development kind of thing. You see the same
theme repeated in a lot of places on the guitar: stepped tailpiece, stepped fingerboard
inlays, stepped truss rod cover, peghead
inlay. To me, that’s just a good design and it
gives things an overall kind of homogeneous
look. And even though the guitar is pretty
highly adorned, it doesn’t look gaudy.
Some people don’t have that artistic sense.
They’ll stick this here, and they like this other
design so they’ll overuse that for some other
part of the guitar, and the parts don’t work
together. It’s like wearing a striped shirt, a
polka dot tie and checkered pants. The fact
that I have spent quite a bit of time making
sure all of the design elements work together
I think gives the guitars their overall pleasing
The craftsmanship, the attention to detail
and the consistency really separate your
guitars from other archtops. For example,
I’ve sold a lot of the new Gibsons lately
and some of them are much nicer than
other ones, especially with respect to how
straight the neck is. Some of them you cannot get the neck to lay flat straight. How
do you accomplish that?
I think Gibson is still using the old, bent,
single type of truss rod. I made a choice to
go with another type of rod a while back.
Because the [new] rod basically works as a
compression-type of rod, it works with the
wood and neck to move it. Any inconsistencies in the neck will come out in the action of
the rod. It’s an upside-down U-channel, open
along the bottom with a rod in the middle
of it. As you tighten up the nut – because
there is less material under the rod than there
is over it – the U-channel will make a nice,
smooth arc. This works independently of the
neck, and your chances are better for getting
a smooth arc with this type of rod.
I think Martin is using this type of rod now;
it’s actually not that new of a style – it has
been around for a while. It’s the one choice
I made that I think helps my guitars end up
with a good neck.
I once had an archtop that, when you
looked down the neck from the headstock,
you could tell the headstock was twisted,
and as you sighted down the neck, gradually the neck straightened out. Have you
ever had a problem ending up with something like that?
Layin’ it down with
( 212) 399-3414
The Nylon String OM
The perfect guitar for jazz
As a player, you will feel
Your audience will hear
Only available at the
Phoenix Guitar Company