6/29/2018

2002 Glen DeRusha "Tunbridge World's Fair" Jumbo Flattop Guitar




Since this guitar and its near-identical, maple-backed stablemate have entered the shop floor, they've been turning ears like crazy. These are big-sounding, lush, and loud-as-heck instruments that respond and play more like good J-200s than their Martin M-like body shapes would suggest.

This one has walnut back and sides which, in an interesting twist, give it a voice a bit more like a rosewood OM fused to a J-45 -- lots of bottom-end suited to country chording and flatpicking but also a voice that really suits hard fingerpicking with thumbpicks and whatnot. It's very countrified.

It was built by Mr. Glen DeRusha who went under the name "Green Mountain Guitars." Not much is out there on the web about him save some forum posts and hints of repair and building dating from 2008/9 and a little earlier. He obviously knew his way around building guitars as this is put-together just as well as any other boutique Vermont guitar I've seen through the shop and definitely has more personality than most.

I mean: check it out! Engraved inlaid abalone maple leaves run down the neck, "Vermont" is inlaid in the bridge, and there's more pearl trim all around the top edge and soundhole. Add to that flamed-maple binding everywhere and you've got bling-central right here. The absolute icing on the cake is that the headstock bears an inlaid "Tunbridge World's Fair" -- presumably as a nice excuse to display his guitar at the said very-excellent, long-running country fair.

Construction-wise it's tight, too, and well-thought-out. The body's fairly deep and the top and back are braced a lot like an interpretation of '50s Gibson x-bracing bracing -- hence the direction of its sound, methinks. The neck is bolted-on with over/under, 2-bolt attachment. It's firm.

All I had to do on this was compensate the saddle and give it a good setup. The frets are all good despite very mild fretboard wear and though the truss rod is stiff to turn, it's good to go and has a straight neck and action on-the-dot at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret. It's humming.

Specs are: 25 3/8" scale, 1 3/4" nut width, 1 7/16" string spacing at the nut, 2 1/8" spacing at the bridge, 16 1/8" lower bout, 11 3/4" upper bout, and 5 1/8" depth at the endblock. The board has something like a ~16" radius to it and the back of the neck is a slim, super-fast, C shape. The overall feel is relaxed and slinky despite the 54w-12 strings on it.

Woods are: solid spruce top, solid walnut back and sides, mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboard, bridge, and headstock veneer. There's also a walnut-inlaid rosette.










The guitar is essentially as-new, though there are a few very minor scuffs/scratches here and there.







I like the little "lip" volute at the back of the headstock. It's very reminiscent of Gretsch and Vega designs from the 1920s.






While there's an endpin jack and velcro inside the guitar for a battery-pouch, there's no pickup installed in the guitar at the moment.


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