I won a raffle in 2005 to get any SCGC guitar of my choice at cost price. It was my pal Kelvyn who was a dealer at the time who put it into a raffle at the Little Brother Jam in 2005. I met Richard Hoover (PHOTO) in Germany before the build and, as a thank you for being a moderator of the Santa Cruz Guitar Players forum, Richard said he would pick out some special mahogany and sitka for me. And that’s just what he did! The sitka is dubbed ‘gray ghost’ and the mahogany was some special old growth Cuban that they had stashed away. Here’s Richard Hoover on the mahogany:
Oh dang! We try to keep this quiet as this stuff is really limited. We do have a few sets of flamed mahogany, not “the tree” but perhaps never to be seen again figure. We also have some sets of real Cuban Mahogany. This was the most desirable mahogany in the way back days before embargoes. Dense, dark, and georgeous. Ooh la la. Kind of a Mardi Gras fantasy Chica, si como no? This wood isn’t figured but you can’t find it except from reclaimed sources or contraband cigar crates. We also have access to African Mokori which is an insanely flamed Mahogany family wood. The figure in this wood is holographic. It will serve us well to keep this within our forum. All the best, Richard
Read some more about the Grey Ghost here: Grey Ghost Sitka I got the guitar in December 2006 and it has been my workhorse ever since. At the time, I had just put my name down on Kim Walker’s list and, never having owned a good dreadnought before, I chose the Vintage Artist model so I could figure out whether it would be a good body size for me. I had played many Martin D18s, including a whole bunch of Golden Eras and I really liked that mahogany sound, so that’s why I went for the Vintage Artist. I only wish I’d gone for the volute on the back of the neck as I’ve really come to like that. The guitar was fitted with a D-TAR Wavelength pickup and I couple that with a Mama Bear for gigs. It works great. I use it for rhythm with the Arran Ceilidh Band, mainly in DADGAD, and the neck is just right for the Quickdraw sliding capo. It’s strung with 13s and I do quite a bit of flatpicking on it too. The one thing I’d change would be from a 1-11/16 to 1-3/4 nut width, but I get by just fine as it is once I’ve played a couple of tunes. I had initially thought that I would sell it when the time came for the Kim Walker, but that never happened. I guess I just don’t want to let this one go!