Innovation or Tradition?When I speak to builders and players alike, a common theme that comes up is the juxtaposition between innovative and traditional approaches in guitar design and building. Quite honestly I believe this juxtaposition is arbitrary because innovation IS a tradition. I feel it's important to study the excellent work that has been done throughout the history of guitar making and to understand the underlying basis for that work. Only by having this foundation can opportunities for innovation and improvement be effectively evaluated. It should be recognized that there is no one "right" way to build a successful guitar. Many diverse approaches can yield successful results.
New materials and tooling not available to past generations of builders provide new opportunities for innovation. Using the latest state of the art materials and tools is what builders have been doing for generations. Of course just because something is new doesn't mean it's appropriate, and just because something has been done for years doesn't make it obsolete. In my building I use my own unique blend of new and old designs, methods and materials. I draw much inspiration from the designs and methods of the master Spanish builders including AntonioTorres, who himself was a great innovator. At the same time, I judiciously incorporate new materials such as carbon fiber and have developed new designs and methods based on well established structural and acoustic principles. My tributes to the past and future are described in more detail on the Features page.