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Blog // Sounds
May 5, 2005

Audacious Luthiery II

A short while back I made some comments on a new and inexperienced guitar maker who was charig exhorbitant prices for new guitars. To guage some other opinions, I started a thread on the Gear Page forum. Today, I added some more developed thoughts on the subject, particularly addressing the claim that making a guitar […]

A short while back I made some comments on a new and inexperienced guitar maker who was charig exhorbitant prices for new guitars. To guage some other opinions, I started a thread on the Gear Page forum. Today, I added some more developed thoughts on the subject, particularly addressing the claim that making a guitar body is not all that different from any other form of woodwork.

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Responses
Toni 18 years ago

Interesting thread. I commented on your last post about this, but I’ve a feeling it didn’t take.

It’s certainly true that there’s more than *craft* to lutherie – there are enough good playing CNC made guitars out there to prove that. And there’s more to lutherie than precision – there are enough scruffy but great sounding guitars to prove that.

Seems to me that it’s a combination of many factors. Precision is certainly required, but more than that, an ability to find the tone in things, have an appreciation of mechanical and electric engineering and an eye for colour and line.

It strikes me that the guitar manufacturer in question could well have all those things. If he came to it with the woodworking skills and as a player that already looked after his own guitars then he should be capable of making an excellent instrument first time. Being a small builder, he’d also be careful to pick decent resonant woods, rather than join the odd couple of bits together so that he’ll extract max profit from the bulk timber he bought. IIRC the instrument on display was a ‘Tele’. Possibly the easiest instrument to make.

I *think* that if my woodworking skills were good enough and I could find the right wood then I could make a better guitar than any standard production instrument first go. The requirements are as obvious to me as they are to you. But I’m only a ‘carpenter’, not a cabinet maker.

f 18 years ago

It looks like your comments did make it to the other post…

…chosing woods is one of the issues I do have in mind. The whole question of resonance and tone is really something unique to musical instrument making and in my view is an essential skill to luthiery that does not come easily.

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