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Marc Beneteau has been building custom acoustic guitars out of his workshop in Canada for 43 years. He builds such high quality instruments that many modern virtuosic acoustic fingerstyle players (including Don Ross, Tony McManus, and Dustin Furlow – our Fret Buzz Episode 28 and 29 guest) choose to play Beneteau guitars. If you play or simply appreciate acoustic guitars, you won’t want to miss this conversation between Marc and Fret Buzz co-hosts Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray.
The guys talk about the renaissance of acoustic guitar music, with players like Don Ross, Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee, and others pushing the limits of what can be done with acoustic guitars and inspiring new players.
Next is a discussion about humidity and how that affects acoustic guitars. Marc educates the guys on the qualities of different types of wood and how guitars built from those different woods have unique sound qualities. Softer woods like mahogany, koa, and walnut produce different tones than harder woods like rosewood. But Marc says that the back and sides don’t do as much to the overall tone as the guitar’s top, which is often made with spruce or cedar. And keep in mind that the body shape, string type, method of picking, and other factors all affect your tone too! Another interesting topic of conversation is the regulations that Marc deals with in exporting guitars across national borders. He has to register and cite all restricted woods that each guitar contains when he ships any guitars from Canada into the US or elsewhere.
Marc gives Joe and Aaron his take on factory-built (like Martin, Taylor, and Gibson) vs. custom guitars. He talks about the “mojo” of a hand-built guitar and advises against buying factory-built guitars sight-unseen. Next, Marc weighs the merits of old vintage guitars against new custom guitars in the same price bracket. This leads to talk about the process of torrifying (a process of artificial aging) the tops of acoustic guitars.
Finally, Marc tells about CNC vs. hand-crafted guitars. CNC is “Computer Numerical Control,” which is essentially referring to the use of automated computer-controlled cutting machines to cut/shape/sand the wood pieces for guitars.
Marc is incredibly informative and friendly as he shares many insights into acoustic guitars. Drool over his guitars at http://www.beneteauguitars.com
Music provided by Don Ross: It’s Fun Being Lucky, and From France to India