Whipple Creek Guitars
" For the last six months I’ve been waiting for this guitar & wondering just what it would be like. The EIR/Adi dread I heard Robert Bowlin play at Peaceful Bend in May was so I great, I wondered if it was the exception. Well after almost 5 days of playing my Mahogany Dreadnaught, I’m ready to share my thoughts on this new instrument. This guitar is without doubt the finest sounding new instrument I’ve ever played. It’s loud. The sound is balanced string to string, and note for note all over the fretboard. The fretwork is exceptional and the set-up is as low as you can go without buzzing. The guitar responds to the lightest touch, and so it’s easy to play, and doesn’t need to be whipped like a mule to get sound out of it. The build quality can be seen in the fine details and yet you can tell that the guitar was handbuilt by a human being.
The sound is warm for a new guitar and has a great bass response already, but retains the great clarity of mahogany. Both the sound to the player and the projection of the instrument out front are stellar. The guitar has lots of sustain, and a sparkle and clarity that is similar to Collings. The overall tone is warmer. This is a guitar I’ll be dragging with me everywhere I go, and i’d have to say if I were forced to choose just one guitar… this would be it.
Now I know how Gary C feels about his Posch guitars. The quality of the instrument, as well as the playability and the complexity of the sound are far out of proportion to the price. This guitar is an absolute gift, and I can see why Robert Bowlin is so sold on Terry Whipple’s work. If I can overcome the url errors, I’ll be adding some new photos. If you’re looking for a great new guitar, please check out whipplecreekguitars.com. This guitar easily, and I mean easily hangs with my D1AVvarnish & 2002 CW braz! a few more photos in gallery.” – Greg Yavorsky, Canada (Doc Holiday) January 17 2010
'' First, Whip is unbelievably easy to work with. He listens. He makes suggestions. He keeps you informed of his progress, and he understands priorities. He’s a gentleman, and he’s an honest person. Second, he builds guitars that rival ANYTHING on the market in terms of build quality and tone. I know that most of us care primarily about tone, so I will start there. The only guitar that I have played in my life that matches the tone of this dread would be an early 40s Gibson J-45, which is of course quite shocking given the totally different shape and materials…But there you go. It just has that dark, full, penetrating clarity, rumble and sparkle. Maybe it’s the balance instead of the Martin boominess that I’m locking onto. Whatever it is, I’ve never played anything that is so easy to play in terms of consistency and quality. Every note is tone perfect or I’ve been sloppy.
This is the kind of instrument that makes me a better player not just because I sound better. It also makes me play better because I love hearing it when I focus on my fingering and attack…it keeps me connected to the music. Which brings me to the build. I have never been a huge fan of the Collings guitar tone, but I have always been a huge fan of how the instruments feel and play. In my opinion there is nothing that matches a Collings’ responsiveness and consistency. Maybe it’s the attention to detail. But this Whipple Creek has the same thing in spades. I get the feeling that it was made as an instrument not just as a series of specifications. Everything about it just feels absolutely perfect and tight and resonating and it’s just an awesome guitar.” – Patrick, May 31, 2010
'' Just a comment about the play-ability of this instrument… it’s excellent. This seems to be a recurring theme with Whip’s guitars after reading other reviews from other Creek owners. I have always played a lower profile neck and going with a vintage type neck was a real question mark in my mind. I’m not sure I can explain the how’s and why’s but I know it works for me. Whip seems to favor the larger necks, but he will certainly work with you on what you want. He did offer me this explanation: “Your hand has a nice cup to it in a relaxed state. As you close your hand, your muscles tend to get tenser, and you can feel a slight strain. Apply that principle to guitars. If your hand is in a more relaxed normal state, it doesn’t fatigue, which allows you to play longer and with more fluidity.” Turns out Whip’s spent several years in the occupational therapy field so he knows a thing or two about how and why muscles and nerves work in the hand and upper extremity. Fits well into making guitar necks I guess.
I, for one, am a believer. The fretwork seems flawless – no rough or uneven frets to be found. Set-up is low with no buzz. From a playability standpoint, I don’t want to put it down (my wife can attest). I would describe the tone as quite focused, yet has a “fatness” to my ears that I really like. I definitely know its mahogany when I play it, but it seems to have some characteristics (maybe a certain crispness) of a rosewood as well. The sustain is exceptional on this guitar. My wife noticed it – and likened it to that of a piano. Power and projection is very strong. It’s power seems to be a little deceptive to me as I sit behind the guitar as a player. But it will punch you in the face if you’re sitting in front of it – really an interesting phenomenon. – Steve Ernest, Oklahoma, November 09, 2010
''Just took delivery of my D18 style and must say we have a new kid on the block. Read about Terry’s work in FGM and decided to give him a chance. Glad I did cause the man knows how to work a piece of lumber. It’s very,very light and well made from mah/red spruce. Has a varnish french polish top with snakewood binding and headplate. The sound is outstanding, one of the most harmonically rich guitars I’ve ever owned. Beautiful overtones with crisp wound string projection. Balanced across the whole fretboard. First class in every way IMHO. Keep and eye on Terry’s work cause I think he could become a major player if enough people give him a chance.” -Walt Barber Aug 14 2008
" Last night my band opened up for the Tony Rice Unit and by the end of the night I had lost count of how many folks came up and complemented me on the sound of the guitar. The guitar miked incredibly well. I let several people play it and everyone — including Josh Williams (3 time IBMA guitar player of the year and one hell of a mandolin player to boot) — seemed impressed with it and all commented very favorably on Terry’s work. I couldn’t be happier and the best part is that it’s been strung up for all of two weeks so it’s only going to get better! I can already hear subtle changes every day. Here is what I ordered:
Adirondack Spruce Top
East Indian Rosewood B/S (30 year old set, I believe)
Laminated Tone Bar Bracing (an upgrade Terry offers, inspired by the old Larson Brothers guitars that serves to improve volume and sustain — of which this guitar has plenty)
French Polish finish on the top (top notch work here, too, the finish looks great)
1 3/4 Nut
2 1/4 Saddle Spacing
I went plain jane on the cosmetic stuff which is just my taste. Herringbone rosette, zipper back strip. I asked for no dots on the fingerboard. The back and sides are especially dark for Indian RW and the Koa binding looks really classy against it. Terry even threw in a Brazilian head plate to round out the appearance of a simple but very elegant looking guitar.
As a final note — and this is the best part — the guitar just feels really nice in my hands. Terry has started making his own necks by hand and has a duplicator (kind of like a ‘manual’ CNC machine) that can create an exact copy of any neck that you like. I chose a big fat replica of a 1930s Martin neck to suit my large hands. The setup is very good. I use every note on the guitar all the way up the the 14th fret and even beyond if I’m feeling adventurous. All the notes sound nice and clear and even up high on the neck it plays like a dream.
I’m not a guitar collector. I own one other guitar (a Collings DS2HA with Brazilian b/s and custom 1 3/4 nut) and I’m so happy with this Whipple Creek that you very well may see the Collings for sale here in the next year or so (it’s way too sweet to sit in a case, but for me a guitar is a tool and I really only need one that sounds and plays just the way I want it to. The Whipple is the one, I think.) To compare the WC to a 12 fret slope shouldered dread would clearly be apples and oranges, so I won’t bother, but I have played a bunch of the boutique guitars in shops over the years and Terry’s guitars are as good as any new Bourgeois, Collings, Santa Cruz, etc I’ve played. He’s right up there with the best. If you’re looking for a custom build, I highly recommend a visit to the beautiful Shawnee hills of Southern Illinois to check out Terry’s shop.” – Sam Payne Feb. 5 2011