Because acoustic guitar building is so firmly rooted in tradition, what were some of the obstacles you encountered when you introduced your designs?
In my mind it was time for a performance-based update of the acoustic guitar. As far as I knew, nobody had really tackled some of the existing design shortfalls, especially from an intonation, string action, and acoustic tone perspective. I knew there was room for improvement.
Who initially embraced your neck and stringing designs more, players or builders?
Clearly the players. Nothing validates and propels a new design like a top-level artist on a worldwide tour making music with your guitars.
Are there any areas of acoustic guitar construction that you view as sacrosanct and therefore off-limits in terms of modifications and rethinking?
Absolutely. In many respects it would be easy to take some of my ideas and push them into a futuristic direction, but that would be dangerous given how traditional the market is. In the end, the guitar must look and feel somewhat familiar, and new design features shouldn’t impose on these territories too much. But from a tonal standpoint, removing unwanted elements like dead notes, notes that sing out during recording situations, and improved overall tonal balance have always been goals of mine. My low-tension, Lateral Compression Soundboard design takes a fresh approach to addressing these issues.
What was it like when Martin wanted to use your Continually Adjustable Neck design on one of their guitars?
The respect and validation that comes along with collaborating with Martin is immeasurable. While working with them on the new Martin/Babicz OMCRE model guitar, it felt like my design and patent had some serious value. Martin is very careful about what they do, and their incorporating my adjustable neck on their traditional guitar was a moment of design truth for me.
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