Matthew Techniques
I use hot hide glue on all critical components of Matthew guitars: all top bracings and back bracings. I use it for attaching both the top and back to the sides, as well as for the fingerboard. Hide glue is good at transferring higher partial harmonics. It dries to a crystalline state, unlike titebond, which forms a plastic bond and actually absorbs kinetic energy. The guitars, as a result, have a much crisper attack and greater sustain. For the top varnish, I use French Polish as it is an organic material that won’t hinder the wood’s breathing or affect the flexibility of the top. I use lacquer on the back and sides because it strengthens their hardness, leading to stronger reflection of sound.

For the wood, I use the finest Western Red cedar and German spruce to make classical soundboards, and Sitka Spruce for acoustic soundboards as well. The top is really the soul of guitar. The back and sides of my guitar are made of Indian Rosewood. Besides concentrating on crafting guitars, I have been one of the major suppliers of wood to Mainland China and Hong Kong, which has provided invaluable experience and knowledge, as well as access, to some of the finest woods in the world.

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