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Huss and Dalton TOM-R
 
A great rosewood OM that combines vintage and modern features.
June 9, 2022
 

Virginia’s Huss and Dalton Guitar Company has been at the forefront of building high-end instruments for more than 25 years. Rooted in tradition, but open to adapting contemporary designs and building techniques, Huss and Dalton create original models as well as instruments that are more directly inspired by classic American flattops. I recently came across a TOM-R at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, California, so I took it to the Peghead Nation studio for a video demo. 

The TOM-R is part of Huss and Dalton’s Traditional series. It not only features style-28 appointments, it also has a flatter top radius than some of the company’s other guitars, and generally conforms to a more vintage-like template. Although Huss and Dalton offer many custom options, our demo guitar was built with standard features for the model, including a Sitka spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides. The woods are all of high quality: the top displays a hint of bearclaw figure and the back and sides are rich in color and show perfect book-matching. Herringbone purfling, a multi-ring black-and-white rosette, small teardrop pickguard, and short-pattern, slotted-square position markers in the ebony fingerboard give the instrument an appearance clearly based on pre-war OMs. However, details such as Huss and Dalton’s slightly modified bridge shape and the company’s logo in the peghead make no secret of the guitar’s origins. 

The TOM-R has the dynamic tonality, balance, and ability to adapt to different playing styles that OMs are known for. The guitar’s neck shape has a slight V, but feels slimmer and more contemporary than most vintage OM necks, and while it has the traditional width of 1¾ inches at the nut, the guitar’s string-spacing of 2⁷/₃₂ inches at the saddle is in the middle of the range that OMs are built with. The TOM-R’s fundamental tonality was on the brighter side of rosewood OMs, which gave it great definition and clarity. I was impressed with the guitar’s ability to develop a complex voice when played softly, yet it also held up well when I got out a pick for some strumming and flatpicking. 

Overall, the Huss and Dalton TOM-R should be on the short list of anyone in the market for a rosewood OM. In addition, a retail price under $5,000 represents a great value for a small-shop instrument of the quality that Huss and Dalton delivers. And for players who prefer a more modern approach to the OM design, the company also offers its standard OM, which packages similar dimensions with an original appearance and more contemporary sound. 

SPECS: 14-fret 000 body. Sitka spruce top with scalloped red spruce X-bracing. Indian rosewood back and sides. Bolt-on mahogany neck. Ebony bridge and fingerboard. 25.4-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁷/₃₂-inch string spacing at saddle. Waverly tuners. Made in the USA. $4,730. hussanddalton.com

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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