Charles Shifflett Luthier - home page

Charles Shifflett Acoustic Guitars

- Classic & Flamenco Guitars -

Because I studied under a master who himself apprenticed in Majorca Spain in the 1960's, I had the opportunity to learn the "Spanish" or "slipper foot" style of guitar construction. I feel there is a combination of tone and feel that guitars built in this style have, that is harder to find in guitars built in the North American tradition of cloning factory made guitars. I continue to build both Classic and Flamenco guitars in the Spanish tradition. My guitars are light to hold, loud, clear and balanced. soundhole rosette on Shifflett Classic Guitar
Shifflett Classic Guitar - soundhole/rosette.
  Note the strong medullar ray ( also known as 'cross-flower' or 'silking' ) that runs perpendicular to the grain in the spruce top. Because it most visible on a perfectly 1/4 sawn soundboard, most luthiers judge the quality of a sound board largely on the visible presence of an even, strong medullar ray.
Shifflett Brazilian Rosewood Classic Guitar
(French polishing in progress)
Shifflett Brazilian Rosewood Classic Guitar
I do not like the acoustic properties of thick, durable finishes, such as nitrocellulose lacquer (the most common factory finish). The best finish acoustically, I believe, must be thin and hard enough as not to dampen vibration; really just enough to cushion the instrument from sudden humidity changes, and allow one to keep it clean. So my preferred finish is French Polish. (a centuries old method of applying shellac by hand with a cloth pad) I am certainly not a maverick in my preference. Even in this modern day, French Polish remains the finish of choice on the world's finest classic and flamenco guitars. It's only draw backs are that it doesn't stand up to abuse (you don't want to spill your scotch on it), and it is so darn shiny that it is hard to photograph.

Shifflett Flamenco Guitar

Neck - Cedrella
(aka.Spanish Cedar)
Back & sides - Yellow Cedar
(aka.,Canadian Cyprus)
Binding is Ceylon ebony

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email: cshifflett@melmusic.com
last update last update Sept. 15, 2005