santa cruz guitar company

SCGC True Acoustic Bass

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SCGC TAB headstockPlaying the SCGC True Acoustic Bass is the most fun I’ve had in ages.  This instrument has been made specifically for me.  Like a bespoke suit.  Did Carolyn visit in my sleep to get measurements, or was I dreaming?  Literally, a perfect fit.

Absolutely superb craftsmanship.  Supreme balance.  Most right-hand guitars work best on my left knee.  But this 46″ beauty sits naturally on my right.  Even with a massive scale length, it does not feel like its headstock is sticking out in the next room.  Large guitar, yes.  But not a box on your lap.  Rather, a carefully crafted piece of acoustic art.  Intimate.  Sexy.  Persuasive.  She puuuuurrrs seductively one minute.  Then makes a compelling case to follow her example.  Follow her lead.  It is a bass player’s world, after all.

Santa Cruz Guitar Company makes one bass.  One model only.  There is no variation when creating your very best.  As Richard puts it, “Years of field testing have refined the specifications to a 32 inch scale on a dense vintage Mahogany body with a master quality Sitka Spruce top meeting strict and specific tonal criteria”.

The bass projecting into my room, through my core, has me hooked.  Can’t put her down until my fingers quit.  Yep, it helps our relationship that she’s a real looker.  But her character, the way she talks and acts, you can’t fake that.

Awesome photography by Ron Jones!

Santa Cruz Guitar Company

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We recently handled a gorgeous custom Santa Cruz OM/PW guitar with an Alpine Moon Spruce top, Indian Rosewood back and sides, hide glue, Adirondack braces, and herringbone trim.  1 3/4″ nut width and short scale, perfect for my stubby fingers.

This guitar is easily the most well-made I’ve ever held and heard.  Incredible volume, unmatched sustain, infinitely expressive.  Not a hint of an out-of-place overtone.

Every millimeter of its surface is as finely crafted as humanly possible.  A tiny bevel along the fingerboard edge.  Fret ends triple-beveled.   The inside smells like an exotic craftsman’s shop where only finest materials are used. The guitar glows.

Acquiring a Santa Cruz is like finding a perfect mate.  Both are beautiful, have great personality, return unbiased love, give total commitment, and get better with age.  For twice the price of a really nice diamond engagement ring, you can have both.  Finding the guitar may prove easier.  Santa Cruz, the investment of a lifetime.

Shout Out to Carolyn Sills, SCGC Head of Marketing, for help researching this particular special order guitar shipped to Acoustic Vibes MusicCarolyn Sills SCGC.  Her boss Richard Hoover, for sending us a little binding we used in refurbishing Hugh Mason’s 1991 Santa Cruz Dreadnought.  As always, Jeff Looker for stocking such amazing acoustic instruments in his shop.  Finally, Kathryn Butler, providing excellent photography of this fine Santa Cruz OM/PW.

Early ’90s Santa Cruz Guitar

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hugh mason guitarist september 2015After all the work I put into Hugh’s MT2, I thought his problems were over.  An Instrument Rescue, an intervention of sorts, had brought new hope into the floundering life of his beloved but demoralized mandolin.

Then a call comes in.  “Jim, I have another project for you”.  Lights and sirens, we drive over miles of dusty road, deep into county forest, to Hugh’s Shangri-La under the pines.  His “new” 2001 SCGC D-Model has arrived, and is in rotation.  His 1991 could now get a rest, and a little refurbishment.  What was wrong?

hugh mason with 1991 santa cruz guitarIts top is getting a little wonky.  There is a crack that stops under the bridge.  Dry fingerboard, grooved frets, missing headstock binding, dirt, oils, burns, high action . . .  Hugh has led yet another instrument astray.  The 1991 has come to me for redemption;  I shall guide it to the light.

Strings off, tuners off, deep cleaning.  Level, crown, & polish the frets  (Hugh’s fourth set in a dozen years, and this time, they were stainless).  Pick out some glue on a top crack, reglue, sand, buff, and seal.  Oil its fingerboard, install some naturally aged binding, and the tuners went back on.

With a possibly weakened top,  we went with a lighter string.  D’Addario EJ19 Bluegrass with the light tops and medium bottoms were perfect!  The high action was no longer;  we did not have to shave the bridge saddle;  two strings with one pick, is the saying?

Over two decades old, D619 has amazing depth of tone, clarity, and volume.  With fixed frets and settled action, Hugh again has a second Santa Cruz dreadnought on which to practice his interminable bluegrass flat picking.  The ’91 definitely has a different sound than his 2001.  Deeper, richer, louder.  Age has its privileges;  the ’91 is always senior spokesman within the bluegrass circle.