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Brook Bovey

I was thinking that I’d like a parlour-sized guitar for travelling and had a Larrivée in mind. Then I found Brook Guitars, a small outfit based in Devon in the south-west of England. Before I knew where I was, my GAS had got the better of me and I’d ordered a custom-build Brook Bovey. This is smaller than the Larrivée with a scale-length of 21.5″. And it just so happened that the boys at Brook had a piece of Brazilian rosewood lying around that was too small for a larger guitar but would do a Bovey-sized guitar very nicely! Well, how could I resist?! Custom-building is a time to indulge, is it not?

Specs are cedar on Brazilian rosewood, with Brazilian rosewood used for the fretboard, bridge, rosette and purfling. The headstock veneer is ebony. The bindings and heelcap are ovangkol to contrast with the rosewood. I’ve gone for diamonds and dots fretboard markers and gold Schaeller tuners. I’m also planning to have a nice bit of custom inlay work on the headstock.

April 2004: It’s here! Video review and recordings are now available.


Here are some recordings I’ve done on this guitar. I record using condenser microphones. Here’s a page showing the gear I used: Recording Gear

Islay Ranters Reel

Islay Ranters Reel

Ye Banks & Braes

Ye Banks & Braes

Ye Banks & Braes with Vocals


The Old Hag at the Kiln, DADGAD arrangement by Mark Thomson

The Old Hag at the Kiln



Heiner Dreizehnter Model A

You don’t see many blackwood-topped guitars. In fact, this is the only one I’ve seen, my blackwood beauty, built by German luthier, Heiner Dreizehnter.

I met Heiner at the Open Strings Guitar Festival in Osnabrück. Of the many guitars that I played over the festival weekend, this was the one that I couldn’t forget. It took two months before I succumbed to the siren song of the blackwood, but succumb I did. I made the call, hoping that it hadn’t sold and, thankfully, it hadn’t.

It is Tasmanian blackwood throughout with maple bindings and ebony fretboard, headstock veneer, bridge and bridge pins. The specs are as follows:

* Scale length is 648mm (25.5″)
* Nut width, 45mm (1.77″).
* Lower bout, 395mm (15.55″)
* Upper bout, 290mm (11.42″)
* Waist, 245mm (9.65″)
* Depth at end pin, 120mm (4.72″)

The tone is deep and rich and it was that depth of tone that captured my heart. The craftsmanship is outstanding, something I’ve come to expect from German luthiers.

It has a nice oil-based finish, something which I hadn’t seen before and haven’t seen since. It really brings out the natural wood and there’s none of that swish of clothes rubbing against it as is the case with satin finishes.

But, aesthetics aside, let’s get to the meat of the matter: the tone. I’m a bass lover – always have the bass button pushed in on my stereo, iPod EQ set to bass boost, nice, meaty subwoofer for the 5.1 amp, you get the picture. And let me tell you, this guitar floats my boat. I don’t know whether it’s the depth, the wood, the bracing or what, but this guitar has some real meat to it.

Saying all that, one would be forgiven for thinking that the guitar is bass heavy. It isn’t. That’s what makes it so remarkable. It’s well-balanced but with presence, if that makes any sense.

The quality that this guitar has, besides the rich depth, is sustain. For Celtic fingerstyle, the only guitar I’ve played that I liked more was a Walker, and they are about three times more expensive. It has a kind of dry, vintage-like tone similar to what one would expect from mahogany, and also like mahogany, it favours the fundamental. But the similarities with mahogany end with the sustain – I could pick a note, switch on the kettle and it would be still be ringing as I was pouring in the milk.

I have posted a review of this guitar on Harmony Central.

UPDATE: September 2005

I took this guitar with me to Steve Kaufman’s flatpicking camp in Tennessee last June and am pleased how well it coped in amongst all those dreadnought banjo busters. Sure, it wasn’t a bluegrass monster, but it was certainly loud enough to stand up to some good pickin’. I had the action lowered a bit by luthier and Kamp Doctor, Ken Miller. He also installed a PUTW dual-source pickup. This guitar is now my gigging and pub guitar, as well as everything else. It’s my keeper!


Here are some recordings I’ve done on this guitar. I record using condenser microphones. Here’s a page showing the gear I used: Recording Gear

My Mary of the Curling Hair

My Mary of the Curling Hair



Humours of Ballyloughlin

Humours of Ballyloughlin

Hector the Hero

Hector the Hero

May the Fourth Be with You

May the Fourth Be with You



Let’s drink some tea

One of the best reasons for learning Russian was to discover the band Akvarium. Love, love, love them!

Freya reciting a poem

Freya came first in her poetry recital competition at school last week and came home with a trophy. She’s going to Stevenston at the end of the month to compete in the final. Well done wee Freya!

My mither says that we hae mice
That open air-ticht tins
And eat her chocolate biscuits
And cakes and siclike things.

Nae doubt it is an awfu shame
That mice should get the blame.
It’s really me that rypes the tins
When left alane at hame.

But jings! I get fair hungert
And biscuits taste sae nice.
But dinna tell my mither for
She thinks it is the mice.

The Littlest Christmas Tree

Nursery Christmas Show from Cams Campbell on Vimeo.

If I were not in Panto

From the finale of Scrooge, the 2010 Isle of Arran panto.

If I were not in Pantomime from Cams Campbell on Vimeo.

Danny MacAskill again

This guy just blows my mind. Abubaca to tailwhip anyone?

Danny Macaskill

There seems to be so many more possibilities on this kind of bike than on a BMX. Bigger drops, bigger gaps, higher jumps. This is some of the most incredible street riding I have seen, not to mention the production. Five stars all round. 

Girl Talk – Jump on the Stage

Just heard this on 6Music. Samples from loads of great bands, including sample kings themselves, the Beasties, mixing Hey Ladies with Lust for Life. Brilliant! 

Hamish is 3!

Music by the Greencards