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A Truly Sensational Instrument Arrives: Santa Cruz OM Custom in Ancient Kauri & Ancient Sitka

 

We have received guitars in a wide variety of tonewoods over the years, but nothing quite comes close to the historic woods that make up the latest arrival from Santa Cruz, an OM Custom in Ancient Kauri and Ancient Sitka.
When we brought in our first guitar built with an Ancient Sitka top by Santa Cruz last year, a piece of wood 3,000 years old, we were aghast with its beauty and sonic richness. How something with such an age can be used as a workable material to become the beating heart of a steel string acoustic guitar is incredible, and we’ve since received a small number of guitars with this top wood with varying back and sides woods, including Brazilian Rosewood and African Blackwood. 

But even the 3,000 year old age of the Ancient Sitka pales into an element of some insignificance when you compare that to the wood of a tree that has been carbon dated to 45,000 years ago.

The New Zealand Ancient Kauri found on the back and sides of this new Santa Cruz OM is exactly that. Harvested at the turn of the 21st century having been felled and obscured by the swampy areas on New Zealand’s north island, where it had been starved of oxygen for thousands of years. 
The result is a tonewood that is rich in harmonic quality and tonal balance, and has a stunning velvet-like shimmer to its colour quite unlike anything we've seen before.
It's fitting that Richard Hoover and the team at the Santa Cruz custom shop have sought out this wood, as it has been a career-long passion of Richard's to make use of nature's gifts in a responsible way. "...through responsible harvest; we can show others how to make the best things on earth without compromise to the world we live in." Richard has previously said.
So, to the guitar itself, the Santa Cruz OM model is both a fantastic homage and an evolution of the traditional OM, built with advanced Adirondack scalloped X-bracing featuring hot hide glue construction.
The Ancient Kauri back and sides have been tastefully complemented with Koa binding and a thin black backstrip so as not to detract from the bookmatching on the ancient wood, while the 3,000 year-old Sitka top is decorated with SCGC's S29 purfling and a Koa rosette.
The 14-fret Mahogany neck has a V profile and is topped with an Ebony fretboard, subtly decorated with Koa binding and SCGC's short pattern diamond inlays. The Ebony theme continues to the headstock overlay and completed with koa binding and the full SCGC logo.
Carl Miner is the first of our players to sit down with this guitar:

 

 

When talking previously about the 3,000-year-old Ancient Sitka, SCGC's Richard Hoover stated, "This here is the perfect encapsulation of what we do. This spruce top is from Alaska… It was frozen for 3000 years in the permafrost, then it was unearthed and carbon-dated at 3000 years old. Now this has not been fossilised or petrified, it was preserved in the deep freeze."
"So, the quality of sound is everything you’d expect with the benefit of the secret of why old instruments sound good; the resins have polymerised and become like crystal, meaning it sounds way better than a new piece of wood would."
"The providence of this is an awesome story, and the reason we do it is not that someone needs this kind of wood to make an excellent sounding guitar, but it is to begin the dialogue and give our true message which is 'we can make the best stuff in the world but we don’t have to make the world a worse place by how we use the materials'."
"So reclamation, not only do we have better sounding wood but don’t have to cut a tree and there’s a very cool story that goes along with it… In this case, this spruce is going to give a bright, clear, articulate sound, not treble, just clear.”

Santa Cruz OM Custom Acoustic Guitar, Ancient Kauri & Ancient Sitka - $42,615 | £38,595 inc VAT | 42,750 € inc VAT

  • Year: 2020
  • Top: 3000 Year Old Ancient Sitka from Alaska
  • Back & Sides: 45,000 Year Old Ancient Kauri from New Zealand
  • Rosette: Koa
  • Purfling: S29
  • Backstrip: Thin Black
  • Body Binding: Koa
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Neck Profile: V
  • Fretboard Wood: Ebony
  • Peg Head Style: Solid Square
  • Peg Head Veneer: Ebony w/ Koa Binding
  • Fretboard Binding: Koa
  • Fretboard Inlays: Short Pattern Diamonds/Squares
  • Tuners: Open Back Waverly
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Pins: Ebony w/ MOP Dots
  • Saddle Material: Bone
  • Saddle Type: Drop-in, Compensated
  • Nut Material: Bone
  • Pickguard: None
  • Nut Width: 1 3/4”
  • Spacing at Saddle: 2 3/16”
  • Scale Length: 25.375”
  • Body Depth: 4 1/4”
  • Body Length: 19 3/8”
  • Upper Bout: 11 1/4”
  • Lower Bout: 15 1/4”
  • Truss Rod: Adjustable
  • Brace Pattern: Advanced Adirondack Scalloped X-Bracing w/ Hot Hide Glue
  • S/N: 5722
This quite astonishing instrument has understandably attracted a lot of attention since its arrival, and is in stock now in our Nashville showroom and available to ship worldwide.
To find out more about this instrument, or any of our Santa Cruz guitars, please don't hesitate to reach out by calling our US team on +1 615-383-8947 or our UK team by calling +44 (0) 207 835 5597, alternatively you can email us here.

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