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Letter: Use Any Wood You Like

Letter: Use Any Wood You Like

by John Calkin

Originally published in American Lutherie #25, 1991

Dear Tim,

In 1981 I bought a new Alvarez-Yari 6-string, with laminated rosewood back and solid spruce top. Lots of guitars sound as good, but hardly any sound better. Lots of guitars are as playable, but very few play nicer. I’ve worked on or played dozens of high end, exquisitely made guitars and a bunch of vintage pieces, and not one has ever blown me away.

Early in my career I helped do sound at a local folk benefit. Lots of fine talent turned out, sporting a number of classy guitars. But a low-end mahogany Yamaha blew them all away, no contest.

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