Superior – Curly Koa with Engleman Spruce top – Commission:

I received several emails from Alan after he received his guitar. Alan allowed me to post his comments on my site:

Sep 25, 2014: Just thought I’d drop you a line and let you know how happy I am with the Koa guitar you built for me. I can’t help but admire the beauty of it every time I take it out of it’s case! Playing it is a joy, and I am amazed at how good the sustain is so early in it’s life.

The Engleman top rings, but in a very full and balanced way. What a perfect choice for the Koa. Please thank your friend Paul for me, as he’s the one who steered me in that direction way back when.

Aug 31, 2014: Yes, I definitely plan to keep this guitar. It is quickly becoming a favorite!

I did receive the email that you sent out to customers and glad that you had complements on my guitar. Maybe someone else will want you to build them a koa FB.

The action is good, it’s just the way I like it. You nailed that one!

The top is gorgeous! It is the only Engleman top that I have, so it will be a new experience breaking it in. The rosette is very pretty, and even though I was looking for more blues, it is a nice blend of color. It goes well with the different shades of brown in the fretboard and bridge.

I think that I did briefly mention that the koa looks better in person. It is a very nice set, and even though the color is a little different between back and sides, it has very nice figure and depth to the wood. They look just fine together. As difficult as it was to procure nice koa, I think we did make a good choice with the set we ended up with. I’m happy with it.

Aug 30, 2014: Just wanted to let you know that I really LOVE this guitar! Had a chance to play it a bit more yesterday, and took it to my guitar teacher today. He was most impressed with it, and thought it had great sustain and lots of volume. It was an opportunity for me to hear someone play it in front of me, and it sounded very sweet. I know it will only get better the more it’s played.

The playability of it is very nice, which is one of the big reasons I wanted one of your guitars.

Aug 28, 2014: Well, it arrived an hour ago, and I had about 10 minutes to take it for a test drive. WOWIE ZOWIE!!! What a beautiful guitar! The size is just right and the fit and finish are excellent. The Koa looks better in person. The mids seem to stand out to me so far and there is decent sustain. You done good!

I do have one issue, and maybe there’s a way to remedy it here. The side fret markers, especially at 7 are a bit hard to see. Their color is light and there is not much contrast against the maple. I was wondering if there’s a way for me to try to darken them some. Would a black sharpie be absorbed by the abalone? I certainly don’t want to do anything to screw up this beautiful instrument, so maybe you have an idea of what to do.

Anyway, I am thrilled so far.

— Alan / Lutherville, MD / Aug 2014