SpaltedSideImageSeven months ago, I spent a few days at our factory in China. It was a great trip! I was able to watch them producing the first shipment of Arm Rest models and other models introduced this year.

While I was there, I had a chance to do something I had not been able to do before. I worked face to face with the research and development managers to produce a new guitar. This process is usually a long drawn out process with lots of email, sometimes a phone call or instant message, lots of pictures and measurement specs. Eventually, through this process, the factory makes a sample and they send it to me for review. Once the sample arrives, it is examined to make sure it is what we want the guitar to be. At that point, one of three things will happen:

  1. We make the necessary spec changes to bring it in line with what we wanted the guitar to be.
  2. We approve the sample and the production starts.
  3. We discover our idea was not working the way we had planned and we cannot make the necessary revisions so we scrap the project.

When I was in China, I was able go through this entire process while I was there. Over the course of a few hours, we had designed and had all the specs for the STA130SMCENT. Of course, we did not have a finished sample to review. That showed up about 3 months later, just in time for Winter NAMM. That is why this guitar holds a special place in my heart. Its origins are directly related to my first experience of visiting China.

Production is now well under way and the spalted maple auditoriums should arrive at dealers the end of May or beginning of June. I am very excited for everyone to see them and try them out.


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