Strength In Numbers
Some of the worlds finest Luthiers have passed through Bryan’s doors, together they have challenge the boundaries of guitar making and changed the course of Lutherie. Aside form Bryan’s personal projects that seemingly have no end, each Luthier is required to actively build and promote their personal line of guitars.
The North American Guitar presents “The Mission” with Lindsay Straw
Muriel Anderson playing The Mission G.4 courtesy of The North American Guitar.
Bryan introduced Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology to his shop not to improve production, but to explore the possibilities the technology could offer with the development of tone wood testing, art, guitar design and arched plate evaluation.
What the team zoned in on was the artistic possibilities the CNC had to offer. At first the attempts were basic designs like rosettes and back stripes but it quickly moved into more advanced projects that can be seen in works like “Sound and Science”.
Recently the team has shifted into another gear with the next installment of CNC generated art that can be seen on “The Lilly” and “The Hibiscus” guitars made by Robbins Acoustics. These are another level of artistic expression made possible by technology. From the tip of the peg head to the bottom of the back stripe this is a unique expression formed between the efforts of the artist, the technician and the team.
Development of artistic expression through the collaboration of the artist and the technician is an ongoing experience. One event feeds the other; or as the phrase suggests,“if this then that”. When the process is a team effort, the people contributing multiply the possibilities.
This collaboration is as old as Lutherie itself. The iconic period of violin making in Cremona, Italy is well documented as being not just a team effort, but also a communal one. Craftsman specialized in many facets of the process that founded the most iconic violins ever made. It's this harmonic balance that embodies the inspiration we live for.
"The levels of execution in Tyler Robbins' Hibiscus and Lilly guitars are only a piece of the puzzle. There were many inspirations that paved the way and there are many possibilities still in the works".
Art Deco, Frank Lloyd Wright and 1930’s guitars all seem to go together in Bryan’s mind. The artistic expression of this time period is so unique, it has withstood the test of time. Somewhere in the mix of all this is a style called Art Nouveau (new art) that refers to the total art style of everything from architecture to paintings. To this day it influences so much and musical instruments are no exception. Bryan’s spin on this is his Deco Nouveau (new deco). He has taken the ground work already laid, messed with it, tweaked and ultimately has developed his own take on the Deco style.
Bryan’s guitars for the most part are not highly embellished instruments. A standard spec Galloup build generally follows the Deco Nouveau movement but he changes each guitar so no two are alike. Others in the shop have been inspired by this flow and have in turn developed their own path and so on it goes…. We’ll let you know if this story ever ends.
G.2 Grand Auditorium
A low, solid, defined resonance is desired by many players for the foundation of their sound. The trick is to balance the low end with a defined midrange while retaining a clear high end. My G.2 is a Grand Auditorium-classed instrument with an excellent fundamental resonance ideal for traditional Americana performances.
“If you’re looking for great low-end volume and clarity, my G.2 has it. I have spent decades perfecting its tone to deliver a well-balanced, powerful performer."
Scale length - 25.5″
String spacing - 2.1875″
Nut width - 1.750″
Body bout width - 15.875″
Body bout depth - 4.750″
Shoulder width - 11.750″
Shoulder depth - 3.625″
Body length - 20.125″
Overall length - 41.750″
Current Studio Contributors
Tyler’s eye for design is as good as it gets and once you see a Robbin’s Acoustic, you’ll understand what that means. Tyler envisions design uniquely different and that ability, coupled with his talent to flawlessly execute a build from concept to completion makes him one of today’s most sought after young Luthiers.
Tom Dalia was a Galloup Master Class graduate in 2019. Upon graduation Tom applied for the position in Bryan’s CNC department and took over full operations in the winter of 2019. Within 6 months, Tom had the Galloup’s CNC department in full production not only producing the jigs and tools used in the Galloup School, but additionally all of the highly advanced designs and art coming from the Galloup Studio’s team.
To date, Tom has elevated the CNC departments production to include making his own line of Guitar and cutting jigs, fixtures and parts for some of the worlds most demanding Luthiers.
Sam’s ability to understand the physical elements of guitar making gives him an edge not many Luthiers have achieved. If you talk to Sam, he feels he’s somewhere in the middle of his journey to unlocking the tone he hears in his head. But if you talk to others who have played a Sam Guidry Guitar they will tell you; Sam’s custom line of acoustic guitars are among the finest sounding instruments in modern Lutherie.
Zack has become one of the worlds finest arch top guitar makers. His use of texture and design are unique that include a vintage flair and hand-rubbed sunburst finish reminiscent of iconic instruments from the 1920’s. Zack level of execution and commitment to follow through are so intense he generally becomes the team leader for the studio’s larger projects.
Sound and Science
“Sound and Science” was made for the 2014 Grand Rapids Michigan ArtPrize celebration. The team’s original idea was to produce something that was pure Michigan by coupling the skills of our Luthiers with the shop’s technology and innovation. The Galloup Sound Profiling Software would be used to analyze the tone woods, the CNC would cut the guitar to the exact specifications for tone, response and appearance as determined by the software, then it would all be skillfully crafted by the team.
It was going to be a simple guitar with a few inlays but as all things associated with the Galloup Studios have a tendency to do, it spiraled out of control from there. The outcome was a guitar (of course) made from Michigan maple, that was a replica of the arch top guitars made in Kalamazoo Michigan, with some of Grand Rapids most famous icons inlaid into the peg head and fret board. It also included a beautiful custom made display case built “in-house” as well.
The whole project is a real testament to man and machine but the best part of the story? Utilizing the Galloup Sound Profiling Software to tune and pitch the top and back was so successful it opened up an entirely new approach to guitar building. The science of sound is a story of innovation that continues to evolve at Galloup Guitars today.
What the team wanted to do was depict the artistic development of Grand Rapids itself in an impressionistic pictorial for the viewer to experience.
Once finished, the story told was simplistic by design so the viewer could fill in the gaps, remembering their personal journey through a piece of Grand Rapids history.
'This project was modeled after the classic Archtop guitars made in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The back, sides, and neck were all made from Michigan maple just as many vintage archtops were. Even the cabinet was modeled after Grand Rapids area's Meyer May House designed Frank Lloyd Wright".
Scale length - 25.00″
String spacing - 2.125″
Nut width - 1.750″
Body bout width - 17.00″
Body bout depth - 3.00″
Shoulder width - 13.00″
Shoulder depth - 3.00″
Body length - 21.250″
Overall length - 42.00″