Evans’ playing style is noted for its breadth, spanning everything from jazz, country, classical, blues and rock – but most notable about it is his incredibly fast fingerpicking. This is something he focused on for the Virtuoso, saying of the guitar’s design: “I wanted a fast, smooth, fingerboard and neck and a slick action, featuring selected tonewoods that would also enhance natural sonic characteristics.”
The Virtuoso’s slim mahogany neck sports a soft V profile and a pau ferro fingerboard, with maple dot inlays. The body’s back and sides are constructed from acacia, while the soundboard is solid spruce, offering broad dynamic range and clear note separation. Hardware includes gold plated Grover 102G Rotomatic smooth geared machine heads, and gold strap buttons.
The guitar has also been fitted with a few more premium appointments, such as maple body bindings, black-white-black purfling, and a maple and acacia soundhole rosette. Rory also opted for an open-pore finish, explaining that he feels its “dramatic effect on acoustic guitars, within sustain, clarity and most importantly, fast note transmission.”
The guitar is loaded with a Fishman Presys Blend Preamp System, which allows for mixing of the internal microphone with an undersaddle Sonicore pickup system. Controls include Anti-Feedback, Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Brilliance, Blend, Phase switch and a built-in tuner with LED Display. This system also means the guitar has both XLR and quarter-inch jacks.
For more information, see jhs.co.uk.