Frans Elferink’s Excalibur

I wanted to commission a new all-acoustic, non-cutaway, archtop guitar from a European luthier, and after much deliberation chose luthier Frans Elferink [WEBSITE] of Holland to make it for me. I say after much deliberation, as there are a few world-class archtop luthiers in Europe, equal to the best of the American school. The reason I chose Frans Elferink is because he seemed to immediately grasp where I was coming from, what I was looking for. He also has a deep practical knowledge of historical archtop guitars, as any of his FaceBook friends will attest. He knows.

Here are some great photos of the guitar. I like that it has my name on the body, under the fretboard…






The key thing for me was to have the instrument conceived from the outset as an acoustic guitar, no pickups, and no design features to combat feedback. I also asked for a vintage aesthetic, old-school varnish. The result is a stunning guitar, both visually and acoustically.

Frans Elferink is clearly a top-level luthier. Why not pay his website a visit?

Here’s the first video, made not long after getting the guitar out of the case and tuned up. I make a few mistakes, but I’m just exploring the possibilities of the instrument:

Guitar Details

Model Excalibur Special 18” noncutaway
Body size 45,7cm (18”) measured across lower bout
Body depth 85mm
Scale 63,5cm ( 25”)
Neck width at nut 45mm
Top Solid handcarved and tuned European spruce
Top bracing patern X
Back Hand carved solid flamed European maple
Rims Solid flamed European maple
Neck Flamed maple
Fingerboard Ebony
Headstock Pickguard Ebony
TailPiece Ebony
Adjustable Bridge Ebony
Binding top 7 ply celluloid binding
Binding back 1 ply celluloid binding
Binding fingerboard 3 ply celluloid binding
Binding f holes 2 ply celluloid binding
Binding headstock 3 ply celluloid binding
Binding pickguard 1 ply celluloid binding
Inlays block inlay on fingerboard
Tuners Schaller gold with ebony buttons
Floating pickup – none
Finish Taditional nitrocellulose lacquer (high gloss)
Colour Tobacco sunburst
Case Hiscox case

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