Michael F. Lazar
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Biography and Lutherie Background

New Directions

In the fall of 2004, I began a systematic research of features and innovations I was seeing in what might be categorized as "modern" classical guitars. One by one I considered features such as elevated fret boards, lattice and other top bracing designs, double tops, acoustic ports and non traditional bridge designs and numerous other innovative approaches. Through my position on the executive of  our local classical guitar society, I have had opportunities to examine and discuss the attributes of many different instruments and innovations with over 50 of the worlds best guitarists that our society has engaged for concerts and master classes over the past 18 years. In numerous instances I was able to have these artists play my guitars and provide constructive criticism and advice. Their help and counsel has been invaluable to me.

I have considered only those features and innovations that I am convinced will not distort the essence and quality of the tonal characteristics of my instruments so that they remain true to the concepts developed by Torres in the 1800's. 

One by one I have incorporated changes that made sense to me and have "proved" them to my satisfaction by building at least 6 instruments before going on to examine the next change.  This process has been ongoing over the past 12 years since returning from my studies at ASL. 

As I write this, I realize that most of my goals have been achieved in terms of producing a guitar that would meet or exceed the "mental model" I have carried for so many years. As a result my "model" is now based upon my own results along with those other wonderful instruments that inspired me so deeply.  Unquestionably I will always continue to search for ways in which I can produce better instruments. More recently my focus has expanded to include even more attention to appearance and aesthetics than I have in the past and I look forward to seeing what I might achieve going forward.

For a more detailed discussion of everything that I now incorporate into my design please go to the design/build page.