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Gallery: 2016 Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration

Showcasing hundreds of drool-worthy, handcrafted instruments, a new U.S. guitar show makes its successful debut.

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Maudal Musical Machines

Martin Maudal is still prototyping his instruments, but his unique designs are intended to bridge the world of electric 6-strings and acoustic resonator guitars. Here’s how the California based-luthier describes his sonic vision: “I’ve been hearing the sound of a Strat with its switch in position 2 or 4 combined with a biscuit reso cone in my head for ages now. We’ll see if it’s as bitchin’ as I've been hearing in my head.” A 16-minute YouTube video, The Luthier Martin Maudal shows the luthier at work, and also features music played live on his hybrid guitars.
M3 Guitars

The inaugural Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration was held September 29 to October 2 in sunny coastal California. The event brought hundreds of top luthiers and players who displayed their craftsmanship, gave seminars, and held intimate concerts. The Earl Warren Showgrounds served as a fitting venue, as in decades past it hosted concerts from such acts as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Beach Boys, the Doors, Cream, the Grateful Dead, and Janis Joplin.

The show pulled widely from Canada and Europe, with heavy representation from the U.S. West Coast. Also on sale were top-grade woods, inlay materials, and custom bindings. Luthiers were open with their time, and many fans enjoyed hearing builders talk shop. Among the visitors was Santa Barbara resident and guitar pickup guru, Seymour Duncan, who could be seen checking out all the beautiful instruments on display.