Barry Kerr built his first guitar in high school wood shop at age 15. That was back in 1975. He has been building acoustic guitars since 1984. After completing trade qualifications as a carpenter/joiner he and brother Dave embarked on various business ventures including Australia’s first 5 day courses for guitar construction. Tasmanian woods such as Myrtle, Huon Pine, Sassafras, and King Billy Pine are featured in his steel string and Arch Top acoustics. But as a purveyor of fine exotic woods Barry's high end guitars are more likely now to feature Brazilian Rosewood or Gabon Ebony or perhaps something reclaimed from antique furniture that deserves a second life. After 30 years he has refined many of the traditional construction methods to produce an instrument that is beautiful and durable with great tone and volume. All Woodtone Guitars are cased in Hiscox Liteflite hard shell cases.
There are some features that give Woodtone guitars the edge when it comes to PLAYABILITY, VOLUME and LUSTRE.
Where possible Barry builds a tighter curve into the backs of OM steel string guitars than most. Mass produced guitars may be almost flat which makes assembly easier. But there are certain advantages to building a tighter radius into the back. Strength is increased and comfort enhanced to the player. Combining a ‘spherical’ back with very rigid sides makes for an extra strong soundbox which is desirable. Classical makers have proven the effectiveness of such an approach which gives excellent structural support to a ‘lively’ soundboard without energy loss to distorting back and sides.
CARBON FIBRE USED DISCREETLY
The benefits of carbon fibre are threefold – allowing stronger, lighter and more stable components. Barry has long used it in reinforcing necks. Two carbon fibre bars are embedded under the fretboard and proceed right through into the headstock. This allows a more comfortable ‘C’ section neck profile without compromising strength.
SOUNDBOARD COMPOSITE BRACING
Carbon fibre “tow” is used on the tension side of soundboard (top) ‘X’ bracing giving incredible strength and allowing for reduced mass to the entire vibrating soundboard, giving excellent volume and increased sustain even to smaller instruments.
Woodtone guitars are finished from the inside out. A thin coat of shellac seals all interior components helping to guard against cracking. All external surfaces are coated in UV protected lacquer that is chemically ‘set’ to maintain flexibility without cracking even after 20 years.