In the nineties, many smaller workshops started growing as a consequence of the bigger brand's inability to offer the build quality that has made them a success several decades prior. Therefore, Collings and Santa Cruz became serious alternatives to Martin in the market of vintage-inspired and superbly made American acoustic guitars. On an even smaller scale, luthiers Jeff Huss and Mark Dalton got together in 1995 in Virginia to offer the best vintage-inspired guitar without being a slave to tradition.
To this day, their guitars' top has a slight radius for a better presence in the mediums. Huss & Dalton currently build 250 guitars a year, which is the proof of their commitment no to give in to the temptation of growing more by sacrificing build quality. Very demanding artists like Albert Lee, Molly Tuttle, Paul Simon and Bob Weir have chosen the brand for a reason.
This dreadnought was inspired by the first version of Martin's dreadnought. Before the thirties and the switch to the fourteen frets standard, the Nazareth brand made their biggest guitars with a twelve fret neck. True connoisseurs know that the twelve fret neck allows the bridge placement to let the top resonate in an optimal way, allowing for a very impressive sound level that bluegrass musicians particularly crave.
This DS (for dreadnought and slope shoulder) is a custom build. The magnificent fretboard inlays are style 42, and the soundhole has been enlarged as it often the case with Huss & Dalton (a nod to Clarence White's Martin). The slotted headstock add authenticity to the design as well as a better string tension for the best possible sound. The mahogany body, just like a D-18 (or D-1 at the time of the twelve fret neck), gives a warm and round sound that cannot be obtained with rosewood, and the maple bindings add a natural touch of class. If you're looking for a strumming companion for life, this DS Custom may have your answer.