Pleased to present a 2022 guitar built for my friend, guitarist and teacher Costin Soare. Here I am revisiting the French school, this time taking inspiration from the works of Dominique Field. It is a Fleta style bracing (two harmonic bars under the soundhole but with only five fan braces, meaning a rather meaty soundboard) with densely braced, stiff back and sides. The guitar has excellent sustain and a thick, powerful first string. The tone is refined, reminding me of a Bouchet but with less nasality, more explosion, and a bolder more Spanish bass. The sound has good spontaneity and seems eager to project forward rather than being trapped inside. Overall I am very pleased and I will be using this as a starting point for my future modern spruce guitars.
Austrian Alpine spruce soundboard, African wenge back and sides, African sipo mahogany neck with rosewood reinforcement, African blackwood fingerboard with stainless steel frets, matched Brazilian rosewood bridge, heelcap and endgraft, Amazon rosewood carved headplate, Gotoh premium tuners.
Sample recordings are made in its early days (raw tone being bare wood) with carbon strings.
One from 2021 which I forgot to show. Highest grade Swiss spruce and Indian rosewood, Brazilian rosewood bridge, African Blackwood fingerboard, maple binding. A studio recording by the owner, composer Adrian Andrei.
A Torres hommage I built with one of my oldest sets of high grade Madagascar. Lovely lyrical response with deep bass and plump trebles. Blackwood fingerboard, cedro / carbon fiber neck, maple binding, ultra light aluminium Gotoh tuners. 640mm scale, early, unedited recording with d’addario normal tension strings.
Finally picking up with the deliveries…this time a feather light Torres homage in Italian intense bearclaw spruce and shell figure maple. Although I have been offered the maple as being Romanian maple, I suspect it might be from one of the American species instead, or even something entirely different (birch?) Whatever it is, the physical properties and tone are maple like. 640 scale, Malaysian ebony fingerboard, Madagascar rosewood headplate and bridge, Sipo mahogany neck and binding, ultra light aluminium plate Gotoh tuners.
This guitar has been a very pleasant surprise, with excellent projection and a treble tone ranging from clean clear to warm and sweet as needed. Demos below (below the photos) thanks to visits by Andrea de Vitis and Danguole Lingyte; normal tension d’addario nylon strings, absolutely no processing or effects used.
I have been fantasizing for a few years about using one of the special extra dark Amazon rosewood sets in my collection so building this guitar has been a real experience. It has also proved to be hard to fill and finish in the traditional way, I needed a few healthy months to get a thick flat shellac film (I really don’t want to deliver those superficial finishes that burn and flake off after 2 weeks of use)
The title is lattice braced but the soundboard is actually in the traditional range of thicknesses while the spruce lattice is discreet in influence. The body of the guitar however is stiff and heavy as I believe this is the right alternative (NB alternative, not replacement) to the traditional light build.
Other details are Brazilian rosewood bridge, armrest and internal elements, Sipo mahogany elevated neck, African blackwood fingerboard with stainless steel frets, Gotoh premium tuners and an unobtrusive yet slightly beneficial soundport.
Below the (many) photos, two beautifully played videos took mid-way during the polishing process.
One of my composite soundboard prototypes which came to completion during the pandemic. Alpine spruce outer, balsa core, cedar inner, Indian rosewood body, Brazilian rosewood bridge, ebony binding and armrest. As always I did not design this for absolute volume/boom but a blend of tonal quality, sustain and projection. I was very pleased with the result: quality, singing trebles, low nasality, natural tone.
Continuing to catch up with the blog, this is my first wenge guitar made in 2020, and despite the difficulties of using this wood the tone is really a pleasant surprise. The top is Italian Alpine spruce, wood lattice bracing, ebony headplate and binding, African blackwood fingerboard and armrest, Brazilian rosewood bridge. Below the gallery, a couple videos made by the owner.
I continue to show some older work, this time a flamenco from 2020, cedar with cypress, Rio fingerboard, aluminium tuners – quite light overall. Unfortunately the only sound sample is by yours truly and in raw wood. Big and rich sound, really loved it (especially for a cedar top)