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PG's Brett Petrusek is On Location in Nashville, TN, for the 2010 Summer NAMM Show where he visits the Santa Cruz Guitar booth. In this segment, Santa Cruz's head luthier Richard Hoover shows us several of their models, including the OM, F Custom, 1929 OO, and 1934 D.
The 1929's design pays homage to the simple and elegant instruments made for players enduring the Great Depression of 1929. Vintage inspired appointments include scalloped bracing, a period correct script style logo done tastefully in Ivoroid and beautifully executed ebony pyramid bridge, bridge pins, tuner buttons, head-plate and fretboard. The rosette is an exercise in austere elegance with a rich tortoise ring nestled in a vintage Ivoroid border. It is made with a mahogany body, back, and sides and the neck is joined at the 12th fret.
In the 1920's, the Orchestra Model was originally intended to be a large guitar capable of being heard over other orchestral instruments, hence the OM name. Although it fit the bill, its relatively large body was soon eclipsed by the mighty dreadnought. Fortunately, the OM had secured its place in history as a powerful and versatile voice for public performance. Santa Cruz was among the first modern builders to reintroduce this now smaller bodied favorite at the beginning of the Eighties. Their practice of combining the most desirable attributes of old and new, rather than copying, made for a very successful introduction of the Santa Cruz Guitar Company to a whole new audience. The OM provides clean, loud mid-range and trebles that are complimented by a slightly predominate bass. It features an Indian rosewood body, Sitka spruce top and the neck joins the body at the 14th fret.
The secret to the often superior tone of vintage instruments lies in aged woods (crystallized resins) and the relaxation of tensions built-in during manufacture. This is exactly what we account for in our 1934 D Model. Brazilian rosewood cut in the 1930's, Adirondack spruce top and bracing from the same era and real hot hide glue, that sets glass-like and resonant, give us the foundation for an authentic vintage sound. By applying our singular tuning and voicing talents and taking our time to ensure a relaxed assembly, we consistently access the secrets to the 'Old Bone' sound. The original lacquer formula, nitro-cellulose, is composed of the same stuff as trees; we are protecting and enhancing the sound of the instrument with a fine coating of wood! It is the only choice to complement this heirloom quality guitar.