About the Blackwood Guitar Company
Hi, I am Ted Brown, designer and builder of fine acoustic guitars at Blackwood Guitar Company in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I have over 40-years of experience as a trained cabinetmaker and woodworking teacher. In 2010 after taking guitar lessons, my interest turned to making guitars. After making several guitars, I went to study under world master guitar maker Sergei de Jonge in Chelsea Quebec. Guitar making is a burning passion for me. I gladly head to the shop daily to create new instruments that are receiving a wonderful response from players.
I now offer five standard guitar models that span the range from small intimate guitars to the serious strummer, the Blackwood Dreadnought. All guitars are hand made with the intent of making the finest instruments I can possibly make.
Why buy your guitar from an independent craftsman?
The answer here is simple, an instrument is the sum of its details. As an independent maker I make many decisions all along the way that ultimately affect the look, feel, and most importantly the sound of your custom guitar.
I hand select every sound board, and test it for tap tone to ensure it will be sensitive, musical, and lively. A hand-picked set of sides and backs is then matched to this great sound board. The combination of woods selected will develop the tonal character of your guitar.
As bracing is added to the soundboard during construction, each brace is carefully carved while the sound board is tap tested until it responds with good separation of notes, and a good display of musicality. The same is true for the bracing on the back of the guitar; a secondary diaphragm that adds to the overall sound that you experience.
We add in custom details like the Blackwood Rigid Neck – our neck block support system. We mount carbon rods between the top of the neck block and the lower part of the guitar sides to stiffen the entire guitar structure, adding sustain to the guitar. The neck block supports also help to keep the neck in alignment over the years, avoiding the need for a neck angle reset.
Our 5-piece necks not only look good, but they add significant strength to the neck, especially in the volute area on the back side just below the headstock. This strong neck is very unlikely to break if your guitar should be dropped, while the added rigidity further enhances sustain.
The use of Asymmetrical bracing on the sound board, along with variable radius bracing on our guitar backs adds to the “colour” of the sound. The resultant increase in overtones is notable in Blackwood Guitars, part of the many little details that make a difference.
Finish is critical to good tone. The ultimate goal is to keep whatever finish you use thin, and somewhat flexible so that it does not dampen sound. Spray-on film finishes such as Nitrocellulose Lacquer and Polyurethane offer good durability, but lose just a wee bit of sound in the high end. Alternatively, we offer hand applied French polishing (shellac) for your instrument. Factory guitars do not offer polish because it is a difficult, time consuming method for obtaining a beautiful, thin finish. Polish takes time (about 20 hours), but pays off in great sound. The down side is that French polish is not as durable as the film finishes. Your choice.