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I was in love with what we were doing and it was pure passion. After I left, I found the second thing I was passionate about in my life: boutique guitars.I also felt that in the later years guitar designs became more and more influenced by technology. I had a new desire to get into that art form and to produce a guitar at a price point that could service a larger market.We went back in time as much as we could and got samples to study, but we also referenced newer high-end builders as well. I was looking at their price points, and I thought if I could produce a handmade, high-end boutique guitar that meets all of the specs of 00-00 guitars and bring it to a larger audience, that would be an incredible mission. We spent several years early on identifying what the specs should be.The boutique builders we looked at produced around 400 guitars a year, and we decided to deliver a similar handmade experience at the price of U. We definitely knew it would have a one-piece neck, a dovetail neck joint, forward shifted bracing, fresh designs, and of course, it had to be handmade. I simply gave him my design intent and he took it from there.That prompted me to hire an Austrian designer, Andreas Pichler. What I was looking for was our own sound, and I found it first through design and secondly through a facility that could produce our designs to our specs.We found a voice in there that was fat on the treble and fat on the bass, and really well balanced.
As Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, he received an education about the business of marketing and retailing musical instruments.
Having our own voice enabled us to drive the process and demand that everything have an original identity.
Our target was to go right up the middle, between both of the heritages of Martin and Taylor, not outside or around them.
As a long-time Taylor employee, what prompted you to create your own guitar company? I had a beautiful career at Taylor – I was passionate about marketing and I pretty much learned everything else on the fly.
When I first started there we were making about four guitars a day; over a 17 year period we took it up beyond 300 a day and sales well into eight figures. All of the (technological) advances were phenomenal, but I felt they also steered the designs of the guitar away from the original art form.
Lacking ornamentation, these guitars have the effect of boiling down the essence of the instrument, and the music it creates, to its purest form.