Guidelines & Opinions

I will take you through the order form and help you make your choices. You do not have to make any final decisions until the time I am ready to begin making your guitar, which is currently 3 years. 

Do you want a Classical or Flamenco? This is probably the easiest decision but here is something to think about. If you play a variety of styles such as classical, jazz, popular music, Latin classical, or flamenco, the most versatile guitar is my flamenco negra model. My most popular negra model is made with Indian rosewood back and sides and top wood (soundboard) of European spruce. Classical guitars have a full rich tone and can certainly play all styles, but the most noticeable difference is apparent when strumming or playing rasqueados. The rich and desirable overtones of the classical guitar make “muddy” sounding rasgueados whereas my flamenco negra’s rasgeuados are crisp and clean.

Top Wood:
Much has been written about the differences between Western red cedar and spruce. Generally, cedar top guitars sound good right away and improve slightly with age and playing. Spruce top guitars need time and good, strong, regular playing, throughout the fingerboard to “open up” and develop in sound. Usually a significant improvement can be noticed in six months to two years with the reward being worth the effort! 

About 80% of the guitars I make have tops of European spruce.

Back and Sides:
The list here is in order of wood density. Cypress’ are light and give a bright, clear tone, immediate and percussive. Rosewoods are denser giving the guitar more depth of tone, with fuller richer sounds. Most of my flamenco guitars are made with Indian rosewood or Spanish cypress. The guitars I made for Sabicas were all Spanish cypress. Paco de Lucia plays and records with both my Indian rosewood negra and Spanish cypress models. Vicente Amigo records exclusively with my negra guitars. [ Watch Video of Vicente Amigo playing one of his DeVoe guitars ]

Each wood combination has its own appeal, character and personality. For recording and concerts Ottmar Liebert has 2 guitars with back and sides of rosewood with cedar tops and pegs.

Brazilian rosewood is unmatched in richness and depth of tone as well as beauty of color and grain. My stock of Brazilian rosewood is very old, reclaimed, some from an old church window, and pre-embargo, but no matter how old or dry, Brazilian rosewood is likely to develop hairline cracks, which do not affect the sound but should be expected. For sales in the U.S.A. only. 

I have a superb stock of Spanish cedar neck wood.

Check availability at time of construction.

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