ABOUT MY GUITARS

For me, as a guitarmaker, it is the person with whom I am working that is the most important component in the equation. The vision of their guitar is the starting point in making an abstract idea, reality. I pick the materials I feel will support the desired end results and the actual design of the guitar begins to take shape from there.

I am, at heart, a traditionalist when it comes to guitars. A large component of my development as a luthier has been by studying the best examples of great historic makers. While I am located in the woods of Groton Massachusetts, I consider the base of my career to be firmly located in New York City. As such I have been very fortunate to have access to some of the finest guitars in the world. I also am a dealer of fine instruments and offer repair and restoration services. This has furthered my study of the great masters and my insight into my own work.

I am not however opposed to innovation, innovation is in fact the “tradition” of the classical guitar. I offer such options as soundports and elevated fingerboards for those who want them. They are yet another variable that can be employed and are incorporated into the overall design of the guitar I am building rather than an “add-on” feature. This also carries over to bracing. I use any number of fan braced patterns, depending on the top I am using and the desired end result. I also have been working with hybrid fan/lattice patterns for my more “modern” guitars. This is to achieve some of the desired aspects of the latest developments in the guitar (namely horsepower) and avoid the common pitfall of those designs (namely a hollow or nasal sound with little or no tonal range). Whatever the design or materials I use, the guitar must possess the qualities I believe are necessary for a fine concert guitar. That is a quick and agile attack, clarity and separation of the voices, a strong fundamental, well defined harmonic overtones, evenness of response, beauty of tone with a large tonal and dynamic range. I do not list these qualities in any particular order of importance. They are all equally important.

In the end the satisfaction I get from my work comes from the relationship I have with my client. It is a privilege and joy for me to create their musical voice.


Sonata Composed and Played by Frank Wallace