An auditorium guitar in red spruce and American sycamore was strung up for the first time today. Right away, I noticed how even the notes across the bass strings are, from open low E well up onto the G string. When playing bass runs or lines, it’s hard to tell when I’m switching or alternating strings because they all have a similar body and brilliance (listen for the bass notes in the waltz snippet in the following sample). Also, there’s great texture to closed chords, with the chord voicing coming through nicely. One thing you can’t tell from the audio is how great the neck shape chosen by the guitar’s commissioner feels; it’s a vintage-inspired soft V contour, and I’m a fan after just a few minutes.
There will be some adjustments to be made as the body and neck settle in to having string tension applied, but the adjustable neck makes relief fixes much simpler. Once I’ve let the finish harden a bit more, this guitar will be on its way to its new home in the Pacific Northwest.
This American sycamore and red spruce guitar is rounding third base headed for home. The finish has been built up and now I’m on to compacting and burnishing the French polish finish. I still love the sycamore!
Between coats, I’m working the last piece to shape for this guitar: the pyramid-style bridge made of African blackwood.
This American sycamore and red spruce guitar is coming right along. I’ve completed the woodworking and am deep into the finishing. The box sounds and looks wonderful–sycamore has almost unbelievable figure naturally and my previous sycamore guitars have given me some good practice on getting the most out of this wood. The adjustable neck joint front loads a lot of what is typically final setup work, so this guitar will be playable very soon!
I’ve just begun work on a new 12-fret auditorium in American sycamore (from Callaway County, Missouri) and red (Adirondack) spruce. This guitar will feature laminated sides, an adjustable neck joint (adjustable from the inside of the guitar) and that wonderful snappy sound that sycamore provides. The aesthetic will be pure classic on this one: clean and simple rosette, binding, a slotted headstock, an African blackwood fingerboard and bridge and a warm brown finish.
I’ve made nice progress on a 14-fret auditorium and an orchestra guitar, both made of lovely air-dried walnut. What’s the difference between those models? Mostly scale length. The bodies have the same shape, but the top bracing has been shifted accordingly. (Here’s a comparison graphic of my model sizes.) I used a different rosette and purfling design so that I wouldn’t mix them up at a critical moment.
This pair also uses a hybridized bracing scheme that relies on the X-brace for the overall structure but uses a Torres-inspired lower fan in the belly area. I’ve been very happy with the guitars I’ve built with this scheme, and on this pair I’ve even trimmed down the lower legs of the X-brace a bit more because the fan structure does a nice job of resisting the torque of the strings on the bridge.
The bodies are in good shape, and the necks are well under way. I hope to have these guitars finished in early June. The price will be $2600 for either guitar.