Larry Stamm, Luthier

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Steel String Guitars

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Steel String Guitars

I build smaller bodied steel stringed guitars designed mainly for finger-picking and light strumming playing styles. If you are looking for a flat picking or bluegrass guitar, you'll have to look elsewhere as I don't have an ear for that style of music. I have two basic models:

  • A larger model of my own design with a body length of 508 mm, lower bout width of 384 mm, and upper bout width of 292 mm, and a scale length of 650 mm.
  • A smaller model loosely based on the old Gibson-LG series with a body length of 482 MM, lower bout - 360 mm, upper bout - 282 mm, and a scale length of 630 mm.
Each of these models can be customized with a cutaway body shape, and the scale length can be changed ± 10 mm. The nut width is completely customizable, typical widths are 46 to 48 mm for instruments meant mainly for fingerpicking.

Steel String Front Steel String Back LG Model, Back
Custom large model, Engelmann spruce top and Paper Birch back Padauk back of small LG model

All my steel string guitars now use a hybrid X/lattice style bracing, as I have found this bracing to give excellent structural strength with less mass than the traditional X bracing. It seems to lessen the difference in timbre between the wound G string and the plain steel B string, which is an important consideration when playing a melody that crosses back and forth between these two strings. The larger model uses 4 transverse back braces, while the smaller model uses 3 back braces.

Hybrid X/lattice bracing Another view of X/lattice bracing
Back bracing, and two views of hybrid X/lattice bracing

Many options are available to customize my guitars, both in choice of woods and in style and design.

Standard options available at no extra cost include:

  • Choice of Englemann spruce, Western red cedar, Douglas fir, Western white pine, Yellow cedar, or SubAlpine Fir for the soundboard.
  • Choice of East Indian rosewood, Pau Ferro, Padauk, Bubinga, Bigleaf maple, Paper birch, Mahogany, Walnut, or Cypress for back and sides. Other woods may be available.
  • Choice of Spanish cedar, Mahogany, Douglas fir, or Yellow Cedar for the neck wood.
  • Wood bindings and purflings
  • Carbon fibre stiffeners and adjustable truss rod embedded in the neck .
  • Schaller tuning machines
  • Choice of scale length, nut width, and string spread, and general setup.
  • Choice of 12th or 14th fret neck-to-body join.
  • Choice of french polish, TruOil, or water based lacquer finishes.

Custom Rosette Custom options available for an extra fee include:
  • German or red spruce soundboard.
  • Brazilian rosewood, or other rare special order back and side woods.
  • Custom inlays or carvings on the headstock, neck or heel, or bridge.
  • Cutaway body shape.
  • Installed electronics/pickups
  • Custom Calton case, or other heavy duty case.
  • Your choice of tuning machines.
Custom Inlay To get details on pricing options, please visit the Instrument Pricing page.



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Copyright Larry Stamm
Last modified: Jan 1, 2005