Guitars

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About Monkman Guitars

My approach to building acoustic guitars is very traditional. I have studied a lot of great builders and techniques to develop my approach. 

For me the key is "warmth". Both in tone and feel. Too often for me new guitars feel cold and soulless. Each one of my handmade guitars has it's own identity. Built to inspire right out of the box.

Cosmetically I favor an organic approach. Wooden bindings are standard unless requested otherwise. Wood or shell inlays are optional. 
  • Cocobolo Rosewood Binding / Walnut

  • Torrefied Adirondack Top

  • Sipo Dread

  • Black Locust Bridge / Fretboard

  • American Hickory

  • Lutz Guitar Top

  • 00-18

    Torrefied Sitka Top

--About using torrefied spruce for the top soundboard and/or braces:

Acoustic guitars were made differently in the past. Buying a vintage guitar can be expensive and at times unrewarding. 

Old acoustic guitars, though well made, are often un-cared for or have had so many repairs that have sucked the life out of them. They often sound dull or "tired".

With the advent of torrefied woods, its possible to build new guitars that have a more "broken-in" sound and feel. Structurally fresh and vibrant with a long life ahead of them. 
Torrefied spruce tops are also more resistant to humidity damage. Less prone to cracking etc...

Hot hide glue is used on all bracing. The radius of the top, back and side contours are true to vintage specs.
I pay close attention to the thickness of the bridge plate, bridge wings.

I use a graduated top thickness. Thicker in the upper bout for strength. The sound board area is "tuned" for each specific top using a combination of "flex tests" and tap tone. 

The X-braces on my guitars have a compound width. Meaning they are wider 5/16" in front of the bridge plate. Then thinner 1/4" from the bridge plate back. This allows for a stronger top in the soundhole area. Which should help to prevent the need for a neck reset in the future. While still allowing the soundboard area to be lightly braced. 

The woods that I choose for my guitars are properly cut and aged. 

Due to new Cites restrictions on most varieties of rosewood, I'm trying to avoid using rosewood for head plates, bindings etc... Traveling outside the U.S. with this wood requires a permit. I will still build rosewood guitars for U.S. only clients.
Available Wood Sets for Guitar
This video compares three of my 14 fret 00 guitars.
Each with a different type of spruce top. 

This is a 14 fret 00 with some really nice black walnut for the back and sides. Cocobolo rosewood bindings and heel-cap. 
This guitar features a Western Red Cedar top, braced for nylon strings. Also has a side sound-port.
Black Walnut acoustic guitar back and sides
This is a short scale 00. Martin style. With Macacauba back and sides and chechen bindings. Very very nice sounding wood. Looks almost like Teak wood when finished. Not quite the tap tone of Brazilian rosewood but it's a step closer than Indian rosewood. I have many small sets of this wood.
Monkman acoustic guitar
Monkman steel string acoustic guitars
Standard features:

--Spruce top - Red spruce, Lutz spruce, Sitka spruce, Torrefied Red or Sitka
--Choice of back and side woods
--Wood bindings - Not only beautiful but structurally significant 
--Mahogany blocks. Traditional dovetail neck joint
--Two way truss rod - CF rods optional
--Sitka bracing. Torrefied optional
--Spanich Cedar kerfs for structure and aroma
--Genuine mahogany necks
--Hot hide glue for the bracing, bridge and bridge plate
--Cloth side reinforcements
--Vintage bracing radii 
--Choice of top bracing contours. Scalloped, tapered, tall & thin etc...
--Vintage specs

Many more options available. Slotheads, bound fretboards, custom inlays etc... 
Ordering / Pricing

Red Spruce / Amazon rosewood dreadnought


Red spruce / Brazilian rosewood dreadnought


Torrefied Red spruce / Brazilian rosewood dreadnought


Sipo Mahogany & Lutz Spruce


Monkman OM - Chechen & Red Spruce

Click here for more videos of Monkman instruments

Dreadnought with Torrefied Adirondack  top and Brazilian Rosewood B & S. Abalone inlay.
Torrefied Adirondack Dreadnought

Crossover guitar. Nylon strings. Western Red Cedar top.

Torrefied Adirondack Dreadnought

I have been playing guitar for over 45 years. It has been my passion and at times my lifeblood. 
The guitars I'm building today are an extension of my music. 
Please contact me if you are interested in owning one.

Contact Form / Monkman Guitars

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