Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz

There's one word that sums up Santa Cruz acoustic guitars: tone. Since 1976, Richard Hoover has been on an unending quest to build guitars that maximize tonal output, dynamic range and unsurpassed refinement and elegance. 

Santa Cruz Features

Sustainable & Responsible

Downed trees, sunken logs, old tenements, building beams, master carpenter inventories… Santa Cruz finds the most resonant, best-sounding wood possible by responsible means. Tonal qualities improve with age due to the resins that crystallize once the wood is removed from a living tree. They use this secret to enable their new guitars to possess a legitimate vintage sound from the start.

Hand Voicing & Tap Tuning

Most modern guitars are assembled from pre-shaped parts which possess random frequencies that can cancel out overtones and limit sustain. No wonder you have to search for “the good one.” Santa Cruz employs the techniques of master violin luthiers to voice and tune by hand, manipulating the dimensions of the top and bracing. This creates consistent harmony, sustain and sophistication of complex tone on every instrument they build.

Dovetail Joint

The dovetail jointed neck allows Santa Cruz a considerable degree of control over the presence of the guitar. The tonal advantage of the dovetail is not a matter of opinion; it is supported by acoustic physics. The dovetail joint is a crucial element in voicing and tuning their guitars to be extremely responsive and powerful to the audience. The simplicity of their design facilitates undetectable removal for neck angle resetting or replacement due to trauma. Santa Cruz's dovetail design is the proven product of generations of master violin luthiers.

Built Light, but Not Fragile

Santa Cruz's durability comes from intelligent engineering, not extra weight. SCGC incorporates the engineering principles of parabolic and radiused bracings, giving each instrument additional power, resonance and durability. This gives them multiple times the strength at a fraction of the weight. Their first instruments are in their fourth decade of professional use, proving the soundness of SCGC’s ‘light but strong’ designs.

Plant Derived Nitro-Cellulose Finishes

Nitro-cellulose is the best finish for steel stringed instruments, period, which is why Santa Cruz spends the extra time and effort over cost efficient factory finishes. Cellulose IS wood, and by using it as the solids for our lacquer, they are putting a thin coat of wood on wood, enhancing resonance and ensuring restoration quality repairs. Modern factory finishes are like glass: nice looking, but if broken, your instrument is aesthetically compromised. If your guitar cannot be repaired; it is disposable. Nitro-Cellulose lacquer insures heirloom quality and superior sound.

400 Guitars Per Year

At this modest number, Santa Cruz procures the top 1% of tonewoods and the world’s most passionate team of luthiers. Expertise and mastery can only be earned through practice, and their luthiers’ combined experience spans over a century. This solid foundation has enabled Santa Cruz guitar makers to become the best in the world at their specialties. Santa Cruz Guitar Company combines the timeless heritage of violin lutherie with a working camaraderie and ongoing symbiosis with some of the world’s top experts in acoustic science.

Heirloom Quality Instruments: Built for Sound, Durability and Repairability.
Hand voiced and tuned for a sophistication of sound that you won’t outgrow. Santa Cruz Guitars are built in strict climate control for stability. They are crafted with the experience of professional repair technicians for easy maintenance and to ensure successful future restoration.