I came across this thread on the gear page: new Kolls day. A player had acquired at least two new guitars from Saul Koll. And he might have another one or two from this luthier. Stunning guitars.
Destroy All Guitars carry his instruments and they have a brief bio on Saul:
There are guitar makers and there are GUITAR MAKERS. Among the finest luthiers working today, Saul Koll constructs Innovative, bold new designs that are evocative, reminiscent, and familiar. These are the modern comfort food for the vintage guitar aficionado. These are original designs, hand crafted by Saul Koll in his Portland, Oregon workshop using old school equipment, methods and techniques. Saul’s clients range from the most demanding and challenging of guitarists including David Torn, Elliot Sharp, Lee Renaldo, Matte Henderson, to some of the today’s most popular musicians like Modest Mouse, Dandy Warhols, Sleater Kinney, and Kingsley. The majority of Saul’s work has been custom ordered and made to spec – until now. Saul is very excited to work in concert with Cliff and Destroy All Guitars to present new works that represent the muse and creative vision of the hardcore working luthier.
Saul Koll got his start as a professional luthier in the 80’s at the legendary World of Strings in Long Beach California. Under the strict tutelage of violin maker Jon Peterson, he immersed himself in all aspects of instrument restoration. Saul’s passion for the craft did not begin there however, as he began building instruments about the same time he began playing guitar, when he was 12. A constant maker of things, Saul eventually found his place at college studying and making sculpture, ultimately earning a Bachelors degree in Fine Art. Saul worked with TVJONES as technician and writer for The Gretsch company for several years. All the while, he has toured extensively and has made numerous records and CDs with pop/punk acts The Charms, Scott Deluxe Drake, and 8 Foot Tender.
His work has been featured in Guitar Player, Vintage Guitar, Acoustic Guitar magazine, and numerous articles and local pages such as The Oregonian and Two Louies. As author and lecturer, he is active in the Guild of American luthiers. Saul has made over 250 fine instruments for a diverse range of players including Ron Eschete, Isaac Brock, Jim Mesi, Lee Ranaldo, Eric Wilson, and Grammy winner David Torn. Quality, innovation and tradition in the art of lutherie since 1985. Skilled in wood, metal, electronics, plastics, and fine finishes. Builder of “the impossible.” Looking forward to crafting your favorite guitar. Saul makes his home in North Portland with his long time partner Denise, their two daughters, two cats, and one big sloppy Labrador retriever, Olive.
Here is a recent video interview with Saul.
I am mixing an interesting project for a producer out of New York City. The project is called the World Music Project and it is a collaborative effort from more than fifty musicians across the world.
I will be keeping a video diary for the project partly to keep all of the players in the loop in terms of how the mix is progressing.
Initially I thought it would take a day or so to mix the one song for the project. However, given the track count — in excess of 60 tracks — and the complexity of the song, I expect to be spending about a week or more.
The mix will go through a few distinct phases:
File import and initial prep
Track management (naming, colour coding, grouping)
Track remediation for vocals (editing)
Track remediation for instruments (editing)
Placement (stereo soundfield)
Processing (compression, EQ, effects)
Release candidate mix
Here is the first phase of the project: file import and initial prep.
His guitars are beautiful. His guitars are expensive. And they are incredibly difficult to acquire.
Paul Languedoc offers two guitar models: the G2 at $10,000USD and the G4 at $7,500USD. His waiting list is full and closed which means you may wait for several years just to get on the list.
I have not seen one live and I haven’t seen any on the used market. There was a reference to a listing on ebay, which you can see here, but I’m not sure if it actually sold.
From Benjamin Tal’s latest economic update:
While many Canadians, particularly those now close to 65, are on a path to the retirement of their dreams, the data show that millions of others are headed for a steep decline in living standards in the decades ahead, particularly those who are currently younger and who are in middle-income brackets.
Those born during WWII are positioned to maintain virtually all of their pre-retirement consumption patterns: after allowing for the drop in living costs, they have a replacement rate close to 1.0. The leading edge of the baby boom generation (post-WW II, born between 1945-64) that followed is only slightly less advantaged. But their children are much less well positioned, given the current trend towards lower savings rates and reduced private pension coverage. On average, the replacement rate of those born in the 1980s, who will retire towards the middle of this century, will be only 0.7, implying a 30% drop in their standard of living.
He finishes his update with the following statement:
Add it all up, and there are some 5.8 million working age Canadians who will see more than a 20% drop in their living standards upon retirement. That’s why the time to act is now.
Replacement rates are tricky things to determine. Retirement, from a financial planning perspective, is a compromise between needs and wants. Given the progressive taxation system, a high-income earner in Canada requires a lower replacement rate to maintain the same standard of living. And, according to the government’s own research findings, a low-income earner will actually be better off in retirement:
The lower the income in individuals’ mid-fifties, the higher the replacement rate in their senior years. Individuals in the bottom quintile typically achieved a 110% replacement rate by their mid-sixties, while individuals in the top income quintile had replacement rates in the 0.7 range.
