Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Magic Touch of Roka Dyer Maker

Once upon a time in the 20th century, an Indonesian luthier decided to craft a custom thinline classical guitar. Over the years, successive owners added various mods to the instrument, including a preamp and Fender-style output jack. It's said that the guitar spent some years at sea before finding its way into the possession of an elderly gentleman from Kuala Lumpur. Which is where local musician/sound engineer "Prof." Din discovered the poor thing, beaten and bruised beyond repair; or so we thought.

For starters, the bridge and under-saddle (presumably) pickup were missing; as were the tuners and preamp innards. The frets and fretboard were bowed inwards, so much so that the entire length of the fretboard was lower in the middle than the edges. Imagine that if you can! To make matters worse, the back of the guitar was missing a chunk of wood near the output jack, and someone had filled the gap with plywood. The top was no better, being severely discolored and  uneven with large dents and divots marring its surface.

Both Prof. and yours truly were in agreement that only a bona fide luthier could do justice to this guitar. And so it was handed over to Kuantan-based luthier extraordinaire Roka Dyer Maker for a total makeover. Roka, as some of you might already know; once studied under internationally-acclaimed luthier Jeffrey Yong.

The post-restoration transformation was mind-blowing, to say the least. The frets and fretboard were as level as it gets. A new preamp, pickguard and bridge were in place. The guitar looked and sounded fantastic, something local bluesman Shafie can attest to. Prof. was so pleased with the end result that the guitar's now sitting in a glass display case; only to be taken out when absolutely necessary. Roka Dyer Maker, you da man!

Image Credits: CA and Roka Dyer Maker

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