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Sexauer FT-00-CN
 
Luthier Bruce Sexauer shows his “Couch Noodler” flattop.
December 21, 2020
 

Based in Petaluma, California, Bruce Sexauer has been building stringed instruments for more than 50 years and is especially known for his exquisite flattop guitars. Although Bruce offers a variety of base models, it is not unusual for him to build something that doesn’t fit into the confines of a catalog, and it was this type of guitar that he recently brought to the Peghead Nation video studio. 

Named the FT-00-CN, with the “CN” standing for Couch Noodler, the guitar is approximately 00-size, though the body’s proportions and outline differ from traditional 00s. The reason for this new shape is pragmatic. Several years ago, Bruce purchased a set of snakewood on eBay, and while he liked the wood, it didn’t fit any of his existing templates. Enjoying a challenge, Bruce drew a new shape that would maximize the yield of this particular set of wood, ultimately arriving at the body he now calls the CN, which is slightly shorter and has a tighter waist than most 00s. Besides having a modified outline, the instrument also has a wedge shape, with the bass side thinner than the treble side. The guitar in this video is the second CN Bruce has built (a third is in the works), and it’s constructed with Brazilian rosewood back and sides and a European spruce top. Other details include body binding made of jatoba wood and purfling made with koa and big leaf maple. The guitar has a soundport in the upper bout of the bass side and a set of Schertler tuning machines. 

I’ve played numerous Sexauer guitars over the last 20 years or so, and I’m always impressed with the common thread that seems to connect all of them. Built with impeccable craftsmanship and high-quality materials, Bruce’s guitars have an organic, natural quality, with the great handmade vibe that is difficult to achieve outside of a one-person shop. I found the FT-00-CN to be an incredibly comfortable guitar to play, and with its lightweight construction, it offered an explosive response. This made it a great fingerstyle guitar, but the lively dynamics also yielded a powerful sound when played with a pick. 

All in all, the FT-00-CN is a wonderful example of Bruce’s one-at-a-time approach to instrument making. Players in the market for a unique high-end flattop should definitely check out his instruments!

SPECS: 13-fret 00 body with wedge shape. European spruce top with X-bracing. Brazilian rosewood back and sides. Honduran mahogany neck. Brazilian rosewood bridge. 25.4-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₁₆-inch string-spacing at the saddle. Gold Schertler tuning machines. Made in the USA. $17,525 as shown (base models start at $14,500) sexauerguitars.com.

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Richard Hoover and James Nash | Santa Cruz Guitar
The Santa Cruz founder and flatpicking virtuoso team up for a presentation about the company at Organic Sounds Guitars.
 
 
 
 
 
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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com