A slight departure from my usual, very traditional instruments. This was a commission, and the customer had a number of ideas that he wanted incorporated into his guitar. Amongst these were a 22 fret fingerboard, also with a zero fret. This called for a different approach to the soundhole, which is elliptical in shape, and off-centre. The headstock is an asymmetric design similar to one I’ve used a few times before, which I thought would work well with the contemporary look of the guitar. The scoop cutaway is not a new idea, but I’ve wanted to try one for a while. It has most of the advantages of a full cutaway in terms of access to the higher fret positions, but it interferes less with the aesthetics of the guitar, and has a negligible impact on the tone.
The bridge has slightly tapered wings – not significant in terms of how the bridge works, but again aimed at fitting in with the design of the guitar.
The changes in the design of the guitar were all carefully considered in order to minimise any impact on the tone of the guitar, and the critical areas of the construction are largely unchanged. I was still slightly anxious about how the guitar would perform, but once the strings were fitted it was very quickly apparent that the guitar worked very well, and in fact particularly well in some respects, having a lot of what I refer to as “presence”, although I have difficulty defining exactly what I mean by that!