Spruce vs Cedar (Richard Howell)
Richard Howell is an Australian luthier who has been making guitars since the 70’s.
This post is about two of his guitars that I have in stock; two 1992 concert classical guitars for $6,950 each.
Richard Howell comes from quite a musical background (his father was an accomplished violinist & concert master) and he began playing guitar at an early age, making his first guitar at age seventeen.
His first workshop was in Adelaide. During this period he met Jason Waldron who owns both of John Williams’ old Ignatio Fleta guitars. These instruments were a great inspiration to Richard. At this time he made a few exact Fleta copies but since then his guitars have evolved into his own unique variation. In 1981 he moved to his present location in Mornington Victoria.
Richard uses no mass production machinery only hand tools and feels that the quality of the wood is very important, playing a significant role in the sound and tone of the guitar. Visit Richard’s photo gallery to see the process.
His guitars are well-balanced, traditional sounding instruments known for their elusive quality of string separation, where every note can be heard distinctively. You can see and hear the difference in this video below of the Spruce & Cedar top played against each other over changes from Rumba Nostalgica (made famous by Saffire, the Australian Guitar Quartet).
Some famous guitarists who have purchased Howell guitars are: Elliott Fisk (America) Hubert Kappel, Norbert Kraft
(Germany) Pepe Romero (America) and Ricardo Iznaola.