Gaffney Guitars

Julian graduated from the Galloup school of lutherie then worked for Sadowsky Guitars for nearly eight years before beginning his apprenticeship at the Somogyi workshop. As you'd expect of a luthier with his pedigree, Julian's work is beautifully executed with a super-fast response and a full, rich tone.

"Producing the best musical instruments I can imagine has been my life's work. Although the guitar itself is of fairly simple construction there is an endless avenue of refinement and consideration for those of us engaged in this practice to happily trot down."- Julian Gaffney. 

Following the Somogyi apprenticeship and developing Gaffney Guitars, Julian continued to take a lot of inspiration from Ervin’s work, yet takes his instruments in a totally personal direction. He continues to create unique, varied and innovative guitars with the goal being to keep changing and evolving these designs and processes. 

"I've trained quite a few apprentice luthiers by now. While it is impolitic to publicly favour one over any others, I do think that Julian Gaffney is one of the more promising ones. I consider it important to encourage individuals to find their own style, look, and "voice" of guitars. I've never been particularly interested in teaching anyone to turn out copies of Somogyi guitars; rather, I want them to learn the principles (aesthetic, structural, and tonal) of good guitar making and run with them. Julian, I think, is doing that rather well." - Ervin Somogyi


 Julian Gaffney sets himself with the challenge of being able to make consistent instruments, regardless of the shapes or materials, knowing the importance of a balanced instruments regardless of styles and playing techniques. Having said this, Julian does preference rosewoods, as these beautiful tonewoods simply serve their purpose perfectly, taking a particular liking to Cocobolo.

Gaffney Modified Dreadnought, Brazilian Rosewood and Sitka Spruce- $30,050

The design of this modified dreadnought will be familiar to any Somogyi fans. Large in stature and sound, it's been ergonomically reworked to be comfortable even for players used to smaller instruments. On this particular model, Julian has paired some very clean, straight-grained Sitka spruce with an unusually patterned set of Brazilian rosewood. The combination results in a tone that is warm and balanced, with some identifiable overtones that reveal themselves when a note is given the chance to sustain. And sustain, it does. The large size of the mod D shape maximizes the potential of Brazilian rosewood, giving it every opportunity to shine. It's as adept at tackling standard as it is alternate tunings, and fingerstyle players will find its responsiveness and comfortable D-profile neck a delight.

Such a sonically beautiful package wouldn't be complete without some visual appointments and player upgrades. The entire body is finished with a French polish, giving it a slight amber hue, enhancing the wood grain, and thanks to its thinness, allowing for the best possible sonic response. Long-lasting EVO gold fret wire stands in for standard fret wire, and a Florentine cutaway allows more access up the neck. To finish it off, an intricately carved wood pattern starts on the rosette and is repeated on the end of the body, and on the cutaway and where the neck joins, while plum and amber wood pieces are inlayed in the fingerboard. An exquisite guitar that combines aural and visual excellence.
  • Body size: Modified dreadnought
  • Top: Sitka spruce
  • Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
  • Neck: Honduran mahogany with D-profile
  • Scale length: 25.5"
  • Nut width: 1-3/4"
  • Fret wire: EVO Gold
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Finish: Full French polish
  • Cutaway: Florentine
  • Case: Hoffee hard case
  • Serial number: 031
  • Year of build: 2021

Gaffney Bespoke Build Slot for 2021 (35% Deposit)- $4,200

We have one remaining build slot this year with Julian Gaffney. This build slot for 2021 is available now, and can be secured today with a 35% deposit of $4,200, based on the starting price of $12,000 for a Gaffney guitar. 

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