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Thread: Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

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    SDUGF Founder Evan Skopp's Avatar
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    Exclamation Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    SDUGF members, please welcome one of our own, Mr. Peter Crossley of Crossley Guitars. Peter is an Melbourne Australian-based custom builder. And a UGF member. What a great way to kick off our Guest Luthier Series!

    By the way, one lucky participant in today's discussion will win a free Seymour Duncan guitar strap, just because.

    Peter will be on hand today, Tuesday Sept. 1, 2009, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern to answer questions.

    So, make him feel welcome, Peter Crossley!
    Evan Skopp, Inside Track International
    Sales and marketing reps for D'Addario, Musopia, Reunion Blues, Q-Parts, and Nukleus Pickups.

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    WeirdScienceologist scottish's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Hey Pete, great to see you doing this! I know im a little early but im at work so ill be popping in and out.

    Anyways, the first couple of things id love to know are as follows:

    -What made you start building guitars in the first place?
    -How did your signature body style evolve and is it purely for style or it has tonal implications? Dont feel you have to give away any Crossley secrets, lol.

    Thanks again
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
    yngwie sounds like an orchestra of cartoon bees.

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    If you were to build a guitar for a fusion guitarist... which woods, fretboard, and pickups would you bring to mind during the brainstorming process?

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    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Skopp View Post
    SDUGF members, please welcome one of our own, Mr. Peter Crossley of Crossley Guitars. Peter is an Melbourne Australian-based custom builder. And a UGF member. What a great way to kick off our Guest Luthier Series!

    By the way, one lucky participant in today's discussion will win a free Seymour Duncan guitar strap, just because.

    Peter will be on hand today, Tuesday Sept. 1, 2009, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern to answer questions.

    So, make him feel welcome, Peter Crossley!

    Thanks Evan,
    Pleasure to be here, I have already answered a couple of questions that were posted in the original thread.

    9.00 am to 5.00pm US time translates as 11.00PM to 7.00Am Melbourne time the day before, so I am speaking to you from the future !!! haha
    If the answers get a bit muddy around 1.00-5.00 PM your time, please forgive my sleep deprived and addled brain.

    Cheers
    Pete

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Hey Pete. Thanks for hosting this. I wish I could stay up to participate, but I have an early class tomorrow. Just wanted to say your guitars are gorgeous, and I'm looking forward to reading through this thread later

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    Frito's Better Half beandip's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Pete, thanks for doing this. Espeically for young guns like myself.

    1. Your body style certainly is unique, where did the inspiration come from?

    2. Did you start out repairing, and move into building, or just jump head first into the solidbody world?

    3. Have you thought about doing a semi hollow, or full acoustic model?

    4. On average, how many guitars a year do you produce?

    5. Is it just you doing it, or do you have someone else helping out?

    6. You seem to get a varity of colors rarely seen, what type and brand of stain are you using?

    7. What made you join the SDUGF?

    8. Most underrated tool in your shop?

    9. Favorite tool in your shop?

    10. Craziest experience with a build or repair? Perhaps customer?


    I've got a few more, but Elmo's on so I'll be back after naptime.
    This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections. - St. Augustine of Hippo

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Crossley View Post
    Thanks Evan,
    Pleasure to be here, I have already answered a couple of questions that were posted in the original thread.
    Just noticed you already answered the question about the body style. Thanks that was a good read.

    Anyways, i guess ill replace it with another one.

    -If heard many different opinions on whats the most important thing for tone in an electric guitar. Ive heard from someone that i have great respect for that the majority of the tone (read >50%) is determined by the pickups and hence it is better to know what pup you want and tailor the build materials around the pickups.

    Whats your take on this and how did you do it? I know you use custom wound pups so did you go through a bunch until you found the set that was "right" for your guitars?
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
    yngwie sounds like an orchestra of cartoon bees.

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    From the earlier thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by tone4days View Post
    submitting early 'cuz i got meetings this am - will read my answers after-the-fact

    1) welcome and thanks for doing this Peter

    2) can you talk a bit about the ramifications of having neck binding when it comes time for a refret? .. .does the neck get stripped of the binding then refretted then rebound? or something else? ...

    3) what are your thoughts on stainless steel frets especially as far as how they sound in an electric solidbody guitar amplified ?

