About our Luthiers: Huss and Dalton Guitars
Est. 1995... Huss and Dalton Guitars began in late summer 1995 when Jeff Huss and Mark Dalton had the idea to build the guitar they wanted to play. While appreciating the traditional design, both had a vision of a guitar that paid homage to tradition while incorporating improvements in the structural design and cosmetics of the steel-string guitar. Jeff Huss moved from North Dakota to Virginia in 1984 to pursue an interest in bluegrass and traditional music. This interest led him to Stelling Banjo Works where, for nine years, he honed his craft of instrument building. Shortly after leaving Stelling, he began building guitars in his home shop. Mark Dalton hails from South Central Virginia where his family has long enjoyed traditional music in the home and community. He began playing guitar at age 13 and banjo by 18. It was at a jam session in the early ‘90’s that he first met Jeff Huss. Mark became employed by Stelling in 1994 and began his career in instrument building. On a visit to Jeff’s shop in the summer of 1995, the two began formulating ideas that led to the creation of Huss and Dalton Guitars.
Construction style... Huss & Dalton guitars feature two distinct construction styles. On all of our standard series models we employ the use of a 25' radius built into the guitar top. This is achieved by building an arch into the braces and also preparing the sides in the same radius to accept the soundboard. A positive by-product of the radiused soundboard design, besides its load bearing properties, is a boost in the mid-range. This helps our guitars to have a more balanced tonal quality than traditional designs. Our Traditional series features the same 25' radius prepared into the braces but the sides are left flat for a more traditional build style. This build style tends to have a more traditional tonal character, emphasizing a bit more bass. All Huss & Dalton guitars are braced with hand split Appalachian Red Spruce, which has a greater strength-to-weight ratio than other brace woods. All bridge plates are made from Honduras Rosewood, selected for its superior tonal properties, and resistance to string ball wear. We use AAA grade top woods, which are checked individually for load bearing abilities, and are thickness sanded to achieve the best balance of strength and flexibility. We use bone nuts on all of our instruments and fully compensated 1/8” bone saddles on all of our guitar models. We then compensate the scale of every string to make our intonation as close as possible to perfect. Huss and Dalton necks are quarter sawn Honduras Mahogany, Maple, Walnut, or Spanish Cedar and all employ the use of a steel reinforced truss rod. Each neck is carved to a sleek comfortable feel, and we can custom shape and size your necks to fit your needs. All fingerboards are Ebony, a beautiful, dense wood that is resistant to wear. We bind every fingerboard on every guitar model. Boards which need to have an unbound look are bound in Ebony, which is nearly invisible on an Ebony fingerboard. Binding all fingerboards means no fret ends are seen or are felt. Also, finish tends to chip away from unbound boards. Besides technical improvements to the design of our instruments, we have made aesthetic improvements as well. Most of the instruments in our line feature solid wood bindings and are tastefully appointed with shell inlays. All of our guitars feature the use of the finest quarter sawn woods available. All Huss & Dalton instruments are priced with a hard shell case.
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