinesmith,last week. I have this wonderful guitar and don`t play it cause it`s in need of something.It`s in need of a Bobby set up. There is not much volume or sustain to this guitar. After talking to Bobby,I can`t wait to send it to him so I can play this guitar.By the way,my BRW Fishook ships the 11th of August.I`ll have to keep all posted on this machine!

                                        Thanks, Darryl

SteveH's picture

Bobby has set up two guitars for me now and both have come back sounding just amazing compared to what they were before.  He looks at every little detail to get your guitar just right and doesn't do "cookie-cutter" setups.  What's best for one guitar may not be for another.  I have always enjoyed my conversations with him and appreciate his follow up after you get a guitar back from him.  Just a great guy to do business with...

Stringnut's picture

Hey Doug, did Bobby get specific about what he did to solve the high D issues?


dobrodoug's picture

Bobby exchanged the cone and spider.  The original cone had several small dents and Bobby indicated that although the dents were VERY small it would effect overall sound production.  He was not satisified how the spider was seated and put in another #14 spider.  The nut was loose in it's slot and Bobby reseated the nut.  I'm sure that other minor miracles were achieved.  Call Bobby and ask him. The high D string is clear as a bell.


Michael Barton's picture

What kind of cones does Bobby use?

dobrodoug's picture


He replaced my Quarterman with a Quarterman.  I believe that he has several Scheerhorn cones available.  I don't think that he uses Beard cones - on that you'll need to check with Bobby.


James Traylor's picture

For those that don't already know  http://www.customresosetup.com/ Smile.


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