fine handmade stringed instruments

Design Philosophy

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While there are a range of tones at my disposal, my instruments still tend towards a signature sound. I place a premium on clarity, response, complexity, and brilliance. Of course, these words mean many different things depending on how you hear and our interpretation of words, but I’m shooting for an instrument feels good under the hands with strings that respond quickly, accurately, and evenly to a player’s touch. I want the instrument’s voice to further this interaction, with enough clarity so that every subtle nuance is conveyed to the listener(s) with a broad enough harmonic spectrum so that even if few notes are played the ones that sound are worth the listen. Of course, ample sustain and power figure strongly into making sure that it’s an experience each time the instrument is played. Generally speaking, between warm and bright tonal categorizations my instruments tend to fall into the bright category, providing more of a ‘modern’ sound but not straying too far from traditional tone and timbre.

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Aesthetically I aim to strike a compromise between traditional and modern styles and sensibilities, although I can take great liberties in either direction according to your preference. Left to my own devices however, I’m looking to create a unified look and feel for each instrument, tying my wood choices, rosette and binding/purfling schemes, inlay designs and instrument contours all together into an instrument chock full of attractive details that all work together to create an attractive singular work. I’m also a fan of ‘letting the wood speak for itself’ and enjoy coming up with schemes that really show off the beauty and tremendous variety of woods at my disposal.

I offer a number of the more recent designs and innovations that have developed recently such as side sound ports, integrated armrest bevels, carbon-fiber neck and bracing reinforcements, fully-adjustable necks, and nomex honeycomb-core composite top constructions. While I’m fast to adopt some advances I still aim to make sure my instruments will hold up over the years and be repairable down the road, so I use traditional hot hide glue for a majority of the construction and prefer nitrocellulouse lacquer or a french polish of shellac for its’ beauty and repairability. I’m also particularly mindful about the effects of humidity and string tension on the long-term stability of wooden stringed instruments so many of my bracing, design, and construction techniques are centered around ensuring a long lifetime of tone and playability.

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