De Jong Guitars
I have been making guitars since the year 2000. From this point on i have been concentrating on perfecting my skills and methods in order to produce fine concert guitars. I am a self taught luthier but have learnt many skills from my father who is a boat builder and my uncle who was a flamenco/classical guitarist and carver. I have been playing guitar since my early teens and was taught classical by my uncle. My work shop is south of Hobart in country Tasmania.
Why choose a luthier built guitar?
Working with a guitar maker is one way for a player to acquire a unique guitar that is perfect for them. Neck shape, set up, string response and general sound are just some things the maker can create in order to give the player exactly what they want, size of the guitar and wood choice are also important factors. The end result is a guitar with defined character. The traditional Luthier also French polishes their instruments, which is the method of applying a shellac based varnish. This produces a beautiful finish which doesn’t impede vibrations.
My aim is to craft perfectly balanced traditional guitars, aesthetically and musically. The guitars are built with exceptional quality seasoned materials that are worked and glued in a stable environment of around 45 percent humidity. Each element of the guitar from the head stock to the tail block has an important role to play and therefore everything is carefully shaped and thinned by hand. The sound board receives the most attention and this is "tuned" (scraped, sanded, flexed and tapped here and there) before and after assembly.
The playability of the guitar is vital, time is spent working on the neck shape, nut, saddle and soundboard until the instrument is comfortable. Even though the classical guitar has obvious limitations, it is probably the most expressive and intimate of all instruments. This important function is always kept in mind when building, whether it’s a big powerful guitar or a small sweet one. This means a guitar with a deep tonal palate mixed with clarity, balance and power.
I have been mostly influenced by Spanish guitars, for example a 1968 Ignacio Fleta, 1966 (MT) Jose Ramirez and a 1978 Manuel Reyes. These particular guitars I have played had an amazing quality of tone, perfect balance and overall refinement. Even though I don't strictly follow these guitars, It is this level of sound and craftsmanship I aspire towards.