A special Cedar/Amazon rosewood lattice

I have been fantasizing for a few years about using one of the special extra dark Amazon rosewood sets in my collection so building this guitar has been a real experience. It has also proved to be hard to fill and finish in the traditional way, I needed a few healthy months to get a thick flat shellac film (I really don’t want to deliver those superficial finishes that burn and flake off after 2 weeks of use)

The title is lattice braced but the soundboard is actually in the traditional range of thicknesses while the spruce lattice is discreet in influence. The body of the guitar however is stiff and heavy as I believe this is the right alternative (NB alternative, not replacement) to the traditional light build.

Other details are Brazilian rosewood bridge, armrest and internal elements, Sipo mahogany elevated neck, African blackwood fingerboard with stainless steel frets, Gotoh premium tuners and an unobtrusive yet slightly beneficial soundport.

Below the (many) photos, two beautifully played videos took mid-way during the polishing process.

A double top prototype

One of my composite soundboard prototypes which came to completion during the pandemic. Alpine spruce outer, balsa core, cedar inner, Indian rosewood body, Brazilian rosewood bridge, ebony binding and armrest. As always I did not design this for absolute volume/boom but a blend of tonal quality, sustain and projection. I was very pleased with the result: quality, singing trebles, low nasality, natural tone.

#74 Traditional with modern features

Celebrating the aquisition of “marianguitars.com” with a post ūüôā This is my number 74 delivered in spring 2021. Hauser engine but with an elevated neck and armrest, Alpine spruce, old Rio bridge, ABW fingerboard, Madagascar rosewood body. Fortunate to have Dragos Ilie in town for a test run.

First elevated neck

My first elevated neck guitar! ¬†While it doesn’t seem to make a tremendous difference in playability (at least for my hands/skill) there are several constructive aspects that make me wish I had started doing it sooner.

Red cedar soundboard, lattice braced, muninga bridge
Indian rosewood body and headplate, mahogany binding
Spanish cedar neck with African blackwood fingerboard, Gotoh premium tuners.

Recording is made with just a shellac seal coat on the soundboard, fresh uncured nitro back and sides, carbon strings (fresh as well thus going out of tune)

 

Cedar – Indian rosewood with new bracing

Red cedar soundboard braced in a new pattern that resembles Friederich.
Indian rosewood body, binding, headplate and Brazilian rosewood bridge
Spanish cedar neck with ebony fingerboard.

 

Raw recording made before french polishing. The guitar has a deep bass with focused trebles, a type of cross between a traditional fan sound and Bouchet.

Red cedar / Madagascar rosewood

-red cedar soundboard with modified Bouchet bracing
-Madagascar rosewood bridge, back and sides
-Very old African mahogany neck with African blackwood headplate and fingerboard, Gotoh Premium tuners.

 

 

Raw recordings made before french polishing:

 

 

 

New wood

Showing off some exciting recent additions to my wood stock.

-2 sets of very dark and tight Amazon rosewood. It is the first time I see this variety (99% of it seems to be the lighter, reddish sort). Under finish it will make a gorgeous dark, almost black chocolate.

-a set of straight grain, quartered ziricote, something increasingly difficult to find these days. The tap tone is better than I expected, not Brazilian rosewood-metallic but still sustaining. I imagine the sound should be a bit like Indian rosewood.

-3 sets of fantastic bubinga, deep dark red and perfectly quartered, full of silk end to end. This tree must have had a humongous (and very regular) diameter.