A guitar arrived at our showroom this morning that opens up the floodgates of fretted instrument lust – and we gotta say, this doesn’t happen very often (not to the jaded curmudgeonly reprobates that we aspire to be). And do you know what Sinker Mahogany is, mon frère (i.e., my little Belgian French fry)? Here’s what Mark Dalton says about it: “Our supplier of this special wood recently came by with more back and side sets. It is really nice, old growth mahogany and produces a rich tone and volume palate on a higher plane than our standard mahogany. These were, as described below in our supplier's words, VERY dense logs: If you like wood with a story, then it doesn't get any better than this material. This is material from the bottom of Belizean rivers. Belize used to be a British colony. The British exported a lot of mahogany from Belize throughout history and during the 19th century they used the rivers of Belize as their main source of transportation. Occasionally the denser mahogany logs would sink! These logs for over 100 years had been lost and forgotten, until now! All the logs where salvaged using environmentally sound practices -- using small boats and pulleys to remove these logs off the bottom of the rivers. The logs were cut in Belize using local labor - hence this is an eco-friendly product. The material was kiln dried in Belize but has been re-stickered to give the piles air flow to allow them to air dry even more. Due to the age of these logs, all this material would have been old growth timber. The color is excellent and the grain is tight. Some of the material is even figured. The material has a very interesting natural edge, the texture has been sculpted by the river and is very pleasing to the eye."
If you’d like to see an eye-popping photo array showing the wood being harvested from river bottoms in Belize, Central America, please click http://www.hussanddalton.com/woods.html. (and then click on each thumbnail to see a high-rez image)
Well, this wood is simply stunning – there are golden highlights in the mahogany that make it nearly iridescent, and the ‘hog is offset by a line of maple and then rosewood body bindings; the back stripe is “zipper” wood marquetry, the end graft is mitered with rosewood at its wedge-shaped center, the top is perfect Italian (just like a perfectly textured greenmarket-ricotta gnocchi with ramps – you know, a wild leek - and grated Pecorino – a hard Italian cheese made from ewe's milk) with so much cross silking you’d think you had fallen asleep in a fantasy field of Mulberry Grade A bedding. The face is bordered in spruce and ebony; the black ebony fingerboard with polished ebony binding is bestowed with 5 fantastic mother of pearl figures depicting an approaching sharp-shinned hawk flying directly at the camera and finally fading away into the distance. The polished ebony headplate is enhanced by the gleaming “Huss & Dalton” colorful pearl inlaid logo; the truss rod cover is, itself, satin finish striped ebony. There is an abalone ring bordered in black and crème purfling around the soundhole; the bracing feels Advanced X, Forward Shifted to my first finger (and it’s a highly educated first finger). The pickguard is ab’r’v’iated in the manner of elderly OMs, the bridge is carved of ebony with a rolled and thusly compensated drop in saddle. Its cutaway is Venetian – soft and sweeping; its nut width is the anticipated 1 ¾” and its string spacing at the bridge is a generous 2 ¼”.
It is the sound of the instrument that makes us stand up and applaud just as we do when Yo-Yo wears his Rolex at his cello gigs. Spender from the GAS!