The Santa Cruz Guitar Company’s solid reputation is built on producing high-quality instruments shadowing the designs from the golden era of guitar manufacturing. But rather than churning out instruments in a production line manner, each individual instrument is finely tuned as it’s being built. We recently took possession of one of their 1929-00 models for review.
Mahogany for the back and sides of a guitar has long been a favorite for guitarists in the know, though the wood used as a top has primarily been limited to more budget instruments that musicians often shunned. In guitars where they are properly braced and tuned (as with a premium instrument such as our test model) they are as dynamic and responsive as their spruce counterparts, and carve out a tonal niche all their own.
While the 1929-00 appears simple and plain, close inspection reveals all the signs of a high-end quality instrument with binding on both the top, back and along the fingerboard, tortoise inlayed into the ivoroid soundhole ring, headstock inlay, highly polished fret ends … but these features blend in so well that they’ll most likely missed by your audience. It’s as if your date was wearing sexy lingerie at a party you’re attending – and only you know.
Our test model showcased the all mahogany body’s sound potential as well as that of Santa Cruz’s acoustical tuning. Anyone thinking of dark muted tones will be sadly disappointed; this guitar top end shimmers as much as any spruce topped guitar. Equally as distinguished and eloquent as spruce-topped counterparts, the 1929-00 stands on its own. This certainly isn’t a cheap guitar trying to help a factory make it’s way through the hard times, but rather one blazing it’s own path: one that was set in motion by those before it … and it’s pointed in the right direction.
Click the image below to see a video review of the Santa Cruz 1929-00.