Like the body shape, I wanted the cutaway to have a graceful, modern line. I think this is an elegant design that truly complements the body shape and enhances the overall look of my instruments. All four points of the Florentine cutaway are fully mitered.
Bevels are a fairly recent phenomenon in the lutherie community and there are two individuals credited with the innovation in its current form. Grit Laskin, a Canadian builder noted for his extraordinary inlay work, first pioneered the bevel many years ago. His design stylishly interrupts the binding/purfling on the lower bout at the bevel transition. Kevin Ryan, inspired by the Laskin bevel, came up with his own design that features a smooth transition between the bevel and the binding/purfling. For many years, I offered a Ryan-style bevel but have recently created a unique take on the idea. On my bevel, the ends terminate abruptly and feature mitered purflings at each corner. The design is unique, minimalist, and offers excellent ergonomics.
I have introduced a number of new overlay options in the past couple years and will continue to introduce more in the future.
I use a 3-layer veneer for my headstock backstrap. This is a beautiful appointment that gives the headstock strong visual interest and artistry while also highlighting the curved volute.
Inlaid Back Centerstrip
A departure from the traditional design wherein the centerstrip is isolated in the middle of the back. I am especially fond of this design as it has great balance and, visually speaking, doesn't split the back into two halves like the traditional design does.
As long as the differential between the high e and low E is kept at or below 0.5”, the difference is almost imperceptible for the fretting hand. Furthermore, there are numerous practical and tonal advantages to a multi-scale. This is an option that I highly recommend.
Pagoda Soundboard Inlay
This soundboard inlay mimics the lines of an Asian pagoda as it follows the curves of the lower bout. The design borrows heavily from the work of Michihiro Matsuda. Please visit www.matsudaguitars.com for information on Matsuda's exquisitely designed instruments.
** Special thanks to Michi for artistic permission regarding this design element.
Soundports direct a bit more sound to the player and provide a nice “monitor effect”. I’ve always struggled with the aesthetics of the soundport; nevertheless, I have recently come up with two different solutions that I think are cosmetically excellent. The oval port is a beveled design situated in the lower bout and features Ebony backing for support. The transverse port is a subdued design that is positioned near the neck heel and ties seamlessly into the binding.
The Tile Rosette is an elegant design with a high degree of versatility. The tile motif can be utilized to create a wide range of looks from vibrant and colorful to subdued and homogenous.
Rodgers Tuning Machines
Rodgers tuners are simply the finest tuning machines money can buy. The mechanical action is effortless and smooth and the attention to detail is on the level of fine jewelry. The Rodgers come in a wide array of materials and configurations.
© 2017 Simon Fay Guitars