Concert Guitars

My concert guitars owe their inspiration to the instruments of Antonio de Torres, the early 20th century Spanish makers and Hermann Hauser 1. By combining design elements from these wonderful makers with my own ideas I produce instruments which are traditional in style, lightly built and very responsive. I am aiming for a sound which has real beauty, with the notes evenly focused and well balanced across the whole musical spectrum.

I like the simplicity of the fan strutted system derived from Torres which I believe contributes to more effective sound radiation (projection) and helps give an instrument character, widening its dynamic range. In the construction process I check the plate resonances before and after assembly so that in the completed instrument all the components work together as a whole. I try to aim for a soundboard frequency of around F sharp or lower, which contributes to a deep focused bass, a warm mid-range, and clear singing trebles.

Volume is a necessary attribute of a concert guitar, but I do not pursue it at the expense of musicality. It is my opinion that large guitars do not necessarily produce a larger sound, and I am often intrigued by the power and musical presence of relatively small bodied instruments. 

I have always believed that quality comes before quantity, and this is evident in the fact that my total output is around eight guitars per year, usually working on one or two at a time. All the inlays and rosettes are made individually by hand and often vary from one guitar to another.

I use only European spruce for the soundboards and offer a choice of Indian or old growth Brazilian rosewood* for the back and ribs. I also have a limited stock of beautiful bees-wing satinwood as an alternative to the rosewoods.

The dimensions are as follows: Width of upper bout 275mm; width of waist 235mm; width of lower bout 364mm; depth of body 89-98mm; scale length 650mm or 640mm**

Finished in French polish of shellac, fitted with Rodgers or Klaus Scheller tuning machines and supplied with a Hiscox Pro2 case.

* All my Brazilian rosewood has Cites certification.

** For the shorter scale I reduce the dimensions of the guitar proportionately.   

“The sound of Simon’s magnificent concert guitars is solid, round and focused with wonderful depth and harmonic complexity. Capable of projecting both impressive power and delicate nuance, responsive to a wide range of colour changes and attack, his instruments are beautifully balanced in every way. They are also remarkable devoid of extraneous harmonic noise; what you hear is each sparkling note and the accompanying silence surrounding each note”.


The Sound of a Simon Ambridge Concert Guitar

Forbes Henderson plays Granados’ La Maja de Goya in Le Renouard, Normandy.

Forbes Henderson plays his own arrangement of Bach’s Chaconne. Part 1.

Forbes Henderson plays his own arrangement of Bach’s Chaconne. Part 2.

Forbes Henderson plays Guitar and White Hand by Sir Harrison Birtwistle

John Mills plays his own arrangement of Bach’s suite BWV 1007. Part 1 – Prelude, Allemande and Courante.
John Mills plays his own arrangement of Bach’s suite BWV 1007. Part 2 – Sarabande, Minuets 1 & 2, and Gigue.
John Mills plays his own arrangement of She Moved Through The Fair, the haunting Irish song.
Stephen Kenyon plays the Sonatina for guitar by Peter Hope.
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Get in touch

If you would like to talk about commissioning a new guitar, please get in touch.
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