One of the finest nylon string cutaway acoustic-electric guitars known to mankind, this James Goodall hand-made instrument has a 25.5" scale length, 1.875" nut width, Master Port Orford Cedar Top, Palo Escrito back and sides, Gotoh Classical black tuners, with Crossover-fitted Ameritage humidity-control deluxe hard shell guitar case. In case you haven’t been reading the newspapers, James Goodall formerly of Kailua-Kona, on The Big Island, Hawaii, now of Ft. Bragg, California, makes some of the best sounding and beautiful guitars on the planet earth. When he set his mind to making a hybrid – a classical guitar for steel string players – the end result is heavenly. This guitar is made from a rare tone wood called Palo Escrito which shares both visual and sonic similarities with the straight-grained rosewood that was used on guitars in the 1950s and 1960s.
Here's what Luthier's Mercantile says about this unusual and striking wood: Palo Escrito is the premiere native back and side wood used by the luthiers in Paracho, Mexico. It is a true Rosewood, but differs from Indian Rosewood visually with slightly wider grain, more figure, and lighter color. It is also lighter in weight. Although Palo Escrito is a natural for flamenco guitars, classical builders like Kenny Hill and Dake Traphagen have enjoyed using it, and steel string builder James Goodall has been very enthusiastic about the tone of the guitars he’s used it on. Each set is unique.
As actor John Lithgow said in Third Rock – “It’s Gorgeous!” (Actually, what he said on the show was "I'M gorgeous!" referring to his human form as he saw it in a mirror.) The top, on the other side, is made from Master Grade Port Orford Cedar – cedar so light in color and so straight and parallel grained that it almost resembles select Sitka or hand-chosen Engelmann. The soundhole rosette is a wide swath of Padouk, one of our favorite red-color woods, bordered on each side by five plies of ebony and spruce; the fingerboard, the polished headplate (with the Flying G) headstock overlay, and the carved tapered bridge are ebony, the top and back bindings, heel cap and end graft appear to be the color and consistency of Brazilian rosewood itself, making an appearance on its way to a performance in Chicago, though it may just be Preferred Stock from Eastern India. Its fretboard width is a comfortable more or less 1 7/8” at the nut, no matter what the metric measurement suggests, and down below in the nether regions, it has a bridge string spacing of 2 5/16”.
The maker provides a clear plastic pickguard on the treble side of the soundhole to defend and protect his instrument from flailing fingernails. The sound this meticulous morsel produces is on another planet compared to that of conventional high-end classicals. Crispy, clean, clear, warm and wildly effusive with tonal splendor, this guitar turns the most conservative, casual fingerpicking steel-string guitar player into Johnny Williams (the classical guitar guy, not the ET Phone Home guy). From the stately tumidity of the round and corpulent headstock to the expensive looking black Gotoh Classical tuners with ebony buttons that prove to tune with mind-numbing accuracy, this guitar redefines what a nylon string can do in the hands of a player with taste and a temperament for the tantalizing.