If you happen to be in the middle income group and you do not work for the government, sufficient income at retirement might be a challenge.
The Ontario Government published an interesting study on Retirement Income Security. The following chart highlights the potential impact of the gap in income:
If an individual has income of $75,000 before tax, the replacement rate of 0.7 would suggest a retirement income target of $52,500. After CPP and OAS, this individual would face a potential income gap of $33,329. To produce $33,329 reliably would require savings between $670,000 — 835,000 depending on your planning assumptions. Now, if you had a pension plan, that would likely offset most of the gap. But what if you did not need to replace 70 percent of your working income?
Malcolm Hamilton is a pension expert and he thinks that the 0.7 replacement rate is too high.
Canadians don’t need to “replace” 70 or 80% of their working incomes, which are the percentages usually proffered by our financial institutions. Most of us will be able to get by with 50% or even just 40% of what we earned in our working lives. “No one can tell exactly how much we will need to save. Canadians are unduly and irrationally discouraged about their prospects.”
He also provides an example:
A typical Toronto couple with two incomes totalling $120,000 a year probably spend $480,000 on a modest house and have two kids. If they save five times their gross earnings and accumulate $600,000 in capital, they could replace 52% of their income in retirement. To get there, they’d simply need to save 6% of their income between ages 25 and 65, at which point they could retire. They would direct 23% of earnings to taxes, CPP and EI, and another 23% to pay for the house and kids. In all, 52% of their gross working income goes to taxes, savings, the house and children. At 65, all those expenditures disappear. The $600,000 capital will replace 20% of the income they were earning in their working lives, and CPP and OAS will generate 32%, for a total 52% replacement ratio. That will allow them to spend as much on themselves as they did when they were working.
Should we be saving for retirement? Of course. Do you need a high replacement rate? Probably not. Particularly if you are a high income earner. And, if you look at your current expenses, how much do you spend on taxes, CPP, EI and the house and kids? If you have a pension, you may not need to save much at all if you plan to work to 65.
I like Hamilton’s perspective. We should be optimistic about our prospects.
Seven years. Seven long years. Seven long and slow years.
Well, you get the idea.
We have experienced extremely poor Internet access for years. It improved somewhat last year when Xplornet introduced their 4G service. With the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) project complete, we now have consistent high speed Internet.
EORN put in place a 5,500 kilometre fibre optic backbone network in Eastern Ontario. The network is valued at over $70 million. Xplornet was able to leverage that backbone to connect our home through a 4G LTE Fixed Wireless technology.
I was a bit skeptical at first as our older 10Mbps service generally delivered only 2-4Mbps. I thought that the 25Mbps would maybe get us 5-10Mbps. But no, the new service is consistently cranking 20-24Mbps.
20 years. Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report has been produced twenty times. Hard to believe.
Some of the highlights?
2.8 billion Internet users globally and 2.1 billion smartphone users.
Mobile continues to be a compelling platform for advertising and monetization. More so than print. We are spending far less time with print media than with radio, TV, Internet or Mobile.
Consumers expect to get what they want when they want it. Digital disruption will impact all businesses. And consumers are voting by choosing to use products and services that provide convenience.
We are re-imagining more and more aspects of our daily lives, as mobile users and entrepreneurs continue to push innovation and creative output across new online platforms. User-generated / curated / shared content continues to rise, ranging from pins on Pinterest to videos on Snapchat and Facebook. Business processes continue to be re-imagined, led by companies aiming to make data more useful and services more efficient. Demographic shifts are helping to accelerate technology changes. Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce and their work / life expectations differ from previous generations. As connectivity and commerce continue to rise, we have witnessed broad impacts on consumer expectations, which in turn can alter work for many, to a form of work that can be flexible and supplemental.
You can get the full report here.
Giuseppi Marinoni was born in Bergamo, Italy in 1937. He apprenticed with Mario Rossin during the early 1960’s. Mario was the head frame builder at Colnago. It was there that Marinoni learned everything he needed to know to build frames.
Marinoni came to Canada in 1965. He was a major figure in Quebec’s cycling community. He returned to frame building in 1974. Cycles Marinoni in Terrebonne, Quebec became one of only a very few successful North American frame builders. Jocelyn Lovell, one of Canada’s greatest cyclists, rode a Marinoni.
He was still riding strong into his seventies. In October 2012, Marinoni broke the hour record for riders in their late 70’s. He rode 35.7 km at Brescia, Italy. That is a challenging pace even for riders like myself in their late 50’s.
Montreal filmmaker Tony Girardin produced a documentary about Marinoni called The Fire in the Frame, a character study of the cycling legend. A reader of my blog was kind enough to let me know that the documentary would be playing here in Kingston. Maclean’s ran a story on the movie here. And Canadian Cyclist also ran a story about the movie here.
I think I know where I will be on June 7th.