Posts from ‘Luthier Spotlight’
…luthier Matt Chaffin?
Well, it certainly has been awhile since we had one of his guitars (last one was 2017 – see here for examples of his previous, excellent work.)
So we are delighted to announce that Matt has a new classical guitar en route to us now from his workshop in Michigan. Matt built this one with a spruce top and CSA rosewood back and sides (our first from him with this combo), with maple appointments throughout – notably in the binding (which is a nice contrast to the dark reddish-brown rosewood), and the head veneer which really shows off some gorgeous flame.
We’re sure this guitar will sound as great as it looks, so keep your eyes on our new arrivals – we’ll be listing it as soon as we can after we’ve given it our full assessment of the sound, feel and playability.Continue Reading
Although the classical guitars of Richard Reynoso are fully traditional in construction design and largely inspired by the great Spanish makers of the past, they do have a voice and personality that is entirely his own. See in this short video documentary how Richard’s artistic style is informed in subtle ways by his immediate environment – the classic architecture seen in some of Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles’ most iconic historical buildings of the art deco era. His love of hard yet graceful lines and contrasts is expressed in his signature carved headstock, and exquisite rosette design which draws from his love of art-deco styled chandeliers and ancient Egyptian jewelry.
Florian Blochinger (artistically known as Florian David) is a rare breed – he’s both an extremely talented concert performer as well as world-class guitar maker. Since birth, Florian has been immersed in the world of the classical and flamenco guitar. Being the son of world-renowned luthier Edmund Blochinger, Florian has not only been around the construction of instruments his entire life, but has also studied the instrument as a player extensively.
Here is a fun video of Danish luthier Kenneth Brögger selecting tone-woods from the famous Maderas Barber wood shop in Valencia, Spain. Maderas Barber is the world’s largest dealer of exotic tone-woods used for building musical instruments and has been in business for over 60 years. We made a post on this wonderful place a couple years ago which you can check out here.
Gabriele Lodi on his recent “Torres Interpretation” built for GSI:
After many years of research on historical Spanish guitars, and thanks to my recent appointment as curator of the “Torres Anniversary Exposition” in the Cremona Museum, I have tried to use all my knowledge to create my tribute to the Spanish traditional system of construction that first came into manifestation with the work of Antonio de Torres. “My Torres Interpretation” is simply my way to respect as much as possible the great Spanish master and at same time make a guitar that satisfies the needs of the modern player.
California luthier David Schramm (also a player) has owned several Greg Smallman guitars over the years. His lattice guitars are therefore very close to the Smallman design, and David has built around 100 of them. David sent us some info and specs on this model that players of this type of instrument might find of interest. First, the neck mechanism is exactly the same as Smallman, which means that the neck is held on to the body by the string tension and would fall off if the strings were removed. To ensure that this doesn’t actually happen, there is a retention bolt (see below) that prevents this that is accessed under the fingerboard through the soundhole. David has done tests to see if a two-piece neck and body vs. a solid joint have any effect on the sound quality. He has found that when done properly there is no difference at all.
In Memoriam: John Weissenrieder (1964-2017)
by Andrea Tacchi
My friend John Weissenrieder and I had the pleasure of knowing each other, as well as time spent working together and later, harvesting the work of those years. And now – unexpectedly and with great sadness – the time has come for me to share some of my memories of John and the work we did together on guitars.
Check out this video about Edmund Blöchinger’s Dome guitar, so named because the wood for the top came from the dome of the Munich Frauenkirche, or Cathedral of Our Lady, which was all but destroyed in Allied bombing in 1945. Wood from the dome was salvaged by Franz Fuchs, who determined that wood with this pedigree should be used for stringed instruments, and it was Fuchs’ son, Gerald, who made the wood available to Blöchinger. It’s a great story that has resulted in some amazing instruments, and another reminder of the passion that guitar makers bring to their search for the best materials in the world. You can also read more about the history of the wood here.
This is the second of two instruments that Edmund Blöchinger built nearly side-by-side, using a flitch set of CSA for the back and sides, but using two different (and equally ancient) tops for each one. A couple of weeks before this instrument arrived, we had received the first of these, his “Dome” guitar with the sister set of back and sides to this pine, which itself has its own incredible back-story that you can read here. But let us turn to this pine-topped instrument, which is an entirely different marvel unto itself also with its own compelling background.