Thomas Rein Guitar



Thomas Rein Guitar: Used, 2010 RJN-5


Tom Rein is widely known for his classical guitars, but he also builds a KILLER steel string.

So what we have here is just that.

Earthy looking, quarter-sawn Honduran Rosewood back  & sides.

Lover-ly Lutz Spruce top.

This guitar features double side construction, as well as the Rein Adjustable Neck (read more on that at the bottom of this page)...

French polished top & nitrocellulose lacquer finished back & sides.

Custom parquetry on the rosette and matching back strip that gives tribute to the Chicago guitar builders of the early 20th Century (Regal, Washburn, Lyon & Healy).

Ebony fretboard & bridge.

Bone nut, saddle and bridge pins(black dots).

Ebony headstock faceplate overlay with Mother-of-Pearl logo.

OK, the tone is PERFECTION. Extremely pure and lyrical. There is not another guitar in the shop that sounds anything like it.

Mahogany neck, with a fast, gun-stock finish feel to it.

Creek Creek case included in our price of $5995.

Sold RJN-5 Steel String
Nut Width: 
1 3/4"
Saddle Spacing: 
2 3/16"
Scale Length: 
Frets to Body: 

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Additional Info: 

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It is well understood in the acoustic guitar community that most guitars that are braced in a vintage fashion will need at least one neck reset, and maybe more, at some point in the guitar’s life. As we know, the dovetail is the traditional method of attaching a neck. The usual course for maintaining a playable action on a dovetail neck guitar is: During construction, the neck angle is set a bit farther back than optimal to allow more saddle height to be removed as the guitar settles in. After the saddle has been brought down as far as possible, to the point where it is barely above the surface of the bridge, a neck reset is necessary. Some unknowing repairmen try to avoid a neck reset by shaving the bridge down, which allows the saddle to still be above the top surface of the bridge. This is usually disastrous because the bridge can be thought of as one of the most important braces. Thinning out the bridge weakens the top and makes bellying even more pronounced. Neck resets typically cost in the $400 to $500 range and finding a qualified luthier in your area that can do a first-rate neck reset and get your guitar back to you in a reasonable time is sometimes difficult. The tone of the guitar will change with a neck reset, either for better or worse, because the strings are raised farther off the soundboard and this will affect the tension on the soundboard.

Taylor Guitars has solved many of the problems associated with dovetail necks with their NT neck. No glue is used to hold the neck on so removal of the neck is very easy. The NT neck reset must be carried out by Taylor or an authorized Taylor repairman because specialized shims made by Taylor (which are not available to the general public) are needed. The strings are removed from the guitar, the neck is removed, and the shims are replaced with different value shims to tilt the neck in the desired direction. The neck is reattached, the strings reinstalled and the guitar is brought back up to pitch to see if the action is on target. As often as not, a bit more tilt is required and the whole process is repeated until the action is just right. The NT neck is easier to maintain and less costly than a dovetail, but still not without hassles for the player.

Now we come to reference the title of this article. Many of the guitars made in the 19th Century had some form of adjustable neck angle. Stauffer, who taught C.F. Martin I to make guitars, used this design regularly, as did many of his contemporaries. The adjustable neck angle never really died out in Eastern Europe and Russia, even to this day. However, the method of attaching the neck in the old-style adjustable designs is rather crude. It relies on a fair amount of “slop”, meaning parts that intentionally don’t fit well and can be moved without breaking glue joints. This old-style method, with its attendant lack of neck-to-body contact area, was not exactly what I wanted to copy. The adjustable neck joint I designed is fairly difficult to make, but it allows maximum wood-to-wood contact for the best sound transfer from the neck to the body. All adjustments to the action are carried out with a set screw which is accessible on the outside of the guitar, while the guitar is up to pitch. My adjustable neck joint yields a guitar that will never need a neck reset, never need to have the saddle raised or lowered to adjust the action (which means the tone of the guitar will not change with action adjustments), and all action adjustments can be carried out by the player in a matter of minutes. This is a real boon to the touring guitarist, who may be in New York one day and Boulder the next. The humidity levels are wildly different between these two cities and a guitar’s soundboard will shrink and swell in relation to the amount of water vapor in the air. My adjustable neck is also a benefit to the non-touring guitarist who can keep the guitar playing perfectly no matter if the guitar dries out a bit in winter or swells up a bit in summer.

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