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The Heart of the Pacific

Review by D.R. Auten


"When I took this guitar out of the case I was stunned at the workmanship. The heel of the guitar intricately carved with dolphins swimming in a wave. Each fret inlay along the fingerboard has delicately “scrim shawed” hand etched pictures of various pacific island images.

The parameter of the guitar is adorned with abalone shell. Each piece hand cut and placed bye eye. There is a strip of abalone shell running along the back of the guitar. The Bridge has two inlayed dolphins out cut out of mother of pearl.

The armrest is carved out of Hawaiian Koa and is placed so that the arm does not rest on the soundboard. The frets are just the right height and width. I don’t like a fret that is too low as it they hinder my vibrato, and frets that are too high feel uncomfortable and make some notes in a chord slightly sharp. These are just right.

The sound hole is in the shape of a heart and beautifully selected abalone shell flowing around the edges. The headstock is a straight string pull style. The advantages of this are that the strings are in better alignment with the bridge and prevent binding up of strings.

This will assure the strings stay in better pitch while bending the strings or hitting them hard… This is a very nice feature. The Heart of the Pacific guitar is very balanced and works great on stage. The smaller body produces warm punchy mid tones and clear highs and is great for cutting through for solo or lead playing.

The low end is weak but this is expected in a smaller body. Bruce is working on a full size finger style guitar and this will kick in the low end and warm mids. I find the advantages of this smaller model is that I can EQ in more bass when I play live on stage and it does not feed back.

The more acoustically sensitive an acoustic guitar is the worse it will sound on stage because of the sound pressure and vibration of the room and speaker cabinets or monitors. You have to mussel a larger guitar, or lower or eliminate the frequencies that cause the feedback. This quite often makes you compromise the tonal qualities.

The Heart of the Pacific It is easy to hold and I think this body size is ideal for lead guitarist, and for women. I like the size of this model, It feels good in my arms, where my other larger guitars can seem bulky at times.

Bruce made an incredible guitar with this one, and I truly feel it is the best-made guitar I have ever touched. I can’t wait to see what he does next!

D.R. Auten

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