By: Josh Lucas
Check out the guitar right here.
You already know you love the Freja’s balance, clarity, and versatility. Maybe you’ve been to the website, and you’ve seen the Freja double top and wondered, “Double top–what?”
What’s a double-top? Here’s what Paul at Woolson Soundcraft had to say.
“The concept of a double-topped guitar is pretty simple: sandwich a thin layer of aerospace honeycomb material between two very thin tops (or skins as we call them in our shop).”
“The main advantage to this structure is that the top can be built very lightly braced and still remain structurally sound. A lighter top allows more energy from the strings to turn into sound. The final result, in its very simplistic form, is a louder instrument with much greater dynamic range.”
Back to playing the guitar, I ran this guitar through my usual repertoire. I also used it as I was working on my “Legato” article. I thought this would be a good test of the guitar’s responsiveness, considering pulling off legato runs is a little tougher on an acoustic–thicker strings, and you’ve got to be more mindful of balance and volume.
What I found is that the added projection of the double top allows for effortlessly smooth legato lines compared to most acoustic guitars. Because you can hear even the quietest notes, it makes you feel like you can be even more articulate than usual.
Speaking of those quiet notes, I played through Villa Lobos’ Prelude No. 5 as quietly as I possibly could. It’s a sweet, pretty little tune with a lot of moving harmonies, so I wanted to see if I could hear all the voices equally if I was focusing on their balance. I was not disappointed in the least, and to be honest it reminded me of my experience on the Oak Cybele. Although the tone is completely different, I got that same feeling–that I could do no wrong in terms of dynamic expression.
Tonally, there is a certain mellowness to the double-topped guitars compared to most spruce-topped guitars. The sound sort of comes at you all at once, almost the same way that cedar does, rather than the laser-beam focus that we usually get with a spruce top. The result is a slightly more balanced tone that projects more volume without targeting the treble frequencies.
The Freja Double Top is certainly a unique offering in the acoustic world, and the way that the double top interacts with the Freja’s design truly produces some unique results that I’ve not heard in an acoustic guitar. I would recommend it to jazz players in particular, for its mellow tone. I would also recommend it for any acoustic player looking to cut through the mix without having a particularly brash top end.
All in all, if you’ve got the scratch and you’re looking for a guitar that will not only draw people’s attention with its looks, but keep their attention with its tone, you will not be disappointed by the Double Top Freja.