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Jon Micah Sumrall: A One of a Kind Guitar

Jon Micah Sumrall: A One of a Kind Guitar

Jon Micah Sumrall recently published a new blog detailing the design and creation of his custom Breedlove instrument. The blog contains a number of photos, videos and sketches from the design and build - as well as detailed descriptions of the different aspects of the design and development process. Excerpt from Jon's website:

The Wood Selection

After lots of research and trying out numerous different guitars at the Breedlove factory I finally decided on a Bearclaw Sitka Spruce top and Myrtlewood back and sides.  The Bearclaw Sitka Spruce is a very stiff and versatile top wood that will lend itself well to heavy strumming, which is perfect for most of the songs I perform on stage.  It also has a really unique aesthetic that I think brings a beautiful and exotic look to the overall guitar.

For the back and sides I decided to use Myrtlewood.  Myrtlewood is a very unique, exotic wood that only grows two places in the world.  It can be found on the Oregon and Northern California coast and in Israel.  Being born and raised in Oregon, I like to joke that Myrtlewood only grows in “God’s Country.”  Myrtlewood also has unique figuring that again complements the overall beauty of the guitar.  As for the sound, this wood is often described as having the warmth of Rosewood with the clarity of Maple.  It really is the closest I have ever heard to having the best of both worlds of clarity and warmth.

Once I had selected what type of wood I wanted to use for the guitar, I had the opportunity to select the exact piece of wood that my guitar would be built from.  I went through stacks of Master Class grade wood to find the perfect selection for my guitar.  It was amazing to see how much the individual slices of wood varied within each species.  The coloration and wood grain was sometimes so different I was almost unsure I was looking at the same type of wood.  Getting to select the exact wood for my guitar was a really special experience.  I was able to pick the exact grain and coloration I wanted.  This was a very difficult decision as there were so many great options.  After separating my initial favorites, I took my time imagining what each sheet of wood might look like once it was shaped into a guitar.  I finally made my selections and signed my name on the pieces of wood I had selected.  The biggest part of the selection process was now finished, but I still had lots of decisions to make as I still needed to select each individual option on the rest of the guitar.  This was only the beginning of many more difficult decisions!

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