I started learning acoustic guitar repair and setup technique in 1999, just as I finished my first build.
In many ways my career has come full circle. I became obsessed with the notion of building a guitar when I was young. This earned me an apprenticeship to learn acoustic repair and restoration. A little later I ended up running my own retail shop for 15 years, did a ton of repairs and mods, neck resets and other restoration work, plus a little bit of building along the way. And now here we are.
My approach to building has been vastly informed by repairs. Everything from the design of my neck joint and internal bracing patterns, to the different glues we use and setup procedures employed, it all comes back to creating an instrument with superior voice and extreme stability. When you pick up a Solstice, I want it to be the best sounding guitar you've heard, and for it to play better than any guitar you've ever held.
A great example with Solstice acoustic design is the neck joint and internal A-frame support system above of the soundhole. I've seen too many guitars develop bad neck angles and endure severe cracking while deforming around the neck joint area. With our guitars, my goal is for every neck angle to last at least three times longer than 'normal.' Most customers don't realize this! But guess what? You can expect the majority of acoustic guitars to start failing at the neck joint area in one way or another within 20-30 years. Sometimes sooner. Over time most (if not all) acoustic steel-string guitars will slowly fold and die from the string tension they support. You can read more about how we keep this from happening here.
With our electric guitars, the special bolted neck joint is also unique and adds longevity. But another example are the carbon rods I add for neck stability. I've seen a lot of warping and twisting on other guitars in my repair shop. This is due to the nature of wood being wood, and acting irregularly when under tension, and many other factors like humidity and temperature cycles throughout the years. I use special high-grade carbon fiber reinforcement rods inlayed under the fingerboard to prevent this.
These are a few examples of the designs and practices we use at Solstice Guitars. The end goal is always to give you a superior musical experience.
Let’s make a guitar together. I’ll collaborate with you personally to create the Solstice of your dreams.