This guitar was recently completed in early April of 2010. I built this instrument for to be a part of a project that was launched by a luthier named Denis Merrill.
Dennis's vision is to prove or disprove the theory that instruments tonal qualities change over time. He proposed that a series of instruments be built at the same time using wood that was nearly identical, sourced from a small section of an old growth Sitka Spruce tree. The wood selected was well quartered with an unusual reddish color, highly bear clawed, with a high count of grain lines per inch. For more on the “Sonic Sitka Project”, go to Guitarbench.com and click on the “specials” tab.
I give Thanks! to Dennis for allowing me to participate in such a cool project. It's an honor to be involved in a project that has the potential to unlock some of history's oldest secrets. Perhaps one day we may actually know what exactly it is that makes up the wonderful tones that the wood produces. Why? and How? does it get better with age? I hope that the Sonic Sitka project can shed some light on that theory in the future.
I debuted this instrument at the Newport Guitar Festival , held down in Hollywood Florida at the Hard Rock Cafe in April, 2010. There were about 30 or so other builders there that participated in the project. We were all allowed free reign on our selections of body style, woods and finish. I chose to build a “sloped shoulder” dreadnaught with a neck/body joint at the 12th fret. I have affectionetly named it the "Maverick"
Here is a list of the Features:
- 25.625 scale length
- Sloped Shoulder Dreadnaught
- Sitka Spruce Top ( Sonic Sitka project #028)
- Indian Rosewood Back & Sides
- 5 pc. Laminated Neck
- Double Action Truss Rod
- Bone Nut & Saddle
- Ebony fingerboard, Bridge, Headplate,& Sound hole ring
- Curly Maple Endcap
- Ebony bridge pins w/pearl dot
- 12 fret body joint
- Laminated and Scalloped X bracing
- Curly Maple Binding w/ Diagonal cut purfling
- Schaller Nickel Plated Tuners w/ebony knobs
- Fishman Matrix Infinity pickup system
- Body depth at upper bout = 4-1/4''
- Body depth at lower bout = 4-3/4''
- Body width at lower bout = 16-1/4''
- Body width at upper bout = 11-1/2''
- Back radius = 15'
- Top radius = 30'
- Genuine Pro11 Hiscox Case
- Nitrocellouse Highgloss Finish
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
This guitar has an incredible “bottom end” and a clarity through it’s midrange that rivals any guitar I’ve ever played. I attribute these qualities to the choice of laminating the main X-bracing
I had read a few years back about how the Larson Brothers built instruments with this style of bracing. The idea was that the bracing can be “stiffened” by laminating the braces. By doing this, it’s possible to make the top a little bit thinner so that it may vibrate a bit more freely. The lamination stiffens the top without creating too much mass.
I felt that this theory made very good sense and thought I would try it on this guitar. I think I nailed it on the head. I am very happy with the results in tone. I have had a number of accomplished players give very good feed backs about it’s tone and playability.