    4) what tonal variances do you hear from (sub)species of woods found native in Oz to their cousins found native in the US?

    5) how do you determine what neck carve you'll use on a given instrument? how do you get that carve translated from your thought to the piece of raw lumber?

    6) whats the deal with the lovely model? who is she? how'd you get her to model your guitars? how can we see more of her?

    1) its a pleasure, although the answers may get a bit muddled around 4.30 am !!

    2) Neck binding would remain on the neck when it comes time for a refret.
    Now, if the guitar has the binding humped around the end of the fret, as some Gibsons do, then that has to go.. its scraped flat after the frets have been removed. The tang of the new fret is undercut so that it lays flat on top of the binding, and then finished by angling (filing) the fret end at 35 degress and rounding off.

    3) I'll be honest here, I can not tell the difference in tone between stainless and nickel silver frets. I'm sure someone with absolutely perfect pitch may be able to hear the difference.. I cant.
    The big bonus is wear.. stainless steel is a lot harder than nickel silver and therefore lasts longer.

    4) We have a couple of good timbers, Blackwood and Myrtle (Tasmanian) Queensland Maple, Cooktown Ironwood, Red Cedar (Queensland/New Guinea)Silky Oak (known as lacewood in the US) and some quite interesting desert species.
    The blackwood is good for tops, a tone not dissimilar to mahogany. Tasmanian Myrtle is similar to Maple, also for tops, Queesnland maple is a great all round timber bodies, necks and tops, very much like mahogany and a joy to work with. Light in weight and very resonant.
    Cooktown Ironwood is a killer fretboard timber, it is very dense, sinks in water !!! not as brittle as ebony, and imparts a really nice mellowness to the guitar. not bright or sharp like ebony. Red Cedar is a good top timber for semi and full accoustics. This stuff is as resonant as hell, very good. I have used it for speaker cabinets 1 x 12 cabs loaded with Eminence Wizards. Killer cabs.
    Also we have a very good accoustic timber her known as King William Pine, but seeing as how we are Australian its always known as King Billy Pine.
    Silky Oak is good for decoration such as neck laminations etc.

    5) Neck carves are done by measurement as a secondary check, but mainly done by feel. You get a feel for what constitutes a good neck, it takes a bit of practice becuase an unstrung neck feels very very different to a strung one. but preactice is what it is all about.
    Meausrements are all in my head !! but that goeas for all the measurements on a guitar. Again practice.
    Build ten to fifteen guitars and then throw them away !! hahaha, sad but true.

    6)
    Evan Skopp, Inside Track International
    Sales and marketing reps for D'Addario, Musopia, Reunion Blues, Q-Parts, and Nukleus Pickups.

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    From the earlier thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wolf View Post
    I'll drop some in early too...

    Peter, thanks very much for doing this. I'm quite interested in how you came up with your body design. Some builders stick to more lets say 'traditional' body styles, be it styles having a lot in common with Les Pauls, teles, strats etc. What was it that made you want to deviate away from those standards and how did you come about with the shape used for your Crossleys?

    Of course i do not need to tell you that they are beautiful intruments

    Many thanks

    Jeff
    Hi Jeff,

    the first couple of guitars I built were indeed the "standard models" copies of LP's and strats.
    I realised that building copies of other peoples work/designs is not really an artistic endeavour, so I played around with designs for a while, making prototypes and seeing if the reality met the expectation. Some points did, others did not. So I kept the good points, discarded the not so good, and kept designing.
    The P series took about a year of design work. It has a lot of ergonomic design gone ito its making.
    It will sit comfortably on your knee without sliding onto the floor, It will sit at exactly the right angle when worn on a strap. The neck to body join is a "magic" number that imparts a lot of strength to the join, but also has the added benefit of giving unprecedented access to the upper frets.
    The H series only took a couple of months, as it really is an adapted P.
    It is of course hollow, and only has a solid section under the bridge/string through area, and the neck pocket.
    The inside of the guitar has a lot of uneven surfaces and staggerd sections to break up any standing waves, (feedback generators) and the sound holes are purposely small, and angled against each other to let the guitar breathe but not amplify, as an F hole does (another source of feedback)

    The shape of the guitar was determined by several points, the lower horn to lock into your knee, the upper horn to project along the neck a certain distance to allow a strap to corectly position the guitar for playing, and the back contours to hug your body.
    The shape comes from joining those points together.
    Evan Skopp, Inside Track International
    Sales and marketing reps for D'Addario, Musopia, Reunion Blues, Q-Parts, and Nukleus Pickups.

