Richard Hoover was gifted a set of 8,000 year old Oak from the Czech Republic and paired it with a 3,000 year old set of ancient Sitka Spruce to create a stunning, one-of-a-kind H/13 model that has been lovingly nicknamed ‘The Ghost Oak.’
Glacial upheaval, plate tectonics and incomprehensible volumes of moving water created and moved the sand that buried the Ghost Oaks for nearly 8000 years. A nearly anaerobic entombment kept the integrity of the original timber intact, save for the gradual oxidation that colored the oak a smoky silver blue. This incredibly rare material was gifted to Richard by Roman Zajíček, master luthier of the Czech Republic, whose shop lies within hours of the Ghost Oak’s resting place at the bottom of a sand mine.
The Ancient Sitka Spruce fell to the whimsy of a climatic shift three thousand years ago, and was preserved in the resulting permafrost. It likely attained 200 feet in height and over 10 feet in diameter, after the better part of a thousand years of growth. The warming of the Alaskan seasons allowed a gradual thawing of this time traveler, perfect for maintaining its integrity and perfect timing to be discovered by noted Alaska pioneer of responsible harvest, Brent Cole.
The guitar is adorned with Snakewood appointments, including Snakewood bridge, bindings, overlay and century blocks in the fingerboard, to highlight the natural beauty of the ancient wood, as well as fossilized ivory nut and saddle. The guitar just returned from the NAMM show, and we will have more photos and videos of the guitar coming soon. Below are some shots of the guitar in production, before it went through the finish process.
‘But what does it sound like??’ is the question we heard most at the NAMM show. We will have a more indepth demo of it shortly, but in the meantime, check out this great, short video recorded by Peghead Nation at the NAMM show when Teja Gerken was able to try it out for a couple minutes after the show.
Here’s a great short video shot by a customer in Italy who documented his travels to Sweden to pick up his dream guitar, our 1934D Mahogany:
Curious about the Plek machine that we use on all our guitars? Here Richard Hoover discusses SCGC’s unique applications of the Plek, and how it contributes to our conscious craftsmanship.
I have a typed letter from Stan Jay Dated April 1979. It reads in part:
“Congratulations! Your new company has attracted the attention of Mandolin Brothers. We shall now proceed to put you on the map….”
This was a happy day that launched a beautiful friendship between Stan and me that led to the validation of his prediction. Stan Jay’s seal of approval in this pre-internet age was equal to that of Tony Rice, Eric Clapton and Roger Siminoff of Fret’s magazine. Stanley brought our story to the world when self-promotion was limited to how many letters one could write. When he discovered us half a decade into our career we were the only ‘Alt Brand’ on the landscape and Stanley took a personal interest in our safety and success. During these years we spoke often and shared houses and friendships between our families. Stanley’s stewardship and sage counsel spared us potentially fatal missteps and rightfully questioned our hubris at a time when there was no other model for what we were doing.
Stanley was a very fun man because he genuinely loved others. Smart as heck but never condescending, he could make uproarious fun of the self-styled expert and the rock headed ignorant, though never publicly and never a with knife in it.
As anyone of our generation has experienced; the intensity of many relationships is weighted back in the day. As Stanley and I gained confidence and security in our careers we didn’t have the former sense of necessity or urgency for each other’s consolations. Dozens of new boutique brands would vie for his iconic attention and Santa Cruz Guitar Co. would become my international thrill ride. We both now had people to handle the business that we used to do together and our friendship settled to the level of a soft glow fueled by our memories. It is here that we remember to say; “If you love someone…now is the time to tell them”.
The vintage market may be the product of many hands though it is quite possible that it would not have happened without the knowledge and love
from our dear pal Stanley. If one finds any flaw in his legacy, as we say in Staten Island,… fawgeabowit!
Santa Cruz, Ca.
We recently shipped this custom D/PW Figured Mahogany/Adirondack to the Music Emporium in Lexington, MA. Other custom specs included Adirondack bracing/hot hide glue, Indian Rosewood bindings, 1-3/4″ nut width, 2-5/16″ bridge spacing and Waverly tuners. Guitarist Jordan Tice did a great job demonstrating the instrument in the video below:
The Otis Taylor Chicago Model was just reviewed by the new online guitar publication, Peghead Nation. Click below to watch their video review and hear the guitar:
From Peghead Nation:
Blues guitarist Otis Taylor and the Santa Cruz Guitar Company have a long history of working together. Several years ago, Santa Cruz introduced its first Otis Taylor signature model, a guitar based on its H model (which in turn takes inspiration from vintage Gibson Nick Lucas guitars), and now the company is offering a second model, the Otis Taylor Chicago.
While the original Otis Taylor model is built with rosewood back and sides and a spruce top, the Chicago has an all-mahogany body, similar to the construction of Santa Cruz’ 1929 series guitars. Like the first Otis Taylor, the Chicago has a 13th-fret neck joint and is only fretted up to the 14th fret. The fingerboard extension over the body has just the one fret, but sports an inlay with Otis Taylor’s logo.
The Santa Cruz Otis Taylor Chicago is a great sounding guitar with a bluesy growl, but also a versatile voice that would work well in a variety of styles. It is demonstrated here played fingerstyle in standard and D A D G A D tunings by Peghead Nation Co-Founder and Producer Teja Gerken and played with a flatpick by Peghead Nation Co-Founder and Editor Scott Nygaard.
SPECS: H body with 13-fret neck. Solid mahogany top, back, sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.325-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Vintage-style open-back Gotoh tuning machines. Made in USA. santacruzguitar.com.
We were just reminded of this great video Tony Rice made with Happy Traum of Homespun Tapes, discussing his signature Santa Cruz guitar…