The American Concert Guitar

This guitar is identical to my Grand Legacy design except that it is constructed entirely from American woods. When I first began to build guitars I wanted to build a classical guitar with sustainable non-endangered woods from my country. Of course back then I also wanted to build entirely with hand tools but it didn’t take long before stark raving reality dissuaded me of that romantic notion! Over the years I have purchased woods from around the world and built with any number of endangered materials in order to be competitive with other luthiers. I also realized that exotic rosewoods gave one a leg up on great sound.

However during the last few years I have completed several guitars with Maple, Walnut and Bay Laurel and other native American woods. As an example many guitarists are coming to realize that Cypress classicals can produce a fine sound and Monterey Cypress grown in California is every bit as good as Spanish Cypress. America has several species of beautiful Maples including Eastern Hard Curly Maple and Birdseye Maple that make great guitars. In fact Torres and Hauser regularly built with Maples and these guitars have matured into very handsome guitars. Included in the candidates for American tonewoods are Walnut, Cherry, Beech and others.

Fortunately excellent soundboard woods abound in America including Spruce, Cedar and Redwood and luthiers have been using them for hundreds of years. In my own work I have found that Adirondack is very much equal to the best of the European Spruces. Much research has gone into finding the best woods for bindings, fingerboards and bridge material that fit the aesthetic expectations in high quality guitars.

Cases, strings, tuners and fret wire are all American made. Hoffee makes the flight case available for this guitar and the tuners are from Gilbert or Waverly.

Traditionally, classical guitarists have become used to thinking of the guitar as being made with dark woods typical of the exotic but regrettably endangered rosewoods. Incidentally even the more commonly available non-endangered rosewoods have seen a substantial drop in quality. The use of the lighter colors from the Maples for example are very gratifying with concert quality sound and a refreshingly new, clean look. Certainly the advent of the double top soundboard has helped to open the door to alternative woods for the serious concert guitar.

So give the American Concert Guitar a try and I am sure you will very much enjoy the sound and playability as much as I enjoy making it.