The world’s most respected vintage guitar expert is making his own guitars, and they’re really weird
The guitars also boast a bolt-on neck that will never strip, no matter how many times you loosen and tighten the “furniture-style bolts”.
Image: Rock & Review Interview with George Gruhn
If the prospect of George Gruhn creating his own brand of guitars doesn’t excite you, the very strange look of these six-strings just might.
Speaking about the launch of his new brand Versitar Guitars, Gruhn describes his latest creation as “the only guitar on the market today that you can essentially look at from 100 feet away at a glance and know Immediately which brand of acoustic guitar it is”.
“There’s many things about it that might be found on some other guitar but not in this combination,” Gruhn tells Rock & Review host Eric Dahl.
For one, the guitar features a teardrop-shaped offset sound hole located at the upper bout instead of the typical hole-in-the-middle design.
Secondly, the guitar’s neck is “fastened with two furniture bolts that go into threaded metal fixtures in the neck”, a system Gruhn says creates much less wear and tear on the wood when you disassemble and refit the neck.
He compares this to the typical “wood screw” method, where you “drill a small guide hole and then you screw it in and it cuts its own threads into the wood and it grips. But if you take it out and then put it back even once, it’s cutting new threads. And if you do it three or four times it won’t hold anymore because it already chewed out the hole.”
“This system,” Gruhn explains, “the bolts are stronger than a screw. They’re bigger and stronger and they go into a threaded metal fixture so you can take it in and out 100 times and it won’t strip.”
The Versitar also comes in a variety of tonewoods you’d expect on an acoustic instrument. (i.e. mahogany, rosewood, spruce, cedar). In addition to these standard options, you can also get them in a range of sustainable American woods such as: black locust, walnut, ash, Osage orange, holly, and exotics including cocobolo, Nicaraguan and Brazilian rosewood.
Of the launch, Gruhn says it’s “something I’ve wanted to do for many years”.
“Not only to design guitar but to actually own the factory that makes them because that way I can do exactly as I want them to be and if there’s any quality control problem I know who to look at… the point is, I never had the ability to design and almost immediately put the ideas into effect.”
“So this is a real fun project.”
Learn more at Guitars.