Cumpiano steel-string "in-the-white" guitars

Choose one; I'll then finish it and send it off to you.
 

Browse down through the gallery, or go to our index where these guitars are sorted by size and type.

Click on the individual images to see them full size.

wrc 209 Ziricote
14-fret Thin Jumbo
 

For musicians who prefer the rich low-end that only a jumbo guitar can provide—yet find that most deep-bodied jumbo guitars are just too big to wrap your arms around comfortably—
I offer a soundbox scheme developed by New York city makers Ivon Schmukler and Matt Umanov during the 1960s. They took castoff Martin C-series arch-top, flat-backed guitars and replaced the old arched tops with new x-braced flat sound boards. The result was a guitar that was larger in width than anything on the market at the time, but with sides that were as narrow as 14- and 15-inch guitars of the time. A guitar that was large, with a large, deep and resonant sound, yet was less bulky to hold—was the result.

1/5

$4400.00 plus case and shipping 

Select Honduras mahogany

Matching ziricote/back-stripe marquetry

Master-grade Englemann spruce

Central American Ziricote

Matching Central American Ziricote

Ceylon Ebony

Zig-zag wood marquetry

White fiber line around body, sides and back

Central American Cocobolo

Chrome Gotohs

First ring: fine bwb lines; Second ring: Paua snail circle bordered with fine bwb lines

25.4 in.
(645 mm)

4 1/8 in.
(10.5 cm)

16 1/8 in.
(41 cm)

Thai rosewood

1 11/16 in.
(43 mm)

2 1/8 in.
(54 mm)

 
wrc 257 Indian Rosewood
Deep-bodied 12-fret 
Jumbo steel-string

​A guitar of impressive size! This is my own impression of the rare Martin 12-fret Dreadnaught template, which recalls the "bass guitars" CF Martin made for the Oliver Ditson Co. during the early 1930s. My own 12 fret jumbo guitars are not bass guitars though--although I have used the same template in the past for special-project four-string acoustic bass guitars. This standard-scale jumbo guitar is, however, deep, dark and resonant, a guitar with "broad shoulders." 


The configuration makes it suited for balladeering and Delta-blues picking. It's master-grade East Indian back and sides are nothing less than perfect in their straightness, uniformity and coloration,  The neck is slightly wider than the standard for larger hands.

 

$4600.00 plus case and shipping 

Select Honduras mahogany

Master-grade Kermode spruce

Master-grade East-Indian rosewood

Deep-curl broad-leaf maple

Ceylon Ebony

German Schaller chrome minis

Cocobolo with rosewood bridge pins, each w. brass-bordered pearl dot inlay

Std. 3-ring, bwb fine lines on outer ring; herringbone marquetry center ring

25.4 in.
(645 mm)

1 7/8 in.
(47.5 mm)

2 1/8 in.
(54 mm)

Herringbone marquetry on top;
bwb fiber lines on back 

Deep-curl broad-leaf maple to match binding

4 3/4 in.
(12 cm)

15 3/4 in.
(40 cm)

East Indian rosewood

Herringbone marquetry

wrc 264 Cocobolo
12-fret Grand concert size
steel string guitar

$4500.00 plus case and shipping 

One thing which factory production instruments can't offer and hand-builder can is to take care that the back AND sides are flitch-cut: that is, that both back and side plate slices are sequentially sawn out from a single original thick plank of tonewood.

 

From an aesthetic standpoint, certainly, this confers not only symmetry but also a visual integrity to the soundbox, one which is impossible to achieve in a mass-production setting. It is only one visible—among the many invisible—differences between artisanal and factory-made.

 
This particular guitar is an example of this: it has both sides and all three back-plates resawn from a single original plank of high-figure cocobolo. Further,, the fingerboard, bridge and headpiece veneer have all been made from rosewood to also achieve a frontal integrity. So this entire instrument is a fine example of a conscious exercise of color and grain balance and symmetry. 
 

