I started building guitars professionally in late 2007 and have always focused on just one model -- an analogue to the Orchestra Model (OM). This model has had three very different iterations:
- OM (2004 - 2009)
- Modern OM (2009 - 2012)
- Model One (2012 - present)
(2009-2020) — During these years, I outsourced my polyester finish to expert finisher, Joe White.
(2021-present) — All finish work is done in-house with an ultra-thin urethane coating. Fit & Finish
The construction quality of my early work was very good. There were aspects that needed improvement but overall, I believe the guitars were noticeably better than what most high-end factory brands produce. Over the years, the build quality improved at a slow but steady rate. Many processes were modified/refined and allowed me to improve the quality of my work. In addition, the many thousands of hours of experience allowed me to hone my woodworking skills with both hand tools and power tools. It has taken me years of dedication (and a bit of OCD
) to get to this point but I can honestly say that the fit and finish of my current work is as good as it gets. Tone
Sound is a very subjective thing and very difficult to discuss without a point of comparison. My early work sounded very good. The volume was excellent and my guitars were vibrant and responsive. They had a big, open sound and were Lowdenesque in terms of their timbre. Early on, I think my biggest struggle was obtaining a fat treble response. In late 2009, I introduced my Modern OM guitar model. Tonally speaking, this design was a radical departure from my previous work and my focus shifted to a much more articulate and balanced sound with a fatter treble response. I have since continued to refine my work and elevate my guitars to the highest level. Design
The aesthetics of good design might seem obvious but let me assure you - it is easy to build an ugly guitar! I think that I have always had a sophisticated design sense but recognizing good design and creating it are two entirely different things. I have always tried to walk my own creative path and I credit that decision with helping me to grow as an artist. Over the years and through myriad design iterations, I have gained an understanding of what does and doesn’t work well in the context of a guitar. In particular, proportions and overall design coherence are incredibly important to me. I lean towards a clean, modern style and have a body shape and supporting elements (headstock, bridge, rosette, neck/heel, etc.
) that work well within that aesthetic. Prototype Guitars (2004-2007)
I built a number of what I call prototype guitars while I was still a novice/amateur builder. The build quality was decent but inferior in many respects to your typical Martin or Taylor. I was primarily concerned with gaining experience rather than making perfect instruments, especially since I was not charging anything for my time. All of these guitars were sold at material cost plus a couple hundred dollars for shop expenses. You can easily recognize my prototypes because of their unusual looking pinless bridge design. I have noticed that a few of these guitars have been bought and sold several times over the years and have watched the asking price increase dramatically. My only concern is that these prototypes are sometimes referenced as being a good deal in comparison to what my current guitars sell for. I want to make it clear that these early guitars are in no way representative of my current instruments nor are they covered under warranty.