Last week I started a new category here on Zoomstart called Whatsis. It’s just a place to talk about cool and interesting stuff. Today I want to talk about acoustic guitars because I love sitting down and jamming on one of mine every once in a while.
Let me get this dumb joke out of the way first.
I play a little guitar. Actually, it’s a full size guitar. I just don’t play it that often.
What Makes A Great Guitar
There are only two things that you need to make a great guitar:
- Great craftmanship
- Great tone woods
If there were one more thing that makes a great guitar I would say it is time. Over time, if you keep your guitar stored properly, the wood ages well and the sound gets sweeter. This means keeping it clean and storing it where it won’t get too cold or too warm, and where the humidity is stable (not too dry and not too damp).
I have two guitars. One is an Ovation Custom Legend. It’s a beautiful guitar and it’s better quality than the ones they’re making now. I bought mine back when they were still putting hand-carved walnut bridges on them. It’s a shallow body so there’s not much bass, but it sounds great plugged in.
My other guitar … my first guitar, is a Samick. My Samick SW-115 has a laminate top and was made in Korea. Basically it’s a budget plywood guitar made before Samick hired Greg Bennett to do a complete makeover on their guitar lines and move them into a higher quality market.
I paid 200 bucks for my plywood Samick and I love it. It’s aged well. The best thing about it is I can take it to the beach and not care if it comes home full of sand and covered in hamburger grease.
Michael Greenfield lives in Montreal Quebec and he crafts what are some of the best guitars being built today. He only makes 12 guitars a year.
Every guitar he makes is hand crafted using the best tone woods available; Aged Brazilian Rosewood, Honduras Mahogany, Big Leaf Maple, European Spruce and others. The wood for each guitar is selected for that specific guitar and he assembles them with animal hide glue which has been used by master craftsmen for centuries to build the finest instruments.
Even though Greenfield guitars are made using many techniques of the traditional masters, they have some amazing modern design features. Check out the beveled armrest in the picture.
He really is making the Stradivarius of guitars. It’s so hard to find craftsmanship like this in anything today. If you want one, you can only buy them through his selected dealers like 12th Fret and The Music Emporium.
Check out Michael’s website. You can see how he makes a guitar from start to finish with the online shop tour. He also has audio clips and a gallery of musicians like Don Alder, Melissa Greener and Keith Richards who love his guitars.