Hidden quality and design

Unlike an electric guitar, much of the work that goes into an acoustic guitar is never seen by the customer- many components, joints, angles, sizes and shapes are hidden for ever when the guitar is assembled. Many of those items are fundamental to the sound of the guitar and to its long term reliability, but the customer will never be able to see for themselves the care and effort involved. That isn’t all – a lifetime of learning, experience, testing and investment is also invisible, and is probably even more important. An hours extra work on one guitar might add an hours value, but an hours thought will add to every guitar made thereafter. Thirty, forty, fifty years is a lot of time invested. It isn’t just the time spent in making the guitar that defines its worth.

The best timbers and finest workmanship are completely wasted without top quality design, and you don’t learn or improve anything by copying someone else’s work. Look at it and study it, even reinvent it, but don’t copy it. Stradivari violins are rightly regarded as a pinnacle of design and craftsmanship, but in reality, they are only a reference point, violin development did not stop there. If you slavishly copy the “perfect guitar” can the copy be any better? The designs are crucial, decades of experience and study, constantly testing the value of tiny refinements, using engineering and scientific principles within traditional frameworks.