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    I suppose I'll rephrase my body question as well...

    What is your favorite wood, and why? Tone, workability, appearance?
    This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections. - St. Augustine of Hippo

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    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by scottish View Post
    Hey Pete, great to see you doing this! I know im a little early but im at work so ill be popping in and out.

    Anyways, the first couple of things id love to know are as follows:

    -What made you start building guitars in the first place?
    -How did your signature body style evolve and is it purely for style or it has tonal implications? Dont feel you have to give away any Crossley secrets, lol.

    Thanks again
    Hi Scottish,
    I started to build guitars because I would walk into music shops and be greeted by the same ol same ol. I was not being exited by the guitars in the shops anymore.
    The ones that were OK were rapidly getting more and more expensive, due to their collectability.
    So one day I thought " I can do this"
    about 80 or so guitars later I'm still learning !!!

    The body shape evolved slowly over about a year,, it is based on ergonomics and strength.
    the lower horn is shaped to lock into your knee whilst playing sitting down, I used to hate guitars that slid onto the floor !!
    The upper horn projects along the neck for the length it does so that when it is suspended on a strap, the whole guitar sits at the correct angle to play.
    This helps heaps for guys with RSI
    The shoulders of my neck profiles are also made with RSI sufferers in mind.
    The back is contoured to sit into the body.
    If you draw lines from the upper and lower horn, through a waist, to a bout, then that is the shape you get.
    I really like it, although when I first built the prototype I thought i might be a bit mad............................
    Tonally, I just try to keep the timbers as light and resonant as possible. sometimes this might mean chambering, which adds a nice complexity of its own. Other times the timbers just seem to resonate by themselves. There is always a bit of serendipity in guitar building, as well as a dark side.........

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    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    If you were to build a guitar for a fusion guitarist... which woods, fretboard, and pickups would you bring to mind during the brainstorming process?
    I love Fusion !!!

    We are lucky here in Australia to have a great fusion player by the name of Brett Garsed.
    Brett plays one of my Hollow H series guitars.
    That has a mahgoany body, maple top, pacific ebony fretboard, Queensland maple neck.

    I really like the combination of mahogany and maple, it takes the nice tones from each timber and blends them into a great tone.
    maybe a cooktown ironwood fretboard to mellow up the sound a touch more..

    I would like to try a guitar that is completely made from Queensland maple. That could be a fusion beast.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fikealox View Post
    Hey Pete. Thanks for hosting this. I wish I could stay up to participate, but I have an early class tomorrow. Just wanted to say your guitars are gorgeous, and I'm looking forward to reading through this thread later
    Cheers Mate,

    go to bed now!!!

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    do you have a signature sound you strive to achieve acoustically with your guitars before considering electronics or do you build different guitars with different tones in mind?

    and what pray tell is silly oak?

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    If you could make a signature guitar for any artist...who would it be and why?



    What is your favorite non-Crossley guitar?



    Who are some of your other favorite "Aussie" music companies?



    What Crossley guitar do you consider your "Crown Jewel"...as in your favorite build to date? (Pics of course!!!)



    thanks,
    mike
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    God hates bad guitar tone
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    How does Australian maple differ from North American maple? What other uniquely Aussie woods do you use? And why?
    Evan Skopp, Inside Track International
    Sales and marketing reps for D'Addario, Musopia, Reunion Blues, Q-Parts, and Nukleus Pickups.

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    from the other thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Luís View Post
    Having thought about building some instruments for more years than I care to admit I have to ask:

    1 How did you do the jump? I mean, from thinking "I could probably build a guitar" to actually picking up the tools, gathering the materials and getting it done. Was it as simple as deciding or did you have any hoops to jump through, doubts, etc.

    2 How did your first few instruments came out?

    3 Were they copies of something else, you present design even if only related to it or something out of your head that you wouldn't dream of doing today.

    4 What would you like to try? I know you build them the way you want but there has to be something you would love to have but for some reason can't do at this point (due to price, technological limitations, or simply haven't worked out yet in your head how it would be).

  18. #18
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by beandip View Post
    Pete, thanks for doing this. Espeically for young guns like myself.

