New Instrument Review
August 19, 2002
SCGC Vintage Artist
© Frank Ford, 2002; Photos by FF
In the last generation, there's only been one tree like it. It was a huge mahogany tree that was discovered in Honduras in the 1960s, but its location was so remote that it took about ten years for it to be moved to a sawmill and cut for export. It's special because the rare "quilted" figure was spread through so much of the tree, and the figure was so much more pronounced than anyone had seen. Some time in the early 1980s, pieces of this unusual wood started to enter the luthier community, and even now, pieces occasionally surface. A few months ago I received an e-mail notification from Allied Lutherie in Healdsburg that they had acquired a couple of small boards originally cut from this remarkable tree. After milling it into guitar backs and sides, Allied ended up with enough to make 28 guitars. I was lucky enough to get there in time to grab my pick and I bought ten sets on the spot. In case you're interested, the wood sells for the same price as premium Brazilian rosewood.
Gryphon sent the wood for this set to Santa Cruz, and they made us a dandy guitar from it. It's their "Vintage Artist" dreadnought, and it sounds terrific. The guitars made from this special wood have a reputation for sounding extra good because it is some of the most hard and dense genuine mahogany. This particular guitar sold immediately to the first customer who saw and played it. . .
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