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Max Spohn remembers listening to his father’s records as a kid with a guitar in his hands, strumming along without knowing what he was doing. It took a while to figure out how to use it properly, but nowadays he can’t imagine life without a guitar nearby.
With an art teacher for a father, Max began to imagine, design, draw and build things from an early age. Max was especially attracted to the possibilities of working with wood; creating pipes, boxes, and furniture. He soon realized that he could combine his love of art and wood to build custom guitars. This passion, shaped by focused study at Westsächsische Hochschule Markneukirchen in Germany and through many years of personal study and experimentation, has made Max a professional luthier.
As an instrument maker Max is motivated by the desire to improve and develop his art, skills and to evolve the idea of what it means to build one-of-a-kind instruments in the 21st century.
With his artist sensibility Max finds inspiration for new designs by regularly visiting both commercial and fine art galleries. Nature is also a deep source of inspiration in his design: The swirl of a leaf, the hypnotic arc of the nautilus shell, the flow of water over stone.
Max was also immensely inspired by the book “The Responsive Guitar” by Ervin Somogyi. After reading it he went to see a lecture by Raymond Kraut, a former student of Somogyi. Max introduced himself to him and got to play some of his guitars, immediately being impressed by their beauty, depth of tone, and craftsmanship. Max went on to intern with Raymond Kraut as well.
Great guitars must have a wide dynamic range, be tonally balanced – without masking any of the frequency ranges – constructed from the best materials, be comfortable to hold, and beautiful to the eye. A guitar should feel like a natural extension of the body and at the same time present itself as art. It must be an instrument that allows the player to explore musical worlds that he or she may not have known existed – such is the capability of the best instruments.