spruce double top, maple & African blackwood back/sides,
elevated fingerboard
more photos





My guitars are concert-quality instruments with a clear, concentrated sound and plenty of volume for concert hall performances. They are known for their responsiveness and playability. My instruments are designed to have strong, rich trebles, consistent up the neck and balanced with the basses and midrange. Equally important are  sensitivity, sustain, dynamic range, and a clear separation of voices. Here are one client's comments about the sound of his new spruce guitar.

I currently build using a Romanillos body shape and a modified Miguel Rodriguez bracing pattern of five fans with the addition of two cross-grain lattices.

I am also building double top guitars in the style of Wagner and Dammann (click here for my thoughts on double tops in the description of a recent instrument). I tune my tops and backs to a desired tone, recording the frequencies along with all weights and dimensions. I feel this is very important to achieving a consistent sound from one instrument to the next.

A structural laminated liner where the top and sides meet allows for a relatively thin top with no flexing of the sides. This prevents cracking and contributes greatly to volume, quickness, and sustain. I compensate intonation for each string at both nut and saddle, using the method developed by luthier Greg Byers. Players comment that this really improves intonation. I usually build with medium-gauge strings in mind.

I build my instruments for very quick response to a light touch. My early experience with flamenco guitars taught me how to achieve a low action. Treatment of the frets and setup of the action is the crucial final step in my construction. Neck width, string spacing and scale length are tailored to the individual player.


I love wood, and am always buying the best tonewoods I can find. I have traveled to Germany for spruce and maple, and to Italy, where I have bought a lot of  wonderful Alpine spruce. All my spruce, cedar, rosewood and ebony is stickered and air dried for years in my climate-controlled shop, which allows me to build with aged, seasoned wood. 


Shopping for spruce in the Italian Alps

2001 classical: cedar/Madagascar rosewood

I build  soundboards with both spruce (European and American) and cedar. I appreciate the unique qualities of each wood, and the choice depends on the player's preference. Back and side woods for classical guitars are Indian or Madagascar rosewood, with Brazilian rosewood, maple, and other woods available upon request. I build flamencos with American or Spanish cypress, maple or rosewood backs and sides. I use both mahogany and Spanish cedar for necks, with a double graphite rod reinforcement.



Visual aesthetics are very important to me and are an integral part of the design and construction of each instrument. I am not satisfied unless my instruments are visual works of art. Each instrument is different, with bindings, purflings, peghead marquetry, and tuning machines chosen to achieve a unique look.  I make my own rosettes from scratch, based on historical techniques and motifs such as those used by Torres and Simplicio. No two are exactly alike. All my guitars are finished with French polish. 


2007 cedar/Madagascar classical
supersize photo

For pricing and ordering information, click here. Please check back now and then to see what's new; I will add  instrument photos as they become available, and news about where I'll be exhibiting my guitars. Or click below to be notified when the site is updated or an instrument becomes available. Your name and address will be kept private. You can also join me on Facebook,  where I post work-in-progress photos and other guitar-related photos and links.
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Eric Monrad, Luthier
Email: monradguitars@gmailcom 
7566 Eastside Road, Healdsburg, California 95448 
telephone (707) 838-7823

Last updated October 19, 2012
© Copyright 2012 Eric Monrad & Thérèse Shere
photos © Eric Monrad unless otherwise noted
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