Hooper, Ken Learn More +
I first became interested in instruments in the early 90’s when I started playing the mandolin and guitar. After playing a few higher end instruments that other pickers had I was amazed at the difference between the really nice instruments and mine. As I had always been someone who was good with my hands, I began to consider the possibility of building one myself. Looking back on it now, I realize that the turning point for me was when a friend of mine was having problems with the pick guard coming of his old D-35. He was a long-time friend of Wayne Henderson and suggested I ride with him to Wayne’s shop and get it fixed.
Each guitar has been a learning experience and I am fortunate in that the area of Northwest North Carolina where I live has no shortage of good luthiers to learn from in addition to Wayne. Don Wilson who works with Wayne has also helped me out a lot. I have had the privilege over the years to play some very fine guitars made by a lot of different people and companies. It never fails that the ones that always rise above the rest are the old Martins. The pre-war D28’s and D18’s are the “holy grail” for the guitar picker and the tone and clarity of those guitars is what I strive to achieve in my instruments. These guitars were meticulously crafted and were as cleanly constructed as any of the handmade guitars of today. Most builders will freely admit that this is the gold standard that we all strive to attain.
To this end, I use the best tone woods I can find; I like to use Red spruce for the top plates and I like to build as lightly as possible. I also enjoy using hide glue as was used on the old ones. With all that being said, I thank you for your time and possibly the opportunity to build you a guitar which represents my interpretation of the old Pre-war Martins.