SANTA CRUZ GUITAR COMPANY > Janis Ian Signature JI2

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

After Martin and Gibson passed on making a “girl’s guitar” (the latter of whom Chet Atkins himself had recommended), Janis Ian’s friend Lloyd Baggs introduced her to Richard Hoover of Santa Cruz Guitar Company, the “up-and-coming, wonderful luthier.”LIST PRICE: $5,945.00
WEBSITE: SANTA CRUZ GUITARS

After Martin and Gibson passed on making a “girl’s guitar” (the latter of whom Chet Atkins himself had recommended), Janis Ian’s friend Lloyd Baggs introduced her to Richard Hoover of Santa Cruz Guitar Company, the “up-and-coming, wonderful luthier.”

“I grew up playing a Martin-my father’s 1937 D-18,” Janis says. “I firmly believe there are two types of acoustic guitars in this world-Martin necks, and Gibson necks. I’m a Martin neck person, so that was a big piece. I told Richard I wanted the fingerboard to feel, and play, like my Gibson Les Paul-extra wide jumbo frets, very, very low action.”

With the folks at Santa Cruz, Ian was able to build her own custom, small-bodied guitar with a rosewood body and spruce top. The original guitars were available in a black finish (“to differentiate them from all the other acoustics on the market,” says Ian).

For what Santa Cruz refers to as a “parlor-size” guitar, the Janis Ian Signature JI2 definitely packs a punch. For the 24-inch scale length guitar, Ian says “the cutaway was obvious; I needed access to the higher frets for solo work.” Now Santa Cruz is making the Janis Ian model with a mahogany body and clear finish, such is the guitar that we recently tested. Hoover and Co. have risen to the challenge of making an acoustic guitar that plays as easy as an electric. The guitar’s low action makes for effortless playing, and like Santa Cruz’s similar 24-inch Fire Fly guitar–these babies might just become known as the true hummingbirds.

Check out the interview with Janis Ian here!



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