This guitar came to me via the Santa Barbara show I attended a few months back. The owner had heard of my repair work, and was hoping I'd haul it back up to Bend, OR with me on my way back. When I found out what it was, I was in! Kevin Ryan is a name every builder has heard. His builds have helped to, and continue to shape current acoustic guitar designs and tone. Still, everyone starts somewhere! Anytime any builder is presented one of their early builds, I know for a fact that we all respond the same way. I have several of my old builds in my possession, including the first guitar I made. I also call it my 'Prototype'. It's hideous. Well, I think it's hideous. Ironically, I have had many customers play that guitar, and place an order from it. So, it's got something good going on for sure, but when I look at it, I feel that the look, the feel, the combination of materials, and especially the tone, are all inaccurate representations of my work as it stands today. And the work just keeps changing. We are all constantly influenced by one another. We're all striving for something new and interesting with each build. If not, things would get pretty boring. Kevin Ryan is far along this path of change and evolution of craft. So far so, that this guitar bears nearly no resemblance to his current models and design. It's amazing for me to see that, even when looking at someone as elevated within the craft as Kevin, we all share that evolutionary path. We all have our start. So, with that, I'll get right into the work. What's wrong with Kevin's very early build? Nothing. This is all the usual stuff you see from a guitar that's been out in the world being played for upwards of 30 years. Cracks in the top, neck angle shift, worn frets, cracked bridge, and of course, poor setup modifications through the years. This is a prime example of a very dried out guitar. For now, I've managed to tear down the guitar in preparation for all the real work. Check out the pictures and some commentary below.