McPherson Guitars' Matt McPherson Interview

Posted Jun 2, 2014 at 10:37am
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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 this one-on-one interview with Premier Guitar's Shawn Hammond, McPherson demonstrates the beautiful tones of his old-meets-new designs and talks about how a 1970s Tonight Show interview with a Japanese Johnny Cash impersonator got him thinking about how he could deconstruct bow physics to improve acoustic designs.
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