Welcome to Daniel's Den Designs Guitar Page
My building philosophy: I build virtually everything from scratch (with the exception, of course, of the tuners and strings). I don't buy pre-bent, pre-built, pre-formed anything. I use all natural wood, no plastic bindings (not that I have anything against those that do). I love the look of the natural wood and only use clear finish, which is why I don't paint or stain any of my guitars. Aesthetics is equally just as crucial to my builds as is the tone of my guitars. Many times I will chose a " non-traditional " tonewood for it's aesthetic appeal as much as for it's tonal quality. There is not a specific set of tonewoods I use. I don't want to limit myself with such a wide variety of beautiful wood with great tonal qualities in the world to use. That said, the quality of our own Colorado State woods does not escape me or my affection for my beautiful State, and I hope to eventually be able to offer an all-Colorado wood guitar.
My building: I build four different acoustic guitar models, but all models will have the same basic construction properties: Bolt on mortise and tenon necks, laminated heel and scarf joint neck, compound radiused fretboards (the Classicals will a have different compound radius than the Steel Strings), a thin Shellac protective coating inside the body, and all my guitars will have sound ports (more on the sound port later). All my models will be available with a Venetian or Florentine cutaway at an additional cost. The Florentine will be a little more as it takes more man hours to complete. I prefer to design and make my own rosettes and I only use high quality name brand tuners and strings. Costs and build times of my guitars reflect the hallmark of quality custom handmade instruments; Each guitar can take four to six months to complete depending on the complexity of the build and can range in price based on wood options, inlay or cutaway options, etc.
I will be installing K & K Pure Pick Ups in most of my Steel Strings and a few of my Classicals. I know for the Classical purists out there electronics are a no-no, so some of my Classicals will remain traditional.
K & K pick ups are installed on the guitar's bridge plate and "is the best way for achieving a rich, natural guitar sound, even without a preamp" according to K & K and many of the online reviews. Many builders and players alike say that K & K pick ups are the best on the market. There are no dials or onboard electronics to adjust, it is a purely passive system. Just plug and play! But it also doesn't require it to be played plugged in, which is the beauty of this. It does not interfere with the pure acoustic nature of the guitar.
Now on the sound port, many builders do not do sound ports on their guitars. You will not find many production companies that put sound ports on their guitars, for one, it adds to the production time. I do it for two reasons: one, for aesthetics and two, for better sound feedback to the player. The jury is out on whether a sound port decreases the volume of sound the audience hears out of the sound hole, but there has been an actual scientific/documented decibel level test performed at the sound hole that showed an actual decibel increase in a guitar with a sound port. Still, many builders will argue against a sound port and that is okay. I do not want to start a war over sound port or no sound port; I think a lot of building guitars is subjective and up to the builders and players own preference. Personally, I happen to like the look.. and like the idea of getting more sound feedback. So ALL my guitars will have them. BUT, ... If you really are convinced you don't want one, AND you really want one of my guitars, we can talk.
As I build up my inventory, I will keep a "current build" list of the wood sets and specifications that I am working on; If anyone is interested in that particular wood combination and/or Venetian/Florentine Cutaway option, I will allow it to be reserved with a non-refundable deposit.
These are the models I offer:
The Classical Guitar: 650mm scale length, 12 fret to body, based on a 1937 Hauser body style with fan braced sound board.
The Steel String: Orchestra Model and Dreadnaught, 24.5" scale length, 14 fret to body with X-braced sound board
The Mini or Travel Size, 627.598mm scale length, 12 or 14 fret to body depending on SS or Classical. The Minis I build for younger players (or anyone requesting it) will incorporate my version of a Manzer Wedge which allows the guitar to be angled to see the strings better and create less strain on the neck and arm.
This model will be offered in two different variations. As a classical with 12 fret to body with fan bracing; and as an X-braced hybrid able to switch between nylon and steel string with 14 fret to body. The body is loosely based on a 7/8th scale 1937 Hauser classical body style.