Luthier

Santa Cruz Guitar Company

Luthier
Richard Hoover
Founded
1976
Location
Santa Cruz, California. US.

Founded by Richard Hoover in 1976, the Santa Cruz Guitar Company brought boutique guitar making to the forefront of the steel string guitar business.

With the aim of developing a true custom shop, a small team in the hills of Santa Cruz, California, build around 400 ‘heirloom quality’ instruments every year.

“It’s never just going to be business for us. It’s about our values. About making the most perfect instrument for an individual,” says Richard Hoover. “A true custom shop has empathy for their clients; without that, you could push people into something they don’t want and they’ll feel dissatisfied no matter how good it sounds because they just won’t bond with it.”

“We’re a true custom shop. That’s exactly what’s in my DNA.”

Building such a modest number of instruments per year, the Santa Cruz Guitar Company procures the top 1% of tonewoods and employs the world’s most passionate team of luthiers. Expertise and mastery can only be earned through practice, and their luthiers’ combined experience spans over a century.

This custom thing is a relationship. If we're just talking cosmetics, it's not a big problem, because somebody can describe or send pictures back and forth. You can do inlays, you can do wood binding combinations, you can give somebody just what they ordered. Just like a combination plate in a Chinese restaurant. But that's not lutherie, that's just filling an order. And that was the revelation for me that led me to become a custom guitar maker; it’s not just in cosmetics, but in sound.

Richard Hoover

The Guitars

Santa Cruz Guitar Company offers a wide range of models and upgrades. Here are some of the most popular...

Models

Dreadnought

The Dreadnought: the design that introduced boutique lutherie. In the early 1970’s, it was the rare player who would consider any guitar smaller than a dreadnought.

SCGC have numerous dreadnought models available: Standard, Pre-War, Tony Rice, Tony Rice Professional, 1934D, Vintage Artist, D-12 Fret, Brad Paisley, D-Law, D-Nershi. Below are standard base model specs.

Standard specifications
Top
Adirondack spruce
Back and sides
Indian rosewood
Binding
Ivoroid
Nut width
1-11/16"
Scale length
25.375"
Tuners
Waverly
Bracing
Tapered

FS

The FS Model was designed in response to the renaissance of alternate tunings for complex fingerstyle arrangements. Comparable to other maker's Grand Auditoriums in size, and geared towards the needs of fingerstyle players.

Dimensions
Lower bout
16"
Depth
4-1/2"
Upper bout
11-1/4"
Body length
20"
Standard specifications
Top
European spruce or cedar
Back and sides
Indian rosewood
Nut width
1-13/16"
Neck profile
Round
Scale length
25.375"
Tuners
Gotoh 510
Cutaway
Venetian

H Model

Santa Cruz's H model is a vintage-inspired 00-style guitar, available in 12-, 13-, and 14-fret configurations (the 13-fret seems to be the most popular!).

Dimensions
Lower bout
14.625"
Depth
5"
Standard specifications
Top
European spruce
Back and sides
Mahogany
Bracing
Scalloped/tapered
Headstock
Slotted
Nut width
1-3/4"
Neck shape
V
Scale length
25.375"
Tuners
Waverly

OM

The SCGC OM is versatile and provides clean, loud mid-range and trebles that are complimented by a slightly predominant bass. Deeply appreciated for fingerstyle and contemporary flat picking work, the OM is SCGC's number one request.

Available standard or in special Pre-War or 1934 series specs.

Dimensions
Lower bout
15-1/8"
Depth
4-1/8"
Standard specifications
Top
European spruce
Back and sides
Indian rosewood
Binding
Ivoroid
Bracing
Scalloped
Nut width
1-3/4"
Neck profile
V with volute
Scale length
25.375"
Tuners
Waverly

OM Grand

SCGC’s OM Grand is a bigger, lusher, louder sister to their extremely popular OM model, comparable to a Martin 0000.

Dimensions
Lower bout
16"
Depth
4"
Standard specifications
Top
European spruce
Back and sides
Indian rosewood
Bracing
Scalloped
Scale length
25.375"
Neck shape
V with volute
Nut width
1-3/4"
Tuners
Waverly

000

SCGC's 000 is a 12-fret slotted headstock guitar, modeled after the predecessor to the 14-fret OM. Also available with SCGC's special 1929 series specs.

Dimensions
Lower bout
15-1/8"
Depth
4-1/8"
Standard specifications
Top
European spruce
Back and sides
Indian rosewood
Bracing
Scalloped
Headstock
Slotted
Neck shape
V (no volute)
Nut width
1-3/4"
Scale length
25.375"
Tuners
Waverly

Slope-Shouldered D

SCGC's slope shouldered dreadnought include in the 14-fret Vintage Jumbo (standard scale) and Vintage Southerner (short scale), plus the 12-fret RS (short). Standard specs across models listed below.

Standard specifications
Top
Adirondack spruce
Back and sides
Mahogany
Nut width
1-11/16"
Finish
Sunburst
Tuners
Waverly

00

The 00 is an ergonomic delight. This instrument delivers ease of playability and surprising volume for its size. Certainly not just a smaller version of the 000, the 00 is a specialized tool onto itself, with a 12-fret neck join and short scale.

A popular variation is the 00 Eric Skye, featuring cocobolo back and sides.

Standard specifications
Top
European spruce
Back and sides
Indian rosewood
Bracing
Scalloped
Neck profile
V (no volute)
Scale length
24-3/4"
Nut width
1-3/4"
Tuners
Waverly

Style 1

 Modeled after the early Martin Size1, the Style 1 is a long, slender parlor-style guitar with a unique voice.

Standard specifications
Top
European spruce
Back and sides
Indian rosewood
Headstock
Slotted
Neck shape
V
Nut width
1-3/4"
Scale length
24-3/4
Tuners
Waverly
Bracing
Scalloped

PJ

The PJ’s parlor-style body was the pinnacle of the art of guitar making up until the late 19th century. This was the optimal size for tonal perfection.

Standard specifications
Top
European spruce
Back and sides
Indian rosewood
Headstock
Solid square
Neck shape
V
Nut width
1-11/16"
Scale length
24"
Tuners
Waverly
Bracing
Scalloped

Explore Santa Cruz Guitar Company

Why Buy From The North American Guitar

Secure payment methods

We accept all major credit and debit cards as well as PayPal or bank and wire transfers

Flexible finance options

We offer an array of flexible finance options so that you can secure your dream guitar

Safe and secure packaging

All instruments ship in triple-layered guitar boxes stuffed with packing peanuts

Global shipping

We use the most trustworthy couriers to give peace of mind no matter the location

No hidden fees or taxes

What you see at checkout is what you pay so there are no surprises at your door

72-hour appraisal period

All our guitars come with an appraisal period meaning easy returns if you’re not satisfied