The world of guitars is expansive and so are its tonewood options. Reputable acoustic guitar companies, such as Taylor Guitars and Martin & Co. are now offering dozens of standard tonewood options – solid woods, laminated, and synthetics. And then there is Luthiers Mercantile International that carries a huge number of options, also including the most popular thermally cured soundboards. For professional guitarists, listed below is the cream of the crop in the world of acoustic guitars. Their build quality, sound, and playability are incomparable to any other.
1. Gibson Montana Hummingbird
Type: Square Shoulder | Top: Sitka spruce | Back & sides: Mahogany | Neck: Mahogany | Scale: 24.75″ | Fingerboard: Rosewood | Frets: 20 | Tuners: Grover™ Rotomatics | Left-handed: Limited run | Finish: Nitrocellulose
With a flawless build and amazing sonics and projection, this guitar is close to perfect. It creates a buzz and is incredibly easy to play because of its neck that’s just 12” in radius. This modern Montana incarnation offers a discrete LR Baggs Element VTC system for plug-in power. It is most preferred by country, folk, and rock musicians.
2. Martin D-28 Reimagined for 2017
Type: Dreadnought | Top: Sitka Spruce | Back & sides: East Indian Rosewood | Neck: Select Hardwood | Scale: 25.4” | Fingerboard: Ebony | Frets: 20 | Tuners: Nickel Open Gear | Left-handed: Yes | Finish: Gloss
The D-28 is known for the clarity of sound it produces and the balance. It features forward-shifted bracing, a wider nut, and vintage-style aesthetic changes. However, what makes it the most comfortable and accessible is its new neck design. Notes ring out with sustain – that clear piano-like definition we love from Nazareth’s craftsmen. The best part is that the high mids and treble have choral qualities that do not overshadow the lower mids. Despite the tweaks, the test model still largely feels like the acoustic equivalent of Leo Fender’s Stratocaster design.
3. Taylor Builder’s Edition V-Class K14CE
Type: Grand Auditorium | Top: Torrefied Sitka spruce | Back & sides: Koa | Neck: Tropical mahogany | Scale: 25-1/2″ | Fingerboard: West African Ebony | Frets: 20 | Tuners: Gotoh | Left-handed: No | Finish: Silent Satin
This is a very intelligently made model with high position access, paired with a vintage-meets-modern vibe. The K14CE is a reminder of the high-end lineage, with a lighter koa purfling stripe sitting just inside the ebony edge-binding and continuing around the headstock that is ebony-faced. The Gotch tuners give a slightly worn-in vibe. The modern Taylor guitar is amazingly sorted in terms of the feel you get while playing.
All these guitars have one crucial thing in common: they all have tops made out of Sitka Spruce tree wood. While these are very high-end and can end up burning a hole in your pocket, there is another way you can achieve a slightly better sound. Reach out to Alaska Specialty Woods and we’ll tell you how you can purchase the finest quality of Sitka Spruce soundboards and customize your guitar to get the sound you long for.