Verona Guitar

 

History

The Verona Model was conceived at a cheerful meal with friend and guitar collector Massimo Raccosta from Verona. Hence the name.

Massimo had an idea for a guitar optimised for use with a pickup. My existing guitars work so well with my preferred Highlander that at first I wasn’t too interested in the idea, but more chat and more thought eventually changed my mind. And I’m so happy it did.

My first thought was I had to reduce the size of the body cavity, as has been done for semi-acoustic guitars forever. But it was important to me that whatever design made for a good pickup guitar should also make a good acoustic guitar.  I came up with the following decisions. 

  1. A shallow body to limit feedback.
  2. Contrary to convention, a deeper body at the neck than at the heel. Many years ago I saw a shallow bodied early English cittern built to this design; it was really attractive but I wondered, why do it this way? Now I realised the deeper box section at the neck would resist flex of the neck relative to the body better than a shallow one.
  3. A full size soundboard to give more bass than a smaller one, firmly braced and gently curved as on my other flattops.
  4. A Highlander pickup as standard with external battery box; an on-board battery would not fit well inside the body.

For the first Verona model I started with Malaysian Blackwood back and sides and a figured Sitka soundboard.

This is Verona #3. Back and sides are African Blackwood, soundboard figured Sitka spruce.

 

Specifications

Soundboard: Figured (bearclaw) Sitka (other woods optional)
Back and sides: Malaysian Blackwood (other woods optional)
Neck: Wengé
Fingerboard: Ebony
Bridge: Ebony with two piece bone saddle
Binding: Black with red gold and green purfling
Trim: Birdsfoot edging with red and white purfling
Body Width: 415 mm (16.3″)
Body Length: 495 mm (19.5”)
Depth at heel and tail: 75 mm (3.3″) and 55 mm (2.2″)
F/b width at nut: 45 mm (1.75″)
Scale: 650 mm (25.6”)
Tuners: Gold Gotoh 510 with black buttons, others optional
Pickup  Highlander with external battery box

Verona rosette and label

This guitar more than lived up to our expectations.  A defined sound across bass and treble; a very full  and clear treble and a punchy bass with a volume truly surprising from such a slim guitar. And perfect through its Highlander pickup. Overall, not the loudest guitar I build, but such a satisfying sound.

I find it one of those rare guitars that feels like an old friend the moment you pick it up.  At the time of writing I have kept #3 (pictured) and play it every day because as well as loving the sound, I feel so comfortable with it.

Headstock with red pin stripe 

Body shallowest at lower bout

Gotoh 510 1:21 ratio tuners with black buttons

Bitnami