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A close look at acoustic design reveals artfully engineered contours that strike an ideal balance between structural strength and musical responsiveness.

As acoustic guitar players and makers, we use the term "flattop guitar" so often it may come as a surprise when careful investigation reveals the top and back of a guitar to be anything but flat. While an archtop guitar's dramatically sculpted top and back contours are obvious at first glance, signaling cello-like inspiration and construction, the subtle contours of our favorite flattops are equally critical for the structure and sound we love.

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