Construction 


There must be a thousand ways to make a guitar. I am very much a devotee of the solid topped, fan braced guitar. This deceptively simple system is capable of a whole world of tonal variation through careful distribution of stiffness and mass, control of neck angle (and thus bridge height), and to a lesser extent, the doming. The exact layout of the braces is, I believe, less important. It is the visible feature of a greater system. It can certainly make a difference, but less so than the other factors 

I now produce two regular models:

Concert model


My concert guitar is designed to fulfil the demands of the contemporary performer. As such it delivers good headroom, allows a full range of tonal and dynamic expression, has an even response,  and is easy to play.

This model is available with a raised neck (or more correctly: a dropped upper bout). This allows easier access to the frets above the soundboard. I do this to the treble side only, in order to change the internal volume of the guitar as little as possible. It does not affect the sound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Torres model

This is based closely on the work of Antonio de Torres. I have been working from the plan of SE114, which was Tarrega's own guitar. This guitar is very lightly built. These guitars are all about expression and beauty of tone. While a powerful player may find less absolute power available than with more recent designs, those with a light touch may find they actually sound louder with this style of instrument. Though the allure of Torres' guitars is undisputed, many players have never tried a guitar built this lightly. Many are surprised by the projection. The Torres design is of much more than historical interest. The Torres design can also be suitable for the concert hall, assuming a performer is looking for that sound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Working Practices

My style of work could broadly be described as traditional. Hand tools, hide glue, and french polish more often give me the results I want than machinery or modern polymers do.

All of my braces are split to size rather than being sawn. This process, much like splitting kindling, allows the long fibres of the spruce to lie paralell to the length of the brace, making it far stronger. It is also good craft, as the only waste is wood that was never suitable for braces anyway. 

I cut my rosette channels by hand. I find the edges are cleaner than with a router. I like to construct my rosettes as I lay them into the soundboard. This gives me the freedom to make every one different, although there are recurrent themes. Every wooden part of every guitar is entirely made by me (although I do buy the machine heads!).

The sustainability of my timber supply is very important to me. Sustainably harvested timbers are available, but not much gets cut into guitar sets. I have set up to do my own high precision resawing, allowing me to buy FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accreditied wood in plank or billet form and cut it to my specification with very little waste. I am happy to say that I have good, and growing, stock of sustainable timber. This is now coming on stream as it becomes sufficiently seasoned. I do not use Brazilian Rosewood, or anything from Madagascar. Please don't ask me for it.

All of my guitars are French Polished, by hand, in the traditional way. It is time consuming and labour intensive but it is beautiful, kinder to the environment than spraying and the tonal qualities are second to none. Also, having had troulesome experiences in repairing instruments with synthetic finishes, in particular the catalyzed lacquers, I am convinced that French polish is the best option for longevity.


D'Addario Strings As standard I string my guitars with D'Addario Pro Arte strings. Generally the high tension (EJ46) for the concert model and a mix of High tension trebles with medium (EJ45) basses for the Torres model. I find them to be a very consistent string.  If you want  something other than this on your guitar be sure to let me know.Concert model and a mix of high tension trebles and medium (EJ45) basses for the Torres. If you would like something different just let me know.