2014 Flamed Koa/Bearclaw Spruce


Every three or four years I make a point of building something I want to build - it's a nice departure from commissions. I have had this set of Koa since 1998, knowing at some point I would pair it with the right spruce top. The spruce is from British Columbia, and is beautifully quartered and covered with haselfichte figure. These areas are essentially small areas of end grain, and add an additional element of stiffness to the top. It is extremely difficult to plane, but the results are worth it, not just for the aesthetic component of the guitar, but also for what it contributes to the sound.

Finished in the last days of 2014, the sides are laminated with Port Orford cedar, and have elliptical sound holes in them. Koa is in the same family (Acacia) as Tasmanian Blackwood, the prized wood for classical guitars of many Australian makers. Sometime in the first few months of working with Bob Ruck he showed me an instrument he had built for his wife. The back and sides were a stunning set of Koa, and since that day I had been wanting to build a Koa guitar. I am really impressed with the sound of Koa; there is a special warmth and clarity to the sound. This wood is becoming more rare and precious, especially flamed and wide enough for two piece backs. All of the materials used in this guitar have been in my shop for many, many years.

The action is set a hair below 4mm and 3mm and I will supply another saddle for a bit lower action. The guitar can be played at my shop in San Diego County. A very beautiful and powerful instrument with a wide timbral range. Shipping is included. No international sales. You can see how this instrument was built by following the thread at
Delcamp Classical Guitar Forum.

You can hear the instrument by following this link: 'Evocation' by Carlos Rafael Rivera

Here are the specifications:

  • 645mm Scale Length
  • Flamed Koa Back and Sides
  • Bearclaw Englemann Spruce Top
  • Spanish Cedar Neck
  • African Ebony Fingerboard
  • Brazilian Rosewood Bridge
  • Curly Maple Bindings
  • Torres Tribute Gold Pearl Rosette
  • Brazilian Rosewood Head Relief Carved and Stippled
  • Gotoh Deluxe Tuners
  • All French Polished
  • Hiscox PRO-II Case
  • Price $8300 Includes Insured Shipping








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