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Hufschmid Guitars Helldunkel
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Hufschmid Guitars Helldunkel
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« A great music instrument! »

Publié le 09/06/16 à 08:06
Value For Money : Excellent
Audience: Anyone
Hufschmid introduces his guitar 'Helldunkel', "Since 1996, this unique instrument represents my design ideology distilled into its purest form. This 6 string 'set specs' guitar is handbuilt from premium timbers and the highest quality hardware, using my years of experience to craft an instrument of exquisite simplicity, comfort and ultimate guitar tone." Since I looked up his website, I had been hooked on this quotation for months. I could not resist having one.

30th of July 2016, I received a guitar, a Hufschmid 'Helldunkel' built by Patrick Hufschmid in Ailge, Switzerland.
Over all specification of my Helldunkel is;
-Body: One piece quartersawn premium sapele mahogany.
-Neck: One piece perfectly quartersawn sapele mahogany.
-Headstock: Hufschmid 3L/3R Straight-pull design.
-Nut: Exclusive Red HUFTRON.
-Finger board: Premium West African Ebony, 12-inch radius, 24 frets.
-Scale: 25.5-inch.
-Side dot: Hufschmid glow in the dark.
-Tuner: Hipshot open gear locking tuners.
-Bridge: Hipshot fixed bridge.
-Pickup: Hufschmid Humbuckers, made to measure Hufschmid passive humbuckers handmade in Vermont by Kent Armstrong himself.
-Finish: 15 coats of natural varnish, satin finish.
-Body thickness : 35 mm
-Weight: 3.6 kg

Pros:
1) The '3L/3R straight-pull headstock' design combining with the Hipshot locking tuners and the Red HFUTRON nut offers superb tuning stability. The design excluding a string retainer is also a good point. Minimal components achieve maximal result, the 'beautility'.
2) My Helldunkel is a double cut away design. There is no big contour on the top but a beautiful chamfer for the right forearm to rest naturally. The chamfer on the back makes a very elegant and sexy back view. The neck joint offers great access to the last fret and the thin body makes itself a very well balanced instrument.
3) 15 coats of varnish sounded really thick to me at the first. This satin finish contributes to the 'natural wood' feel and look. While protecting the timber, it accentuates its beautiful figures. According to Hufschmid, finishing takes about half the time of building a whole instrument.
4) The playability is great. Hufschmid carved each neck for each individual customer. Unfortunately I live in the other side of the planet so that I could not pre-test the feel of the neck, however, he collected pictures of my left hand and used it as references to carve the neck. It works really great.
5) Hufschmid Humbuckers are only available when ordering guitars from Hufschmid. These humbuckers handmade by Kent Armstrong himself have Hufschmid Logo on their top. This means Hufschmid had to create original molds for these pickups. The look and sound integrity of these pickups are really high. The combination with the body and neck, the sustain is simply awesome on all the notes. Being built in a casting mold, pickups are epoxy-sealed witch comes really handy for a guy like me who sweat a lot.
6) Perfectly quartersawn premium sapele mahogany for body and neck is, I would guess, the 'Hufschmid Guitars' signature. I don't have a lot of interest and knowledge about 'tone wood' in general, till the day I received my Helldunkel. Take a good close look at the guitar to know how it was made, what was used to build and you will see and feel a futuristic look of the guitar. A luthier once said that using wrong material for the guitar, it will twist and even split up in time. But how can I take a close look if the guitars are heavily coated and colored under the tons of lacquer? Heavy finishes can look great but how can I can feel splendor of timbers? Other music instruments, such as the violin families are much easier to admire because you can really see the timbers. The finishes are thin and the protection will last for ages. We are not all luthiers or timber dealers, however we may take a close look at instruments and appreciate those gorgeous timbers. I am off course not a luthier, but I can feel this by taking a closer look at my Helldunkel. Wood grain, on the top, back and the edges, looks evenly distributed and parallel to the string line, the same for the neck. The coats of varnish really bring up the 'ribbon figure' of the sapele that looks like golden threads under the sunlight. Its color expression is infinite. This is a high quality guitar made of good timber selected and build by a good luthier.
7) Hufschmid sent and posted a lot of pictures of his guitar making process on email, Instagram and Facebook. I have seen my Helldunkel from the timber to its completion. This has been the unforgettable experience in my life.

Cons:
1) I already want to have another one. Hufsdhmid Guitars always moves forwards and improves himself. Next guitar he will make might be the better one and the one after the next. That makes me a bit jealous.^^

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