#FJFest: Spohn Guitars

Max Spohn, of Spohn Guitars, is a young builder based in Heidenheim, Germany. He studied lutherie at university and interned with Raymond Kraut, whose influence is most evident in Max’s inlay/rosette work, before opening his own shop. Before the pandemic hit, Max was working on two guitars to bring to the Holy Grail Guitar Show, now canceled. The gallery below shows the guitars in progress. Max describes them as follows:

The first one is a 00-C, the cutaway version of my smallest model. This one features a spectacular set of Brazilian rosewood for the back and sides and a Swiss moon spruce top. Besides inlaying fine lines near the soundhole I decided not to inlay rectangular pieces of burl wood, like I usually do it, but to add two additional [rectangular] soundholes that work as graphical elements. Besides a matching spruce headstock overlay I kept the design simple to keep the main focus on the spectacular woods.

The second guitar is my Modified Dreadnought shape in the baritone version. It has a 710mm scale and will be tuned a fifth lower. This one features a great set of European birdseye maple for the back and sides. The inlays and the top purfling are made out of horn with gold leaf on the bottom. It is an old technique used a lot on tortoise shell inlays in furniture.

Due to the shutdown in Germany, the guitars remain unfinished, but some progress was made — Max shared a short clip of the first coat of shellac being applied to the 00-C, below. And be sure to check out the Media page on his site for sound files and video of his instruments in action.

#FJFest is the Fretboard Journal‘s way of staying connected during these difficult times: Expect to see never-before-seen shop tours from guitarmakers, unique music performances and a ton of beautiful instruments on a daily basis.

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