McElroy Generation2 & The Neoteric
In 2002 I was asked by a client to make a classical guitar with lattice bracing. It was an intriguing request. After research I completed the guitar and was blown away by the results. The tone and projection were incredible.
Since then I have been fascinated by the idea of making a steel string with lattice bracing, but my build schedule kept getting in the way of actually building it. In a way, I am glad it did because the dream stayed with me thru the years, getting stronger with each passing year. My approach to guitar building remains the same; balance between tone, strength, playability and beauty. Lattice bracing for a steel string must be strong. I continued my research, working thru all the design opportunities and challenges to meet my goals. Finally my vision was so strong that I decided that I could wait no longer, I just had to make it. The result was the Generation2 McElroy guitars with lattice bracing replacing the traditional X bracing pattern in my Standard, 000 & 00 models, as well as an introducing an entirely new design, The Neoteric.
I am introducing a new generation McElroy guitars.
What’s different? McElroy Generation2 features lattice bracing replacing the traditional X bracing pattern I have been using. I still have enormous respect and admiration for the Gurian / Cumpiano theory – but after my first experience with lattice bracing I just couldn’t get the incredible results out of my imagination. I am pleased to announce Generation2 McElroy guitars with this new bracing. The result is that tone & projection are enhanced, and the sensation for the player is as well, it is more alive.
My philosophy remains the same, thinking of the braces as tone bars, and maintaining the balance between strength, beauty and playability. I still build all my guitars with playability in mind. Guitars that feel good in your hands. I carve the necks with this in mind, using mahogany for the necks for it stability and an oil finish because it has a natural feel to the hand and avoids the sticky feel a lacquered neck can sometimes have.
McElroy Generation2 still have all the qualities of a McElroy – just more so. It has the same distinct McElroy voice and overall response that is a product of how I treat both the bracing and the bridge’s affect on tone. The presence of this model is stronger than my original series, and even with a light touch the volume is strong. The tone is rich and balanced, with strong bass response, fat trebles and a good mid-range to fill out the overall sound. As you play up the neck the notes continue to ring like a bell, even up past the 14th fret. It’s still a McElroy, just more so.
I will be building McElroy Generation2 as my ‘standard’ model moving forward, but for those of you who loved the original you may ask, “can I still order the earlier model with the original style bracing?” Of course! Some clients may prefer it. In fact just after I strung up the Generation2 prototype I had a client picking up the Brazilian Rosewood 000 he fell in love with. The new model gave him pause, and he loved it – but he still loved the guitar he had originally chosen and didn’t change his mind.