3/28/2018

1970s Augustino AR-38 Dreadnought Guitar




While the Augustino AR-40 was like a wider-girth D-35, the AR-38 is more like a wider-girth D-28. It also sounds like a D-28... but even more. It's built inside almost entirely like a Martin D from the late '60s or early '70s (with a correspondingly-large rosewood bridge plate), but perhaps a touch lighter in the bracing overall and featuring a body that's a bit wider and a neck that has an adjustable truss rod installed. These differences add up and the effect is a guitar that "handles" tonally a lot like a period D-28 but with a lot more oomph, power, and punch. It's impressive.

This guitar was recently bought-up by a friend of mine but it was originally owned by a "Father Dick" whose stomping-grounds were down around Rutland, VT. It came in with a dank, musty case smell, random grossness all over, terrible action, and an open top seam that needed cleats. I ended-up giving it a fret level/dress, a light bridge shave, new saddle, string ramps, said cleats, and a good setup. A word to the wise, though? If you're a builder and you put your truss-rod nut access in a small hole embedded in the neckblock, you will be cursed. It's best avoided as it makes user adjustments irritating and discourages a friendly appraisal by your local guitar doctor. Other work included yanking out a terrible pickup system and a ton of cleaning.

Specs are: 25 3/8" scale length, 1 13/16" nut width (it's big!), 1 17/32" string spacing at the nut and 2 1/8" spacing at the bridge, 16" lower bout, 11 3/4" upper bout, and 4 3/4" endblock depth. Action is 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret and strung with 54w-12 strings. It plays on-the-dot and the neck is a mild-medium C-shape but wide.













Augie is Augustino Loprinzi, a luthier who's still quite famous and getting more-so with every new uke he builds.

1 comment:

Rick Redington said...

Hallelujah Father Richard Was An Episcopalian Priest From DALLAS TEXAS! So...How His Guitar Ended Up In A Barn In Vermont Then On Its Way To The Dump We May Never Know. So Happy & Thankful That It Will Be Making Great Music Again! Yer The Best Jake Thank You!