Data-based building is nothing new in the acoustic-guitar world, but its impact continues to grow.
When I first took my stab at lutherie, I mostly did maintenance work. Fret work, bone nuts and saddles, and basic setups made up the bulk of my daily agenda. I was exposed to many great guitars, both acoustic and electric. And even though I played electrics out on the gig, my primary interest was always acoustic guitars. I was just obsessed with figuring out what made them tick. Once I moved into instrument making, I found it difficult to produce the concert-level quality instruments I had become so accustomed to in my repair days. I was inspired to take a more analytic approach to instrument making, which was ultimately an attempt to tighten-up the consistency, tone, and overall playing experience for my customers.
The science of instrument making is an extraordinarily interesting world. My studies began with basic data collecting, such as material strength and weights, until I eventually developed a spreadsheet to better track my builds and improve the sound quality of my guitars. Eventually, this approach introduced me to a whole culture of scientists and engineers that were pursuing the same passion, and they were very open to the exchange of information. This solidified my commitment to the field of voicing science, and vastly improved the quality of my instruments.
What we are experiencing today is an explosion in the study of sound. This is a revolution that has been decades in the making.
Over time, these methods have picked up steam, with most of today’s hand-builders adopting some level of voicing science to improve the outcome of their instruments. In the end, all of this is an attempt to unlock the methods of the finest luthiers, such as the violin makers building in the European tradition, makers such as Lloyd Loar, or even the Martin Guitar Company’s contributions from the mid-to-late 1930s.
But what we are experiencing today is an explosion in the study of sound. This is a revolution that has been decades in the making. My first exposure was in the ’90s when I met a classical guitar maker by the name of Richard Schneider, who worked alongside a physical chemist named Michael Kasha, who was not a luthier himself. Together, they teamed up and made many advancements in the science of sound. Another major push was the book Left-Brain Lutherie written by David C. Hurd, Ph.D. This is a great think-book that put most modern luthiers on the path of analytical guitar making. In our shop, this book was on the bench constantly, as it helped us maneuver through many tough questions about instrument acoustics. Most recently, Australian luthier Trevor Gore published Contemporary Acoustic Guitar Design and Build, which has been a go-to for most modern luthiers. Trevor is a talented builder, and his contributions will inspire many others to come.
Precision building is crucial for the best, most harmonically rich tops.
But what does this mean to you, the player? This is the question. In the early ’90s, us builders noticed a major improvement in the quality of builds in the micro-building market. This was mostly due to groups such as the Guild of American Luthiers and the Healdsburg Guitar Festival. These groups offered a platform for guitar makers to compare notes, and this information exchange vastly improved the qualities of their builds. About five years after that, we all noticed everyone’s building style and finish went through a major transformation. This illustrates why the dawn of voicing science is so important—the exchange of science and information improves instrument quality for everyone. This is what is happening now. All the serious makers are currently implementing techniques set into motion by the research of the past 40 years and are sharing their findings with the world.
These days, I am noticing a major improvement in the tone and the stability of acoustic instruments. One builder who stands out in my mind is Colorado luthier Michael Bashkin, whose OM classical guitar is a major play for tonal excellence. So, for you the guitar buyer, this is a very good time to be shopping around the custom-guitar market. There is no doubt we are experiencing the next level in guitar making. And it will only get better.
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Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.