Posted on January 6, 2010September 2, 2021 by Dale Phillips Review: The Ultimate Guitar Book by Tony Bacon Review: The Ultimate Guitar Book by Tony Bacon Reviewed by Lloyd Zsiros Originally published in American Lutherie #30, 1992 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three, 2004 The Ultimate Guitar Book Tony Bacon Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. 192 pp. ISBN 0-394-58955-6 Well, the ultimate guitar book is finally here! Or so it would seem from the title of Tony Bacon’s book. Fortunately for those of us who are the true fans of the instrument in all its many forms, this book comes very close to fulfilling the promise of its title. It can best be described as a comprehensive visual reference work that features some of the finest instruments ever produced. The history of the guitar is told through many very fine photographs along with profiles of many of those responsible for its development. All of the great makes are represented here along with some not so great and often bizarre. The book begins by covering some of the modern guitar’s earliest ancestors from the late-16th and early-17th centuries. These early instruments were characterized by ornate roses, multiple courses, gut frets, and deeply arched backs. As the instrument developed, much of the ornateness disappeared. Most interesting is a 1680s Stradivari that is elegant in its simplicity when compared to the earlier instruments. When seen in this context, it’s also easy to understand the significance of the remarkable evolutionary developments brought about by Antonio de Torres. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.