Born near Freiburg, Germany Dominik Wurth spent his childhood in a small rural village at the foot of the Black Forest. In his earlier years, he learned to make guitars with the aid of books and from Sascha Nowak, who taught Dominik the basic techniques of traditional of guitar making. As Dominik progressed he eventually enrolled at Zwickau University, which is the world's only university offering the study of stringed instruments. He spent several years in the south of Spain, in a small Spanish village in the Alpujarras, near Granada where he interned with Andrés D. Marvi and then opened his own shop. Several years ago, he relocated back to Germany where he has been building guitars full time.
Of his work, he cites Antonio de Torres as his greatest influence and the first guitars he built for us were built on the basic Torres plan - seven fan struts in a domed top and a tunneled lower cross bar (below the soundhole) where the two outer struts run through. Other early influences include Daniel Friederich and Antonio Marin Montero. In recent years his style has become more personal, as a result of studying the instruments other great makers from the past. Indeed Dominik came to GSI shortly after we acquired the Cleveland collection, so that he could assess and evaluate a large number of fine instruments all at once. For this particular guitar, Dominik says the following:
"This cedar top has 5 fan braces. I am always looking for a darker color in the trebles and 5 braces are better for this than 7. Also I am using two small cross struts under the bridge and a tunneled harmonic bar beyond the soundhole like Torres. The Barbero models I’ve been building have helped me incorporate a lot of new ideas to my model, especially when it comes to the top thicknesses and the arrangement of the struts. Actually, I’ve been wanting all of my cedars to become less stiff so I’ve been reducing the top thickness step by step and adjusting the height of the cross bars under the bridge, resulting in a good compromise between warmth and clarity/brightness. Also by having a looser top I am getting a faster attack, something I’ve always wanted to improve upon. But I have not sacrificed sustain for attack and feel that this is a balance that I will stick with for my cedar top guitars for now, because the best guitar is always the next one."
Recently, Dominik has been employing a few new ideas in search of a more modern sound for his classical guitars to distinguish them from his traditional Torres models with their lush, loose, warm, and 'Old World' sound. One of these techniques is constructing the sides using three thin layers of wood. The result of this process adds more power to the whole guitar, similar to the widely accepted style of double-sided construction used by many luthiers but with the advantage less overall weight. He was so impressed with the results from the very first guitar he tried this on, that all subsequent guitars have used this same method. This guitar also features a compensated nut, another new development for this luthier, giving it excellent intonation, especially in lower registers.
To us, this guitar has improved responsiveness in all registers and a bigger, more robust sound all around with balance and excellent intonation. As with all his instruments, this guitar plays easy, has immediate attack with a lively, full sound behind it and is just overall a joy to play. Fantastic instrument in every regard.