What is a PMTE exactly? Some type of brace? For those who have one, what has it done for the sound of your guitar?
Proulx Magic Tone Enhancer. The brace behind the bridgeplate.
Like the enlarged soundhole on the CW, if improving tone were as simple as gluing in a brace in that position, Bill woulda done that years ago. There is no magic; there is dedication and craftsmanship. Genius doesn't hurt, but in the stringed instrument world, it's more micro than macro. tom
If you do a search on "PMTE" in the Flatpick-L archives, there are a lot of posts on this topic. Mario Proulx says there is nothing really special about this, but it tends to help certain guitars with certain characteristics. He doesn't put it on all his guitars. I think the name is a bit of an inside joke.
What a great website, thanks for posting it BillDuck
Have you ever played a Proulx? Just curious if you have first-hand experience with them (and the PMTE) since you seem quick to dismiss it.
I have never played a Proulx, so, while I am open to the concept of the potential benefits of the PMTE, I am unable to form an opinion one way or the other.
I have Mario's personal OM/D (OM sized, but with a dreadnaught shape). It has very fine striped mahogany and a red spruce top that a luthier/player would put on his own guitar.
All OM/Ds have an "oversize" sound hole, most have carbon fiber braces, mine has red spruce. He modified his as the prototype for a bevel on the widest port (bass side of course) of the lower bout to provide additional comfort for an already comfortable guitar. No PMTE.
Proulx are legendary over on the Flatpick-L list, and his waiting list is VERY long. OM/Ds are his most sought after model, but I've spen some time with Bull Harmon's dread, and it is a killer guitar too. Mario's guitars are quite failry priced, hence the long list (3-4 years), which he occasionally shuts down to keep up with orders.
The guitar is wonderfully comfortable, very easy to play--mine has a vintage shaped neck. The tone is hard to describe, but like all Proulx guitars it is loud and balanced. The wood combo makes mine bright, and it has great cutting power in a jam session. As you might expect, the bass is less than a dread; the box is smaller. My music teacher loves it; he thinks its one of the best sounding guitars I own. It is my regular pratice guitar, so I play it daily at home.
BTW after a long time, I learned it was prounced prooooo. Save youself some embarrassment.
I'm surprised that there has been so little menition of it here. Mario is in the b oonies of Ontario, but a regular at Kaufman Kamp, and a great guy with a wonderful sense of humor.
One thing is for sure, a brace in that location would have one heck of a lot more effect on sound than the stupid popsicle brace controversy about its presence or absence.
I was one of the original members that owned the Proulx Pool guitar over on Flatpick-L. We passed it around for a year or two before we eventually sold it to one person.
It was a very nice guitar with a booming tone. I also remember that it seemed unusually heavy though.
Right...That Proulx guy has no idea what he's talking about. Neither does Kimsey. I mean really, what can building hundreds or handling and repairing thousands of guitars teach a guy? For some guitars and their owners, the PMTE has been the proverbial straw in the micro world of fine instruments.
I love my Collings guitar, so did Kimsey. He was an active member of this forum and a dyed-in-the-wool Collings Clarence White guy until he played one of Mario's guitars. Then he helped come up with the OM/D and doesn't play much else these days. That has to make you think.
Mexican vanilla may be my new favorite ice cream, but it's not the only flavor.
What is your experience with the stability of the Proulxs? I had a couple of friends in New England a few years back who were big fans, owned 3 Proulxs between them, played them on stage. I saw them playing other guitars last year and was told they had had all sorts of problems with the Proulxs-cracking, binding coming loose, intonation problems, etc, and had come to think of them as pieces of fill-in-the-blank. Was this anomalous?
I own a fair number of very nice guitars, 2 Collings, a Blazer & Henkes, couple Circas, Claxtons and a Kim Walker, nice guitars. Last week I was visiting with Bryan Kimsey and he brought out his OM/D. I was going to be polite, compliment him on a fine guitar, be generous. That guitar blew my mind! My wife came in from the other room wondering what was making his HUGE, wonderful sound.
Bryan uses this guitar as his main flatpicker. I played it fingerstyle only for about 30 minutes and wanted to go all night.
I've also played a few Proulx dreads, thought they were very nice. This guitar of Kimsey's is the real deal.
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