W hat a pleasure it was touring Larry Breslin's
Deerhead Guitars workshop.
I played his standard and double-top classical guitars during my visit, and both instruments impressed me in every respect.
After just a few passages I knew my search had come to a decisive conclusion.
This remarkable event ended my painful relationship with Ramirez.
W ith over 30 years of building and performance experience,
Breslin's focus has been on flamenco and classical construction.
His instruments are highly refined and continue to evolve, synthesizing traditional and contemporary techniques into his own unique design.
Breslin crafts guitars for notable musicians and their students, including Ricardo Iznaola and Masakazu Ito.
His skills are comprehensive, from harvesting logs and refining them into instrument wood, to French polishing the completed concert guitar.
Larry has stocked a tremendous selection of seasoned tonewood, including superb Engelmann and German spruce, very old Brazilian rosewood, cedar and many other species.
That kind of experience produces light instruments that project a balanced, highly sonorous timbre.
His thin-line neck shape maximizes playability.
Larry's double-top design delivers an even wider tonal palate, highly sensitive and extremely powerful all at once.
B reslin quickly understood my sonic and visual goals.
We spent a few hours together in his workshop evaluating my playing needs.
The scale will be 650mm, with a 51mm nut and thin-profile neck shaped for my hand.
For most music I prefer a warm timbre, so the soundboard will be Western Red Cedar.
Larry's amazing stock of Brazilian rosewood is very old; settling on a back/side set was difficult.
Contemporary building techniques will be used to help achieve maximum performance, including a double soundboard containing Nomex and laminated sides.
Breslin's bracing design continues to evolve, with Rodriguez, Fleta and Ramirez influences.
Visually, the guitar will present a traditional look that disguises its modern internals.
The color design is based on contrasting dark overall tones with strategic points of brightness.
Dark rosewood and ebony will be pierced by mother-of-pearl and other white accents in the binding, bridge, rosette and headstock.
C onstruction began in March, 2004; delivery took place in August.
Larry allowed me to document his work.
This picture gallery and Adobe slideshow summarize the six-month build cycle.
For deeper coverage, please click on a particular area of the guitar image below.
A flamenco negra and spruce double top classical have also been commissioned.
Both instruments are eagerly awaited and expected in the middle of 2006.
Commission Specifications for all three guitars are available.