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Richard Hoover began building guitars and carved-top mandolins in 1972. By 1976 his focus was on the modern steel string guitar. The task of becoming a master at all aspects of guitar making is a lifelong pursuit, and Richard has patiently refined his craftsmanship and knowledge as his company has grown. It was and is Richard’s intent to translate his skills and sensitivities as an individual builder to an exceptional team of craftspeople, each of whom could become an expert in their specialty. Richard’s style of allowing his craftspeople to interpret his vision has propelled Santa Cruz Guitar Company to the forefront of modern guitar making.Each Santa Cruz guitar receives an extraordinary amount of individual attention due to our “bench style” of building, which necessitates that each worker not only perform his own specialty, but also review the work of those who have completed stages before him. Over half of all the instruments that we build are custom orders, reflecting to a high degree the personality and unique playing needs of the buyer. Every guitar top is graduated and tuned by hand to attain maximum resonance and sustain, ensuring a high level of consistency of sound within each standard model line as well as the ability for custom voicing. The balance, tone, volume, and response of a Santa Cruz guitar are established before the guitar is strung. By limiting the number of instruments built, we can practice a style of lutherie born from a genuine love of the guitar, as opposed to a production line approach that might favor greater numbers at the expense of our attention to detail.We believe that our approach ensures that every Santa Cruz guitar is exceptional. Our intent is to create a uniquely sophisticated instrument that will inspire and challenge its owner throughout a lifetime.