Luthier

Theunis Fick Guitars

Luthier
Theunis Fick
Founded
2019
Location
Cape Town, South Africa

From Cape Town, South Africa, Theunis Fick is building some of the most progressive acoustic guitars in the world, blending science, mechanics and modernism. 

With a degree in civil engineering, and having studied guitar building through The Casimi School of Lutherie in South Africa, and the Galloup School of Guitar Building and Repair in Michigan, USA, Theunis completed an apprenticeship with Casimi Guitars before setting up his own custom shop. “My goal is to pursue a deep understanding of the physics of the acoustic guitar. I believe that through a holistic understanding of the guitar and the application of engineering principles in designing and analyzing the instrument, the acoustic guitar can be optimized beyond its current form,” says Theunis.    

“My build philosophy is rooted in the pursuit of four goals: playability, responsiveness, pitch accuracy and structural stability.”

Playability is addressed throughout the build, from the string spacing at the nut and saddle, through to the construction, shaping and fitting of the neck, and precision fret work and setup.  

 To achieve the desired responsiveness, care is taken to construct lightweight plates with bracing patterns which evenly distribute the stresses imposed by the string tension. The fundamental resonances of the plates are tuned to achieve the desired level of coupling, without excessive attenuation. Pitch accuracy is addressed by placing these resonances between scale notes (which reduces the likelihood of dead or “wolf” notes) and by intonating both the nut and the saddle.  

 “All parts of the guitar whose vibrations are not fundamental to the creation of the guitar’s voice, are constructed with the aim of making them as rigid and stable as possible, thereby increasing the structural stability and longevity of the instrument, and minimising the loss of energy through undesirable or unproductive vibrations.” 

 

The Guitars

Theunis Fick Guitars offer three base models: Model 1, Model 2, and Model 3.

Models

Model 1

The Model 1 is a small-bodied, 12-fret guitar, inspired by the comfortably-sized blues guitars of the 1920s, but executed with modern aesthetics, performance and tonality in mind. The short 24.625” scale length and compact body create a guitar which is extremely easy and comfortable to play for extended periods of time.   

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*

Dimensions
Body length
476mm
Lower bout
373.4mm
Upper bout
269mm
Waist
228mm
Standard specifications
Soundboard
 Varies
Back and sides
 Varies
Neck
 Cattle bone
Neck profile
 Slim C
Fingerboard
Varies
Inlay
 Varies
Tuners
 Varies
Nut material
 Cattle bone
Nut width
45mm
Scale length
 24.625”
Peg head veneer
 Varies
Pickguard
Varies
Rosette
 Varies
Purfling
 Varies
Back strip
 Varies
Body binding
Varies
Bridge
 Varies
Pins
 Varies
Saddle material
 Cattle bone
String spacing
 57mm
Theunis’ notes

As with all of my models, the scale length is selected based on the body size and the aim of placing the bridge as close to the centre of the lower bout as possible. In keeping with tradition, the Model 1 does not feature a cutaway, however a 13-fret model with a slightly longer scale length will be developed to provide extra access to the upper frets, without compromizing on the placement of the bridge.  

Model 2

The point of departure for the design of his flagship model, the Model 2, was to create a medium-sized, modern acoustic guitar with a 12-fret body join. The constraints introduced by the desired body size and the goal of placing the bridge as close to the centre of the lower bout as possible, dictated the selection of a 25” scale length. A deep cutaway was deemed appropriate to provide access to the full extent of the fingerboard. An alternate arrangement was also developed, which comprises a 13-fret body join and a 25.5” scale length—the Model 2-13.

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*


Dimensions
Body length
501mm
Lower bout
394mm
Upper bout
292mm
Waist
244mm
Standard specifications
Back and sides
 Varies
Neck
 Cattle bone
Neck profile
 Slim C
Fingerboard
Varies
Inlay
 Varies
Tuners
 Varies
Nut material
 Cattle bone
Nut width
45mm
Scale length
 25”
Peg head veneer
 Varies
Pickguard
Varies
Rosette
 Varies
Purfling
 Varies
Back strip
 Varies
Body binding
Varies
Bridge
 Varies
Pins
 Varies
Saddle material
 Cattle bone
String spacing
 57mm
Theunis’ notes

The body of this guitar was designed around those primary constraints and proportioned according to the golden ratio, which can be found in the width of the lower bout versus the width of the waist, as well as the length of the box versus the length from the waist to the tail. This is my flagship instrument and I love building this one!  

 

Model 3

For those who desire a larger instrument, the Model 3 is currently under development. It will offer the player an ergonomically and aesthetically pleasing alternative to the traditional Dreadnought. The longer 26” scale length provides additional tension to drive the larger top plate and, together with a 12-fret body join, ensures that the bridge is placed optimally in the centre of the lower bout.  

*Please note, the specifications provided below are the standard specs included in the base price. Specifications are customizable upon request*



Dimensions
Body length
515mm
Lower bout
404mm
Upper bout
308mm
Waist
250mm
Standard specifications
Back and sides
 Varies
Neck
 Cattle bone
Neck profile
 Slim C
Fingerboard
Varies
Inlay
 Varies
Tuners
 Varies
Nut material
 Cattle bone
Nut width
45mm
Scale length
 26”
Peg head veneer
 Varies
Pickguard
Varies
Rosette
 Varies
Purfling
 Varies
Back strip
 Varies
Body binding
Varies
Bridge
 Varies
Pins
 Varies
Saddle material
 Cattle bone
String spacing
 57mm
Theunis' Notes

As with all my guitars, this model was designed around the basic constraints of body size, optimal bridge placement and the golden ratio. A 13-fret version will also be developed.  

 

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