Scott's Guitar Blog: August 29, 2009

New SBM 9-string acoustic guitar

I built this guitar for artist Mark Yodice, a visionary instrumentalist who asked for a nine string guitar, all single course strings, no doubles like in a 12-string guitar. It was a wonderful project, as I really respect Mark’s talent and passion. I knew he would treasure this instrument and take it to places none have gone before.

Woods: soundboard is western red cedar, sides and back are claro walnut, fingerboard is ebony, bridge is Brazilian rosewood, neck is a five piece glue-up of mahogany, maple and rosewood. No adjustable truss rod, two carbon fiber rods integrated inside the neck. The carbon fiber rods and lack of a standard rod with a channel makes for a solid stiff neck that pulls right into the correct relief under string tension.

There are no dead spots, and the sustain is tremendous. There is a hard oil finish over unfilled grain as well. It creates an organic looking, lustrous instrument. Not your traditional factory finish for sure, however it is alive and vibrates like you wouldn’t believe since the grain isn’t plugged with tone-absorbing gunk and a heavy finish. This guitar was made for tone, not so you could spill beer on it safely. There is a substantial arch in the top, making this a hybrid of sorts with archtop guitars, however it feels and plays like a flat-top when you’re holding it. I’m including a movie file of me trying to play it so you can hear its voice! (Scroll down to the bottom for the video.)