Back & Sides:

Greenfield, Michael Learn More +

Greenfield, Michael
Every Greenfield Guitar is carefully handcrafted by Michael Greenfield in his Montreal shop. Each guitar he puts his name on is the very best one he can build as he does not build "standard" or "deluxe" instruments at different price ranges. His guitars incorporate many of the latest techniques and design features while still being handcrafted in the time honored tradition of the master guitar-makers of past generations. It is his philosophy that a truly superior instrument is the result of not only choice woods and careful construction but a clear vision of the desired result and a consistency of skills and techniques throughout. Because of this very personal approach, a Greenfield guitar looks, feels and sounds special.

Quartersawn soundboards

Mike's guitar designs address the needs of traditional and contemporary players of all musical styles. Spectacular, highly-figured sets of exotic tone woods and well-seasoned, quartersawn soundboards are carefully selected to achieve specific tonal results. He offers many models of different body shapes, sizes and scale lengths; symmetrical, asymmetrical, partial and full lattice braced soundboards; traditional or radial braced backs offer myriad possibilities of voice, color and texture within the tonal pallet. "My goal is to create individual instruments for individual artists and that you be not merely satisfied but thrilled with your finished guitar." - Mike Greenfield

A fine instrument starts with fine wood. Mike only buys tone woods which are handpicked by his wood suppliers to meet his exacting standards. Every piece of wood that does not meet these standards is returned. Most wood is then put away, for several more years, to age and season further in his shop's humidity/temperature controlled environment before he uses it.

Sets of wood are selected to best suit individual instruments. Greenfield judges each soundboard's stiffness, flexibility and the tap tone it produces. It is then carefully matched to a set of back and sides which possess complimentary tonal characteristics to that soundboard. They are then tailored to the correct dimension for that individual piece of wood, a crucial step in developing each instrument's full tonal potential.

Parabolic soundboards

Thinner soundboards sound better, but lack the structural integrity to withstand the tension of the strings. The use of parabolic soundboards, for Greenfield's steel string and classical guitars, virtually eliminates top deformation and self-destruction. The strength created by arching the soundboard and braces enables thinning of the soundboard significantly, while preventing the otherwise inevitable top collapse or excessive bulge. The thin soundboard produces greater bass and volume, while the precisely arched contour enhances the treble response (like flexing a saw blade).

Vacuum chamber

Each soundboard is built on a parabolic work board, computer machined to a specific radius. Each brace is individually contoured to match this radius perfectly. Then the braces are glued to the soundboard in a vacuum chamber, while still on the parabolic work board ensuring a perfect fit. This exerts an extremely even pressure over the entire surface of the parts being glued, resulting in the parts being stress free, which means they are free to vibrate more naturally, when tensioned by the strings. The braces are then scalloped and each soundboard is individually voiced to bring out its full tonal potential. The back plate of the instrument is built in much the same way on a separate work board of a different radius.

Fine craftsmanship

Greenfield guitars are built with pride in fine craftsmanship. This is a key factor in the sound of any instrument. Mike uses hot, animal hide glue. This natural glue has been used for centuries by makers of the finest musical instruments, for its superior acoustic properties and resistance to "creep".

After the top and back plates are glued to the sides, the final "tuning" of the bodies is done using tap tones and checking for stiffness and flexibility. This is another key step in getting the best possible sound from each individual instrument.

The bodies are bound with wood bindings, bordered with contrasting, carefully mitered purfling for an elegant, refined look. All bindings and purflings are made in his shop. It has enabled him to create a more individual "look" for his instruments while maintaining a higher standard of quality. Abalone edging and fingerboards inlayed with shell are upgrade options.

Stable necks

The necks on most Greenfield guitars are fabricated from multiple laminates of the finest, well-seasoned lumber. A non-compressive, double acting truss rod is standard on all models. All guitars are fitted with carbon graphite rods, which are inlayed into the neck, running its entire length and into the peghead (extending into the neck extension on archtop guitars). The carbon graphite has a higher stiffness to weight ratio than steel and is extremely light, adding very little weight to the overall instrument. This makes for an extremely true and stable neck, which is also very energy efficient, virtually eliminating "dead spots". The peghead is sandwiched by multiple, contrasting laminations of beautiful wood veneers. Besides their visual aesthetic, this makes for a very strong, virtually unbreakable peghead. Each neck is hand carved to a profile which will best suite your personal, playing preference. Necks are then fit to the bodies with a hand fit dovetail joint and secured with hide glue.

The fingerboard is bound to hide the fret ends giving a better "feel" for the player. Each instrument is carefully fretted followed by a perfect leveling, crowning and polishing after the neck is set to the body "It has been my experience, through years of guitar repair, that even the finest quality, hand made instruments, sometimes develop ripples in the fingerboard or a "hump" at the body joint, when fretted prior to setting the neck, and/or finishing the guitar. This allows me to correct the slightest discrepancy in the fingerboard, which may occur during the finishing, or final assembly process" - Mike Greenfield.

A flawless, high gloss, lacquer finish is standard on all Greenfield guitars. The finishes are kept as thin as possible so as not to impede tone. The final finish is only about .003"-.005" thick! Classical guitars are available with a traditional French polished shellac finish. Finally each instrument is set up specifically for your playing style.

Greenfield guitars, in their simplest form, combine the best of old world craftsmanship with the latest in guitar building technology. Mike pays meticulous attention to every detail, ensuring each guitar is built of the highest quality. These uncompromising standards are reflected in the sound and playability of each of his instruments. "I humbly believe that a Greenfield guitar is comparable to the finest ever built, old or new." - Mike Greenfield

While playing music professionally in the 1970s, I began setting up and repairing electric guitars. By the 1990s, this evolved into a career repairing and restoring vintage and antique guitars. Having had the opportunity to examine so many of those iconic pre-war and early 20th century instruments was an invaluable education. I was able to examine, measure, play and HEAR those wonderful guitars!! It also pointed out the issues that typically need service down the road, which I attempt to engineer out of my own instruments. Maintaining the guitars of so many musicians nurtured my understanding of how to address the needs of players with varied repertoire, styles and musical needs. I bring all of this to my craft and my current work. My goal is that you are not just satisfied but THRILLED with your new guitar.
Don Alder, Pierre Bensusan, Joe Finn, Melissa Greener, Paul Hinton, Charlie Hunter, Philippe Mariotti, Pat Martino, Brooke Miller, Derek Olive, Keith Richards, Emmanuel Rossfelder, Kenny Smilovitch, Del Vezeau
G1 Grand Concert, G2 Grand Auditorium, G3 Concert, G4 Jumbo, GB Baritone, Fanned Fret