1/4

Master-grade Kermode spruce

Select Honduras mahogany

Flitch-cut and matched Central American Cocobolo rosewood

Central American Cocobolo rosewood

bwb fiber lines bordering a flitch-cut Cocobolo rosewood center panel

Central American Cocobolo rosewood with ebony bridge pins each w. a paua center dot

Chrome Schaller minis for slotted peghead

Central American Cocobolo rosewood

Ring 1: fine bwb fiber lines:
Ring 2: herringbone marquetry circle

Central American Cocobolo rosewood

25.4 in.
(645 mm)

1 3/4 in.
(44.5 mm)

2 1/8 in.
(54 mm)

Rock maple

Top: herringbone marquetry
Back: black-white-black fiber lines

4-1/4 in.
(108 mm)

15 in.
(38 cm)

 

1/3

$3800.00 plus case and shipping 

25.4 in.
(645 mm)

Vertical-grain ("quartered") American Sycamore

Vertical-grain ("quartered") American Sycamore

Brazilian rosewood

Brazilian rosewood

None

Master-grade British Columbia Kermodie spruce

Chrome Gotoh minis

Brazilian rosewood with rosewood bridge pins, each w. brass-bordered abalone dot inlay

Brazilian rosewood

Ring 1: fine bwb fiber lines:
Ring 2: herringbone marquetry circle

Half-herringbone ("rope") marquetry on top;
bold wbwb fiber lines on back 

Vertical-grain ("quartered") American Sycamore

1-7/8 in
(47.5 mm)

2-5/16 in
(5.8 cm)

4 1/8 in.
(10.5 cm)

15-1/8 in.
(384 mm)

wrc 265
American Sycamore 
14-fret  
OM-style 

During a recent visit to a hardwood supplier, I came upon a number of American Sycamore planks. While the planks that were flat sawn were muddy and plain in color and figure—what was suprising was that planks that approximated vertical grain displayed the most impressive moiré patterns I had ever seen, and a wonderful display of burnt orange, auburn and pink colors.

     

The material's cost was modest, which was appealing, as was the fact that the wood tissue itself was exceedingly uniform in texture and density. This, in combination with its diffuse (microscopic) porous tissue, would make future finishing a far simpler task. But would its lack of familiarity within the field of guitars and among guitar customers render it a drag on its marketability? Upon looking up its reactivity (dimension change vs. ambient humidity change) and finding it very favorable,  I ventured to try the material.

     

I was very pleased with the results on my first Sycamore OM-style guitar, and the response of players has been so enthusiastic that I've been offering the material as an option on both steel string AND classic guitars ever since.

wrc 262
Honduras Mahogany
14-fret sweet scale
 
​​

 

 

$4200.00 plus case and shipping 

Select Honduras mahogany

Select Honduras mahogany

Master-grade British Columbia Kermodie spruce

Curly broad-leaf maple

Ceylon Ebony

Black and white mosaic marquetry

Top: black and white fiber lines

Ceylon ebony with ebony bridge pins, each w. brass-bordered abalone dot inlay

Wavery chrome tuner with butter bean knobs

Hiigh figure curly Hawaii koa

2-ring, one with herringbone circle

Brazillian rosewood

1-3/4 in.
(44.5 mm)

2-3/16 in.
(55.5 mm)

25.4 in.
(645 mm)

4-1/4 in.
(108 mm)

15-1/8 in.
(384 mm)

 
wrc 226-1
Brazilian rosewood
12-fret short scale
​​

 

$5100.00 plus case and shipping 

Select Honduras mahogany

Brazilian rosewood

Master-grade British Columbia Kermodie spruce

Brazilian rosewood

Ceylon Ebony

Herringbone mosaic marquetry

Top: black and white "rope" mosaic marquetry

Back: black and white fiber lines

Brazilian rosewood

Schaller chrome Minis

Brazilian rosewood

2-ring, one with herringbone circle

Brazilian rosewood

1 7/8 in.

47.5 mm.

2 1/8 in.

54 mm.

24.9 in.

632.5 mm.

4 in.

101.5 mm.

15 in.

