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Our Story

Our Story

Richard Hoover’s passion for the acoustic guitar gave rise to a burning desire to discover how they were made and equally important, how they worked.  In 1968, there was absolutely no information on the construction of the acoustic steel string guitars.  In pre-Internet days, the other independent pioneers of guitar building may just as well have been on other planets.

Copying the assemblies of the important brands was straightforward, compared to truly controlling the guitar’s voice. Hoover turned to the printed body of knowledge on centuries of violin refinement as the sole source of the true way.  Herein lay the key for taking his favored instrument out of the realm of the factories and into the enlightened practice of traditional lutherie. The quest included independent experimentation, the grace of mentors, countless repairs, restorations and the construction of numerous guitars and carved-top mandolins.

Richard Hoover - Our Story
Richard Hoover - Our Story

Throughout the process, a concept grew.  If I try to figure this out by myself it will take forever.  This simple frustration, voiced by Richard, would have a profound effect on the future of steel string guitar making.  If I hold true to the principals and ethics of lutherie traditions, I can work as a team with others to accelerate the learning curve without compromise.  This became the mission statement for the beginnings of boutique lutherie and the inspiration for the Santa Cruz Guitar Co.

We know that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that through practice and study we will pursue ongoing improvement. Each of us has become masterful in our current specialties and collectively we embody nearly two hundred years of expertise.  By adhering to the principles of physics and the tried and true practices of lutherie, SCGC guarantees the most sophisticated instrument of its kind. We will assure maximum sustain and complexity of overtones and maintain consistency of balance and tone specific to each of our standard models. To accommodate the subjective nature and personal requirements of EQ, tone and presence, we offer our considerable talents to deliver exactly what you need in a custom instrument. 

You will be in fine company with the world’s best players, including Eric Clapton, Doc Watson, Tony Rice, Warren Haynes, Elvis Costello and many others featured on our Players Page.  

Welcome to the Santa Cruz Guitar Company.