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.
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.
Celebrating the aquisition of “marianguitars.com” with a post 🙂 This is my number 74 delivered in spring 2021. Hauser engine but with an elevated neck and armrest, Alpine spruce, old Rio bridge, ABW fingerboard, Madagascar rosewood body. Fortunate to have Dragos Ilie in town for a test run.
My first elevated neck guitar! While it doesn’t seem to make a tremendous difference in playability (at least for my hands/skill) there are several constructive aspects that make me wish I had started doing it sooner.
Red cedar soundboard, lattice braced, muninga bridge
Indian rosewood body and headplate, mahogany binding
Spanish cedar neck with African blackwood fingerboard, Gotoh premium tuners.
Recording is made with just a shellac seal coat on the soundboard, fresh uncured nitro back and sides, carbon strings (fresh as well thus going out of tune)
Showing off some exciting recent additions to my wood stock.
-2 sets of very dark and tight Amazon rosewood. It is the first time I see this variety (99% of it seems to be the lighter, reddish sort). Under finish it will make a gorgeous dark, almost black chocolate.
-a set of straight grain, quartered ziricote, something increasingly difficult to find these days. The tap tone is better than I expected, not Brazilian rosewood-metallic but still sustaining. I imagine the sound should be a bit like Indian rosewood.
-3 sets of fantastic bubinga, deep dark red and perfectly quartered, full of silk end to end. This tree must have had a humongous (and very regular) diameter.