Reply To: Santa Cruz "RS" query

Richard Hoover
Senior Moderator

Thanks, as always, for your contributions SM.

Roy Smeck was like the Eric Clapton of his day; beloved and wildly popular. His name evokes a fine legacy, but also represents a trade name that doesn’t belong to us. Nonetheless; we are poor counterfeiters, or more accurately, we don’t even try to replicate vintage instruments because we can’t resist the temptation to apply the improvements of the ensuing years. We also can’t help but put our own vibe and design sense into the efforts. For the RS model I went off photos, physical observation and listening to some examples of the old Roy Smeck’s and similar models then went from there without feeling obligated to “hold true” to the original.

As a historical lesson; we took relentless flack when making Tony Rice a guitar that met his requests for many personal modifications and tonal improvements over his revered, but tubby old ’34 Bone. A unique new design for contemporary acoustic music incorporating jazz phrasings and articulate single line lead work. As a result we were faulted, and still are, by those that feel we failed in the attempt to faithfully copy the old icon ala Maestro John Arnold or the Merrill Bros. Lesson learned; we’ll leave reverent reproduction to those that inspired to do so.

More to your question; the SCGC RS honors the body depth and shape, sound hole size and string length of the original . We also kept in mind the overall spirit of the artist and a sense of the ethos of the era in which it was born. Otherwise we did our own thing.

All the best,