Why would anyone decide to start building an acoustic guitar at the beginning of 21st century when there are so many good instruments on the market? I am sure that every luthier has his own story. So, what is in it for me?
Well, first of all I don’t build guitars for a living. I do it for pleasure and to make my musicians friends happy. Why do I do it? Simple, - I love guitars. I was always fascinated by what talented musician can reveal out of this fairly simple instrument. What I was also always intrigued with was the difference in sound that was coming out of different guitars I played and heard. I mean good guitars. If you add to this puzzle the natural beauty of wood, which I adore, - you will probably understand why at certain moment I found myself designing and building the guitar to be proud of. That has been a quest I am on until today.
To build a guitar is not that difficult. To build good guitar is a challenge. To learn to control all the contributing factors and to make consistently fine guitars that would satisfy different tastes and stiles, - that is an art which all luthiers strive to be king of.
From the beginning I decided that I did not want to make a copy of somebody’s genius work. Of course I have gone through the learning curve to understand why things were done certain way by Martin, Gibson and many others well respected guitar builders. Then I started building up my own knowledge and experience. While making hundreds mistakes, doing researches, trying different approaches and being an engineer by education I came to few conceptual conclusions that are now a foundation that all my guitars are built on.
To my satisfaction I managed to come up with few things that are quite different comparing to the traditional guitar building. Here are few of them just to mention:
Unique guitar top bracing pattern.
- The bracing I designed works to allow the guitar revealing the most of what the acoustic guitar concept is built around. It is also a base for the constructional stability of the instrument for many years to come.
Unique guitar neck joint design.
- Sound, mechanical strength and ease to maintain were three major goals for me to achieve while designing this unit. I am happy with the result. I don’t glue my neck to the body, which makes it easy to re-fret or to reset the neck when required.
Unique bridge construction.
- The bridge is another piece playing an important role. My bridge is designed to work together with the top bracing and besides the original look contributes greatly to the sound of the guitar.
Few other features that are standard on my guitars:
- Arched top tapered off the center
- Arched back according to a special pattern
- Multi-layer neck
- Original body shape design
I usually build only several guitars per year and use only the best sounding and looking wood which I carefully select. I also pay great deal of attention to details.
All this together creates the sound, look and feel that I believe is what makes a guitar unique and pleasant to play. It is also what most guitar players are looking for when they take a new instrument in their hands. Am I right?
I would want to say thanks to my wife Victoria and daughter Alisa for the patience and tolerance that they had missing me for hours and days while I was doing research and experiments in the workshop.
I also want to thank John McDonald, talented musician and great teacher, who’s been an inspiration for me and an adviser on all my guitar building stages.
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