1980 Ibanez “George Benson” GB 10
George Haynes 7-String
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This is my favorite classical guitar of the many I’ve owned, and it’s a very special instrument, not only because it was hand made by my brother Ron for me, but because of the amazing sound.
This guitarra blanca is deeply traditional in design and construction. Ron has studied guitar building, rosette construction and French polish with maestro Eugene Clark, and, while this instrument is a product of the Master’s student, it reflects the heritage of the classical guitar through Eugene’s decades of experience in guitar building and his scrutiny of the great Spanish builders works during repair and restoration.
For the dedicated listener, this guitar’s sound is recognizable as from a family of instruments; it’s has a voice that is rich in overtones in the bass with clear bell-tones in the treble. While not a quiet guitar, it has the ability to be heard in the back of the room by quality of sound, not volume.
The shape of the guitar is directly from Santo Hernandez, one of the greatest Spanish builders. The rosette is an original design by Ron, built in traditional fashion from hand-cut and hand-dyed veneers, assembled in traditional style. The simple, abbreviated headstock shape is a Smitty standard. Intentionally, there is no other inlay.
The soundboard is Sitka Spruce from Alaska, selected for specific properties of tension and resonance. Bracing is tight grain spruce. The neck is Spanish Cedar, wonderfully light and resonant. The back and sides are figured European Maple with Indian Rosewood binding and hand-dyed purflings. The fingerboard and bridge are ebony. Finish is hand applied shellac by the technique of traditional French polish using toning with colored shellac.