2010 David Richard 000 14-Fret Flattop Guitar

This is only Mr. Richard's second guitar and, aside from lofty Froggy Bottoms, this is the only regional-made custom flattop guitar I've truly and very-enthusiastically been excited about. What's so magic? Well -- the voicing, the stripped-down 30s-meets-50s vibe, and the painfully-good "vintage" feel to it. It's only six years old and yet it handles (and sounds) like an old 40s/50s Gibson warhorse -- with all the modern features, of course. It also plays perfectly, too. The attention to detail is spot-on.

So -- what's going on, exactly? The guitar itself clearly borrows a Martin 000 14-fret body image, though the bracing style is taken from a 1952 J-45 and it features the shorter, 24 3/4" Gibson scale length and a very late-40s/early-50s slim-to-medium C-shape neck profile. Add in the depth of an LG-series model to the sides and you have a winning instrument that sounds an awful lot like an old J-45 but has a bit more clarity and cohesiveness to both the bottom and top-end. It makes a superb flatpicker that can turn right away into a fingerpicker and record (and jam) beautifully in both modes.

Huh? That reads: it's up my alley. That also reads: if it's up my alley... and it's a new guitar... and I'm excited about it -- it has to be a great new guitar. I really don't pay attention to much in the modern market as so much of it falls short, in so many ways, of older instruments. This one doesn't disappoint and so I'm glad Mr. Richard (ree-shard) gave into my pressing to bring this back by the shop so I could snag some pictures and do a write-up on it.

It's solid spruce over solid flamed (soft) maple with a rosewood board and bridge and, I think...

...an ebony headstock veneer. Please excuse the dust. We were on a tight schedule today so I didn't get to wipe it down.

The nut is 1 11/16" and the binding is thicker in that "J-200" fashion.

The understated rosette is definitely a draw -- as is the simple binding and upscale, celluloid firestripe pickguard.

The pins look like StewMac ivoroid types and the nut and saddle are both bone.

Yeah, it's a riot, isn't it?

The maple is antagonizingly-gorgeous.

Even vintage-style Grovers are used and a rosewood "backstrap" is in place.

The neck is two-piece flamed hard maple with a center-strip of what appears to be mahogany. Two-piece flamed necks are wise -- and stable.

The heel is a refined take on the older Gibson/Guild look. Note also the absurdly-nice finishing job -- simple but very clean.

If you don't have at least a small pang upon seeing all that flame, you may be a bit used-up on the inside, folks.

As well as being a freshly-minted K&K dealer, there's also a Pure Mini installed, too.

It appears to have a bolted neck joint, too. I say: thumbs-up!