An all-mahogany guitar!?… Really?… Why?
All-mahogany guitars have an incomparable sound. Mahogany has been used in instruments for quite some time. Normally, it is used for backs, sides, and necks on guitars. I’ve only seen five or six all-mahogany guitars in my life and four of them are ones that I’ve made right here, at Hart’s Guitars. I love the tone of mahogany and the bass-y well-roundedness of those instruments. I have three guitars I cherish and adore….. and every single one of them is an all-mahogany guitar.
All-mahogany guitars, distinctiveness, and more.
We can’t produce entry-level, budget guitars.
I really never plan to make guitars anyone can buy in a big box music store. Factories churn out instruments so easily that there are literally millions of guitars in stores right now that are: pretty, decently playable, and cheap. So, if you’re shopping for a first time guitar but somehow landed on my website, I’m sorry to say the economical cards are stacked against me. I just won’t have anything to offer you.
If you need a first-timer guitar, just Google search or go to any Guitar Center with $300 and you’ll find one to be satisfied with. Most likely that price is including a case or a gig bag. You might even go home with some change in your pocket! I cannot compete with that. Indeed I would lose myself on a fool’s errand quickly if I even try to make a budget factory guitar clone. I have none of the tooling, infrastructure, or skilled labor they have. I’m stuck with making hand-made, single-edition artisan instruments with old-fashioned hand tools.
Hart’s Guitars sells artstruments.
What sort of guitars do I make? The only kind of guitar I will ever make is the one that has no equal anywhere else in the world. My passion is making single-production, 100% unique, inimitable art-struments. This is not meant to come across as high-brow, cocky exceptionalism even though I can see how it could if read out of context from my entire blog writing content. There’s a simple explanation for why I created this term to describe Hart’s Guitars products.
My ideal client is the discriminating buyer seeking something undeniably special to add to their most cherished possessions. If you’re looking for a truly unique guitar for yourself, a special someone, or to add to your impeccable collection, then I may have something available for you. If I don’t currently have something you want but you can tell my style is right for you, I am open to doing custom builds specifically for your needs (as long as your needs don’t include replicating a factory guitar that’s already been done).
On to the topic at hand
This particular guitar (number 015) is perhaps the pure embodiment of my building philosophy. It is the intersection of art and science. Under the hood, traditional building techniques are the strong motor and chasis of this machine. The exterior form is shaped asymmetrically using the Golden ratio as much/wherever as possible. It’s a design I’ve created myself using straight edge, compass, and french curve templates. I’m obviously a fan of Victorian voluptuous design. This guitar will cuddle with you.
- Back, top, sides: Mahogany
- Binding: flaming Maple
- Fretboard: Padauk
This guitar has a clear, warm, and full tone. It’s malleable to many playing styles and thus suitable for singer-songwriters, couch to porch guitarists, jazz musicians, and classical players wanting a non-traditional classical (nylon string) guitar. Let’s dive in a little….
The loudest guitars are steel-string dreadnoughts with spruce tops and those are the best if you’re going down to the campfire kegger hootenanny to play with 17 other pickers (who also have loud spruce-top dreadnoughts or banjos which are even louder). This guitar has been adorned with all mahogany and nylon strings, giving the instrument a completely unique tone and use case, well-suited for use by solo players/singers or with smaller numbers of more finessed playing. Of course, you can have a pickup installed later and then it could be suitable for playing loudly at your first MerleFest or Bonaroo performance.
This guitar has lovely, balanced sustain, meaning that the decay time for a given note or chord held is lengthy. I attribute this to the thicker than normal mahogany top plate and taller bracing underneath.
Sometimes instruments will produce more volume at different fret ranges on the neck or sometimes one or two open strings might produce louder volumes even when these notes are given the same force when played. This guitar has a decidedly even output all up and down the fretboard and with all open notes as well. This is because of the thick top and tall bracing that also produce the sustain mentioned above.
Does an instrument produce more output in the bass, in the treble, the bass and treble, midrange only, or is there a broad tonal balance? Some of my favorite guitars that I’ve made have a lot of emphasis in the bass range. That’s because, personally, I do love a heavy bass tone because I like to play jazz chords while using my thumb to mimic walking notes a bass player might play. While this guitar does produce a very nice bass range, it is not stronger than the other ranges. This one has a demonstrably even distribution making it great for singing strummers and finger-pick blues and jazz players alike: appropriate lows, even mids, and crisp highs.
I acquired this wood from Carlton McClendon’s Rare Woods and Veneers right here in Atlanta. If you’ve never been, you owe it to yourself to check them out if you have any need for top-shelf wood for your home or woodworking projects. Plan on staying a couple of hours! You will.
Kasha-style bracing? what the…..?
Underneath the soundboard, I have used a bracing style invented by Dr. Michael Kasha in the 1970s. Here is a link to this unusual approach at soundboard bracing. There are very, very few guitars around with this style of bracing because it adds a lot of extra time to the process. But, it produces an evenness in the soundboard and an overall unique quality, adding one more detail to this instrument which makes it rare. I’ve attached a “deep dive” .pdf at the end of this article for anyone wanting more info on classical guitar bracing styles.
It almost looks like a city in there
A Deep dive into classical guitar bracing styles
Other items for sale
Art pieces for sale
When I’m not gluing together pieces of wood into a guitar, I like to paint and make things with wood. I have a few items for sale.
Paintings $130 – $420 some with and some without frames. If interested please e-mail me.