"Our mission statement is peace of mind and quality of life"
The Santa Cruz Guitar Company
Richard Hoover, SCGC owner, is a well-known and highly regarded figure among aficionados of the custom-built acoustic guitar. His approach is decidedly old school, but with cutting-edge tech. He and his team have spent decades soaking up the lessons of the craft, holding true to the principles and ethics of the lutherie traditions and making sure that not only are his materials sustainably grown, but that the principle of sustainability is applied equally to the people who work at the company:
“To do this (creating the perfect fingerboard topography) takes the better part of a year in experience and training for someone to get good enough to be very intuitive about this and accommodate individual players’ styles. The problem is, you’ve got about that much time, maybe a little longer, to do this process every day, before you develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – really, the ability to ruin your career by hurting yourself. That’s not only unethical, it’s bad business, it’s really really costly. The Plek machine comes in at this point. What we needed was a way to do exactly what we wanted as luthiers, but eliminate the stress that comes from the hand work of it.”
To make sure that skeptics get the point, SCGC emphasize that the technology they use is the result of their own ambitions, requirements and dedication to the highest degree of quality possible.
Plek - A Conversation with Richard Hoover of SCGC
"We are luthiers, not CNC guitar kit assemblers... We are truly a custom shop, and pride ourselves on the ability to hand make any aspect of the guitar to meet the design and acoustic preferences of our customers and dealers.. We build 700 guitars a year, what large American guitar factories do in a day and a half. At this modest number, we procure the top 1% of tonewoods and the world's most passionate team of luthiers. Expertise and mastery can only be earned through practice, and our luthiers combined experience spans over a century. This solid foundation has enabled our guitar makers to become the best in the world at their specialties. Santa Cruz Guitar Company combines the timeless heritage of violin lutherie with a working camaraderie and ongoing symbiosis with some of the world's top experts in acoustic science".
Here at Plek we are proud to be of service to SCGC’s search for perfection and dedication to quality. And of course, it speaks volumes that such great artists as Tony Rice, Bill Frisell, Brian May, Elvis Costello, Gary Moore and Eric Clapton all play SCGC guitars.
We leave the final word with Richard:
“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 oflutherie, 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.”
More from Santa Cruz Guitars at www.santacruzguitar.com