Grand Concert Model
To hear Arne Brattland play the first movement of "Karleksvals" by Ulrik Neumann performed on a Grand Concert model CLICK HERE (this guitar was made in 2005 and the recording made by John Taylor in 2011).

The Grand Concert Model is a lattice braced guitar. I have been refining this model for a few years now into a guitar that has the optimum balance of response over the full tonal range.

One of the most apparent attributes of this model is the lively, easy response, one which the player does not have to force to get a good tone. I could just say that it has great volume, but I believe that volume in itself is not enough. It needs to have, and does have, a large dynamic range. This is a guitar that can be played quietly and subtly with beautiful sounds, and then also with real guts and fullness.

Coupled to this kind of response is the aspect that I have been most surprised and excited about. The broad and rich tonal palette is beyond the range of most traditionally constructed guitars. In normal technique, one moves the right hand along the length of the string some way in order to achieve alterations in tone quality. With these guitars it is possible to do the same thing with subtle changes of nail angle and much less movement.

In general terms the ‘Grand Concert’ has a rich and full sound that is clear. Immediately you will sound good on one of these, and there would be more sounds to be explored on further acquaintance. I think this guitar would be the obvious choice for the professional who needs it to do everything from the recording studio to the concert hall or playing with other instrumentalists.

I have a variety of favourite woods for this model and the choice of which ones used will often depend on the suitability for each individual. For example, some back woods will give a slightly more neutral sound and some will add mellowness. Amongst the woods you might be offered; Honduras rosewood; Malaysian blackwood [a type of ebony that has a more rosewood-like structure]; and Macassar ebony. Wood used for tops of course is even more critical to tone, there are choices between several types of spruce and cedar, although my preference may be more predetermined because some just work better for me and make the best guitar.

Grand Concert II

The Grand Concert II is much the same as the standard ‘Grand Concert’ but with the added feature of a ‘raised’ fingerboard. In fact, the fingerboard is not actually raised but extra clearance is given for the left hand by means of the top sloping away on the treble side. This allows the guitar to look perfectly normal from the bass side, that is for the player, and also normal from the front. There is some improved access to the upper register, with normal technique maybe about one fret’s worth higher, but better than that if you are able to bring the thumb alongside the fingerboard.

Grand Concert III

This one has a different body shape, one based on Torres. Constructionally it is quite similar to the standard Grand Concert but it is smaller and the sides are less wide. Mainly because of the use of differing woods to the standard one, the weight is very low.

This guitar will feel very comfortable and is a good choice for those who prefer the smaller bodied guitar but still would like a big sound. Despite the size, the projection is easily as good as it’s larger sister.

I prefer to use the softer back woods for this guitar, Indian rosewood works very well and so does Rio.