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Mervyn Davis Learn More +

Mervyn Davis
My fascination with instrument building started at a very early age and like many other South African boys I made use of petrol cans in my first attempts. The tale of my father building a mandolin in a prisoner of war camp in Italy during the second world war in addition to being part of a musical family inspired me into more serious instrument building throughout my high school days.While studying architecture at the university of Port Elizabeth (1974 - 1978) I started receiving commissions from local musicians to build guitars and other instruments. During this period, I was also commissioned by the university to do all required maintenance of the instruments belonging to the music conservatoire.After graduating in 1978 I started a career in full time instrument making which was only interrupted by two years military service between 1980 and 1982. Working in relative isolation in South Africa resulted in my developing a unique style of instrument building which is characterized by a high content of experimentation.My quest remains to build instruments that meet the demands of modern composers, express modern aesthetics and make use of modern technology while retaining the romance and lure of the classic instruments.I am now shifting my focus away from SmoothTalkers towards my first love of building more conventional models of both Steelstring and Classical guitars. (Paul and I agreed that I would consign some of these instruments to Dream guitars when available).My wife Debbie and I are busy with a research project into lost Bushman Paintings in the Namib Desert. I will re-introduce this theme into my work as inlays after first building a series of guitars featuring Bushman Art in the Eighties.I will soon introduce a new model in Nylon and Steel which introduces some of the SmoothTalkers’ features (i.e removeable neck with adjustable neck set) into classic designs. The focus here is simplicity of design and minimal adornment, and may include such features as my own version of double top construction.
Mervyn Davis is doing something new and exciting, his smooth talker guitars have a clear and powerful voice and offer a unique choice for the modern player. While these are very artistic make no mistake these are serious guitars with serious tone. Davis Guitars offer a fresh design with great playability and tone. From South Africa to you...
South Africa
Bella Fleck, Steve Newman, Johnny Fourie, Tony Cox, Vusi Mahlasela, Dozi, Rudi Bauer, Greg Georgiades, Tananas, Not My Dog, SciCoustic, Radio Kalahari Orkes, CH2, Aquarian Quartet
Smooth Talker, Electric 6-String, Baritone, Bass
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