381 mm.

 
wrc 251
African Blackwood
14-fret Deep OM
​​

 

$4200.00 plus case and shipping 

Select Honduras mahogany

Master-grade Englemann spruce

African blackwood
(Dahlbergia melanoxylon)

Curly Rock maple

Ceylon ebony

Macassar ebony

Paua snail shell strips

Half-herringbone ("rope") fiber lines

Paua snail shell strips

Macassar ebony w. ebony bridge pins with pearl dot and brass rings

Schaller chrome minis w. gold knobs

African blackwood w. matching
Paua shell backstripe inlay

 

1 3/4 in.

44.5 mm.

2 1/8 in.

54 mm.

25.4 in.

645 mm.

4 5/16 in.

109.5 mm.

15 1/8 in.

384 mm.

 
wrc 212 
Madagascar Rosewood
14-fret Dreadnaught

​​
 

$4000.00 plus case and shipping 

Select Honduras mahogany

Master grade Canadian Sitka spruce

Madagascar rosewood
(Dalbergia baronii)

Basswood

Ceylon Ebony

Abalone-shell strip inlay

Black-white-black; fiber lines

Ceylon ebony with ebony bridge pins, each w. mother-of-pearl dot inlay

Schaller M6 black finish

Brazilian rosewood

Ring 1: fine bwb fiber lines:
Ring 2: abalone strip circle

Basswood

1-3/4 in.
(44.5 mm)

2 1/8 in.
(54 mm)

25.4 in.
(645 mm)

4-7/8 in.
(12.4 cm)

15-3/4 in.
(40 cm)

 
wrc 215
Curly Hawaiian Koa 
14-fret deep OM

​​
 

$4500.00 plus case and shipping 

Select Honduras mahogany

Select Sitka spruce

Figured Hawaiian Koa

Curly Rock maple

Ceylon ebony

Abalone-shell strip inlay

Half-herringbone ("rope") fiber lines

Brazilian rosewood w. Brazilian rosewood, pearl-dot bridge pins

Schaller M6 chrome finish

Figured Hawaiian Koa

Abalone-shell ring inlay

1-7/8 in.
(47.5 mm)

2-5/16 in.
(59 mm)

25.4 in.
(645 mm)

4-1/2 in.
(114 mm)

15 1/8 in.

384 mm.

Ceylon ebony

 
wrc 242
East Indian Rosewood
14-fret
sweet scale
Grand concert 
​​

 

A powerful, resonant tone and an outstanding sustaining sound is the result of the combination of a deep body and a innovative x-brace made of moulded graphite by the Fibersonixx© company.

$4400.00 plus case and shipping 

Select Honduras mahogany

Master grade Englemann spruce

Master-grade East Indian rosewood

Curly Norwegian maple

Ceylon ebony

Custom multicololor marquetry

Half-herringbone ("rope") pattern strips

Ceylon ebony w. ebony bridge pins with pearl dot and brass ring

Gotoh minis, chrome finish

Macassar ebony

Single herringbone ring inlay

East Indlian rosewood

15 1/8 in.

384 mm.

4-3/16 in.
(106 mm)

24.9 in.
(632 mm)

2-3/16 in.
(55.5 mm)

1-11/16 in.
(43 mm)

 
wrc 284
Quartered Sycamore
14-fret thin Jumbo
 

 

Loud, bold,, complex tone and a wonderfully complex medullary ray pattern on its soundbox result in a dramatic and unusual instrument made from renewable, domestic timbers.

$4400.00 plus case and shipping 

Select Honduras mahogany

Master grade Englemann spruce

Vertical-grain ("quartered") American Sycamore

East Indian rosewood

Ceylon ebony

Black and white wood marquetry

Half-herringbone ("rope") pattern strips

Cocobolo

Schaller minis, chrome finish

Macassar ebony

Abalone-shell ring inlay

Sycamore w. matching back-stripe inlay

1-3/4 in.
(44.5 mm)

2-1/8 in.
(54 mm)

25.4 in.
(645 mm)

4 in.
(101.5 mm)

16 in.
(406 mm)