McPherson Guitars Factory Tour Part 1

Posted May 29, 2014 at 10:49am
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Acoustic luthier Matt McPherson has twin passions—guitars and archery. Since his youth, McPherson has been fascinated with the physics of wood, but his seemingly polar-opposite interests turned out to complement each other, leading him to develop forward-thinking designs in both realms: He's founder and CEO of Mathews Inc., an archery equipment company that's world-renowned for its light carbon-fiber compound bows, and the lessons he learned about bow tension and dampening translated to intriguing designs in his flattop acoustics—including cantilevered necks and offset soundholes that facilitate a lengthened soundboard, and his trademark "overpass-underpass" bracing, which he says improves sustain by minimizing vibration-absorption points. Today, McPherson leads a team of six luthiers who craft 150--200 exquisitely made boutique acoustics per year in their shop in Sparta, Wisconsin. In part one of our McPherson shop tour, we see how two luthiers oversee the entire construction of a McPherson acoustic's body, how the company's custom-machined solid-aluminum side benders contribute to consistency, and how their weather-impervious carbon-fiber neck inserts eliminate the need for a truss rod.
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