Instruments & Gear: Fine Lutherie

Santa Cruz Guitar Company Shop Visit

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Santa Cruz co-founder Richard Hoover discusses the company’s approach to building a custom instrument.

by Teja Gerken
January 09, 2020

There is no question that the Santa Cruz Guitar Company is one of the cornerstones of contemporary boutique guitar making. Founded in 1976, Santa Cruz was one of the first companies to offer individually made steel-string guitars with custom specs, thereby creating an alternative to factory-made guitars. Combining a freewheeling hippie spirit with serious woodworking chops, a desire to refine the sound and playability of the instrument, and knowledge of the building methods used by violin makers, Santa Cruz quickly found its niche, with players such as Tony Rice, Eric Clapton, and Joan Baez becoming early customers. Santa Cruz has managed to stay on the cutting edge of high-end steel-string guitars throughout its 40-plus year history.

Peghead Nation recently visited the Santa Cruz shop in Santa Cruz, California, and in this first video of a series, Teja Gerken sits down with co-founder and long-time company leader Richard Hoover to discuss his approach to custom guitar making, from wood choice and building techniques to ensuring that the customer ends up with his or her dream guitar. Richard’s explanations are accompanied by footage from the shop floor, showing guitars at every stage of the building process. 


Category: Instruments & Gear

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