The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Bruce West Spruce Top Classical Guitar, 2013

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This excellent Bruce West Spruce top classical guitar is new though older stock, with an Alpine Spruce top and Indian Rosewood back and sides. It’s built using traditional Spanish construction, with solid linings and tailblock made from black willow. The finish is a beautiful, tonally transparent and hand applied oil varnish.

Bruce West has built guitars and violins since 1969, after developing an interest in building while taking lessons with Eli Kassner. West worked with Jean Larrivee and Edgar Monch early in his career and ran a commercial machine shop.

He also was associated for some time with the late Darryl Williams, who specialized in baroque and classical instruments in a shop outside of Schomberg, Ontario. With Darryl – who was also a Media Arts professor at Ryerson University – and on his own, Bruce has also taught a number of courses in instrument construction.

Bruce builds a variety of instruments at his shop near Stirling, Ontario including violins, guitars, violas, and bows.

This example of Bruce West’s work dates to 2013 and features a pairing of a European Spruce top with Indian Rosewood for the sides, back, headplate and bridge, mahogany for the neck with Ebony for the fingerboard. It is a full concert 650mm scale guitar with a 52.5mm nut width. The action is a fairly stiff 10/64ths treble to 13/64ths bass side. The construction is high quality, very clean and solid. The neck joint uses a traditional integrated ‘Slipper’ design, directly connecting the sides and heel. The tuners are by Van Gent with pearlescent buttons and work very well.

The finish is a traditional hand-rubbed oil varnish, not a sprayed lacquer or synthetic. Eight to ten coats are applied, rubbed down between each coat and finally hand polished with pumice.

This Bruce West Cutaway Classical features an Alpine Spruce top. Here’s Bruce describing how he acquired this wood, which he has been using for many years:

“Back in the 1970’s when I had a few bucks in my pocket, Jose Romanillos came to Toronto for a guitar making workshop. Thats where I met him and he told me about a Mr. McCurdy who was a retired cello maker in the south of England. When Alex McCurdy was an apprentice, his mentor took him to the alps in Switzerland and they selected the most promising spruce tree they could find. they cut it into billets and shipped it back to England. McCurdy’s job as an apprentice was to hand split and sticker the prize to air dry..

I immediately got in touch with McCurdy and found out that he had some of that batch of wood left so I bought it all.
The bottom line is, the wood is about 100 years old and is from the same tree as the one that Romanillos used for his finest guitars, as played by Julian Bream.”

The design is based on the guitars of Monch during his period in Canada, as West and Larrivee both worked with Monch when learning lutherie. This fine instrument plays very, very well, and speaks clearly with a warm tone.

The original ‘Made in Canada’ TKL case is included.


 

Price: $4,200.00 CAD
  • Model: Classical Guitar
  • Year: 2013
  • Finish Natural Oil Varnish
  • Class: New
  • Serial Number: 145, built 2013
  • Country of Origin: Canada
  • Condition: Brand New
  • Date Posted: 07/02/2014

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 3.43lbs 1.56kg
  • Scale Length: 650mm 25.6in
  • Nut Width: 52.5mm 2.07in
Bruce West Website

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