Richard Hoover at the Santa Cruz Guitar Company makes the light but strong guitars. Their durability comes from engineering principles of parabolic and radiused bacings, giving each instrument additional power, resonance and durability. Their first instruments are in their fourth decade of professional use, proving the soundness of SCGC’s “light but strong” designs.
Two other big differences in the Santa Cruz guitars are their use of a traditional dovetail neck joint. It allows them a considerable degree of control over the presence of the guitar and they feel it is sonically superior to the bolt on neck. The simplicity of their design facilitates undetectable removal for neck resets or replacements due to trauma. Traditionally used by Martin, Gibson and Guild, the set neck design derives from generations of successful violin luthiers.
Secondly, they are one of the few companies still using a nitro-cellulose lacquer finish. A very traditional finish, spanning the bridge between the eras of varnish finish and a thin catalyzed poly finish, lacquer is more labor intensive and less cost efficient, but cellulose is wood and by using it as the solids for their lacquer, they are putting a thin coat of wood on wood, enhancing resonance and ensuring restoration quality repairs. Hoover produces a wonderfully airy responsive sounding instrument. His traditional models have an old Martin voice with the complexity of an instrument that has been played a for while (once you take off the Elixer strings)! These guitars are highly favored by the new bluegrass pickers such as Tony and Wyatt Rice, who have incredible agility; a low action and light touch is necessary for the lightening fast speeds they attain, and the build of the Santa Cruz delivers the resonance and tone required by a professional picker with this attack.View Santa Cruz Guitars