Matthew Chaffin is an American luthier based out of Michigan. His focus is on traditional guitar design, and he draws his greatest inspiration from the great historical Spanish makers – Antonio de Torres, Santos Hernandez and Domingo Esteso among others. His goal is to create a lightweight, responsive and lyrical instrument with a classic, tasteful aesthetic.
For this beautiful instrument, Matt used Englemann spruce for the soundboard, and braced it with a seven fan design similar to Torres. The rosette (and head inlay) features a design with a "square wave" motif, a favorite of Domingo Esteso. The dramatic-looking flamed red maple used for the back and sides (and head veneer) has been in Matt's possession for about 10 years and was acquired from a Michigan supplier - so it's a native wood to Matt's locale which is a nice touch. The sound is at once firm and refined, clean and stable, at times reminiscent of a Hauser style instrument, yet also open and charming, with an eager willingness to be pushed hard. Despite its ability to achieve great volume, balance between bass and treble remains excellent, with neither ever overpowering the other. Playability is also top-notch, with its smooth neck shape and easy action allowing for long playing sessions without exhausting the hands. The guitar is easy to play (thanks partly to the 640mm scale length) and has all the power any concert player could need. We're excited to be representing this fine maker here at GSI, and find this particular guitar to be a remarkably mature, tastefully restrained example of modern American luthiery.