Custom processing of 6 steel strings Dreadnought guitar.


An existing cheap acoustic guitar of Dreadnought type manufactured in the Far East was almost completely redesigned according to the customer’s wishes to improve its acoustic qualities.


The reason for this decision (instead of making a new guitar) was a well made and extremely robust base design (back, sides and neck) allowing relevant changes in that sense to be made.


Of course, adjustments and adaptations were made at the base structure, namely new bracing on the back (the original was with errors and deviations), changing the angle at the neck/body joint (because of the new, more convex shape of the top plate) etc. The reconstruction of an old house is more difficult than building a new one, but sometimes the result is worth the effort...



In addition to the new back bracing vertical support fingers on the ribs were fixed as well as curly maple back side graft.


At the upper rib near the neck 35 mm sound port was opened.


The shape of the head of the guitar is recast, fitted with the new tuning machines "Gotoh" type.


The Luthiers Centre


The entire top plate was changed with a new one including the new internal bracing.


The material used for the top plate is a quarterly split Alpine spruce (European Spruce), naturally dried for 12 years. The material for the whole bracing is again quarterly split local spruce naturally dried over 70 years. The exception is the bridge plate made of seven years dried maple.


The overall concept of bracing the top plate is called High X brace (pre-war vintage Martin style) with serious adoptions from the re-voiced Taylor bracing design (so far considered by us to be the best achievement for Dreadnought steel string guitar).


The Luthiers Centre


The final acoustic adjustment of the top plate was made in accordance with the specific physical features of the material, acoustic studies of Chladni (Chladni's pattern), and the modern concept of complex vibrations of the whole acoustic instrument, not a juxtaposition of vibration of its individual parts.


The frequency adjustments of the top and back board are interconnected and consistent with the own resonant frequency of the volume of air contained in the body.


Inlay, purfling and binding on the top plate was made entirely of wood in a traditional prewar "herringbone" Martin design.


The old fretboard was replaced with a new one made of solid Gabonese ebony, 12” radius. The new frets are made of stainless steel. Mounted dots on the fretboard are positioned in an arc, made of Mother-of-pearl, and those on the edge of the fretboard are phosphorescent.


The Luthiers Centre


The new bridge is also made of the same ebony, with a special light design, consistent with the acoustic and mechanical features of the new instrument.


The six pins holding the strings at the bridge are also made of ebony, with slots fitted to the diameter of each individual string.


Compensated upper and lower nut and saddle are made of black buffalo horn. The face plate of the head is made of maple burl, the purfling and binding repeat the style of those on the top plate plus a discrete custom made inlay.


Installed strings are .011 - .054, a combination between Martin and Boston strings, silver-plated steel (silvered steel), phosphor-bronze and bronze 80/20.


The Luthiers Centre


Finish on the back, sides and neck is black acrylic gloss lacquer with a slight golden shade around the edges and on the top plate and the head plate - natural shellac applied by hand (French polish, mat).


In the sound hole of the guitar is fitted a removable (and adjustable) magnetic humbucking adapter of Dean Markley Pro Mag Grand, of which the output goes to the guitar strap jack socket.


The guitar was completed late last year and already enjoyed by its owner. Materials and labor put this guitar in the price category of Taylor's 700 Series, but according to side views (based on audition replay and direct comparison with considerable number of Taylor guitars) the result is better.


The Luthiers Centre


No doubt Martin, Taylor and other manufacturers can produce such or even better guitar, but that would be the work of their Custom Department and the price tag will be a five digit number.


We are not attaching sound sample of this guitar due to difficulties in real sound reproduction (except through studio monitors), but in case of interest we can provide such.



Project TLC


June 2016
An existing cheap acoustic guitar of Dreadnought type was almost completely redesigned according to the customer’s wishes to improve its acoustic qualities.