    1. Your body style certainly is unique, where did the inspiration come from?

    2. Did you start out repairing, and move into building, or just jump head first into the solidbody world?

    3. Have you thought about doing a semi hollow, or full acoustic model?

    4. On average, how many guitars a year do you produce?

    5. Is it just you doing it, or do you have someone else helping out?

    6. You seem to get a varity of colors rarely seen, what type and brand of stain are you using?

    7. What made you join the SDUGF?

    8. Most underrated tool in your shop?

    9. Favorite tool in your shop?

    10. Craziest experience with a build or repair? Perhaps customer?


    I've got a few more, but Elmo's on so I'll be back after naptime.

    1) I think the other answers got this one

    2) I always used to repair/tinker/mutilate my own guitars and worked on my freinds guitars, but not as an occupation. This may sound crazy, but I woke up one day and said to myself " I am going to build guitars for a living"

    needless to say it wasnt that easy, but I got there in the end....

    3) the H series is a semi hollow, I have been thinking very seriously about an archtop for about 18 months. I have a lovely piece of quatersawn Sitka spruce 4 inches thick that is just aclimatising to our brutal Aussie weather.

    4) I try my ****dest to produce 4 guitars every 12weeks, thats one every 3 weeks, so thats around 15-17 per year.
    I want to kick that up to 25 next year. and I have gone some way to improving the build time.

    5) just me !!

    6) I mix and match stains a fair bit to see what happens, if you are after really muddy brown I've got a million of em !!!
    I am lucky to have a good relationship with my Nitro supplier, who is really good at listening to my feeble descriptions of colour and producing tints that match the ideas in my head.
    The gold top laquer I mix up myself using bronzing powder, like they did back in the fifties.
    The nice thing about that, is that I know in about 20 years the nitro will craze a little (cos its nitro) and the bronze will oxidise, giving it that greenish hue..

    7) I met Seymour and Evan when they came out to Australia and this place became a natural progression from there,

    8) what a great question !!! I would initially say my laminate trimmer, which I use for all my routs, but it think it is my humble 1 metre stainless steel ruler!!!! I would be lost without that.

    9) I love tool questions !!
    tricky difficult one this, a while ago someone asked me if I could only have 10 tools, what would they be...
    and thinking about that hurt my head...
    Truth is I love all my tools dearly. Maybe Japanese pull saws? they are such a joy to use.

    10) not so much crazy as testing was a left handed H series I built recently.
    I had big signs over all the components marked "LEFT" in big letters!!
    I also get the guys that ring up and the conversation goes like this:
    Hi , I like a custom guitar built, sort of a double cutaway, with a flame maple top, carved and with a PRS style headstock and body carve, Oh yeah could you put MOP birds as inlay into the neck as well, and a black headstock plate.

    "Would you like me to put Paul Reed Smith on the headstock as well?" I ask

    "Yeah that would be really cool" they invariably reply

    at this point I mention that the music shops already have these guitars hanging on their walls, all you have to do is walk in and buy one...........

    great questions !!

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    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by beandip View Post
    I suppose I'll rephrase my body question as well...

    What is your favorite wood, and why? Tone, workability, appearance?

    English Sycamore, closely followed by Queensland maple

    Workability of both is a dream
    Tone of both is great to outstanding. No need to grain fill.

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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Morning Peter! (Or is it good evening?)

    1. How much consideration do you give to the pups that go in your guitars? do you really try to match pups/sets to the particular guitar or style, or do you have a go to set that works for most of your guitars?

    2. How much do you think the pup contributes to the guitar?

    3. Talk to me a little about that purple wood you put in the neck sometimes. Aesthetic or strength or both?

    4. What's YOUR number one guitar? Is it a Crossley or something else?

    5. What or where, in general, do you think most big manufacturers miss the point? No names please....

    6. What does the semi hollow / sound cavity generally do to your guitars tonally?

    7. What guitar construction would you recommend for a set of P-Rails? Have you considered building a guitar for that very special pup?

    8. What's your favorite Duncan pup?

    9. Tell us a little about your philosophy to headstock angle/string to tuner angle/tuner post height.

    10. I don't see a lot of Crossleys with trems - no love for the bar?

    11. How is my Crossley Ace Frehley model with smoke generator coming?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad City
    He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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