One of the most important variables in guitar design is the choice of materials. I currently offer a variety of wood species for the back, sides, sound board and neck, each lending its own acoustic and aesthetic character to the instrument. For the body, Indian rosewood, African blackwood, cocobolo, maple, and Brazilian rosewood are available. For sound boards, I use European spruce or western red cedar. Please visit my Building Approach page for comments on the tonal characteristics of these tone woods.
The elevated fingerboard feature alters the geometry of the instrument so that part of the neck extends under the fingerboard all the way up to the sound hole. This allows the player to comfortably reach difficult positions on the highest frets. The visual effect is quite subtle and for some players the difference in comfort is substantial.
The vast majority of my guitars feature a secondary sound hole in the upper bout of the instrument. This port consists of an ovoid opening in the bass-side upper bout with an optional “door” to completely or partly close it when desired. The door uses rare-earth magnets to gently stay in place when in use.
The presence of a bass-side sound port affects the sound both for the player and the audience. For the player, the guitar becomes much louder, larger and more brilliant. For the audience, a boost in higher overtones increases width, resonance and power.
Rzepka guitars are normally equipped with Gotoh Premium tuners featuring ebony grips, matte brass plates, and black rollers. These tuners also feature roller bushings, ensuring perfectly smooth, squeak-less tuning action. For an additional charge, your guitar can be upgraded to a custom tuner such as Rodgers or Alessi. These tuners are hand made and offer a wide range of plate designs and other stylistic choices.
My standard case is the Humicase Protege, a solid and attractive ply-constructed case offering good day-to-day protection in black exterior/dark blue interior. If you are interested in a stronger case suitable for airline baggage check or a lighter weight case, I am happy to pair your guitar with a custom case from Accord, Calton, Karura or Bam at an additional cost. Please contact me for details.
If you want to upgrade but aren’t sure which case is best for you, this article from Acoustic Guitar Magazine is a good place to start.
All Rzepka guitars feature a French polished back, sides, sound board and head plate. During the French polishing process, thousands of micro-layers of natural shellac are hand-applied with a cotton pad, resulting in an ultra-thin, deeply transparent finish. Unlike oil varnishes and lacquers, French polish has very little damping affect on the delicate vibrations of the sound board, allowing the instrument to speak freely.
The neck and fingerboard are finished with linseed oil. Borrowed from the violin world, this technique provides a smooth, satiny feel for the left hand. I also offer a French polished neck for an additional charge./p>
All Rzepka guitars feature my signature hand made rosette by default, paired with an elegant purfling and a binding in either African ebony or flamed maple. Customers may also opt for additional elements, like a back stripe, sound board mosaic, head stripe/mosaic, or custom rosette unique to the individual instrument.