2020 … all is not lost

OK, maybe it is a lost year in most respects. I don’t have to tell you what life has been like and how everything seems to have stalled out. It’s been a worldwide shared experience. For us things have been happening. albeit in slow motion. As of this month, we have completed the move from NE Colorado to eastern Washington state. It’s been a long time in the works and it’s good to rest for a while. Milder weather and cleaner air, at least most of the time.

2020 was the year I was able to confirm that the work I’ve devoted towards understanding the acoustics of the classical guitar over the past decade has not been wasted. All the guitars I built in the past year have been outstanding instruments. They all have power to spare and possess a nice even response across and along the fretboard. I have kept the best instruments I’ve built over the past decade and It is obvious that the past year’s instruments have left the others far behind. All of this year’s guitars have “double top” soundboards and my diamond (spider) bracing. That isn’t unique to this year’s instruments, but refinements of bracing and stiffness have paid off with better than anticipated results. Changing the top pin support from carbon fiber to sitka spruce seems to have been a positive move as well.

So I will now be selling off the older guitars that I’ve withheld along with the newest instruments. The list is long, I’ll be posting photos and descriptions when I get time.

So there are really two different epochs in my building career, possibly 3. The first is between 1974 and 1992. I have two guitars from that period. 

  1. #159 – The first is a spruce/Indian Rosewood classical guitar that I used to record most of the music I have posted to my youtube channel. Those were recorded in the late 1980s. This guitar is a very serviceable guitar and is all solid woods, based on a Bouchet bracing, which is what I commonly used during that time. Built in Vermont
    1. $1500 with case
  2. #201 – The other is a redwood/Brazilian rosewood archtop steel string. The back is flat and the top is carved. There is a piezo pickup on the bridge. The finish is Nitro lacquer.  Built in Vermont
    1. $4000 with case

I kept both of these guitars because I built them for myself and didn’t think at the time that I’d build much more.

The second epoch contains the instruments that taught me so much. I kept the ones that I felt were significant stepping stones to my goal of building great guitars. So I have quite a few of them, several of which have hosted multiple soundboards.

  1. #210 – (2010) Solid Alaskan Yellow cedar soundboard, sides and back. Spanish cedar neck, gabon ebony fretboard. 1950s Marcello Barbero bracing pattern. Very thin woods and lightweight guitar. Flamenco look and feel. Tuners could be replaced if desired. Built in Colorado.
    1. $2500 with case
  2. #216 – (2012) Western red cedar soundboard, American cherry sides/back, alder neck. This guitar had a different top originally and a very odd bridge concept. After it was summarily rejected I put a new top on it. Built in Colorado
    1. $1800 with case
  3. #235 – (2014) My first double top classical guitar. Cedar double-top, Honduran rosewood sides, Indian rosewood back, fan braced. This was one of the zephyr series guitars that featured adjustable necks, an arched fretboard and a full length soundboard with upper bout shoulder soundhole. This guitar has an adjustable port in the lower bout that allows for different tonalities, especially in the bass register. This is a truly exceptional and unique guitar. Built in Colorado.
    1. $4000 with case
  4. #236 – A spruce double-top version of #234. This guitar represents my initial foray into open lattice bracing. Originally too stiff and sounding weak, I replaced the back while voicing out the bracing. This guitar taught me a huge amount as I was able to clamp the back on and play it several times during the voicing process. The response I got from professional classical guitarists showed that I was on the right track. Built in Colorado.
    1. $4000 with case
  5. #244 – Solid Spruce top with fan bracing, Macassar ebony sides/back. This guitar features a chambered body and sound port on the upper bout. Initially an experiment in expanding the air chamber, the resulting sound is loud and with a distinct natural reverb. The port increases the volume for the performer with no loss for the audience. The tone is reminiscent of a lute in a concert hall. Built in Colorado.
    1. $3000 with case
  6. #252 – 7 string Spruce double-top, Caribbean rosewood sides/back. This is another guitar I built for myself. It features a Brazilian cutaway so the range is expanded in both directions, and my current concert size/shape body. Built in Colorado.
    1. $4500 with case

Newest generation guitars, built in Washington State. 

  1. #257 – (2019) WR Cedar double-top, Brazilian rosewood sides/back. This guitar showcases my current line of concert quality classical guitars featuring my pin supported floating top with diamond (spider) bracing. rosewood/sapele bridge, Gabon ebony fretboard and Rubner roll tuners. Truly exceptional, even response, tonal balance and great power. I don’t believe in magic wood, but this is a magical guitar. Built in Washington.
    1. $5000 with case
  2. #259 – (2019) WR Cedar double-top, Indian rosewood back, similar sides. This guitar embodies the current line of concert quality guitars. It includes the floating top, diamond (spider) bracing, fully lined sides and Rubner roll tuners. Another powerful guitar, proving that the wood doesn’t need to be endangered to be a great guitar..
    1. $4000 with case
  3. #260 – (2020) WR Cedar double-top, curly Spanish cedar sides/back.
    1. $3800 with case — SOLD !
  4. #261 – (2020) WR Cedar double-top, curly Spanish cedar sides/back. Pin supported floating top with spider bracing. rosewood/sapele bridge, fully lined sides, mun ebony fretboard and Rubner tuners. A very lovely, warm but powerful guitar. 
    1. $3800 with case
  5. #262 – (2020) Alaskan yellow cedar and WR cedar double-top, figured red oak sides/back. Pin supported floating top with spider bracing. rosewood/sapele bridge, fully lined sides, macassar ebony fretboard and Rubner tuners. This is a stunning guitar visually and audibly. It was built to prove that any wood can be great “tonewood” and it succeeds dramatically. Finished with rubbed oil varnish.
    1. $3800 with case

If you are interested in any of these instruments email me and we can work out some way of trying out guitars in a pandemic.