Tim Edey Tries out “Clone Clarence”

Atkin Guitars – Tim Edey playing ‘The White Rice’

Do you hear that sound?

No not the guitar, my jaw hitting the floor….

If you were to answer the question-

Of any bluegrass guitar on the planet, which one would be the most valuable?

I’m sure if you knew your history you would respond with “The Clarence Guitar”…

Even a guitar owned by Doc Watson is not gonna bring in as much coin or be as valuable as the 1935 Martin Herringbone, which is currently owned by the legendary guitarist Tony Rice.

It’s more than just history to us bluegrassers- it’s the sound that that guitar has.

So in this video, I hope Tim Edey doesn’t mind that the focus is mainly on the guitar and not him. But I will tell you that Tim Edey has won 2 folk awards at BBC Radio, so he’s a fine player of course.

So when I first heard and saw this “White-Rice” video I thought… how did they get a hold of Tony’s guitar? (had me fooled)

You know, a lot of people have tried to recreate this guitar, which includes some pretty serious guitar manufacturers. And I have no way of knowing what went into building this box, because the description says that the wood was aged to look like the original. But being all about sound, this particular one is just an awesome sounding bone in its own right- and it really has that tone so close to the original.

I’d have to really wonder what Tony would say about this guitar- I would love to hear him test drive it. Tim Edey doesn’t play like Tony or Clarence but, you are able to get more than a good idea as far as response and clarity.

The guitar builder is Atkins Guitars, and they are located in the UK. You ask the price? Well, not as high as I would have expected. Prices from £3,499 which is about double in dollars. Not bad considering the original is probably never gonna be available for sale in our lifetimes.

You would also wonder about the consistency i.e., since they’re building a bunch.. But this particular ‘bone’  sure has that sound and in my opinion, more than any other company that has tried to reproduce the “holy grail” of flatpicking guitars.


Here’s a good video and close ups of Tony playing the deal. Keep in mind it’s Tony… and on stage where hasy has to bear down a little more than in a quiet environment.


I also want you to check out Tony playing another reproduction (looks like a Santa Cruz).

Personally I think the Atkins sounds more like the original. What do you think?


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