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Quick Cuts: The 13-string Chiavi-Miolin Guitar

Quick Cuts: The 13-string Chiavi-Miolin Guitar

by Johannes Labusch

Originally published in American Lutherie #83, 2005

The preconception of what a classical guitar has to look like may spring from our desire to find the definitive, the classic look and feel of what we cherish. The familiar visual signals give us a certain peace of mind, the reassuring feeling that something has found its final, perfect, and most satisfying shape.

I had known Swiss luthier Ermanno Chiavi’s guitars to be firmly rooted in that straightforward philosophy. But constant improvement has been as much a mark of his development as a steady and firm belief in tradition. I own a Chiavi guitar built in 1996, and it is proof of his solid no-nonsense style. At the same time, it illustrates his keen curiosity and sense of experiment: The body is made from beautiful bird’s-eye maple, and the inlays around the soundhole represent a row of maple leaves.

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