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Testimonials

“Dear Sir,
A few months ago I placed my first order with you and built my very first guitar. Ovangkol back and sides with sitka top.
I have been a craftsman for a number of years, rebuilding antique pianos, including making new soundboards and bridges, and decided to try my hand at guitars after buying a Taylor 814ce.
The results of my first attempt were surprising, to me and to others. Since I'm a bit "old-school" I built it entirey by hand, no table saw, router, joiner etc. (I did use a driss press!). I have already received requests for custom made guitars, and from a store interested in selling them.
It really helped to find quality supplies, all in one place, so I could start this experiment - which may just turn out to be my next and final career.
Many Thanks.
ps. I have just placed a second order so I can start making a few more......”

- Jon Ballard

Tops - Tonewood

TOPScategoryPageWith the old-growth forests disappearing, wood of the highest quality is getting harder to find. Despite this we take care to obtain the best materials available. This is especially true of our topwoods.
There are a myriad of factors that determine the final tone of an instrument but the top is where most of a luthier’s effort is focused. Many people point to Torres’ experiment of building a guitar with a paper mache back and sides to show how important the soundboard is in tone production. We have hundreds (if not thousands) of soundboards of varying grades in our warehouses with most of our stock being in the AA and AAA range.
A word on grading: With only one in a hundred (or more) tops receiving a Master grade, they are very rarely in stock. We consider our AAA grade stock as our best and we always have good stocks. AAA’s are chosen for stiffness across the top, straight grain, quartersawn, even color and good annular ring spacing. Some of the factors moving a top into AA are slightly wider ring spacing, mild color variation, or lack of silk or medullary rays. These AA tops are great tops and are easily the best bargain in each of our top species. In A grade there may be a bit of runout, lack of stiffness across the grain, or some visible cosmetic flaw.

Tops Dimensions
Wood Grading article
Soundboard quality terms