I guess a little background would be in order. Let me say that I have been a lifelong fan of the guitar and have been playing from the ripe young age of 12. Although there were times that I put the guitar away for a few years, my love of the instrument endured.
In 2001, I opened an all acoustic guitar shop called Gilroy Guitar Gallery in Gilroy, CA. It was meant to feature very high quality acoustic guitars from several makers including Santa Cruz, Breedlove, McPherson, Taylor, Martin, Larrivee, Hill, Cordoba and many more. Gilroy Guitar Gallery was a premier dealer for most of the brands I carried. You can see the images of the store on this page.
In the five years I owned the shop I sold more than 1000 guitars to customers all over the world. I had literally 1000's of conversations about guitars with customers trying to ensure they were purchasing the right guitar for their needs. I also hosted more than two dozen concerts and clinics from a long list of amazing guitar players, including several Grammy winners. I had the opportunity to spend time with the artists and got a good insight as to their guitar preferences.
It was from these conversations that I learned a great deal about what people are looking for in a quality guitar. And while every player perceives different aspects of the guitar most important to them, a few stand out.
Everyone hears different things when they listen to the tone of the guitar. Some will say "That guitar is warm" while others say, "That guitar has a lot of bass". Two different ways of describing basically the same thing. Tone is the number one priority however. A beautiful but poor sounding guitar is simply a piece of art. I had very few customers looking for that.
During this time I visited all of the major manufactures facilities and observed the various construction methodologies. From small shops like Breedlove and Santa Cruz, to larger factories like Taylor, Martin and Larrivee. The difference between the two is staggering.
Given the opportunites I have had to play a large number of very high quality guitars I have taken what I consider the best of all of them without the constraints of any history or expectations and incorporate them into my guitars. Some builders are known for making historically accurate reproductions or models that can be produced in high volumes largely by machine. I have been able to start with a clean slate both from a design standpoint as well as a parts standpoint.
I build all my wood parts for my guitars including bridges and necks from scratch. Therefore I am not reliant on what I can buy on the open market but create exactly what I need for any possible custom order I receive. This has also allowed me to create an elegant looking guitar that is not a direct copy of anything else. In all honesty I currently purchase my fretboards serviced - which means they are radiused and slotted simply because they are available in the scale lengths I currently use. I do have the ability to handle different scale lengths however.
I have chosen to emulate three different popular guitar body sizes from three different makers. All three have been modified somewhat in dimension to enhance the tone of the instrument. I use the industry standard names for these models to help the customer understand their size and purpose. I currently make a Gibson 00 size model, a Martin OM/000 size model and a Taylor Grand Auditorium size model. I have generally added depth to each original design while making other minor modifications along the way. You can see these different models here.