By: Josh Lucas
This is my favorite of the Spalted Maple crew, and I’m going to be honest–it’s specifically because of the looks.
The curves of the Eos with the unpredictably beautiful look of spalted maple? Yes, please.
I don’t think I’m the only one listening with my eyes, here. Almost everyone who buys one of Andrew’s spalted maple guitars usually says somewhere in the review, “I’ll be honest, I really got this guitar because of how cool it looks.”
Then usually they go on to say something like, “I was surprised when it actually sounded as beautiful as it looked!”
That’s why I sort of feel bad for maple in the guitar game. Maple is sort of like the “vanilla” of guitar woods. It’s literally always good, but it’s so common that we even overlook the beautiful pieces sometimes. It’s easy to take something for granted when you see it literally every day on at least one guitar.
Of all the maples, spalted maple does have the advantage of being one of those woods that you look at and immediately do a double-take. It’s far less common, and each piece is unique. Some have a more uniform flame to them, others look like they’ve been fractured (although, I assure you the guitars are intact!) and some may be lighter and yellowish in color, while others may have a more pinkish hue. If you’re someone who has to have something that’s different from anyone else’s guitar, spalted maple is a good jumping off point for those reasons.
If your main concern is tone, I’ve done a tonewood spotlight on Maple before, but the simplest and quickest way I can put it is that our spalted maple guitars are all very well-balanced instruments with a great balance of full bass tones, but with clarity, and a snappy top end.
The Eos is pretty universally known as a fingerpicker’s guitar, so of course–you know me. I had to go through my repertoire and find out why.
I’ve never really thought about it, and I’m no expert in guitar construction, but the way the Eos in particular is built makes the sound feel as if it’s coming directly from your fingertips. You can feel all the energy meet you at the soundboard as you play chords and notes. I’m sure it has something to do with the arcing body profile, and of course Andrew’s unique bracing system.
All I can really say is if you’re thinking of taking the plunge on one of these guitars because of the looks–do it. You won’t be disappointed, because the sound is what will keep this guitar in your hands.