Why Choose Woolson Soundcraft?
What makes a Woolson Soundcraft guitar different than any other instrument you can own? The sound. Each one has a signature sound that is evenly balanced with large bass, heavy mid-tones and crisp, clean highs. Woolson Soundcraft guitars are full of a signature tone that players crave.
These guitars maintain this consistent tone from model to model, and player to player. However, during the construction process certain elements can be adjusted to allow its tone to be shaded to the owner’s preference. Sustain can be added (or removed), bass can be accentuated (or diminished), clarity and intimacy can be added, or you might want an instrument that is pure power. While each one is different, you will find a common similarity in tone with each Woolson Soundcraft guitar. Much of this can be attributed to an intense focus on every detail of the construction process, and a few modern techniques and innovations I incorporate into the building process.
The term “double top” has been thrown around for a few years now. In its current form, it’s relatively new technology. However, classical builders have been using the original form of the double top for decades. This wonderful development originated from German Luthiers Gernot Wagner and Mattias Dammann. Though my methods of building a double top have evolved greatly from their original concepts, I give full credit to them for coming up with the idea.
The concept of a double-topped guitar is pretty simple: Sandwich a thin layer of aerospace honeycomb material between two very thin tops (or skins as we call them in our shop). In practice, it’s a bit more complex, however. This is done in a vacuum process, which creates a very stiff and stable soundboard. The main advantage to this structure is that the top can be built very lightly braced and still remain structurally sound. A lighter top allows more energy from the strings to turn into sound. The final result, in its very simplistic form, is a louder instrument with much greater dynamic range.
In the hands of a knowledgeable and experienced builder, that volume is carried throughout all of the strings, giving the guitar a rich, loud and even tone. Sensitive to the lightest touch yet still responsive (not over driven) to a heavy-handed player.
Look deep inside and you’ll notice a unique bracing pattern. There is either a unique pattern I call “spider bracing” or, visually, no bracing at all. Although it looks quite interesting, this dual approach serves a specific purpose. Both types of bracing are intended to lock the back from bouncing. The "spider-braced" pattern does so somewhat conventionally, while the “no bracing” technique does so internally between two skins, creating a double-backed guitar.
In many standard ladder-braced guitars, the back is more inclined to “bounce” with the sound waves. This movement can result in lost energy, volume and tone. The Woolson Soundcraft back is much more rigid and allows the true voice of the instrument to shine through.
A modified “X” brace on all current Woolson Soundcraft tops. It is a superior bracing pattern and it is primarily responsible for delivering the Woolson Soundcraft sound. However, the most significant feature used in Woolson Soundcraft top bracing is that the braces are not tucked into the linings. Tucked braces severely restrict the motion of the top and drastically reduce its ability to vibrate. Therefore, Woolson Soundcraft guitars have feathered braces at the edge of the linings which gives a much more vibrant “alive” quality to the tone.
Woolson Soundcraft has incorporated an element from the Spanish heel of classical guitars to support the tenon of the neck and counteract the forces on the top from the neck.
An upper and lower foot is added to the neck block which transfers the forces of the neck into the back of the guitar, rather than just riding on the tenon. This helps to relieve pressure from neck/fretboard. Fifteen years down the road, you won’t have a sagging area above the sound hole on these guitars.
Viewing the instrument as a “whole” rather than simple a collection of parts has allowed us to incorporate features that are simply not practical in traditional instruments. Because the fingerboard is cantilevered over the soundboard (no contact whatsoever above the soundboard) the real estate above the soundhole is allowed to contribute to overall tone of the instrument. There is also no need to brace the soundboard above the soundhole which frees the top to vibrate even more. Players have noticed that access to the higher frets is easier with a fingerboard that is elevated off the soundboard.
Compound Fingerboard & Saddle
The strings on these instruments maintain an even conical shape for player comfort, consistent action, and improved intonation. This involves using a compound radius of 12″ at the nut, 16″ at the 12th fret, and 20″ at the saddle. This improves the overall comfort and playability considerably. The option of a standard radius is always available with 16" from nut to saddle the most typical.
While a customer’s preference of neck profile is an option on all of our guitars, the “standard” is to incorporate a low-profile, “C” shaped neck. This neck profile is very pleasing and comfortable to most players and contributes to the overall playability of the instruments. While this is a very fast, comfortable neck for most players, it’s not for everyone. For those players that don’t fit into the “C” shaped mold, a custom shaped neck is made at no additional charge.
Most saddles sit vertically in their slot. The constant pull of the strings creates a horizontal force on the saddle that often leads to problems. Re-gluing bridges is a common repair on most guitars due to this constant “shear” force.
Woolson Soundcraft guitars have a saddle that is angled backward slightly (8° to be precise) to absorb some of this force and use it to provide a constant downward pressure on the saddle in the slot. This removes some of the tendency for the saddle to lean forward and create undue stress on the bridge/soundboard joint.
Additionally, where most bridges are designed with uniform pin placement, these guitars place the pins equidistant to the saddle. This provides a uniform break angle between the strings and the saddle and provides a more even, consistent tone and sustain across each string. Placing the pins in this manner greatly reduces the risk of bridge cracks that often occur when all of the pins are drilled through the same grain line.
While many of the above features are unique to Woolson Soundcraft guitars, what sets us apart is the ability to make a truly custom instrument. There is not an element of a guitar that cannot be made to a specific player’s needs. If you have specific needs or desires in a guitar, let’s talk. Chances are Woolson Soundcraft can make your dreams come true.
Woolson Soundcraft guitars are covered by a limited warranty to the original during the working life of the builder against defective materials or workmanship. Upon notice of any defect, Woolson Soundcraft will repair or replace,at its option, any defective part or material. Instruments returned for warranty repair must be shipped pre-paid and will be returned collect postage. This is the sole warranty of Woolson Soundcraft. No other written or oral warranty applies.
Limitations and exclusions
The following items are not covered by this warranty.
- Any instrument whose serial number is missing, or has been altered or tampered with in any fashion.
- Any instrument purchased from anyone other than an authorized Woolson Soundcraft dealer.
- Strings and batteries.
- Normal wear and tear on any part of the instrument including jacks, controls and switches, worn frets, plated surfaces, tuning machines, pick-guards, saddles and nuts, etc.
- Instruments that have been serviced by unauthorized persons (any person other than Woolson Soundcraft authorized service centers and technicians ).
- Defects in finish, or cracks, splitting, or warping of wood due to changes in temperature or humidity, exposure to sun, fire, moisture, body salts and acids, other chemicals.
- Case and case hardware wear and tear.
- All other defects and deterioration due to normal usage, wear and tear, aging, accidents, neglect, abuse, or acts of Nature.
- Changes in action due to age or seasonal changes.
- The subjective issue of tonal characteristics.
- Woolson Soundcraft assumes no liability for property damage resulting from failure of this product or any loss of income, satisfaction, or damages arising fromthe loss of use of same due to defects or availability of it during service.
- Here are some useful tips in maintaining your instrument.
- Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity. (Ideal humidity is 50% RH)
- Never leave your instrument in a hot or cold automobile.
- Polish with a dry soft cloth. Never use abrasive cloths or commercial cleaning agents as they will damage the finish.
- Always transport your Woolson Soundcraft guitar in a sturdy case.