The GruverTM Acoustic Guitars story
Three years ago I set out to find the best guitars I could find for the
money. I have been playing guitars, setting them up, fixing them
for over 40 years and have played most brands. I love
certain brands of acoustic guitars for all the reasons that make them
good, besides just the "name". So, I studied all the materials
used, all the methods of manufacture the engineering and determined
what I wanted in a line of guitars that I could be satisfied to
sell. Keep in mind I have an engineering background and I am very
particular. The main things that count are the types of woods and
how the woods are cured. I only like the sounds of spruce or
cedar on acoustic guitars and I am not alone. Mahogany top (sound
board) guitars just don't have the resonance or even tonal qualities of
spruce or cedar, and they must be plugged in and equalized to get
"that" guitar sound. (Even cheap linden and some laminated spruce
sounds better, in my humble opinion, than mahogany tops. ) However,
mahogany makes one of the best back and sides for a sound box. It
is near perfect mid range resonant tone. The rose wood bodies
have a deeper tone and are immediately recognized. The preference
The absolute best sounding is solid wood spruce for that all around
"guitar" sound with full resonance. If you like a deeper tone
then Cedar is best. (We have some cedar models as well) I call
this the "voice" of the guitar.
Every guitar has a different voice, even among the same brand and
models just because of the uniqueness of the individual pieces of
wood. I have never hear a bad sounding well made spruce top
guitar. I have heard different tones of uniqueness from them all.
The dynamic responses of the wood to the different strings is
important. This means that to get "volume" from each string you pluck
them with the same intensity and you get the same or very close
decibels of sound level at different notes. It must be even as
possible for it to be acceptable to me. When you play cords you want
all the strings to ring out with as close to the same volume as
possible. Well made spruce top guitars have this quality.
Resonance. When you pluck a string it should continue to ring out
for at least 15 to 20 seconds before it dies out and goes quiet.
Next comes the actual construction methods and how the internal bracing
is accomplished. Done correctly or incorrectly or not carefully,
this can make or break the tone of a guitar. The style of
bracing used in Gruver guitars is a standardized "X" bracing that keeps
all struts from being under the bridge or near the bridge. The
bridge must "hang" in clear wood space to get the resonance, but the
guitar must be fully structured for strength at the same time.
(The manufacturer I use is the oldest in China and was trained by
Gibson to make guitars. The head of production came from Korea,
because he needed a job and all the manufacturing of most guitars
is now in China. Gibson has since made their own factory in China.) You
can name any brand and they have Chinese guitars now. But just like all
manufactured items some are far better than others.
The neck must be attached in such a way as to be strong but not deaden
the sounds of the spruce top. Mortise and tenon (dovetail is a
type of mortise and tenon) is the way guitar necks are
attached. Then the neck must have a "truss rod". We insist
on the two way truss rods for control of the neck angles.
The fret board, where the action is is best made with a slight compound
curve. The center is bowed back away from the strings about 10
thousands of an inch then after the 12 fret the fret board is bowed
down about 5 thousands of an inch to clear the high notes. This allows
for a very close action to the frets. You don't deflect the strings
much to make them touch the frets. This also makes for much
better intonation because the natural pressure downward will tighten
the tension on the individual strings and raise the tone. All
standard high end guitars will never have "perfect" intonation, but we
can do all that is possible to eliminate the "physics" involved to make
them sound sweet.
Then comes the over all intonation of the guitar. Using a
compensated bridge, as you can see in the photos allows the length of
the strings to be closer or farther off the center of the scale.
In this case it is a 25.5 inch scale but the bridge compensates for the
variations in tone from string to string to keep the guitar playing in
tune for the entire length of the fret board. The only thing better is
a compensated nut like Earvana or Delft's, Peterson's.
We can put an Earvana on
your guitar if you want. Contact us. This is because when you depress
strings at the first and second frets they always go up in pitch on
every guitar ever made, but nobody cares until you become a fanatic
Last but not least is the head stock and the angle of the strings going
into the "nut" at the top of the fretboard. If you look at the
Ouray, Creed, Arboles orRaritan, it has a very smooth transition from
the tuners or tuning machines towards the nut. The strings are
almost going straight into the nut on the Creede and Raritan. This
along with proper lubrication (use "Arjuna's Nut Sauce";
Teflon/Graphite lube) of the nut allows the guitar player to bend notes
all they want and not have the tension get "stuck" in the nut. The
tension of the strings pull through the nut or slide through the nut.
The only other way to do this is with a locking nut that clamps down on
the strings so they can't move at all. Many people don't like them and
they are not necessary with this angled nut to tuner arrangement as in
the Raritan. I've never seen one on an acoutstic guitar, but only on