developments in construction methods, I have tried to bring the best of these two worlds together in
my guitars. As materials and tools have continued to advance, we must consider how they can be
used in our work. By utilizing new technological developments, we are able to achieve a high degree
of precision in construction. For example, we have the means το take highly accurate measurements
both in dimensions and in sound, which is of vital importance in understanding and further
developing the sound of each guitar; but we also have the technology to replicate a successful
improvement with the highest degree of precision. The aim always remains the same: not to move
away from the traditional sound but to better it, as far as possible and to preserve the elements we
have come to love in the sound of the guitar, the mellow, crystalline sound of a traditional guitar that
move the listener and spellbinds the performer. Below, I explain some of the standardized processes
and innovations I use in my building my guitars.
The Top (Soundboard)
Arguably, the top has the greatest influence in sound production in string instruments. With classical guitars we encounter mostly two kinds of tops, spruce and cedar. Each adds its own character and
European spruce is traditionally the most popular species of spruce used in classical guitar tops. It offers good sound projection with very crisp, transparent low and high frequencies (bases and trebles). It is supposed to mature with time and with that the sound of the guitar. I only use it for my traditional guitars.
Western Red Cedar
Canadian Cedar is famed for producing a bright but warm tone and the most voluminous sound. It matures with time but it does so much quicker than spruce. I can use cedar in any of my models.
CHOICE OF MATERIALS
The materials used in producing a guitar plays a decisive role in the sound it will finally produce. Selecting woods for their good sound properties and for their pedigree is essential for building a quality instrument. All the materials I use are of the best quality (master grade) and selected individually. Here are some of my choices:
Back and sides: Indian Rosewood, Cocobolo, Madagascar Rosewood
Neck: Spanish Cedar
Bridges: Indian Rosewood, Padouk
I use double sides in all my instruments for ample volume and to optimize sustain. For these purposes it is of utmost important that that the sides are rigid and lightweight. In this way all the energy produced by the top remains focused and is not absorbed by the sides.
All my guitars feature an arched back. There are many reasons: Increased rigidity Focuses the sound on the top Increases the synchronization frequency Increases sustain
The rosette I use consists of 3 main elements. The central element depicts olive branches, the symbol of all produce of the land of Greece and on either side appears another Greek symbol, the motif of a meander. All 3 parts are made from just 4 different colours of natural wood veneers.
A raised fingerboard has many advantages:
It provides easier access beyond the 12th fret. It provides a more solid bond between the arm and the body, and combined with the reinforced sides it amplifies the sound and boosts sustain. It increases the distance between the string-bed and the top, giving the right hand an advantage.
After extensive studies and experimentation, it can be said that a soundport offers clear advantages:
Assistive sound monitor: the soundport acts as a personal monitor, allowing you to listen to your instrument with more clarity.
Brightness: a soundport makes the guitar sound brighter, boosting the higher frequencies. Precision tuning: from a luthier’s standpoint, it allows for fine-tuning the instrument. By altering the size of the soundport we alter the mid and high frequency response.
The armrest is a relatively simple feature that serves three main purposes: It allows for the ‘soundbox’ to vibrate more freely as it reduces the dumping effect of the right arm touching the top. It protects the finish of the guitar from damage at the contact point. It provides added comfort as it replaces the sharp edge where the top meets the side with a softer, rounded curve.
BRIDGE & SADDLE
All my guitars feature a bridge with a 12-hole tie pattern. When the strings are fitted correctly a sharp corner is formed against the saddle, ensures clean sound free from buzzing, which may occur due to lose contact with the saddle.
Headstock and Tuning Machines
The tuning machines on a guitar are more than just an accessory. The Italian-made Alessi tuners combine impeccable performance with ultimate aesthetic beauty.
Comfort and ease are of utmost importance to a guitarist. I employ several techniques to make my guitars as easy as possible to play. Using special tools, I take precision measurements separately for each string at the nut and at the bridge so that the distance from the stringbed to the fretboard is the lowest possible. Also, the shape of the arm is carefully designed fir maximum comfort. Finally, each fret is shaped one by one to form an ideal plane in order to eliminate any possibility of buzzing.
The most traditional finish for string instruments is French polish (shellac). The finishing brings out the natural beauty of wood and is so thin that it cannot be seen by the naked eye. Most importantly, since it is so fine it does not hinder the vibration of the top allowing it to move freely. Each guitar is finished with a minimum of 14 applications of shellac.
Koumridis Handmade Classical will com with a Hiscox PRO-II-GCL-L Large Cl. Case or similar.