The 40 years of experience of building custom made guitars has taught me that indicating various dimensions regarding playability is not very useful. The starting points for me are more or less familiar standardized sizes, but hence always focused on the personal wishes of the customer. That is why I do not describe specific dimensions on the website.
The construction of the top, the heart of the guitar, is based on different designs. I build different types of Tops. A traditional fan bracing or a derivative thereof or a further developed double-top construction. The difference is a matter of taste. You can't speak of better or worse here. In the past I have experimented a lot with new modern materials such as carbon and nomex. I stopped doing this because you always hear this in the sound color of the instrument and I don't like this at all. I only use natural materials now.
I use different models for making a bridge. For a Torres-like guitar I use a traditional model. For the other nylon-string models I make a bridge based on the model John Gilbert used for his classical guitars. I have further developed this model with the main difference being that the bridge is asymmetrical and therefore fits better with the asymmetrical bracing on the inside of the guitar. I also designed the bridge asymmetrically for the steel string guitars so that it also fits better with the asymmetrical bracing on the inside of the guitar.
For most models I build both a Traditional Back or an Arched Back. The choice is purely aesthetic and depends on the wishes of the customer. I also can't say if one is better than the other, it's purely a matter of taste.
As standard I manufacture the Neck of Spanish Cedar with a thin layer of ebony veneer around it. The advantage of this is that the Neck does not have to be varnished and can be polished very high, which improves the playability infinitely.
I build an elevated Neck / Raised Fingerboard for almost all my models. This in combination with a semi-cutaway or an extra-large double cutaway greatly improves playability. But a normally standard neck set on is of course optional. An elevated Neck also slightly changes the angle of the strings relative to the Top. I myself am convinced that the absolute saddle-height has a greater influence on the final tonal character and quality of the instrument than the influence of an elevated neck. An adjustable neck would be the most ideal in this case. Maybe something for the future?
Semi – Cutaway and Double Cutaway
All my models can be equipped with a semi-cutaway or even with a Double Cutaway which both makes playability in the higher positions a lot easier than usual with an acoustic guitar. Especially when the guitar is equipped with more frets than usual, the semi-cutaway greatly increases the playability.
I was always hesitant to experiment with this, but to my surprise an extra soundhole does not affect the projection of the sound at the front of the guitar here either. It is very pleasant for the player to be able to hear himself more clearly. I completely adjust the placement of the extra sound hole to the wishes of the player. This is related to the positioning of the guitar when playing. The placement of the sound hole is very important in determining how the player hears the instrument. The design of the sound hole is usually in accordance with or inspired by the inlay of the normal sound hole.
Integrated Leg Support
At the request of several guitarists, I have developed an integrated leg support. In principle, all my models could be equipped with this unique addition. All Leg Supports are custom made to customer requirements.
The rosettes I use for my guitars are usually inspired by existing symbols or well-known metrical figures. For example, my standard rosette is based on a Moorish motif that you can find in the woodcuts on the doors of the royal palace in Marrakesh in Morocco.
The guitar model with the double sound hole has a 3D inlay which is based on the famous infinity symbol.
I like to be open to personal suggestions from my customers.
For example, I designed various rosettes and inlays based on a symbol that represents a certain personal value for the customer. For example: the Triquetra symbol, the Unalome symbol and the orbit the sun makes around Venus.
Custom Rob Rodger machine heads are available for all my models. I strongly prefer this because of the quality of the machine heads and the design of the engravings are usually matched to the design of the sound hole inlay.
All the wood I use is at least thirty years old. It ranges from thirty to a hundred years old. I am the lucky owner of a large amount of old European Spruce and Cedar Tops and a very large stock of old Cites-certified Brazilian Rosewood.
For the finish, the customer can choose between French Polish or Cellulose lacquer. Or a combination of both, for example the Top French Polish and the rest Cellulose lacquer.